Sunday, 7 May 2017

Put up or shut up for Glos in the Royal London One Day Cup

For many years rugby's Heineken Cup stood as the pinnacle of how a successful sporting competition should be run. High quality teams with small groups and a tough qualifying requirement of finishing in the top two to progress to the next round meant that the intensity of the competition existed right from the start. Compare that to the nauseum of football's Champion League group stage and you know what we mean. Right from the start of a competition winning should be imperative. Bizarrely, given their love of 100 game seasons in othe sports, the American NFL has this balance right as well. 

Enter the Royal London One Day Cup. A competition that, this year, potentially feels like it has found its feet. Both Glos and Hampshire begin today knowing that they realistically have to win to stay in contention. Both teams have one win from their three matches. Lose today and one them will be staring down the barrel of an early exit. However, the structure of the competition does now mean that their would still be the possibility of Michael Klinger making some sort of Aaron Rodgers-style 'run the table' quip and potentially a third place finish could happen. To us, this makes for a good competition. The fact it is being played out in chunks also makes it easily engaged with. The fact no one else is watching is irrelevant! We're enjoying it, and as people who write a blog merely to entertain ourselves, we've never be much interested in whether other people are also on board.

Glos find themselves in this position after a disappointing defeat to Essex at the end of last week. We say disappointing mainly because if Alastair Cook is your main one day tormentor then you feel like you could have done better. Cook's hundred proved the difference between the two sides. Cook made a hundred. Phil Mustard could only make 90, and Ian Cockbain fell for 79. If either of those two had been able to reach three figures then the Shire might have squeezed home.

The other curiosity from the Essex match was the sudden re-emergence of the Gourmet Burger. Having not featured in any of the previous matches this season, Gourmet Burger was drafted in to replace the unwell Graeme Van Buuren. Fair enough. Last minute illnesses mean that it isn't always possible to have like for like replacements. What seemed fairly inexplicable was that Glos seemed to think they had the second coming of Gary Sobers stepping into their team. Noema-Barnett was brought on first change, given two overs, was butchered round the ground and taken off. He was then thrown in to bat at number 5. Ahead of Benny and Jack Taylor, who have both been in the runs recently. He made an 8 ball duck. Hopefully a lesson has been learnt.

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