Fair play to Essex. That was a terrific run chase this afternoon and on that basis alone they deserve promotion to Division One.
I thought the target was a fair one yet not impossible for a side who bat as low as they do. They looked like losing their way yet Pettini has led from the front and with some mighty blows from the underrated ten Doeschate has taken them to the verge of victory as I type with plenty in hand.
The other thing that it does is highlight where John Morris needs to strengthen for next year. I think the batting, with maybe one addition, will take care of itself, but we need something different in the bowling ranks. The other way of looking at it is that a team chasing around six an over for 60 overs has to bat well and get a fair share of poor bowling.
Look at it this way. In the days of the old Gillette Cup, if you set the opposition 359 in 60 overs, you'd fancy your chances. The bloke I feel sorry for is Chris Rogers, who scored a brilliant double century yet sees it thrown away on the last day. I couldn't see us losing this game, quite honestly.
Yet again this season, the bowling has let the side down. Do we need new bowlers? Notwithstanding the loss of three of them in this game, the answer is yes. Could we benefit from a bowling coach? Again, the answer is yes, but finances are the issue. Maybe its a bowling coach or a player. What would you do? There's a question for this week's poll.
Throughout the season the batting has done a steady job and has almost always produced the goods when it mattered. Even in the Twenty/20 this season, the scores we posted were pretty challenging and certainly higher than many of those that were being posted in the World Cup. Yet 150-170 was quickly rendered valueless as the opposition climbed into our attack and scored 50, 60, 70 in the first five overs.
Where John Morris will find bowlers I don't know. I am confident enough in his contacts book that he will find a few players better than we have at present.
As I close we have been beaten by five wickets and Essex had six overs in hand.
Credit to them, but that's not very good bowling.
On the other hand, we've been a much better side this year than sixth in the division and need to prove that next year. Several weeks ago I said (either on here or 606) that I felt Essex were our main rivals and the second best side in the division. They've proved that.
End of season review in the next few days. Shame about the poor finish...