1stXI Cricket beat St Mary's

Another one sided encounter

1stXI 143-7

St Mary's 44 all out

Won by 99 runs

It was probably the nicest day of the term weather wise and proper cricket weather for once as we welcomed our friends from down in Melrose up to Barnton.  It has been rather frustrating so far this season, with far too many one sided games which is not great for anybody: the batters get in to bad habits, the fielding can lose some intensity and the bowlers know that a bad ball will not be punished, and to improve, players need to be challenged, to push themselves and to battle it out against the best.  That is not to denigrate the opposition at all, but we always want to get better, or should do, and in all our matches so far we have not been put under real pressure, where every mistake is punished and the opposition test you skills and resolve.  That is what sport is all about for me, seeing how players react under pressure and whether they step up to the plate.

James won the toss this week and batting first, we talked about the importance of a good start, of not trying to do too much too early and definitely not to throw our wicket away trying to play the big shot too early.  The fact we were 45-5 in the 8th over perhaps shows that that advice went out the window in a bid to capitalise on some wayward bowling. James had a good start, then tried one big shot too many and spooned it to point, poor Cody was unluckily run out backing up, Charles hit one in the air straight to cover, Charlie did not move his feet and played across the line and Felix played down the wrong line.

We were in some trouble, but in a team, every single player is important and so in came Milo and today, he really did step up to the plate and played an outstanding innings in what were pretty difficult circumstances.  He has worked so hard at his cricket since the start of September, and from pretty much a beginner, he has really knuckled down and show what is possible with hard work and determination to improve.  He scored 62no today and it was a high class innings full of powerful stroke play but he was also watchful in defence and took on board the maxim of playing each ball on its merit, and push for single once you have scored a boundary or two to refocus and then go again.  He was kept company by Xander and Alexander who both had a turn lower in the order this week, and we ended up on 143 after our allotted 20 overs.  A very good total given the poor start to the innings.  I hope one or two will learn from these, see how Milo played and apply themselves a bit more next week.

In reply, St Mary's very quickly subsided to 15-9 in the 11th over and the game was done and dusted.  Xander bowled a very good four over spell, ripping out their top order bowling very full and swinging the ball late, Alexander grabbed a couple although found it harder bowling up hill and in to a cross wind, and it was left to James to mop up the tail with 3 wickets, bowling his excellent leg breaks.  There were a couple of good run outs and catches, and although they put on 30 for the final wicket, it was all over and another very comfortable win.

So well played again today, boys, but definitely a few lessons to take away for next week by the top order.  Whatever the bowling, shot selection, patience and waiting for the bad ball are so important, something that Milo showed in bucketloads today.

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