Monday, 19 March 2012
BARBADOS 2012 Catches don't always win matches
Sometimes a moment happens on a cricket field that literally takes your breath away. Today produced just that when Adam Lyth pulled off the best catch I've ever seen live, but a moment of genius couldn't prevent Yorkshire losing to Nottinghamshire by 64 runs at Foursquare in the 40-over match today.
Lyth's catch deserved to grace a CB40 Lord's final, or at least an event when your cameraman hadn't just put his video camera away!
Riki Wessels blasted a ball from Ajmal Shahzad towards Lyth at long-on. Yorkshire's best outfield player on tour positioned himself just inside the boundary rope and took the ball cleanly at chest height only to realise that the force of the ball would take him a step back and over the line. He tossed the ball in the air, stepped back a couple of paces and then hurled himself forward to scoop the ball up with his left hand only an inch above the playing surface and securely within the rope.
FULL SCORECARD IN 'RELATED CONTENT' TO RIGHT OF PAGE
Wessels knock of 64 from 52 balls had included 3 fours and 3 sixes and helped his side to their total of 275-6 in 40 overs. He had carried on the good work of opener Neil Edwards whose 91 from 94 balls contained 5 fours and 6 sixes, the majority of which were off the luckless Adil Rashid.
Rashid's 8 overs yielded 2-58, figures that supporters back home may find expensive, yet he is bowling as well in pre-season as I ever remember and a viciously spinning leg-break finally accounted for Edwards - not bad when the left-hander was seeing the ball like a beachball.
Rashid is being encouraged by the management to bowl as a wicket-taker, not worry if he gets clobbered into the sugar cane field and spin, spin, spin. It is great to see and is very exciting ahead of an English summer which holds a lot of promise for a player who is fast gaining renewed confidence.
Shahzad again impressed, as did Steve Patterson and Moin Ashraf who are all learning to bowl the death ball Yorkers that contain batsman intent on maximising the final overs. They are not getting it completely right as yet, but this is what pre-season is all about and practice will make perfect.
Andrew Gale had borrowed a Barbados dollar and flipped it skywards to a call of 'fish' from Notts skipper Chris Read. The coin landed on the 'Barbados' side and Gale promptly opted to bowl.
After Edwards and Wessels efforts, Scot Elstone gave the innings late momentum with 37 from 27 balls, but I felt a target of 276 to win was within the radar of a Yorkshire side packed with batting.
Gale and Joe Sayers started brightly before Gale (18) cracked a ball from Luke Fletcher to Karl Turner at deep mid-wicket. Lyth also made 18 before being lbw to Graeme White despite putting in a healthy stride. Yorkshire were 92-2 midway through the 19th over and the required rate was mounting.
Jonny Bairstow, fresh from his opening tour match 162, is a man not fazed by having to score quickly. He smashed White onto the pavilion roof for one of two maximums, but lost Sayers when he hit a ball from White to Turner on the mid-wicket fence, and with the required rate approaching 10 an over Yorkshire were on the verge of allowing Bairstow to attack with a batting powerplay when he was unfortunately given out lbw when the ball appeared to be disappearing down the legside - so much so that in my initial report I had him caught behind by Read off Scot Elstone.
Gary Ballance was caught and bowled Fletcher for 7, Anthony McGrath caught by Wessels to become Flecther's third victim and Joe Root (22) was run out as the run chase reached a do or die stage.
Shahzad and Ashraf were victims of Andy Carter and Rashid was run out as hope was finally lost.
I'll take a pre-season defeat with a sense of adventure and genuine purpose over a victory where no lessons are learned any day of the fortnight out here. There is plenty of time to win with similar adventure and purpose when we return to the White Rose county. The positivity eminating from the squad and management is palpable.
There was more to take from this game than an Adam Lyth catch, but by 'eck it were good!
Elsewhere on the island a Combined Yorkshire & Nottinghamshire side beat a Combined Warwickshire & Derbyshire side by 3 wickets at Carlton.
Warwick/Derbys were all out for 240 at the end of their 40 overs with Iain Wardlaw taking 4-35 in 7 overs, Oliver Hannon-Dalby 0-56, Gurman Randhawa 2-41 and Azeem Rafiq 0-45.
With the bat Azeem Rafiq made 72 from 54 balls as opener, Alex Lees 42 from 57 balls as his opening partner, Gurman Randhawa (18*) and Oliver Hannon-Dalby (6*) were there at the close to secure the win.
JAMES BUTTLER in BARBADOS
As the Yorkshire squad in Barbados takes a well earned Saturday breather and hold a net session at Foursquare Oval on Sunday, our attention turns to the 40-over match against Nottinghamshire on Monday.
Yorkshire have blown hot and cold in recent years in the longest domestic one-day format. In 2010 a Semi-Final defeat to Warwickshire at Scarborough denied the Tykes a Lord’s final, but last summer there were only glimpses of what they could do.
Probably the highlight, Jonny Bairstow’s splendid hundred against Middlesex at Lord’s.The lowlight, most definitely the inconsistency.
Looking through the Yorkshire squad and there's no reason why they should not be a force this year's CB40 competition. This game against Notts will bear no relevance when the domestic season starts proper, but it will give us a glimpse on tactics and winning is a habit that is often hard to shake off.
THE YORKSHIRE TEAM
Andrew GALE (capt), Joe SAYERS, Adam LYTH, Jonny BAIRSTOW (wk), Anthony McGRATH, Gary BALLANCE, Joe ROOT, Ajmal SHAHZAD, Adil RASHID, Steve PATTERSON and Moin ASHRAF.