Thursday, July 17, 2008
So anyway...... THE GIPPER wrist spin variation news.
I've not had a lot of luck or incentive to look at this much of late or concentrate on it as a bowling option. I still try it and have sessions where I bowl 50/50 wrong uns and this variation. If you've not been following the blog here's the run down on what the "Gipper" is.
This is a potential spin variation that I'm developing and it derives it's name from the concept of bowling the Flipper out of the back of the hand in the same way that a Wrong un would be released from the back of the hand. It may look like a wrong un at the point of release but with the ball gripped like a Flipper so Googlie/Flipper = Gipper. It's a slower delivery that turns acutely from leg to off.
Recent practice sessions seem to have followed a similar pattern, initially when I start to use it, it works well and it produces the massive turn characteristic of it, but then as the practice session goes on I've found that I become more accurate with it and faster but the turn seems to decrease so that it eventually has the same characteristics of a normal flipper. Not being able to fathom what is going wrong and the same pattern happening every time I practice I've not been that focussed on developing it.
A couple of nights ago just throwing the ball around outside my house up against the wall mucking around with the gipper grip and wrist position I threw a sequence of balls that turned massively time and time again and relatively accurate. I stopped and thought about what it was that I was doing that was making the difference and it seemed to be the wrist position. In this instance as I held the ball by my side with the Flipper grip. My wrist and arm were twisted inwards 180 degrees round from normal with my wrist cocked at 90 degrees to my arm. It is the ugliest looking grip and bowling variation on the planet I reckon and it is obviously the most easily recognised variation too if you ever face me. But I found that maintaining the wrist position and twisted arm throughout the rotation of the arm means that it imparts the ridiculous amount of spin characteristic of this variation.
Thinking that this was a fluke, I decided to go out into the road and bowl it over 22 yards and see if the extra exertion undid the spin. So as Philpott advises - I applied total concentration on maintaining the wrist and arm through the execution of the rotation and tried it over the 22 yards and it worked with a massive turn and relatively accurate. Tried it again - and again it worked and again and again and again! 18 balls later everyone one of them had turned massively and for the most part all of them on an acceptable line.
So tonight thinking that it might be due to the fact that I'm using a non seamed Hockey ball on tarmac and for all I know Hockey balls and tarmac work together to produce massive spin I took a few balls over to "Valence Way cricket pitch" and tried the gipper on grass and it worked! Not quite as brilliant as last night but turning to off from leg in a way that I have never witnessed anyone do in my life. The line and the length were inconsistent but I also noted that the run up needs to be slightly exaggerated in that I lean in as I bowl the ball and this keeps the line in control. On the field tonight it was wet after some rain and it was dusk when I got over there, so I wasn't able to bowl that many balls. But it was extremely promising once again and I feel like I've discovered the key to getting the spin and now all I need to do is practice in order that I get the line and length sussed. I've got the next 2 weeks off and I will mostly be bowling Gippers!
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Come today, it had got worse with a general malaise and feeling weak. By the afternoon her Mum was involved "She's ill she should be resting" etc. I'd sloped off early from work to go to the kids dance festival at the school. Before leaving for that I got all the cricket gear ready and ironed my whites and was 90% good to go.
On returning from the dance festival Michelle went to bed at 3.30 and I'm looking to leave at 5.00pm at the latest. I committed myself to sorting the dinner out and getting it on the table at least - probably not eating any myself. So at 4.15 I started to make spaghetti bolognese from scratch with the intention that it'd be on the table by 5pm. Did all that and cleaned all the pans and stuff as I went along and served it all up at 5.10, Michelle eventually rising from her bed at 5.10. I piled the stuff in the back of the car and then zoomed off to Grays as quick as I could in rush hour traffic. On the way came across a set of timed traffic lights that must have been set to 5 minutes per rotation - felt like 15 minutes! Eventually got there about 5.35 and unloaded the bag.
There were loads of people there mostly Tilbury blokes - 6'8" Billy Mayell with a set of kids stumps whacking a ball 1/4 mile across the field to the flats. I saw The Wizard....
