One of our Club XIs was missing both skipper and vice a couple of weeks ago, and I was asked to stand-in for the day. After my post on dilatory over rates back in July, I had the unexpected opportunity to see if the Teesra could get a team through its overs at a decent rate.
First innings – 51 overs in a little over 3 hours (17 overs/hour); second innings – 25 overs in 90 minutes (before the final hour’s play – a touch under 17 overs/hour).
It can be done!
Batting first, I asked the batters to aim for around 75 runs/hour (we managed 70), irrespective of the number of overs bowled. The batsmen took up the challenge, and were ready and waiting for the bowlers at the beginning of every over.
Bowling second, I made sure that no-one had a long walk to their fielding position between overs. If I spoke to the bowler it was done at the walk, as he got to his mark to start the new over.
I must acknowledge the opposition skipper and his team, who fully played their part, too.
The majority of the players on both teams had grown up playing time cricket, rather than the overs game – almost certainly a contributory factor to the over rates.
Certainly not the definitive answer on over rates. But we proved that 17 overs to the hour is still entirely possible, and without bowlers running back to their mark, or coming in to bowl off just three paces.
Now – how to get this through to the Colts?