Friday, 27 July 2012

Glos showed backbone whilst being hammered

So, what do we make of Tuesday's rather comprehensive beating in the slightly less harsh light of two days past?

The Jessop Tavern View has never shied away from criticising the boys and managing to get pumped for 230 with your three seamers going for 12, 16 and 19 runs an over seems a ripe old opportunity to sharpen the claws. However, unlike Nasser Hussain, the Jessop Tavern will resist making cheap and easy points.

Despite the Scott Styris mauling (a 37 ball hundred) Glos held their composure and produced a spirited run chase. In fact the run chased showed quite how much character and cricketing nouse there is in this young side. Needing 12 an over to win, after 4 overs Glos had galloped to 18 for 1 at which point you would have banked on the panic really setting in and the boys rolling over to die. But not a chance. Marshall, Housego and even Gidders all looked up for the fight, and all seemed to realise that if one of them could go on and score a hundred then the game wasn't completely up. Sadly none of them did go on and equal Styris' contribution, but the lack of panic indicated a side able to think clearly under enormous pressure. Housego in particular looked a quality player, and some of his play on the off side was sumptuous. We hope that 'The House' will now get a decent run in the side in all forms of the game.

If the batting restored some pride, then what to make of the bowlers. Well, firstly they are young. Saxelby is 23, Fuller 22 and Norwell 20. This was, for each of them, a first time in a big match environment. Let's not forget, they started brilliantly....for two overs. Considering the impressive start by Saxelby and Fuller's opening overs the introduction of Norwell for the third over was probably a mistake, and certainly signalled the start of Matt Prior's onslaught.

We moaned yesterday about Sky tv's pundits reckoning that Murali should have been introduced earlier, but it is unlikely that this would have had much effect. Sussex had clearly decided that the seamers were the ones who would have to go, and that Ed Young and Murali would be played out at 6 an over. The introduction of the spinners earlier in the piece would have been unlikely to have changed this tactic. Sussex would simply have bided their time knowing that the young seamers would have to come back later in the piece.

Reading Alex Winter on cricinfo, he too is obviously disappointed with Murali's contribution. He took 0 for 25 from 4 overs. Compared to Scott Styris then its obvious who got better value for money from their overseas player. During his 2 years at Gloucestershire Murali has taken 17 wickets at an average of practically 30 and an economy rate of about 6.5. In comparison, Carl Greenidge took 27 wickets at the same average with and economy rate of 8. We'll leave it at that, and won't mention that Murali has also been keeping someone like Jack Taylor out of the side.

Now, in defence of Murali, his signing clearly had very little to do with cricket, no matter how much Kaiser Tom and King John talk about him passing on his experience. His signing was a desperate attempt by Gloucestershire to sign someone who would flog some extra tickets. It's not exactly the first time that Gloucestershire can be accused of putting money ahead of cricket. Exactly how many extra tickets the 'Murali effect' had is difficult to gauge.

And before we leave the whole Murali discussion, we should point out that it was his failure to fairly simply run out Styris when he first came to the crease that basically cost Glos the game.

As much as this probably sounds like we are joining in the Murali bashing, we don't blame Murali. Yes, he's hardly proved to be a great signing, but during his two years the team have clearly improved in this format of the game and we're sure Murali has contributed to this. Lets hope that Glos can maybe add a little bit of firepower to the batting and that the young seamers learn from the experience. Like we have already said, we were actually pretty impressed with the character the boys showed, and the intelligence and refusal to panic when chasing such a huge total. On the day we were beaten by a very good, experienced, t20 team.

Glos now have to pick themselves up for two huge CB40 games over the next four days. First, against the Netherlands, then against Lancashire. At this stage of the competition nothing less than wins will do, and hell, the Jessop Tavern View would much rather have a trip to Lords than Cardiff.

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