An interesting day today. Brilliant weather 24 degree celcius, wall to wall blue skies. In attendance for Part 1 (there was 3 distinctive parts) the net session and an hour out on the grass (Great Berry Open Space) we had.... Thomas, Rod, Badger, Me, Simon, Naughty, Mark, Alex and 'Paul' (Badgers mate). So the turnout wasn't that bad. A couple of us didn't have our subs - you know who you are - let me have the money on Monday please?
Initially we all turned up and the school was locked up and it looked like the nets wasn't going to happen. After a bit of confusion we did end up in the nets for an hour. But the caretaker disappeared and we found that we couldn't drag the nets out as they were snagged on the basket ball hoop. We improvised and just had a big bowling session one after another which went okay with most people at some point taking wickets through the session.
The new bloke Paul who plays for a team already seemed to be fairly impressed with our bowling - which was nice. So the net session finished and we had 9 blokes available for a few hours on the grass in theory and potentially the best session ever.
We arrive and it's perfect we mark out the boundary and away we go. In between times it then transpires that 3 of us have then got to go after an hour leaving only six of us. For an hour it was good. Brilliant bowling and it was all coming together apart from some shoddy fielding with over-throws (But this is when we can iron these problems out especially if Richard and Trevor had been in attendance). But it was looking good. I was keeping the stats and we were all getting overs and a chance to bat. Then a football team turned up at 2pm with all the gear obviously having booked it as they had referees and linemen and all sorts. Mark then overheard one of them say 'Surely they're going to pack up and go'? Meaning us and with that we did. At which point we lost three of our players and the rest of us had to drive over to Glouscester Park and see if there was any space there.
Fortunately right next to the cricket square there was a strip of grass that had been recently mown and it was fairly smooth so we set up there and continued through till four. Throughout the whole session outside I kept tallies of the scores and runs. I'll now collate all the info and put in the stats later tonight. But I think it was plain to see from everyone that.......
A. We have got a strong bowling line-up.
B. We can't bat.
C. Or we can bat but we've got a brilliant bowling line up?
Now though we're faced with a bit of a dilemma regarding when we do practice where should we go? I love Great Berry Open Space, it's a nice field but it's obviously used by footballers. My own feeling is that we aim to use that field whenever we can but all we keep in mind that we're always potentially going to have to move on. Thomas this morning did suggest that we change the times to an earlier practice session. Again this was suggested later on by Alex (I think). The suggestion is that we start at 10.00am with the intention of playing for 3 hours and we scrap the net practice after the next two 1 hour sessions. So the last sessions will be 29th April and 12th May. We could even have those practice sessions 10.00 - 12.00 out on the field and then the net practice 12.00 till 13.00 for those last two sessions? Thereafter it'll be in a field somewhere 10.00-13.00hrs.
In the meantime what I'll try and do is speak to Kevin the caretaker and see what the situation is regarding using the school field if he says it's okay I'll have a look at it and see if there's a flat bit and try and get permission to mow it? As another option I may also go and speak to the groundsman at Glouscester Park and ask if he's okay about me mowing that strip of grass next to the cricket square we played next to this afternoon? He might even say 'No worries - I'll mow it myself when I do the real wicket'. Who knows? I'll see what happens.
True to form Mark sustained the most obvious (see the picture). Alex got a ball in the face but came off unscathed. So we did okay apart from Mark. I did get one in the Nads again but the box saved me once again (I think that was off of Alex).
After todays session having paid for the venue and once I've collected the remaining £15.00 of of the two people that owe we'll have £95 in the coffers.
We bowled ourselves out for 100 in 25 overs. Of that figure 25 were extras so only 75 runs were made. Break down of individual stats to follow.
Simon - Average 1.6 Economy 1.6 SR 6
Alex - Average 0.6 Economy 0.5 SR 8
Rod - Average 2.5 Economy 2.5 SR 6
Dave - Average 6.75 Economy 4.5 SR9
To me this don't make a lot of sense and wont do until some more bowling gets done and the figures start to seperate a bit more.
In a more bog standard format
Simon bowled 3 overs took 3 wickets and had only 5 runs against him with no extras. All straight forward bowled outs. (Mark Soye x 3)
Alex bowled 4 overs took 3 wickets and had only 2 runs against him. But had Loads of extras.
Bowled mark. Bowled Dave a leg yorker. Bowled Mark LBW.
Rod Bowled 2 overs took 2 wickets and had only 5 runs against him.
Took Alex and Badger. No extras
Dave Bowled 6 overs took 4 wickets but had 27 runs against him and a shed load of wides. Took Thomas bowled and caught; Rod Bowled & caught; Nick Flipper middle stump; Naughty bowled and caught.
This is a bit monkey because of the numbers some of us had a few innings.
Best partnerships were as follows
Dave & Simon 19 (must be said we had a Non Bowler)
Rod & Thomas 19
Alex & Simon 7
All the others were below 5.
Individuals - Simon 19; Badger 9; Mark 4; Thomas 5; Rod 15; Alex 6; Dave 14 The deficit is made up of runs made during the session at Gloucester Park between Mark & Nick who were bowled out several times. So there you go...... I think the conclusion is that the supposed top order people need to get their house in order or is this just a glitch? Again we'll never know if we don't practice as a team out on grass and if we don't watch out we're going to look like a bunch of muppets! Looking at the way we all played the new batting order should look something like....
Or is it that we are exceptional bowlers? Needless to say in 33 days time we'll find out! The plot thickens.
There also seems to be some Wags problems, so despite the fact that we've had a batting collapse and really we need to be putting in more hours getting this right it looks like the option for extras this coming weekend are to be shelved and the next session for all you batsmen will be in 2 weeks time by which time we'll have 21 days left to ensure we don't humiliate ourselves in front of the Aussies and Kiwis on the 20th. I can see this game being over in a matter of hours if we bowled ourselves out in 25 overs and then bat like we did today we'll all be home for tea! We need more batsmen and for Richard Sainsbury to come and save the day. We need that bloke Ash and another batter!
I think I bowled okay today, two of the wickets were bowled and caught by myslef, the other badger and the other was a straight flipper, but as per usual a had a lot of wides - 19 in all meaning I'm still averaging 3.16 wides per over. So this afternoon outside my house I was bowling on my concrete wicket and also practicing throwing the ball at the stumps from a pick up as if fielding as well. Then this evening I spent another 40 minutes bowling 100 balls out on my practice wicket. That wasn't too bad either. I was worried about my shoulder as since last weekend it's been sore. This afternoon I had to saw some logs up using a bow saw and while I was doing this I realised my sore shoulder isn't anything to do with my bowling but the fact that last weekend my Brother in Law and I sawed down a 40' Apple Tree between us using a bow saw in 2 hours and it wasn't until I was sawing the logs again today that I realised it had been that, that'd caused the pain. So that was a relief.
Try this - if you need some practice get yourself some stumps and one of those Woodworm or Kookaburra practice balls (Ebay). Find yourself a field set up in the evening for an hour or so for some bowling practice and watch how many kids suddenly turn up wanting to join in. Next thing you know you're batting against a bunch of kids = Batting practice on the cheap. Or get one of us to join you in the evenings, whoever you live nearest to.