Flatts look upwards after Counties defeat
Flatts will get another chance to upset a One Premier Division side when they take on Somerset or Cleveland in the promotion-relegation play-off match on September 17.
Flatts were in with a shout of a shock win over Bailey’s Bay in the final of the Eastern Counties Cup on Saturday, after dismissing the holders for 165. However, the loss of two quick wickets and then injuries to key batsmen Kijuan Franks and Kamau Leverock denied the challengers a first victory in the competition since 1980. Bay hit back with another ruthless bowling display to dismiss Flatts for only 82 to win by 83 runs.
The next day — admittedly against a less potent Devonshire Rec attack — Flatts chased down 213 to win by three wickets in a First Division match that guaranteed them second place in the standings on the day that St George’s clinched the automatic promotion spot.
“Promotion is definitely the goal that is on the cards right now after Saturday’s disappointment,” said Franks, who suffered a side strain while bowling and was restricted in his batting. He sat out Sunday’s match against Devonshire.
“It’s unfortunate Saturday went the way it did,” he added. “I went down in my second over and due to Kamau’s heavy bowling spell, it resulted in him cramping up.”
Leverock showed signs of a promising innings when he went into tea on 14, including a six and a four, but he could not resume his innings when play restarted and Flatts lost some of the momentum he and Reggie Baker started to build.
“We have to take it on the chin and build from that,” Franks said. “Promotion is our goal now and whoever we play we’ll just have to put our best foot forward.
“We have to bat good, bowl good and field good if we want to clinch promotion.”
Flatts are aiming to become the first second-tier team to win the play-off.
“It would be nice to be the first First Division team to get over that hump, but personally I’m not in favour of the play-off format anyway,” Franks said. “I feel if you are in the bottom two you should go down and the top two should come up. Now we just have to come out with a game plan and execute it.”
Things started to go wrong for Flatts in the Counties after losing opener Temiko Wilson and No 3 bat Cofield Robinson for ducks with only one run on the board, with the latter falling first ball when he was caught behind. Then Regino Smith, who replaced the injured Leverock immediately after tea, skied a drive straight into the hands of Stephen Outerbridge at long-off.
“It was hard on Cofield getting out like that on Saturday, but he and Carey had something to prove on Sunday,” said the captain, referring to Carey’s 97 and the 57 by Robinson the next day. “It left a bad taste in their mouths, especially Carey, who felt he didn’t do too good on the field and came up short with a duck.
“It’s always been the Achilles’ heel of Flatts that we’re too inconsistent with our game. If we had batted on Saturday like we did on Sunday, we would still be partying today. It just goes to show what type of growing we still need to do as a team.”
Franks was able to bowl only two overs on Saturday before he suffered the injury on the ball that accounted for Bay captain Rodney Trott’s wicket. After that, Leverock had to carry the brunt of the bowling load, but responded with a magnificent second spell to finish with six for 75 from 21 overs.
“It definitely impacted my batting,” Franks said. “I just knew I had to hit a boundary or beat the field to get a run because I couldn’t run too hard.
“Disappointing is an understatement, because we all felt we could go out there and get those runs and celebrate as a team. But certain things didn’t go our way — injuries and umpiring decisions — but you have to take it as it comes. A couple of guys got hard outs but others, including myself, had poor shot selections and were not analysing the stage of the game that we were in.
“Kamau’s injury definitely didn’t help him because he could barely bat. When you see a player of Kamau’s calibre go down and you have to face a bowling attack such as Bay’s, which is probably the best on the island, of course it has a mental effect on both teams — positive and negative.
“I wasn’t surprised by Kamau’s [bowling] performance; I knew he had it in him to put in a performance like that. You can see the quality he brings.”
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