The look on the teams faces at the final team talk said it all – dejection, frustration and tears. In a very tightly fought contest Richmond lost this cup tie by one wicket, with the winning runs hit by Teddington deep into the last over of the game.
The story of the game
Put into bat on a warm sunny afternoon, Richmond’s opening pair if Hugo and Chris got off to a tidy start with both batsmen hitting lovely boundaries early on. A confusion in running between the wickets led to Chris being run out, bringing Ani to the crease. Hugo made it up to double figures (10) but then fell to an LBW bringing in Jack Nelson into bat. Whilst Ani made a lovely start he fell just as he was getting in his stride, but at the other end, Jack powered on to a wonderful 31, crowned by a glorious six bring cheers from parents, grandparents & teammates alike. By the end of the 10th over Richmond were on a very strong 68 runs – above our target for this point in the game. However, with Jack’s wicket falling the pace of scoring slowed. Nikhil edged forward to a 10 before he suffered with our second run out. Ollie stayed at the crease for a while and against some good bowling & fielding scored 7, falling as he did his best to increase the run rate. Charlotte also tried to push things along scoring a quick 8. The tail didn’t wag today, leaving us with a below par 93, and this against a side known for its strong batting line up.
With the wind gusts starting to abate, Richmond took to the field in a positive spirit. A confident opening bowling pairing of Findlay and Finn C kept the top end Teddington batsmen pegged back, with a lovely wicket for Findlay to boot. Whilst the majority of the fielding was good, and some stops by Nikhil, Thomas and Ani verging on heroic, there were a fair few overthrows, combined with a distinct lack of effective backing-up (I think we leaked at least 10 in overthrows today). Nevertheless, by the end of 10 overs, Teddington had only reached 47. The tide looked like it was moving in our favour. Jack came in as first change and was particularly impressive in his first 3 overs with his spin, taking a great wicket. Arjun bowled his 4 overs cutting through the upper order with 3 wickets for 9 runs. Death bowling duties fell to Ollie and Chris, and under not inconsiderable pressure, both bowled extremely well in their first overs – each taking a wicket, with the loss of only 6 runs across overs those two overs. Whilst it was certainly starting to look good for Richmond, a middle order Teddington batsman switched gear from “solid” to “dynamic” and as the light faded over Barnes with 9 wickets down and 3 balls to go, this cool customer hit the winning runs, taking us out of the cup.
Analysis & Learnings
It is self-evident that this was not a vintage batting performance, with only Jack N performing to potential. The toughest piece probably were the run outs. Sometime run outs do occur during to spectacular fielding, but these run outs were about miscommunication between our batsmen – we need to get this right to win tight games. From watching the game, and also studying the score book, a few wickets came the ball after one of our batsmen had played great shots. Staying focused after hitting a spectacular boundary is definitely important to build an innings.
Finally, the issue of run rate. We score 68 off the first 10, but only a further 14 in the next 5. We simply didn’t score enough. On the positive though the middle order – and Ollie & Charlotte in particular – did try and get a charge going, so even though we didn’t pull off the surge this time, the intent was clearly there – we can build on this.
Bowling & Fielding:
Generally fielding was good & spirits were high. As above though, overthrows are generally an unforced error, and in a very tight game, we were punished by these. Not only do they impact the score board, it definitely has an impact on team morale and led to unhelpful bickering on the field. We were bowling to a very tight score, and up until the last few overs, it looked like we were going to do it. Again studying the score book the early overs of all the bowling spells were top notch. Where expensive overs did occur, they were always the final over of the spell. The lesson here for our bowlers is to maintain energy and concentration across the whole spell.
Despite those overthrows the fielding was otherwise good – with Thomas T, Nikhil and Ani getting notable mentions.
I won’t be awarding a MoTM per se but batting honours must go to Jack for his super 31 and bowling honours to Arjun for causing trouble to their upper order with 3 wickets for 9 runs off four overs.
Lets take these learnings and focus on winning the Middlesex League!