Neil turned up and there were now more Grays blokes and boys. Within a few more minutes Alex, Jack and Chris turned up from Great Berry Open Space/MPA days, but at this point it looked as though Chris was out of luck even though he was one of the first people I contacted. Unfortunately he works casual hours and as far as he was concerned he was going to be working tonight and G&CCC's Wozza got his place instead. The team sheet and stuff was down to me - Neil put me in charge of that while the bar was opened in order to maximise on a return across the bar. With everyone and more now in attendance and people looking for a game our team ended up being -
So a beautiful blue sky hot evening at 26 degrees centigrade with a light breeze coming in from the West acoss the wicket. Opening the bowling they had a great big brute of a bloke by the name of Johnny O'rourke (Sorry if I get names wrong or mixed up - or if I use your nickname - blame Boffa he's the one that gave me your names). Facing the bowling first was Lee Downes backed up "Mason". at the other end. Lee's first ball batting from the Pavillion end was hit out towards Chaz at (5) and was almost caught, a younger Chaz carrying a lot less weight may have got to the ball, but not on this ocassion! The first over passes and the Grays boys survive. Next up for bowling is John Claricoats and within a few balls "Mason" is bowled clean - it looks like these blokes can bowl and a ripplpe of concern is felt around the Grays camp as we all look on with a bit of anxiety. I'd asked Mason who he normally plays for because I'd not seen him before at Grays and he'd said that he bats for the 1st team here at Grays. So with him going for a duck in his first over we were looking at either a fluke or a bunch of blokes that played cricket pretty well when they were at school! Digressing here a bit I don't remember playing cricket once at St Chads or there being a track there?
Phils in next joining his son Lee at the crease. The bowling carries on in the style that it started fairly good but with a few wides. After three overs we're on 14 for 1. Phil and Lee stick it out till the 6th over when Billy Mayell is brought in to bowl. At 6'8" Bill looks pretty formidable with the potential to stick short balls in at acute angles and get some dangerous bounce. Phil doesn't see the over out as Bill bowls him clean and he goes for a duck! The Tilbury boys can't believe as they'd gone into the game well aware of who Phil was and the fact that he can bat - they'd even said "Phil Downes isn't playing is he"? Inferring that would be unfair! They'd got him!
Next out is our premier T 20 player Danny "Swiss Tony" ****. Swiss takes a big swipe at the ball and hits it and Bear produces a very impressive and commited fielding effort stopping a ball that without a shadow of a doubt would have gone for 4. Mayells over finished and replaced by Chaz bowling from the Pavillion end. Lee is making big attempts at hitting the ball but the deliveries are wide some of the time. Lee knocks one down his to (11) with ball just glancing off his bat - very nice. Lee's next ball is straight down the wicket that runs for a 4 with 2 of the Tilbury boys making concerted efforts to stop it going to the boundary. We're now on 24 for 2 off 6 overs, more than 1/4 of the way through the game and we're only on 24! Lee's next move off Chaz is a Pieterson style switch from his Left hand to his right hand with goes down to (2) and goes for almost a 4, they manage 2 runs. Danny meantime is not coping with the unconventional bowling and flailing around with the bat but not connecting with any of the balls! Lee in the meantime batting at the Pavillion end pulls a classy looking hook shot out to (5) but again is stopped by one of the fielders. We're all sitting here really impressed with their commitment in the field - they are really going for it big time!
Swiss gets one in the nuts off of Bills bowling and Chaz in soon back on bowling more wides.
We won! by only a handful though.
Everyone had a bit of a laugh and it was good fun.
The Wizard took 4 wickets.
The weather was brilliant.
Loads of beer was drunk.
They are up for more - Sunday 40 overs games.
More to follow......
Monday, July 14, 2008
The weather looks like it's going to hold up all right and it looks like it'll be a very warm muggy or sunny evening. One thing we will have to do is rattle through the overs pretty quick because of the light. I can't wait - this sounds like it's going to be a bit of a laugh and it'll be good to see some of these blokes - some of them I haven't seen in 20 years almost!
It's going to be interesting to see if our players take a T-20 approach to the game? I'm expecting Swiss Tony to do so. I expect Lee will as well, but a lot of it will be down to the bowling, I reckon there'll be a few wides and no-balls.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
"Super Dave" at the start of the match said.
"Why don't you send this into the local papers"? Well, my dealings with the Thurrock Gazette in the past have not been exactly amicable and all my experiences with local newspapers everywhere is that they are the scum of the earth and I'd not give them the steam off my P**s if they were dying of thirst. They breach copyright, they lie, and they steal your pictures and finally after doing all that they use your images and then don't pay you or answer your calls or written requests for your work/pictures back. So has that cleared that up?
