One important aspect of a close game is preventing runs with solid fielding.
On a bumpy outfield, or if the ball is travelling at speed it makes sense to get a good barrier in front of the ball.
So it's important to get the basics right.
Approach the ball at speed and as you get into line with the ball, twist your upper body, leading with the shoulder furthest from the ball.
Bend both knees, so that the knee of the leg nearest to the ball touches the ground, but it is also next to the back of the heel of the other leg.
With fingers down and head forward, pick up the ball and then stand back up ready to deliver an overarm throw.