Wednesday, 13 July 2011

A win is a win, but not convincing

First, the positives: we won, Zander de Bruyn scored a masterful hundred, Zafar Ansari served further notice of his outstanding talent and cool head, and Tim Linley took seven wickets in the match.

This was an important game, nine Championship matches are now on the board and we've notched three wins, just one fewer win that we managed in 16 games last season. Promotion is still very much on the cards and if you look back over the last couple of months, our form has generally been good.

But there's the not so good news as well. We had Kent firmly on the rack at 87-6 in their first innings, when you reduce a side to that sort of position you should be looking at getting them 130-150 all out, not the 250 Kent eventually made. Finishing teams off has long been an issue for us. Then there's our second innings batting, only one player passed 30 and no one passed 50. Rob Key gave a masterclass in how to build an innings and very nearly forced victory for his team. In the end it was a 30 run 10th wicket partnership between Linley and Tremlett which saved us, that shouldn't have to be the case!

As Chris Adams quite rightly said after the game we let Kent sneak back in, and that is, in his words, criminal. But Adams also pointed out that we "found a way to win the game", by hook or by crook, we got over the line and the winning habit is something that a young team will thrive on.

You have to think that to be sure of promotion we need at least three wins from those last seven games, four ideally, and that is no mean feat (especially given the 'summer' we're having). There will be plenty of positivity around the team now though, and by forcing the win today we've given ourselves a good platform.

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