Mitres lose to Champions
By David Hinchliffe
West beaten by Ferguslie in first league defeat of the season.
A very strong performance by Ferguslie with bat and ball was the hallmark of this reduced overs game.
Ferguslie batted first in a 42 over match and made batting look simple, cruising at five an over for an opening stand of 61. West's line was good, attacking the off stump, but lengths were variable and Ferguslie were able to cut, pull and drive early. West clawed it back by tightening up and taking three wickets: 81-3 from 19 overs.
Unfortunately, mistakes cost West at this point. Two no balls and subsequent free hits ended up costing 14 runs and West's ground fielding gave a few runs away. Despite this, the Baggy Roons turned the fielding around, fought hard and took three more wickets, leaving Ferguslie on a more manageable 146-6 from 34. Fennah's (3-38) left arm spin was effective. John Oliver (3-24), bowling with pace and accuracy after replacing the injured Farndale, also looked the part.
West's strong attack would have hoped to finish the innings well, but a well-paced 80 from Mpofo (scoring 38 from his last 21 ball) gave Ferguslie a big boost, getting up to 203.
In reply, West lost four wickets in the first 10 overs. Ferguslie bowled well, beating the bat regularly and squeezing in the ring with tight fields. Two very good catches saw off stand-in opener Braithwaite, then Farndale.
A note here about Ferguslie's fielding. According to West's Analyst, the visitors saved an estimated 42 runs in the field. They did not drop a catch. This is the highest fielding score recorded in a West match. In comparison, West saved 13 runs during the Ferguslie innings, which would be a good score under normal circumstances.
Kleinveldt looked to claw things back, scoring a controlled fifty and giving the Mitres a chance 23 overs in. But with wickets falling at the other end, when the pro was judged LBW, West were 101-7 needing fives from the lower order. The last three wickets fell for 10 runs in 37 balls. West all out for 111.
While West could certainly have batted and bowled better as a team, credit must be given to the opposition who gave a Champion performance in all three disciplines. This is the standard The XI must look to emulate if they are in the hunt for the title.