Mommsen frustrated at batting failure
Neil Drysdale (CricketEurope)
Preston Mommsen is one of life’s sanguine characters, but even the prolific Carlton batsmen could not disguise his frustration at the manner in which the Scottish Saltires capitulated to a 60-run defeat against Somerset at Taunton on Sunday. The days used to be when the Cidermen had international quality of the likes of Ian Botham, Viv Richards and Joel Garner, but the West Country side have grown inured to adversity and they were virtually asking for a spanking when they lapsed into the interval at the weekend.
Yet Mommsen, who was leading the side for the first time, in the absence of the unavailable Gordon Drummond, was content with his personnel’s performance, for half of the contest, even if there was a wearily familiar climax to the proceedings.
“We did very well with the ball to restrict them to a modest target, and after they had moved to 70 for 0 in the early stages of the [40-over] match, the guys did a fantastic job to get us back into the game and halt the charge,” said Mommsen, who is one of the new breed of Caledonian professionals, who hates the notion of defeat.
“It was when we batted that things didn’t go according to plan. Being honest, we have to put our hands up, and acknowledge there was a lot of bad shot-selection, and it was definitely a missed opportunity for us to gain another win in the CB 40 competition.
“It has not helped, of course, that most of us haven’t played much cricket recently, because of the weather, and, for the batsmen in particular, it is difficult to build up any rhythm or routine, because we are sitting on the sidelines, week in, week out. But, when I think about it, it was disappointing that we could not capitalise on the fine work of our spinners. Jean Symes produced an excellent spell, as did Maj[id Haq] - as always – and we were feeling pretty positive that we could go out and chase down a target of just over 200, But it wasn’t to ne, and we know that we have missed our chance,.”
Mommsen spent some time at Grace Road, on the county beat at Leicestershire, and is happy to admit that the challenge of confronting the day-to-day responsibilities of the willow-and-cork ensemble, have alerted him to the rigours of full-time cricket.
“There is a lot of ambition throughout the Scottish squad at the moment, and we don’t just want to be competing, we want to be winning,” said Mommsen, who has proved himself to be a redoubtable part of the Scottish diaspora in the years ahead,
“We have a very important few weeks coming up and, naturally, it would be better if we could get some decent weather, because that would allow us the chance to play.
“But we have to get on with it and I don’t like making excuses, because it seems to be the same everywhere. We are coming up to a very significant part of the season and I think that I can appreciate that there is no point complaining about the weather. Of course, it is annoying, but we just have to make the best of it and move on from there.”.
Mommsen has watched myriad other individuals crash and burn in the Scottish cause, but this fellow exudes a pragmatic streak, which hints at an auspicious future, once the stalwart Drummond has finally packed up the Ralgex and whites. Yet the man called Preston is already looking forward to the visit of England on August 12, and it might make a difference that Mommsen is not in awe of the world’s best team.
“It should be a terrific occasion, and after watching England beat Australia, we know it will be a very tough test, no matter who they bring to Edinburgh,” said Mommsen, who has also turned himself into a useful limited-overs spinner.