I like this pitch (See earlier match for ariel images) Lake Meadows, Billericay. Some of the others said similar things
"This is a proper cricket pitch - no trials bikes riding up and down the field being chased by Rottweillers and Pit Bulls, like back at our home ground".
"No-one hanging out of the flats shouting 'you f******g W******s at us while we're playing". Added Chris Buckers.
Nope - none of that stuff as you can see from the pic's this pitch is lovingly maintained by Basildon Council and is surrounded for most parts by large Oak Trees meaning that when the ball hits the bat it resonates in that special "Warm Bitter and English cricket greens" way that John Major has spoken about in the past.
I was dropped off at about 1pm and got there first, which meant that I could have a bit of a warm up and set a couple of single stumps up and bowled at them. That went okay. But this morning I'd been bowling "Gippers" that were turning massivley and I seemed to have sussed that it is primarily the wrist position that dictates the amount of turn I get and I was getting loads, but as usual in a situation where I've got to do it - it doesn't quite work out. Swiss Tony (Danny Groves) turned up next followed by the rest of the team and some of the Runwell Nutters. A bit of a bowling fest ensued with everyone diving in with a bit of bowling on the outfield as we all waited for the oppo to turn up in full.
When I left the house I threw the last of my favourite white balls in the bag the EBAY pakistan balls. There's 4 of them left. Unlike most of the EBAY balls these white ones are not rock hard and despite being almost 2 years old now have maintained their shape. So once everyone was knocking them around I was a bit paranoid that they might get lost and began to realise they were probably not the balls to have brought along.
Super Dave turns up having read last weeks blog "You spotted the Decoy player then - I noted on the blog"? A reference to "Black shoes" last week. It turns out to be Swiss Tony's younger brother as I suspected and yes he is a decoy player usually coming along about once a season to make up the numbers. Swiss Tony agreed that if he'd been taking the P**S out of my bowling in the game then he deserved some come back in the blog.
I'm assuming that we lost the toss as we were put in first to bat.
The team today consisted of - (In batting order as far as I can recall)
1. Lee Downes
2. Nick Buckley
3. John Buckley
4. Phil Downes
5. Danny Groves
6. Dave Gaylor
7. Reece Downes
8. Chris Buckley
9. Ross Fullbrook
10. Dave Thompson
11. Neil Samwell
After the recent rain we had the prospects of a nice day and as the game commenced we had virtually no wind with cloudy bright conditions with 85% cloud cover. The openers were Lee Downes and Nick Buckley facing "Williams" from the Pavillion end. The first ball was terrible bouncing twice before it passed the stumps and this is off of a seam bowler. Williams settled himself with the next ball and followed up a better ball on the 3rd which Nick clipped and was almost caught at first slips. The other opening bowler coming from the Tree end was "Butler" and he was bowling to Lee. The bowling from Butler was better but Lee had the better of him hitting a ball out to Deep Cover point that was stopped enabling 2 runs. Lee within the first 2 overs was into the 4's putting his first ball down to Long Off from the pavillion end.
Nick in the meantime was persevering with little glances off legside balls that he wasn't getting the bat onto. A few of these that didn't come to anything and then in the 4th over he's clean bowled having scored only 2 runs. John Buckley makes his way out to join Lee.
3 Wides later and Lee hits a ball from the tree end out to square leg, the fielder makes a leap for it but it is just out of reach. At 5 overs we're on 19 for 1. In the fifth over from the pavillion end Lee hits another 4 out to Long On that is almost stopped but passes under the fielder. In the 8th over John now settled hits a four out to Deep cover. Lee continues with some nice strokes but the oppo are up to it preventing him from reaching the boundary.
John Buckley smashes another 4.
At the end of the 8th over Lee batting from the Pavillion end smacks a ball out towards Gully and the fielder ends up wearing the ball but stops it going for another potentially well executed 4.
Meantime at the scoring table on the boundary line Swiss Tony, Super Dave and Sammers are discussing Swiss Tony's recent change in his approach to his cricket. Swiss Tony (Danny) normally plays his natural game - he's had no formal coaching, just has a good eye for the ball and timing and simply smacks it hard. But invariably he gets dismissed relatively easy and as yet hasn't made his way to a 50 with his highest score being 32 or similar. It seems he either convinced himself or someone advised him to try and take a more considered approach to the game and try and play the ball properly. Needless in the last few weeks he's been giving it a go and it hasn't worked. So sitting at the table waiting for his turn he declared he was going to drop the "Test match" approach and return to his T-20 approach. It was agreed that this might be for the best?
