CRICKET: Pressure for places is key to Wilts’ form
10:30am Friday 30th May 2014 in By Dan Barnes
WILTSHIRE’S Tom Morton thinks that the fierce competition for places in the county squad may have played a major role in their immaculate season so far.
Morton was lethal with the bat as he smacked a sublime unbeaten 123 off 126 balls to fire Wiltshire to a four-wicket win over Wales on Sunday, the county side’s fourth win in four Unicorns Knockout Trophy games.
Morton’s side failed to win a competitive game last summer and the century-making batsman, who plays his club cricket for Salisbury-based South Wilts, admits he can’t quite pinpoint the catalyst for Wiltshire’s show-stopping turnaround in form.
“It’s quite hard to put your finger on why we’ve done so well because the team isn’t hugely different to last season,” said Morton.
“Last year, our captain (Joe Breet) got injured early on, our confidence got low and we never recovered from there.
“This year, everyone wants to be playing and I think the pressure of knowing that you’ve got to produce a performance is making people play at their best.
“We’ve won six from six this season and we’re through to the quarter-finals of the Trophy. It also means that we can take some form into the three-day competition, which is obviously something we couldn’t do last time.”
The home side won the toss and opted to bowl first but Wales opener Aneurin Donald hit 54 whilst Dewi Jones (30) and Tom Baker (29) also chipped in.
But Tom Foley (3-36), Ed Young (2-44) and Tahir Afridi (2-42) turned the screw to pile some pressure on the visitors, with Wales posting 231-9.
Despite Wales’ Jones claiming five wickets, Morton remained at the crease throughout as he carved out his century, with skipper Mike Coles weighing in with 43 midway through the order.
Ashur Morrison then hit a late unbeaten 30 to ease Wiltshire to 235-6 in the 48th over.
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