Saracens won the toss, and elected to bowl first. Having started like a house on fire versus the Nomads’ stablemates the Gap Ramblers, we looked to knock over the top order quickly, impose ourselves on the match, and chase whatever target Nomads set. Such was the plan.
Our bowling was wayward, and we gave up 35 extras in the Nomads innings. For them to score 258 against our bowling lineup was disappointing. We chased hard in the field, but ultimately we saw too many balls go straight to the rope, and there was an air of the forced exhortation in the field, rather than the organic enthusiasm of previous weeks. Shiroy Vachha was lamenting that it was a “morgue” in the outfield, and the lack of natural intensity was disappointing.
We actually bowled better towards the end of the innings, and Azeem Ebrahim, given the tough role of protecting the short end of the ground, bowled with his usual guile, as did Wooden and Sujanani. Kunal Parwani also finished his spell well, but overall we conceded far too many runs to Nomads.
We set off in pursuit of a tough, but attainable, 258. Wooden and Rahul Sharma opened up, but after Sharma and then no 3 Sujanani fell, we were always up against it. Wickets continued to tumble, and Saracens were unable this weekend to bat round Peter. After another classy half-century, Wooden fell to a sharp C&B from the Nomads’ premium quick bowler, and the lower middle order fell cheaply. Injuries played their part but in no way detracted from the Nomads superiority.
Some perspective is required after such a defeat, and the captain has taken some time composing this match report. It was a poor performance from Saracens, but it stands out precisely because we have played with such spirit this season. Ultimately, and frankly, what disappointed the captain most was the feeling that we were not all there as a team in the painful searching depth of the defeat; surely, as in Kipling’s phrase, we must meet triumph and disaster just the same. Nomads are a class outfit and sit atop the league for a reason; Saracens will come out of this painful defeat all the stronger, ready to resume normal Saracens service.
Saracens were:, Peter Wooden, Rahul Sharma, Ravi Sujanani, David Thomas, Yogesh Mahtani, Waqar Dawood, Zubair Nizami (wk), Azeem Ebrahim, Tim Parkinson (c), Kunal Parwani, Shiroy Vachha