In the meantime Lee and John settled in and the fielding seemed to disintegrate a little bit. By the 19th over we were on 67 with only 1 wicket lost. The 19th over featured a nice little flick down the legside from John that brought him up to 22. The last ball of the over went to John he hit it and shouted for a run, the ball was fielded quickly and it looked as though he wasn't going to make it, but the fielder went for the much longer throw down to Lee's end, but Lee was well and truly home anyway whereas the ball was passing Lees stumps John was still yet to reach his crease!
Prior to the 19th over I'd been throwing balls at Phil and Ross. Once that was all over I then collected all the balls together and bunged them back in my bag only to then discover one of my beloved white Pakistan balls had disappeared! I looked around and asked if anyone had seen it but no-one had and I couldn't find it. Gutted! 20 overs and drinks and we were on 82. It's not looking like I'm going to get a bat today because Lee and John look as though they're there for the duration.
More to follow tomorrow...........
In the 22nd over Lee was approaching his 50 with 43, then out of nowhere the bowler bowled a really slow full toss. Lee seemed to look at it and then initially came forward to defend the shot with the intention of angling it into the ground, but then changed his mind and simply ended up tapping it straight back to the bowlers chest who gratefully and easily caught it. Lee's Dad Phil was next in to join John and was straight in hitting his first 4 in his the first over. In the 23rd over Phil took a fast ball to the knee but then settled down again and my chances of getting a bat were fast disappearing. At one point batting from the Pavillion end Phil hit a ball out towards deep cover point and there was a bloke out there who came in for it and it only just dropped short of him and then went on to roll to the boundary for 4.
By this time the No.2 bowler was back on and "Bowling Donkey Droppers" a comment from Super Dave, he'd just come in from umpiring duties and said that the ball was moving - swinging away from the right handers. At 25 overs we were on 104 and Oakes senior was brought into the attack. The thing is with Oakes Senior he looks the part, a fast bowler with all the right action - a nice smooth run in and the delivery and bowling action looks very professional but he doesn't take wickets. At this point we're on 4.07 an over and looking like we may reach 200.
27 and we're up to 114 and Phil's back into hitting 4's. Then on comes an older bloke to bowl "Smith", I had a walk round so that I could see along the line of his bowling and whether he was getting it to turn and it didn't look to me as though he was. We're now on 124 off 29 overs with 2 wickets. In the 29th over Phils caught behind from a ball off his glove and leaves the pitch having scored 19. Swiss Tony (Danny Glover) makes his way out to the middle to stamp his authority on the game and get us up towards the 200 we're hoping to set. His first ball facing one of their fast bowlers from the Tree end goes for a massive six down to Deep Forward Mid Wicket into the oak trees.
In between Danny's attack Ross mentions that it was him that was umpiring when Phil was dismissed by the ball off the glove and that he didn't have a clue what had happened and wouldn't have given him out and that it was only that Phil walked that he knew he'd been dismissed!
Back to Swiss Tony and John. The next time John is on strike he hits a 4. John ups his game a bit and is looking to run singles, but the bowler is the very efficient looking Oakes Senior and the impression is that neither of them want to face this bloke and lose their wicket. John at every opportunity that looks as though he might get across the gap is screaming "Yes" and Danny in the meantime is oblivious to the call leaving John to run half way up the crease before realising that Danny is eyeing up some bird over near the Swimming pool 200 yards away and having to scramble back to his own crease!
At 34 overs we're on 150 for 3. The opener "Williams" comes back on and it works as he takes John clean bowled John leaves the pitch having scored 53 runs. Super Dave takes his place joining Swiss. Right from the outset it's obvious that Swiss doesn't want to face Oakes senior and with him batting his T 20 style "Super" goes out there to try and ensure that it's him that ends up with Oakes and Danny gets the younger Williams when he's on strike. Super gets a quick 4 early and Danny is still looking to go big with 6's and again within a matter of a few balls hits a massive looping 6 that ends up going through the canopy of a nearby 150' Oak Tree. A series of Leg Byes adds to our total in the 36th over and we're on 169 for 3. Danny ends up facing Oakes Senior and hits a nice ball out towards the skatepark that as far as he's concerned ends up in the rough and is given for 4, Danny questions the decision (Footballer)! Neil's shouting instructions now to Super to get Danny back on strike as the 200 is looking do-able if Danny keeps hitting fours and 6's as he is. Neils getting a bit excited at the prospect that Danny might also be on to reach his first 50 or at least beat his current high score of 32? But as soon as that suggestion is made Danny is bowled clean. Reece Downes makes his way out to face the few last balls with Super Dave.
