Not quite sure how we lost this game of cricket, but hats off to Loretto who successfully chased down 150 to win, with over an over to spare; certainly I am struggling to remember another game when this has happened, but that is the beauty of sport and the importance of strong characters within a team, positive mind set and having players who take the game by the scruff of the neck and display that desire to win. How would we have batted in that situation? I would have been interested to see.
Batting first, under cloudy skies, Harry and Findlay put on 92 for the opening wicket in 16 overs and Findlay scored a terrific 44 in what was an excellent innings full of sensible running and powerful strokeplay; a super knock indeed. Harry fell for 35 and then it was left to Marcus to score a rapid 40 from only 14 scoring shots (20 dot balls, however) in the final few overs to take the total to 149-5 after our 25 overs. A very impressive batting performance against what was an accurate Loretto attack who bowled straight and fielded well.
Loretto’s innings began with a 15 minute downpour. That did not help with the ball getting very wet and heavy, but what followed was very disappointing indeed: we fielded poorly with three or four catches going down and the ball going straight through a number of players on the legside boundary conceding fours instead of just a single. As always in cricket, the ball seemed to follow some fielders around, but we had no plans on how to stop Loretto’s two batsmen clubbing the ball to the leg side boundary. Bowling two full tosses an over does not help matters, but despite a few late wickets, they never looked like being in trouble; we kept relieving the pressure by giving them balls to hit which was very disappointing indeed considering the strength of our bowling attack. Four dot balls then two bad balls to allow them to keep up with the run rate and this happened nearly every single over.
I hope much will have been learned from this game and well done Loretto for chasing down such a large total, with something to spare; they showed the positive mindset and self belief that was sadly lacking today from the 1stXI. A lesson learned for everyone: we must pitch the ball up but more importantly, we need to stand up and be counted, take the game by the scruff of the neck and not allow things to drift.
A test next week with Fettes and I hope we shall bounce back quickly.