Sloppy Mids slump to an abysmal draw
TRINITY Mid-Whitgiftian were left counting the cost of a woeful fielding display and middle order batting collapse as they were held to a draw by Worcester Park in a match they should have won.
After winning the toss for only the second time this season, Mids put their opponents in and began encouragingly as Thishan Wanigaratne caught Dexter Smith off his own bowling in the sixth over.
Visiting captain Rob Waite and Joe Hill progressed nicely as Mids bowled a few too many half-volleys but both lost their wickets attempting to play the sweep shot to the bowling of Ali Abbas.
Some careless batting from the middle order gifted Mids some cheap wickets with Mike Brugnoli picking up 4-39 as Worcester Park found themselves in deep trouble on 112-8.
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However, the match was transformed by a ninth-wicket stand of 74 between Gary Marshall and Nicky Ball who batted far more responsibly than those who had gone before and punished Mids for a sloppy fielding display, characterised by dropped catches, basic errors on the ground and a general lack of concentration and enthusiasm.
A stand lasting 18 overs was finally ended when Tommy Smith took out Marshall's middle stump before Abbas dismissed last man Harrison to finish with 4-39 as Worcester Park were bowled out for 188.
Mids were kept quiet by accurate bowling spells from openers Marshall and Bell as they began slowly in reply and lost Ben Shorten lbw to Bell in the 12th over.
Another patient and determined innings at the top of the order from Richard Nowell, well supported by Tommy Smith and Stewart Sales, put Mids in a strong position for a late assault on their target as they reached 105-2 and with five runs per over required there was no need for panic.
However, spinners Sagar and Ganguly continued to squeeze the batsmen and an ill-judged single saw Sales run Nowell out for 56 as the match took yet another turn.
The spinners proved too good for the Mids middle order as five wickets went down for just 12 runs including the crucial wicket of Sales who was given out lbw to Ganguly.
Suddenly it became a matter of survival for Mids but the visitors lacked the firepower to finish off the tail and Raj Chatwal saw his side to safety.
A winning draw to Worcester Park was ultimately a fair result in a game that neither side really deserved to win.
A win at struggling Pyrford on Saturday is imperative if Mids are to avoid being dragged towards the wrong end of the table but a significant improvement in attitude and application will be required.