Still plenty of work to be done, says Manders
Bermuda national cricket team still has some work to do ahead of next month's T20 World Cup qualifiers in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, says national team coach Arnold Manders.
The team returned on Monday from a weekend practice tour of Fort Lauderdale where they lost all three matches against the United States. Manders insists it was a worthwhile trip, regardless, and is confident things will improve by the time the team get to Dubai.
“I'm trying to get every out training and to see where we are before we get to the tournament,” said Manders yesterday.
One area where Bermuda were again exposed in Florida was the batting against quality spin bowling, something which prevented the team from building a big total in the first match after Dion Stovell and Chris Douglas put on 30 for the first wicket in 4.4 overs. Stovell was the only batsman to reach double figures, scoring 48 from 46 balls. On each occasion the middle order failed to produce.
“We don't have any quality spinners and if you analyse the results in the first six overs were are fine and then once the spinners are introduced the run rate starts to drop,” said Manders. “Then they get frustrated and try to hit their way out of trouble and then they find the fields are a lot bigger than what they are used to.”
Sometimes bad tactical decisions are made, Manders admits, which he puts down to both the one league structure the Bermuda Cricket Board reverted to last season and the quality of training provided by some of the top clubs.
“That's just a result of what we've been playing the whole year,” said Manders, referring to the league format. “We don't have quality spinners and the size of the fields don't help. Here, they can play around and mis-hit a ball and it goes for six and they are out of trouble, whereas out there you would be caught.
“We have been working on some things in training and I can see an improvement, but it is not good enough. We need to find ways to score off the spinners other than slugging, like picking up singles, rotating the strike and using their feet more. The two players who did it the best were the two who reaped the most rewards, Chris and Dion.
“I think our batting is good enough but we have a few things to work on as far as batting plans. They can do it in training but when they get in a match they don't try to execute it.”
The tour was a demanding one for the players, playing their first match on Friday soon after landing in Florida and then again on Saturday and Sunday. They lost by the three matches by eight wickets, 30 runs and 44 runs.
“There are a lot of things you have to look at, the bowling improved every match,” Manders believes. “Everybody knows what they have to work on, we had a meeting about it at the end of the Sunday match. The tour was worthwhile, we got off the plane and went straight to the field and in the mornings we were out training at 8.30 and then playing.
“It was about getting them ready to play nine matches in 12 days (in Dubai) and to see if they can figure out batting and bowling plans and field placings. We learned a lot and we know what we've got to work on, which is good.
“It would have been worst if we had gone to Dubai without this training camp. I wasn't really worried about the results, but the process that they followed in the batting, bowling and fielding which improved with every game. “They (US) had the luxury of playing 28 players and we had 14.”