Hobart Hurricanes captain Xavier Doherty bemoaned his side's efforts in the field after they lost by 19 runs to the Melbourne Stars in the KFC T20 Big Bash League on Monday.
Hobart dropped five catches – of which at least three were very gettable – as the Stars blasted 3-203 from their 20 overs thanks to the efforts of openers Luke Wright (117 from 60 balls) and Robert Quiney (62 from 50 balls).
And in response, half-centuries from Owais Shah (55) and Travis Birt (51) were not enough as Hobart fell short, finishing at 9-184 with Tasmanian James Faulkner (4-45 from four overs) dismissing several of his state team-mates.
Doherty did not blame the blustery winds for the failure of his fielders to take regulation catches that would have seen both Wright and Quiney dismissed much earlier.
"They were tough conditions out there," Doherty said after the defeat.
"But as professional cricketers we should be catching the majority of them. When you're not holding your catches they had a licence to bat and there was no real pressure on them at all."
"If we hold the catches it's a different game and we can cut 15, 20, 30 runs off the total which with the way our batters are going is pretty easy meat really."
Hobart – who started the competition with four wins in succession – have now dropped their last two games.
In both matches they have conceded over 200 runs bowling first and Doherty blamed his side's poor starts with the ball for their defeats.
"We've found it pretty hard to come back from some poor starts the last couple of games," he said.
"I changed the bowlers, they were one-over spells for the majority of the innings ... obviously we set a pretty high standard for the first three or four games with the ball and the last two games have been pretty poor starts with the ball."
Hobart started well with the ball in the Big Bash League as Ben Hilfenhaus won his way back into the Australian team.
The Tasmanian has gone on to star for the Test side against India but has left Hobart short of quicks and Doherty admitted he would love to have the seamer back in the side.
"We managed to win a couple of games without him as well but obviously he'd be handy to have," he said.
Hobart remain on top of the final but will need to win their last match against the Melbourne Renegades at Blundstone Arena on January 18 if they want to a host a semi-final.
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
First Posted 10 January, 2012 9:45AM AEST