Lancashire boss Ashley Giles had strong words for his men in the wake of their narrow home defeat to Warwickshire in the Royal London One-Day Cup on Sunday.
The Ashes-winning England spinner watched his side post a competitive 265-7 thanks to Ashwell Prince’s 82 at the top of the order and young wicket-keeper Alex Davies hitting an electric, career-best 73 not out.
However, Warwickshire started their chase strongly and, despite a wobble in the middle of their innings caused by some excellent bowling by Stephen Parry (2-30), Ateeq Javid slashed a four over the infield to secure victory with a ball to spare.
And Giles didn’t hold back in expressing his frustration at the little mistakes that ultimately cost his side the chance to build on Wednesday’s two-wicket victory over Middlesex.
“This is a professional team, but I think that at times we are still reactive as a team rather than being proactive,” he said.
“It’s disappointing because we still had a window to win it there at the end, but it’s not really down to that last over.
“You’ve got to look back over the game and if they’re picking up ones and twos throughout the game then the last over is out of the question anyway.
“You have to look at the one-percenters, the finite things that win you games, and we’re not doing them right.”
Lancashire now face an uphill task to make it out of the group stages in the One-Day Cup, with that win against Middlesex their only success in the tournament so far.
Their opening fixture against Sussex was abandoned due to rain, whilst they suffered at the hands of an inspired Ravi Bopara in their second match, losing by seven wickets as the ex-England star took 4-31 with the ball and hit an unbeaten century with the bat.
Although Lancashire have progressed to the quarter-finals of the T20 Blast – where they face Kent on August 15 – Giles lamented his side’s form in the shorter formats, and highlighted a need for rapid improvement.
“This has been a frustrating tournament from the start, but generally, in T20 and this, I think we’re underperforming,” he said.
“It shows the quality of the side that we’re still getting so close, but I don’t think we’re 100% and that’s disappointing because these guys are playing for Lancashire and they need to respect that.
“I keep saying to the guys ‘you need to play every game as though it’s your last’ because you never quite know when it might be.
“Ultimately then you need to make a decision don’t you – you either play them or you don’t.
“It comes down to them, they have to make a choice, they to take some responsibility and crack on.
“We’re all in it together, we’re not absolving ourselves of any responsibility but the players are the ones who go out there so they have to put in the hard yards and get it done.”
Main image courtesy of Lancashire Cricket TV via YouTube, with thanks.