Last night my team lost a Twenty20 game by over 50 runs. The failure was down to a simple fact: We didn't know how to pace a run chase.
So, instead of starting slow and hoping to smash 79 runs in 48 balls like us, here's some simple ways to make sure you are keeping up with the rate.
- Know your target: set smaller goals for each phase of the match (let's score at least 20 runs in the next 24 balls, for example). The next batsman reviews the target for when she goes in.
- Have intent to score rather than intent to survive: This is a small psychological difference that adds plenty to the score.
- Know your single areas: There are easy singles all over the park if both batters know when to take them. Decide what yours are, for example dropzones or the nudge to third man.
- Take the runs they give you: In a chase, the fielding team has to give you space to score to defend certain areas. So take those singles to the boundary runners or hit over the top of the in field players.
- Have a "breakaway". You should have a shot you are confident of hitting relatively safely for a boundary, even if you scuff it. This might be a sweep, a line drive, a straight hit or a simple heave to cow corner. Have it, practice it and use it when you need a big over.
- Stay calm. Keep the target within - or even just outside - reach and know that when the time comes you have the confidence to step up and take your chance. This takes experience, practice and the ability to dash negative thinking.
I'll be working on these elements with my players in the coming weeks, and if you are in the same situation you can do the same.