2016 Sri Lanka Tour
Captains: David Proctor (official), David Gower, Jon Gower
Socially and culturally this was tour a great experience. The cricket part was somewhat more of a challenge - played 7, lost 7. We were mostly out of our comfort zone, having to contend with high-quality wrist and finger spin, faster bowlers than we were accustomed to, and ruthless batting. However, we did not disgrace ourselves, and on 2-3 occasions got ourselves into winning positions. Other than Mitch, Joe and Tim, we all struggled - as testified by the tour stats (which come with a health warning for those sensitive to such things). Otherwise, we had a wonderful time, and Sri Lanka proved a great venue for a cricket tour. Big thanks to Mohammed Nafeez and Asif Zain for organising Sri Lanka side. As well as the scorecards, match reports and stats, there is an 'End of Term Report' (below) - a must read.
End of Term Report:
David Proctor (4.5/10)
Needs to look after his overly-toned body better. Crippled before he pulled his whites on. Skippered very well in Maggona and almost brought us home. Started off looking solid in field but achilles (exacerbated by German techno dancing) and fractured thumb led to some uncharacteristic drops by last couple of games (where his bowling was far from a disgrace).
Ujjal Roy (5.5/10)
Batted with admirable positivity, including a good undefeated knock at Kandy. Changed his bowling from pace to spin after our Colombo roasting, and demonstrated some promise in this switch, especially when able to keep his line and not bowl too fast. Obsessed with crab curry. A majestic effort to join us from Hong Kong; always a high-quality character to have on tour.
Guy Wilson (4/10)
A minor miracle Guy even made it to Sri Lanka, Guy was as always a solid part of our two best fielding efforts (Matara, Maggona). Almost pulled off a great diving catch while looking barely alive in last appearance n first T20 match. Needs to complete wrist rehab.
Jules Kelly (4.5/10)
Rocked by a nightmare start against a superb leg spinner. Worked his way back somewhat from there to show signs that he could score here, especially in second Kandy game. But suffered from mostly not being able to get a start. Should have had a bowl at some point. Strong nightlife performances.
Grant Dixon (5/10)
Always willing to run in and bowled a champion opening spell in Maggona that almost set us on the road to victory. Otherwise suffered somewhat (like other pace bowlers) from not being able to maintain line consistently, which was punished by some very good batsmen. One of the few Strongroom players not afraid to try the sweep shot, unfortunately!
Ian Hutchcroft (4.5/10)
First three deliveries bowled for SCC were full tosses smashed out of the park. Thereafter recovered well! Bowling looked rusty early on, but never easy to get away when landing it on a length. Great double-wicket over in Kandy was a higlight. Ground fielding started superbly at Colombo in first match and only dipped occasionally.
Jimmy Hall (5.5/10)
Kept really well. Batting showed some class and promise in three innings before sadly being curtailed. Can�t believe he didn�t have a bowl.
Jon Gower (6/10)
Batting looked solid but struggled to score early on in the tour but came through well in two Kandy games. Fielded like a demon in especially the first Kandy encounter. Probably missed him in T20s � we felt abandoned. Pouched 4 good catches in the deep.
Dave Gower (4/10)
Never looked like getting going with his batting in any innings except perhaps the few balls he faced at the end of the innings at Maggona. Struggled badly with the heat and lack of experience and knowhow against good spinners on good decks. Took 4 good catches. Bowled a few OK overs in T20s.
Mitch Nicholson (9/10)
Marvellous. Saved us from oblivion and total humiliation. Was a pleasure to watch him battle the excellent bowling attacks. Especially good at Matara and Maggona where he came through a tough examination from the spinners. Did a great job in a couple of keeping stints also. Has been docked 1 point because of a dropped catch and failure to score a ton!
Joe Rahman (7.5/10)
Bowling was mostly excellent � far and away SCC�s most potent wicket-taking (and parsimonious) force. Bowled especially beautifully at Matara and Maggona against good opposition. Imploded somewhat in second Kandy game. Struggled with the bat, especially against good spinners; needed to get a front-foot game to escape from the (missed) force through point.
Tim Moore (7/10)
Performance at Matara (8 probing overs in a single spell with immense hangover) was heroic. In other games bowled well in patches but couldn�t quite maintain same pressure of line against batsmen adept at picking off anything that strayed. Sometimes struggled to keep the scoreboard ticking over but batted generally well, especially in first few games.
Vinay Venkateshan (4.5/10)
Glimpses of silky batting skill at Havelock City, but sadly not fulfilled in any subsequent innings. Same with the bowling. Did well to cope with constantly being misidentified as our Sinhalese-speaking guide�
Asif Zain (4/10)
Lovely straight 6 off his first ball and a few tasty deliveries with the ball in first Kandy game were the highlights. Sadly was mostly unable to bowl because of recovering shoulder � we missed his potential potency. Still room for improvement with the ground fielding!