Runs, wickets and medals ‒ it doesn’t get any better than that
What a weekend that was. Two wins for us in the Royal London One-Day Cup, with good personal contributions, and a bronze medal for Jah-Nhai Perinchief at the Commonwealth Games to go with Flora Duffy’s gold at the start, showing the talent and the progress that Bermuda is making in sport.
But first with the cricket.
As far as wins go, those against Gloucestershire and Leicestershire were as good as you can get, really. Against Gloucestershire, to get 334 and then take ten wickets was the complete performance. Against Leicestershire, the captain wins the toss and we bowl first and take five wickets in the first powerplay, that’s all you can ask for. It’s really positive. The thing now is to keep improving, to keep challenging ourselves, keep pushing boundaries and keep winning — get on a nice little roll.
My all-round performance against Gloucestershire was satisfying. It would have been nice to get to that first List A hundred in the last over, but I would have taken 91 at the start. Then to pick up those three wickets, breaking threatening partnerships, was just as enjoyable.
There was enough in the Hove wicket against Leicestershire to encourage us to bowl first. I wouldn’t say it did loads but it did enough to have them 30 for six in the twelfth over. We bowled in the right areas for long periods of time. In our ten overs [of the first powerplay], there weren’t many drive balls, many cut balls, or many balls that you can sit back and pull. I think we zoned in on one area and got our reward.
Central to that was Aristides Karvelas, “Ari”, who is proving a sensation since he was called up from the second XI.
He’s been doing well in the twos. I played in a couple of games with him and he looked like he knew how to go about his work. It’s no surprise that since he’s come in, he’s taken wickets. He’s been in reasonable control of what he’s doing and he understands what he’s doing. Hopefully, long may it continue for us for the rest of the competition. He looks like a real nice signing for us right now.
Momentum in white-ball cricket is a big thing. And we look like we’ve got something going quite nicely. Everyone is in form — all the batters are getting runs, bowlers are taking wickets. So we just keep working hard and doing that. Warwickshire are next at Edgbaston tomorrow. They’ve probably got one of the senior squads in the group, but we’ve got a bit of momentum. They are coming off a tie with Surrey where they probably felt they should have won, so they’ll be looking to bounce back strong. But I think we’ll be all right if we just keep doing the right things.
For as well things are going personally, it does dishearten me to see what’s happening with the Bermuda team in Jersey. If you’re on the outside of the camp, the thing that you look at the most is the end result. But I think for those on the inside, they would say that there has been some progress. Definitely with certain individuals; probably as a team as well. Like I said before, you’re not going to turn it around overnight, especially still with a couple of guys missing. If we add a few more names to that team, the more senior figures, and things could start going in the right direction.
I spoke with Kamau [Leverock, the captain] and briefly spoke with the head coach [Niraj Odedra], and think that little line on the graph is going in the right direction. The challenge is to keep it going that way for as long as possible, really.
Kamau is going through a little tough spell, but that’s cricket. Sometimes you can walk into a tournament and score 500, 600 runs and you’ll be the man of the tournament. Or sometimes you go in and you struggle. Obviously, him being captain, it’s a big role, quite a bit of responsibility. My only advice, I guess, is to try not to take too much on to yourself, and be free like you normally would. We’ve seen him score runs before. That tournament in Oman [first leg of the ICC Cricket World Cup Challenge League B in 2019], he was getting us off to some good starts and we were actually posting some decent totals. That’s how the game goes sometimes. We’ve all been there. Even though you’re working on your game, that’s how the game goes sometimes. But just don’t get too hard on yourself, keep working hard.
It’s obvious that we have a squad, or a group of players, where there are a few making their debuts; we can’t really shy away from that. But if you get picked, you have to perform. That Jersey team has been together for about five or six years, maybe. So there’s no surprise that even some of their younger guys are doing well — because they’ve been given their chance quite young. When we played against them a few years ago, when we had a senior team with the likes of Janeiro [Tucker], Dion [Stovell] and OJ Pitcher, like Jersey are doing to us now, we didn’t let them in. Any moment that we had, we scored a lot of runs against them and bowled them out. But that’s how cricket goes, things go in phases. If we can keep things progressing the right way with this group, these guys will start performing.
To finish on a more uplifting note, we head to Edgbaston where the women’s cricket was played at the Commonwealth Games. I’m sure for the place will still be buzzing. to think that Bermuda contributed largely to success of Birmingham 2022 is gratifying. I saw a little bit live on television, not a great deal because we were busy playing, and it looked really positive. For Bermuda to be winning medals is a big deal and an inspiration for the next generation, showing that big things can be achieved by us in the sporting world.
• Delray Rawlins was talking to Dexter Smith