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The inevitability of Gloucestershire
MiddleToWest (IP Logged)
10 August, 2018 10:28
What is it about us and Gloucestershire in T20s? I haven’t checked but, if I recall correctly, we’ve played them a couple of hundred times and lost all bar one. And after that tie we were so discombobulated that we decided to give them the player who grabbed a tie from the jaws of defeat (and victory). Look at the line-ups. They’re a mixture of farmers, nearly men and journeymen. We, by comparison have a team littered with past, present and future internationals, coached by someone widely regarded at a short-form expert. Yet put us within fifty miles of each other and they become a coherent, efficient and ruthless team whilst we dissolve into a band of disparate and apparently disaffected individuals.

I’ve nothing against Gloucestershire, per se. But, looking it objectively, they’re a much smaller county than us in terms of history and resources – albeit that they’ve produced two of the all-time greats in Grace and Hammond (Wally, not Miles).

Anyway, all that apart, I would think that most of us were expecting something between a pasting and a shellacking yesterday. So, after 7.08% of the game that’s a full seventeen balls – up until HiFi’s present that Cockbain had time to unwrap, read the attached card and write a letter of thanks before pulling somewhere over Temple Meads – it was a shock to find us all over them like a cheap suit.

That Finny long-hop rather set the tone such that, after 7.5% of the game, we knew that normal service would be returned as we made Klinger and , in particular Cockbain, look like the natural successors to Grace and Hammond but spliced with DNA from Richards, McCullum and Sehwag. Take nothing away from the Scouser whom Cricinfo describes as a “handy middle-order batsman”, that was a lesson in how to construct a T20 innings. Sure, there was the odd streaky shot in there but was there a single bad ball that he failed to punish? Maybe the few pints I had a Moor Beer took the edge off my judgement but I thought it was a brilliantly brutal. Then there’s Kieran Noema-Barnett, a man who would not have Hotmail suggesting he add a suffix to his address. I doubt many have compared Otagan (is that the right word?) to Chris Gayle but yesterday we gave people the opportunity. Even his dismissal left us in danger of missing the cut-off time as it was in the air for a good twenty minutes before White pouched in with studied nonchalance. Mr NB was particularly harsh on Tom Barber, who I felt bowled with genuine pace.

There were, some high spots for us in the Gloucestershire innings. The first two over, Scott’s catch off the last ball, Patel’s economy. Apart from that … erm.

Why did the two most economical bowlers (Finn and Patel) only bowl three overs each? Or was that why they were economical? What is the point of Daniel Vettori? Would we be better off with Daniel Radcliffe? Or Frankie Dettori? And don’t get me started about the body language. Sure, we were getting a caning and it was a meaningless game for us but people had paid goodish money to see the game, many had travelled a fair distance and these blokes are in the entertainment industry.

Enough about that. At the half-way stage, I told my mate that I feared we’d lose by over a hundred runs, hoped for a loss of ’only’ forty but expected seventy. In that, the boys didn’t let me down. If we were going to get anywhere close we needed a big ton from Stirling, Malan or Morgan with another couple getting fifties. Stirling gave it a go and, for a brief moment, Malan looked good but Morgan looked to me like he was using it as a net for bigger and better things.

I spent the last few overs behind the dug-out. Those who weren’t playing looked especially @#$%& off. Vettori just sat there. When some bloke who’d clearly had a Tribute or two too many called encouraging words to Ollie along the lines of “never mind, the Northants game is more important”, I thought Mr Rayner was going to have a right go. But then he twigged that I (I mean he) was trying to be supportive.

All in all, decent evening out with my Gloucestershire supporting mate slightly marred by a poor game of cricket. We finished with a couple in the Seven Stars, a great little seventeenth century ale house about a ten minute walk from the station, although it took us at least twice that long due to navigational issues. Still, we got there in time for the 22:50 to Chippenham, which my mate assured me was the second-last train. It’s just a shame that the last train is actually at 22:35. I blame myself – he has previous. Luckily for us there was a 23:20 to Trowbridge and thence a £40 taxi back to Devizes. I think the players sometimes forget that our support costs us.

Here’s to a proper showing at Wantage Road in nine days’ time. Maybe the club should just send apologetic notes to Kent, Essex and Sussex rather than wasting their time before that.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/08/2018 11:00 by MiddleToWest.

Re: The inevitability of Gloucestershire
chunkyinargyll (IP Logged)
10 August, 2018 14:29
Good post Middle to west.

I guess Gloucestershire are just our bogey side- along with the other seven in our group.

The nine in the other group are no problem, as we never get to play them.

My guess is Gloucestershire believe in themselves, and plan properly. Maybe they asked Ryan Higgins to give a chat about his former team mates, listing strengths and weaknesses. After all, our tactics never change, so it wouldn't be difficult for RH to brief them on what to expect.

I expect Gloucestershire, like any well drilled team don't just have a Plan A. They will have a plan B,C and D, in case A doesn't work.

There can be a bit of luck in T20, but if it really was all down to luck, we should have won half the games.

I've no real confidence we will win any of the last three. We will only win a game if the other side self destructs (a la Hampshire).

Re: The inevitability of Gloucestershire
MiddleToWest (IP Logged)
13 August, 2018 09:12
Cheers, Chunky. Maybe it is down to a lack of planning. But why would that be? What else does the bespectacled Kiwi have to do? And there are some good cricketing brains at the club. Maybe Morgan keeps all his good ideas for England?

It's good to see youngsters like Scott and Barber given a chance. But if we're looking to the future, why is Franklin playing?

At least we can stop wasting everyone's time soon and get back to the proper stuff.

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