Monday, August 2, 2010

end of round 1

Life has been real busy over the past several weeks keeping me away from cricket greens. I could not participate in the past couple of games - one against Canton and the other against Troy (a rescheduled game). The results were odd… an extraordinary game with a sweet result against Canton but the other an ordinary performance from our collected 11 that resulted in a loss.

On July 17, we played and won against Canton. They have played great cricket this season and are certainly the top 2 teams to beat. I safely would have said ours would be the other but since I am writing this – kind of post cast :) - I know that we cannot claim, any longer to be the top 2 teams to beat. I will spell what I mean in a minute.

But back to the game against Canton, the one guy they probably hate the most now is Devin Patel, for this is the second time in a row he scored a century against them! It’s a punishing feeling to be the best team but to be sought out by the same guy. Devin's brilliant century (114*) along with solid performances from Sujay (60+), Puru (51*) and Chirag (30) left Canton to chase 295. It’s a really tough ask and they folded at 242 after giving an equally tough fight.

Next we played Troy on July 25 with a depleted side as most of our guys were not playing including me. We scored 181 and they got that with 4 wickets left. Our bowlers, I heard, struggled to find the rhythm.

Anyways, with that game, we completed our 1st round. 8 games – won 6, lost 2. But more importantly I see somewhat of degradation in our performance going into the next round.

=suhail =
July 2010

the first loss!

It’s terrible. The pain of a loss lingers mentally longer than the physical aches. It is more personally agonizing when you can’t forget that you could have played a part in getting the team out of the woods. And there on, each passing moment, you want to get back out there and make amends. That is the beauty of the game of cricket. You always feel you can do better.

On Saturday, July 10, 2010, we hosted Metro Detroit CC at our home ground in Cleveland.

MDCC is a new team this year. And they certainly were playing for the first time at our ground. But if you watched them in action or review the scorecard, they played at ease with us and played a solid game.

Winning the toss, they batted first and scored 210 in 40 overs. An assured 130 plus run 3rd wicket partnership between Kumar and Nadeem was the underpinning act behind their above par score. Kumar went on to get a deserved century. He had luck on his side too, getting a couple of good lives. But their ‘chanderpaul-stance’ left handed captain Nadeem () played a calm and composed inning to anchor them along. We had a target of 211 to get but ended up getting all out for 165!

What caused the break to our winning ‘habit’?
To sum it up - We looked lazy on the field. Bowlers lacked purpose and failed to find that one delivery that could break a partnership and when our bowlers did find a way, our fielding did not finish it. We looked less hungry to win than MDCC. And it would be safe to say we may have been over-confident when we batted.

So we were below our standards in all aspects and MDCC thoroughly deserved to win.

I know it’s better said than done but I will still say it….barring a few good testing slower ones, our bowlers did not show any attempt to mix it up. We could not adjust quickly to the left-right combination and kept feeding into the width areas preferred by the batsmen (especially Kumar).

One glaring problem I see is that our bowlers are not bowling to the fields they themselves set. We need to be more mindful and do justice to the fields. Another thing is bowlers are not working together. So to say, they are not ‘hunting in a pack’. Every time a new spell begins, the bowlers put in several useless deliveries slicing away any pressure that may have been built by the peer bowlers. That cannot happen, especially in the games going forward. So the sooner the bowlers get this right, the better. I am sure each of the bowlers would like to put this game into perspective and come up with way to perform better.