We’re not too far away from clicking

I THOUGHT we bowled reasonably well on the first day of our LV= County Championship Division One match with Nottinghamshire at New Road, given it was quite a slow wicket that didn’t seam around as much as we thought it would.

The lads did well in the middle session when we kept them down to 60-odd runs and took a couple of wickets and it was a decent effort by the bowlers to bowl them out for 243.

Then, when we went out to bat the conditions were tough because the covers had been on for the majority of the day — it was disappointing to be 72-6 overnight, but you have to give credit to the Notts’ bowlers, particularly Andre Adams, who made life extremely difficult by seaming the ball around.

The pitch quickened up a little bit too, which made batting hard, but we’ve got to start finding a way of coping with good bowlers in tough conditions. Somehow we have to get through these tough periods.

It’s not as though we’ve been cavalier and driving at wide ones or getting caught at cover. We have been criticised in the past for being too gung-ho, but that’s not been the case.

Maybe technically there are a few things we can do to try and counter the bowlers in these tough batting conditions.

That said, we are not far away and it was pleasing to see Aneesh Kapil come back into the side against Notts and do well batting down the order at eight, which is low for him as he is a top-six batsmen.

But because of the make-up of our side without Gareth Andrew, Aneesh slotted into the all-rounder roll. He did a very good job in tough circumstances to make a fluid 40-odd and, alongside James Cameron’s, pictured inset, 20-odd, they were vital runs to get us past the follow-on target.

With the bad weather that had been forecast for the weekend, it was a big thing for us to avoid the follow-on and make Notts bat again. It’s fair to say we were probably saved by the rain in this game, but we were hampered by the rain in our run-chase at Surrey the week before.

These things usually even themselves out but, with the way the points are awarded, you’d probably rather win won and lose won instead of getting two draws.

Obviously, you can’t do a lot about the weather, though, and teams up and down the country have been suffering recently.

Playing Middlesex at Lord’s is always one of the games you look for when the fixtures come out and it’s nice to have the game there rather than at Uxbridge. We’ve had a couple of decent results at Lord’s in recent seasons and we have some good memories.

Last season we lost our first six Championship games, so we are determined not to have to wait that long this time around and we have already drawn more games than last year.

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