NEIL SHARDLOW: Defeat is a strange sensation
THE lads were very disappointed after Sunday’s game and the dressing room was very quiet.
We couldn’t really take it in because we’d worked so hard to get that far but it just wasn’t our day.
I don’t think that we turned up and it was one of those games where we just didn’t perform the way we have been doing all season – we didn’t field the way we have been doing, we didn’t bowl the way we have been doing and we certainly didn’t bat the way we have been doing, apart from the good start we had.
I think that Oxfordshire had done their homework and fair play to them for that.
They played the game at a ground where they play well and I think that made a difference.
The wicket had a bit more bounce in it than we’re used to and the atmosphere was a strange one – it was right next to the M40 and there was a drone noise the whole way through the game, which they were a lot more used to than we were.
We definitely had the team and the talent to win the game but Oxfordshire applied themselves properly and won the game.
We wanted to try and do well in both competitions this year but now one has been taken away from us and we’ve got to concentrate on the three-day competition.
I’ve always said that I prefer the three-day games and I make no bones about that. We’ve done well so far and we’ve got a really important game against Devon coming up this weekend at Devizes.
There’s a 14-point gap between us but we’re under no illusions – it’s going to be a tough game.
Devon have always been strong in both formats of the game and we’ll have to make sure that we approach the game in the same way that we have done all season.
At the end of the day, a draw wouldn’t be the end of the world, so let’s get those bonus points and see where the second innings takes us. Of course, a win would put us on about 90 points and that’s the kind of total that wins the championship.
Uzi Qureshi is very excited to come in for his first game for Wiltshire for a while - he’s scored some good 100s for his club side Frocester.
Joe Breet has been dropped out because he hasn’t scored the runs we expected him to so far and that’s including a bit of last season too.