No other word for it really. I could live with defeat on Monday as we gave it a good shot. Today was hard to take because we were playing a poor side and somehow snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
Quite honestly, no one will take us seriously until we win this sort of game. At 136-2 it was a breeze, with 96 needed from around 17 overs. Then Rikki Clarke plays what by general consensus was a silly shot, Chris Rogers follows and we're 138-4. Geoff Boycott has always said that if you think you're doing well, picture the scorecard with two quick wickets added to it and see how it looks and he's dead right. Many times this season we've lost 2 or 3 quick wickets and tossed away a good situation.
We desperately need to find batsmen who can pace an innings. Six an over on a decent track and a short boundary should be a breeze and there was no need for the sort of shot played by the captain. While it is hard to criticise Chris Rogers, who almost always scores runs, one again questions his dismissal when well set. Oh for a Wright, a Kirsten, a Jones, a player who will push the ones and twos and take the boundaries when they're available.
Even at that, Tom New and Greg Smith took us back into the box seat and 48 from seven should still have been on. Somehow we went from 204-5 to 218 all out as the panic button wasn't so much pressed as smashed down by a 30 stone giant in Doc Marten boots.
When a bowler as limited as Usman Afzaal tears the heart from the batting it is really time to worry. This was a disappointing display from a team who really needed to win to keep the season alive. The weather has been against us in the Championship and the likelihood of promotion lessens with every game. To do anything in the Pro 40 we'd need to win every game from here. On this form, there's more chance of me finding pixies at the bottom of my garden.
A good game for Tom New, who batted well and seemed to keep wicket in a solid manner andalso for Nayan Doshi, who bowled very well against his former employers. While Wayne White had an absolute nightmare, with one over for 18 and just one run, Rikki Clarke should reflect on this as a game that got away. Unfair or not, it all started with his poor shot and we're all down tonight when we should have been celebrating.