Phil Slater is happy with the make-up of his Bradford & Bingley team but is looking for improved batting performances from his players.
Bingley’s batting problems were exposed by Woodlands last weekend when the Bradford League First Division leaders bowled them out for a mere 47 to set up a 142-run win.
Sarfraz Ahmed took 5-9 and skipper Pieter Swanepoel three wickets as the visitors’ pace bowlers ruthlessly exploited a helpful pitch.
However, disappointed as Slater was by the Woodlands’ defeat, the loss at Morley in the previous game upset him more as Bingley fell six runs short of their target after restricting their opponents to 136.
Slater, whose side’s game at home to Hanging Heaton was part of the complete washout on Saturday, said: “The Woodlands game last week was a poor performance batting-wise.
“Our bowling and ground fielding has been good all the year round and generally I think we are doing okay but the Morley game was a massive disappointment.
“If we had got over the line in that we would have continued a good run but overall things are looking good.
“I am happy with the team. We have got a good balance.
“Slow left-arm bowler Noman Ali coming in has given us something extra with the ball and he seems to have brought the best out of off-spinner Harry Small-wood.
“Harry has been bowling a lot of overs and he has been bowling very well. He is not going for many runs and he is taking wickets as well. He has stepped up to the challenge and that is what we are looking for from our batsmen.
“Our opening bowlers, Jack Hartley and Matthew Simpson, have got the ability to bowl at a decent pace.
"Both are young and they have still got something to learn but they are going in the right direction. I think they complement each other well.
“However, we need to score more runs, myself included, but I am sure that will come. We want full bonus points with bat and ball.
“The good thing about this set of lads is that they all want to learn and better themselves. That is always good coming from young players. It is a young team and has got the potential to be a very good side.”
Not surprisingly, Slater bel-ieves Woodlands are the team to beat in the title race.
“They look to be a good, balanced side, very strong with both batting and bowling,” he said.
“But there are a lot of good sides in the league this year and whoever can put together the sort of run that took Cleckheaton to the title last year will be difficult to beat.”