Portsmouth skipper James Moon has ordered his troops in for ‘naughty boy nets’ after laying down the law to his under-performing batsmen.
With the skipper unavailable, the Southern Electric Premier League division two outfit were skittled for just 96 in their defeat at Hambledon last week.
But while some of the batters pointed to perceived demons in the Ridge Meadow pitch last week – as reasons for their downfall – there’s no avoiding the fact Moon’s side have failed to go beyond a top score of 183 in three innings so far this campaign.
Despite their frailties, they could easily have three wins behind them, instead of one success and two defeats.
But the captain is eager to address the batting problems with extra net sessions ahead of the home clash with Bournemouth II at St Helen’s tomorrow.
Moon explained: ‘I was getting updates by text last week and it was very disappointing to say the least.
‘A few of them said the wicket was terrible and I was a bit surprised when I heard that.
‘Hambledon is never a great wicket to bat on but it’s not a 90-odd all-out wicket either.
‘Maybe our guys would say that it wasn’t very good, though!
‘The batting is becoming a concern but I’ve had them in for nets four times this week.
‘It’s not about a lack of ability, it’s just about using a bit of common sense. They need to bat with their brains a bit more.
‘They enjoy hitting the ball more than they enjoy defending it.
‘That’s fair enough but that doesn’t win you games.’
Despite winning their season opener at New Milton, Portsmouth have now slipped up at home to Hook & Newnham Basics and went down by one wicket at Hambledon in a tense thriller last week.
But Moon believes his men should be higher up the table.
He said: ‘I don’t think our league position reflects our performances so far.
‘We need to bounce back this week.
‘We could be top of the league at this point – with three wins – rather than where we are with only one win.’
Moon returns to lead the troops this week, while Dan Cornish also comes back into the side.
Portsmouth: James Moon, Matt Scott, James Scott, Dan Cornish, Tom Sambrook, Ed Lye, James Wright, Freddie Dare, Paddy Fullarton, Farshan Jemildar, Rob Jones