Losing the toss and bowling first on a slow pitch, we get off to a solid start without taking any early wickets. Two crucial dropped catches saw Campbelltown's opener let off the hook and he capitalised, carrying his bat through the innings.
Our fielding was not up to its required standards and bowlers at times got their length wrong on the slow pitch. Their final total of 177 was about 25-30 above par.
Wests got off to a disastrous start losing three quick wickets. However, Patto and Ridz combined to put us in a position where we needed 100 off 10 overs with 7 wickets in hand.
Unfortunately the loss of a few wickets saw this fizzle out and we fell 60 short.
Some good signs with both bat and ball but we need to make the most of those crucial moments in the Twenty20 format.
Next T20 is on 11th October at 10am at Joe McAleer Oval, Blacktown.
Round 1: Wests vs Parramatta at Pratten Park
After a strong pre-season of fitness, net sessions and trial games, the Wests 1st XI were keen to get their 2015/16 campaign off to a solid start against Western Sydney rivals Parramatta. After losing the toss Wests were soon in early trouble with the loss of 3 quick wickets.
Fortunately, Liam Gibson continued his strong pre-season form, showing a liking to anything under pitched, including depositing NSW quick Abbott into the adjoining terraces of Pratten’s Eastern boundary. After the loss of Gibson for 40, Brenton Wright proceeded to take to the Parramatta spinner, carting him to all parts of Pratten for a quick-fire 38, 30 of which were in boundaries. Unfortunately for Wests every time momentum was starting to be built quick wickets ensued and it was left to new boy Adam Esposito with 30 not out to hold things together and leave Wests with a competitive 177.
Whilst 177 may look a decent score on the traditionally slow Pratten outfield, all Wests top-order batsmen are acutely aware of the need to go big and make large scores after making decent starts and it is obviously something that will need to be improved upon.
Needing early wickets, Geoff Ashmore and James Shepherd started strongly, building pressure from both ends. For Shepherd, it was undoubtedly his best 1st XI performance and although his 0/23 off 9 may not look spectacular, it was evident to all at the ground his improvements throughout the pre-season. Unfortunately for Wests 177 just wasn’t enough and despite tight bowling from all the bowlers the marked difference in the two top orders was the difference in the game. While Wests lost early wickets, Parramatta batted calmly and within their limitations to pace their run chase well, achieving the total 2 down.
Looking forward it is evident that the top order needs to convert their starts into big scores and help the talented middle order flourish. Whilst a first up loss is not ideal many positives may be taken from the form of Gibson, Wright, Esposito, Shepherd and Ashmore.
Next up are the Tigers, hopefully 6 points and plenty of Magpies chanting at Pratten Park.