Lack of effort costs Lowestoft Town Cricket Club

PUBLISHED: 17:08 06 July 2012

LOWESTOFT Town, buoyed by their impressive win the previous week, made the short trip to Acle on Saturday to take on a side that had been struggling since their return to the Premier Division.

Unfortunately, the Town side that took to the field seemed to forget the level of effort required to achieve their previous result, which ultimately was the difference in this match as Lowestoft badly let themselves down.

Acle skipper Roberts won the toss and decided to bat first on a pitch that looked good for batting on and so Lowestoft opened their bowling with Sam Clabburn and Kieran Jones. Acle’s opening batters, Porter and Ward, were watchful early on but after being the beneficiary of the first of six catches dropped by the Lowestoft fielders, Porter in particular began to hit the ball cleanly as he established himself. Porter moved his own score effortlessly onto 34 before the introduction of Billy Brice, in place of Clabburn, gave some respite for the visitors.

Brice first took a stunning caught and bowled chance to dismiss Porter before bowling Ward and then, after tormenting the in-form Geoff Handley, had the left-hander caught behind by wicketkeeper Ben Willgoss. This burst had brought Town right back into the game and from this point the Lowestoft bowlers displayed sufficient control of line and length to make run scoring difficult for the home team.

Unfortunately, Lowestoft’s fielding, for the main part, did not match the bowlers’ efforts. This in turn meant that the innings went on a lot longer than it perhaps should have as, in between some good catches from Du Plessis and Willgoss in particular, some much easier catches were spilled, making Lowestoft’s life harder than it should have been. Despite this, Lowestoft had managed to dismiss Acle for a very reachable 159 all out in 47 overs, with the wickets shared about for Peter Sims (4), Brice (3), Damian Abeyratna (2) and Kieran Jones (1).

After tea, Josh McAvoy and Karl Storey walked out to open the Lowestoft reply against Acle’s new ball attack of Harkness and Rowe and the Lowestoft pair seemed to be in little difficulty as they moved to 28 without loss.

However, this was just the calm before the storm as in an instant, McAvoy was lbw, Ruan Du Plessis and Billy Brice were both caught behind, all off the bowling of Harkness and then when Storey was removed by Rowe, Lowestoft had slumped to 30 for the loss of four wickets.

After this latest, all too familiar, batting collapse, Lowestoft were again looking down the barrel of defeat.

For a while, Nathan Garrod and Sims tried to stop the rot and watchfully saw off the opening bowlers in their attempt to re-build the visitors’ reply, but when Garrod miscued a sweep off Roberts to be caught and then Sims was deceived by a slower ball to be caught off the bowling of Lee, Lowestoft were once again back in the mire.

Clabburn and Ben Willgoss were now at the crease for Lowestoft, and the pair dug in and attempted to diffuse the situation before looking to rescue the innings. Clabburn took it upon himself to up the run rate and played some fine shots on his way to a well constructed 36 before being deceived by the off-spin of Roberts to be bowled, with the total just under 100.

Romesh Tirimanna and Abeyratna both perished quickly looking to get Town closer to their target and so it was left to the last pair of 16-year old Jones and Willgoss to bat through to achieve a losing draw. In a demonstration to the rest of the Lowestoft batting that went before them, Clabburn apart, these two negotiated the last nine overs with little panic to avoid an outright defeat for the visitors.

However, this should not gloss over the inadequacy of the Lowestoft performance, which in truth was the loss of a golden opportunity to move up the table.

Much sterner tests await this Lowestoft side as they move into the second half of the season and it is hoped that the players are a lot more aware of the level of effort and mental concentration required to compete in the division.

Gary Bennett Driving School MoM: Sam Clabburn.

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