Harrison ‘still proud’ of Bucks side despite winless season Director sees county finish with a dramatic draw
THEY may have finished the season without a win, but Bucks CCC director of cricket Jason Harrison is still proud of his side’s efforts.
The county side showed great character in coming within 28 runs of chasing down 378 on the final day against Suffolk at Tring Park on Tuesday, while ensuring they also held on for a draw in a dramatic finish.
Last pair Uzair Amjaid and Jonathan Burden batted through the final few balls to make sure what looked a possible victory did not turn into a defeat, but Harrison wants to see more first innings runs to back up the good work his side does elsewhere.
He said: “To get 350 on the last day of a Championship game on any surface is a fantastic effort, and we played pretty well, bowling well in both innings. We just let ourselves down batting in the first innings, which has been a common thread throughout this campaign.
“In terms of our application and the way we went about today, it’s been very good. It was just a bridge too far, and perhaps 380 was just too much.
“We chased down several scores last year after repairing damage from first innings runs, and over the past few years we haven’t got enough first innings runs. That needs to be addressed ,and we’ll be working hard towards that for next year.”
This season’s struggles, which have seen Bucks finish secondbottom in the Unicorn Championship Eastern Division, have been in contrast to last summer, when Bucks finished second and came so close to a place in the national finals.
But Harrison said: “We’ve lost three key players from last year. Matt Rance, who’s a match-winning spinner, hasn’t bowled a ball all summer, and we lost 900 runs at the top of the order when Charlie McDonnell signed for Derbyshire and Shaan Khan was injured.
“If you step back and look at those factors, you can see why we’ve lost those first innings runs, but it’s allowed others a chance. AJ Woodland has made progress and Patrick Castleden has showed promise – two players who have gained a lot of experience through those players not being available, and will be doing everything we can in the winter to ensure we’re ready for next summer. I’m happy with our pool of talent it’s just learning about first innings runs on match days.”
‘Fantastic effort’: Jason Harrison