Hainault and Clayhall skipper knows catches will win him matches

Hainault & Clayhall captain Yasin Patel has come up with a novel way of improving his squad’s fielding in a bid to build upon last season’s mid-table finish.

After losing their final two matches of the 2010 season, Hainault & Clayhall had to settle for fifth place, despite having lost only one of their previous 10.

Patel feels he knows where the squad’s weakness lies and has challenged his players to go the extra mile ahead of their first Premier Division match this weekend.

“Fielding is something we need to work on,” he said.

“I’ve said to the players rather than just eat an apple, throw it up in the air and catch it 20 times first. When you are at work, drop your pen and try and catch it, test your reactions.

“We’re good enough to be in the top half of the table, we’re not targeting seventh or eighth and just avoiding relegation.

“Our batting is our main strength, but we know the weaknesses we have as well.

Most Read

“It’s just a case of doing what’s obvious and improving eno-ugh to win more matches.”

Hainault and Clayhall comfortably won their Conference Cup first round match with Fives and Heronians by 156 runs on Sunday. Middle-order batsman Ashfaq Ahmed scored 116 off 79 balls, while Ryan Hurst hit an unbeaten 94 off 53 balls to help their side finish on 386-7 after 45 overs.

In reply, skipper Patel and Irfan Shah took three wickets apiece as Fives were bowled out for 230.

Hainault and Clayhall face a busy weekend, beginning with their opening league game away to Wanstead on Saturday, followed by Sunday’s trip to Harrow for a Group 14 ECB National Club Championship first round match.

Despite the hectic schedule Patel is confident his side can cope. “A few of our players are students and away at University this week, but the nucleus of the team is here,” he said.