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We will be better for our t20 experiences
9:00am Tuesday 19th July 2011 in Daryl Mitchell
I THINK we have made good progress in Friends Life t20 this year — we took it to the last game to be in with a shout of qualifying.
In recent years we have been a long way off qualifying, so it was a reasonable effort.
We have had some great games and some not so great, but we will take some good memories from this campaign and hopefully we can kick on next year.
The two wins over Warwickshire Bears were special, it has been a long time since we have done the double over them.
We went to Nottinghamshire Outlaws on Friday night knowing that we had to win if we were going to reach the quarter-final.
They had won all their games at Trent Bridge so it was always going to be a difficult task and, unfortunately, we missed out.
If you look at the previous games, going back to the Lancashire Lightning match at Old Trafford right at the start, we probably should have won that — we were in a decent position.
Then, of course, we had the Notts game at New Road. We were in another good position and threw that one away.
There were also three games at home that were rained off and being able to produce pitches to suit our attack would have helped the cause.
They are all ifs and buts. We got 15 points but we targeted 17 to be in the quarter-finals.
Although we lost against Yorkshire up at Scarborough in the LV= County Championship last week, I was proud of how we fought throughout the match.
It was a pretty important toss to win but, unfortunately, that didn’t come about and, on a green seamer against that attack, it was always going to be very difficult.
They bowled extremely well in the first innings and we were 60-6 so to get to 168 was a decent effort.
We started well with the ball but unfortunately that last partnership between Ajmal Shahzad and Ryan Sidebottom made it extremely difficult for us.
Then, with the bat second up, I thought we fought really hard again and to get 332 on that pitch was a really good effort.
We had contributions down the order again and then we made the fight hard for Yorkshire to get the 134 runs — it took them close to 50 overs.
The Scarborough pitch was probably the most seamer-friendly one we have played on all season, against the best seam attack in the country.
With Tim Bresnan, Sidebottom and Shahzad, it was an international-class attack.
It was strange that the lower-order batters were getting the runs having seen the top order struggle.
We were trying to bat properly, only to get hit on the body and the hands with the ball nicking off for low scores.
The tail-enders came in and swung with gay abandon, which sometimes comes off, and this time it did for both them and us.
We saw great efforts from Alan Richardson and Jack Shantry.
I’m pleased for Shants and, with his score of 47, he keeps telling us that he is an all-rounder and now he has finally put a score on the board!