All day long the weather threatened our scheduled stint over at Five Tree Field and just as I was getting Ben and Joe ready to drive over there it started to spit and the clouds really blackened up. We went for it as Thomas had already phoned and said that he would meet us there with one of his kids and as I expected as we drove away from our house a difference of half a mile meant that we drove out of the heavier rain.
This morning I'd been to a DIY shop and dropped into Sports World having remembered that last year they were selling off cricket gear really cheaply and Joe was needing a new bat. I'd almost bought one off of EBAY which would have been too big and would have cost me along with the postage in the region of £15. I managed to get a Duncan Fearnly kids cricket kit - bat, 4 stumps and a ball for £4.00 so I was well chuffed, but on paying for it discovered in fact that it was £2.00! The original price was £19.99 how gutted would you be if you'd bought it at that price!
So once over there the kids set up there own stumps and played across from us and we had a knock about in the middle. Thomas made the point that today last year (His Daughters birthday) was warm and the kids were wearing T-shirts, whereas today it grey and cold at 10 degrees centigrade.
The practice went okay, no-one else joined us, we were hoping that Richard and Rod the Aussie may have turned up, but they didn't. Still no sign of the locals either - I'm beginning to think that we wont actually see them till the clocks go back now? So as usual it was just Thomas and me. We did the thing where we set a certain amount of runs to score off an over - 10 runs. Normally without the pressure Thomas is hitting the ball all over the shop, but then once you do this it's a different story all together and suddenly my bowling takes on a new dimension. Most of the time I'm forcing errors and he'd be caught easily, but he'd be the first to admit that he's not a good batsman - he's very strong and has got a very good eye to ball ability but he doesn't know the strokes and rarely plays defensively. But as I said - with the pressure on I am far more affective. It would be really interesting to have a few more people turn up and I'm seriously thinking maybe we should get people like Mark Soye, Nick Naughty and Terry back in the game? I wonder if Darren would be up for it as well?
Overall it was a good session I stuck to the 3 balls - Top Spinners, Wrong Uns and Flippers. The Flipper with Thomas being left handed is like a Wrong Un for him and I was getting it to turn quite well and I turned the ball into his nuts a couple of times and the Wrong Un worked well too turning a lot in some cases. So overall using the 3 variations with Thomas under pressure seemed to work well. I still need more variety in form of different batting approaches, so I'm looking forward to anyone else joining us. I also had a bat and managed again to get the bat on the ball a few times, but even though I managed to whack it hard a few times the ball wasn't going that far and the bat feels quite dead - it's a Gunn and Moore bat one of the cheap ones, so I don't know whether it's just a crap bat, I may try one of the others I've got and see if they're any better?
At the end of the session I also marked out the South East quadrant with boundary markers, so now half the pitch is marked out. We noticed today that the West side boundary which has brambles and bushes is a short boundary and will cause a problem with lost balls potentially once we get some good batsmen playing, but we'll just have to sort that problem out once it arises.
Here's a first, tonight I've developed a really itchy foot and then noticed a rash between my toes that is itchy. I've looked it up and it does sound like athletes foot from all the descriptions I've read - I'm not pleased. I'm not sure whether I've caught it from a pair of secondhand cricket shoes or from the swimming pool where Ben and Joe have their lessons? The shoes I've had for months, so I'd have thought that this would have occured sooner - so I'm hoping it's the pool? What I'll do is ask on the cricket forum for ideas as to how to best combat it.