I didn't do a preview for this game as there was little, if anything resting on it. A little pride would have done nicely and at least we didn't go down without a fight, but the failings that have dogged our one day cricket this season were evident once again.
The bowlers often make a good start but we then seem incapable of forcing home the advantage. Even allowing for a couple of good players (Maddy and Ambrose) getting going yesterday, we let them away from 42-3 to 229-5.
Kevin Dean showed what we are going to miss, even on an occasional basis, with an exemplary new ball spell. This is what Wayne White needs to learn. I was surprised to see White play at the expense of Hunter yesterday, unless the latter was injured. Maybe White was being given another chance to show what he can do and a decision has already been made, one way or another, on Hunter. The latter is unlikely to get any better, but has bowled well in the last few weeks, while White has time on his side but can only get away with that "excuse" for so long. He has bowled some very expensive spells this season and needs to find consistency in his game to maintain hopes of a first class career.
Dan Redfern also bowled steadily and followed it with a breezy innings. We must not expect too much from the talented young left hander, but he is a fine talent and could be an all round asset. While his bowling could be useful, I hope that it is not to the detriment of his batting.
Speaking of which, we did the same old things yesterday. The loss of early wickets put us on the backfoot and when faced with a not unduly challenging 7 an over for the last ten we fell apart. I don't know how you teach players not to panic in these situations, but it seems that our batsmen go for the big shots and don't appreciate the merit in running hard and whittling away at the total. Maybe we need a master class from Dean Jones and Michael Bevan in one day batting. Faced with seven an over, they would pick off the odd bad ball and place and time the ball so well that ones became twos and twos became threes. It is an acquired skill and experience helps, but we need to work on that.
Wavell produced a beauty of an innings yesterday that looked like it could have taken us home, with a little more support. He was very harsh on Ant Botha, clumping him for five sixes in the arc between mid wicket and long on, but in these situations a batsman needs something at the other end an it was not forthcoming. It was good to see James Pipe back behind the stumps, but unfair to expect one of his vintage innings after a sizeable layoff.
So that's one day cricket for this year and to be honest, thank goodness for that. With the odd exception we've played it badly this year (again) and I hope that we can work on the techniques of the one day game over the winter. The fielding is by and large OK, but the bowlers need to learn from Langeveldt on where to bowl and the merits of mixing up the pace.
While I feel that overall we have, as a side, made progress this season, I can't say this for the one day game. The Championship will be the more likely route to success for this side until we show greater maturity in key aspects of the game.