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We’re ready to face Gladiators challenge
WE are hoping to beat the weather today and be able to play our Clydesdale Bank 40 match with Gloucestershire Gladiators at Cheltenham (1.45pm).
They are a good, well-drilled side on their day with the likes of Hamish Marshall and Alex Gidman as well as some good lads who do well around them.
I was bitterly disappointed with the CB40 defeat at Leicester on Saturday. We did a lot of good things in that game — we batted well and I thought 214 was a good score on that pitch and we should have defended it.
We bowled well to start with and had some pretty tight overs, but unfortunately we messed up at a few critical moments and dropping Ramnaresh Sarwan did not help.
Without him scoring a hundred, Leicester would probably have got nowhere near our score.
We also had a few slip-ups in the field and allowed them to turn twos into threes.
Gareth Andrew and Dave Lucas bowled the last two overs which saw the Foxes score 29 runs to snatch the win, but they took that on the chin.
They have bowled really well for us in previous one-day games and are both big characters — I’m sure they will relish the chance to bowl at the death again in the next match.
It is difficult enough to qualify from the group stages of the CB40 because you are only guaranteed to go through if you finish top.
The Leicester defeat makes it even more difficult for us, but we still have five group games to play and we have shown in the Friends Life t20 that we can win matches and get on a run. That said, we will probably have to win all of our remaining games to qualify.
Aneesh Kapil has been on the fringes a lot this year and has been to a lot of selection meetings, but just missed out on the team.
He came into the side for the game at Leicester after Alexei Kervezee suffered a broken finger in the FLt20 defeat to Somerset.
However, he has now joined up with the England Under 19 squad ahead of their tour to Australia, so Neil Pinner has been brought into the squad for today’s CB40 game against Gloucestershire.
Neil is a great fielder and adds to us in that department, but he probably hasn’t scored as many runs as he would have liked with the second XI.
He played a lot of one-day cricket for us last year and I am backing him to do a good job.
Alan Richardson has signed a new two-year deal with us.
He has shown this year he is fantastic and it is good to have him in the ranks for another couple of years at least.
He is fit and strong and is always the first person in the gym.
The weather meant our LV= County Championship game with Durham at New Road ended in a draw but, to be honest, I was bitterly disappointed with the way we played.
We bowled reasonably well, but probably let them get a few too many and then we were in a strong position with the bat.
Normally, I would defend my players as a team and as individuals, but I can’t defend that.
We gave far too many wickets away with silly shots and turned a commanding position into a first innings deficit.
Finally, it is disappointing to see floodwater on the New Road pitch once again, but hopefully it has come at the right time — if there is such a thing as that — and the ground will be OK in time for the South Africa tour match on July 27.