“"Why use both hands when one can do?" ”
The Manager's report by Sree
Yet another quintessentially English spring weekend awaited the eager and excited GCs searching for their first win of the season as they hosted Carholme CC on Sunday the 5th of May at LCHS. The desire and hunger was clear from the meticulous WA sketches, painstakingly drafted by Skipper Chirag, working out the field placings for each bowler including even a contingency plan with cleverly placed arrow marks indicating a march to be stationed at the fence, should they be carted around!
Updated 07:45 - 7 May 2019 by Gully Cricketers
After winning the toss, GC duly inserted the opposition on an overcast afternoon hoping to make early incisions which promptly arrived thanks to some circumspect bowling from Kashif Bhai and KP. However, after being down 7 for 2, Carholme consolidated with 103 runs for the next 2 wickets despite the skipper ringing several bowling changes including the stand out bowler of the innings, Pravin, who bowled a frugal spell of 10 runs in 8 consecutive overs, coming agonisingly close on numerous occasions. The introduction of Sree’s loopy leg spinners after the mid-innings break provided some breakthroughs as he bowled 10 overs on the trot to snaffle 4 wickets thanks to some great catching, including a sensational IPL style one handed catch by Naren at cow corner. A back-pedalling Sakthi grabbed a skier to give the tidy Dan his first wicket of the season at the other end, but some lusty hitting by the Carholme lower order denied GC the elusive last wicket as they were set a target of 167 by their opponents. The other new recruits didn’t disappoint either, with Sachin remaining stellar behind the stumps and KP running in and bowling the hard length to support Kashif Bhai and Pravin to keep things tight.
The message from the skipper at the tea break message was loud and clear that GCs should be able to see the chase through if they batted the full 40 overs and it appeared to be falling in place until unfortunately, Naren picked out the lone fielder at midwicket, with a nonchalant flick. Enter the skipper! And the pair of Chirag and Sakthi saw off the next 20 overs without any further setback against some thrifty bowling by Sam Shawley, who bowled 10 overs for 8 runs but was denied even a single scalp. What looked like being ‘behind the eight ball’ at half way mark for GC, was ‘transformed’ by true to his name ‘Optimus Prime’ upping the ante with Sakthi acting as the perfect foil for his skipper, rotating the strike to get GC to a 100 at 30.2 overs, not far off the opponents who had their 100 runs up at 28 overs. However, after Chirag cramped and then fell for a well-made 41, the GC middle and lower order crumbled chasing a steep run-rate, eventually folding to 136 all out. Alas, GC were close but not close enough to close out the chase!
The usual lamenting followed in the post-match pub meeting about the if’s and but’s, BUT, from a manager’s point of view there were a lot of positives for GC to look forward to the rest of the season and the first win of the season certainly appears to be round the corner. Not to forget the support from the non-playing GCs who turned out to support but even take pictures to fill an album for GC memorabilia.
A Manager’s report is never complete without……..
Points to Ponder:
1) Reducing the extras including wides and leg byes
2) Reducing boundaries from leg-side freebies
3) Ticking over or staying as close to the required run-rate whilst keeping the top-order wickets intact.