Har­ri­son ‘still proud’ of Bucks side de­spite win­less sea­son Di­rec­tor sees county fin­ish with a dra­matic draw

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - SPORT - by Tim Street

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

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