It's only Wednesday and the Sunday game with Runwell commonners is fast becoming a disappearing part of my past as I write and try and catch up. We've now had the game against the Tilbury boys and there's a chance that the information my blur into one big cricket match. Unfortunately because we were fielding second no notes have been made for Sunday as straight after the match we went home.
The star of the day was Reece Downes who's about 12 or 13 years old and stands about 5' tall but he's a fast bowler and a good one at that as he took 3 wickets at least two that were caught possibly both of them by Ross down at Mid Off and the 3rd that I recall he clean bowled the batsman. Ross also bowled well and may have taken a wicket if he didn't I know he at least edged one out to slips where Neil had either been standing or was considering standing on the next ball and it was there for the taking if he'd been there. As it was it went wide of him. Nick had a similar chance off of Ross's bowling and didn't see it till it was too late as it went looping just over his head and he stood there craning his neck 180 degrees in slow motion almost as it dropped just behind again only just out of reach.
My bowling went okay, I haven't got any of the figures (Neil said he'd send them to me, but I'll see what's on the club website). If your reading Neil don't worry I'm not that bothered with the figures. But my bowling was pretty good for me not conceding too many runs and where I did get whacked people were fielding well and restricting wannabe 4's to 1's and 2's. Some of my balls were turning nicely and only just missing the bails and stumps with Neil saying at the end of the game that the wicket I did get was a good one. I think I bowled it down the off side to a left handed bowler it turned away from him and he edged it and it went out to Phil who was at Mid Wicket to take an easy catch.
The ball of the day though had to go to John Buckely who's not one of the usual bowlers. He was throwing them up the wicket at a fairly standard speed and looping trajectory for the most part but then threw one up that was ridiculously slow and loopy. The bat was a young bloke that I think thought he'd just got the measure of Johns bowling and this time was going to go after him with a big six as the blokes on the perimeter were shouting for 6's as they needed to get a move on if they were to stand any chance of winning.
I've got to bung this in quick before I forget it....
Neil is often to be heard saying that he doesn't spin the ball and to be honest it's rare that I get to field in position where I'm able to see how much turn he gets or doesn't get. But today on his last over he put me at Mid on and I stood slightly finer and was able to get a good view of the ball as it pitched. All his earlier overs were fairly quiet affairs with no real gasps or demonstrations of exasperation - but this over was different all the balls pitch wide of the stumps and 3 or 4 of them turned a country mile only just missing the bails or the stumps by millimeters and I just couldn't contain myself with loud intakes of breath and "Oh!" all the way through the over as every ball just missed by fractions of inches or millimeters but still coming to nothing - a good over.
More to come.........
It's now Friday and the Sunday game with Runwell commonners is fast becoming a disappearing part of my past as I write and try and catch up. We've now had the game against the Tilbury boys and there's a chance that the information my blur into one big cricket match. Unfortunately because we were fielding second no notes have been made for Sunday as straight after the match we went home. So this may have to be it!
First the update on Tuesday night's match.
5.30pm start at Blackshots playing fields, Grays, Essex T 20 match between a merged side of the old MPA 1st XI and my current team Grays & Chadwell CC. We're going to be going under the name of "Decoy CC".
Decoy CC V's Modlife CC
Decoy CC will consist of
Danny "Swiss Tony" Groves (Bat)
Neil "Sammers" Samwell (Cpt & left arm Spin)
Dave Thompson - (Right arm spin)
Phil Downes - (Bat)
Jack MPA (All rounder WKT Keeper)?
Alex MPA (Seam bowler)
Lee Downes (Bat)
Reece Downes (Seam bowler)
Alex "Wizard" (Right arm spin)
And one other bloke who's name I don't know.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
I've got to admit I'm impressed that Boffa and the boys can all commit to Tuesday night and they're all talking about being there by 5pm. I'm only going to be able to do it because my son's got a school do during the afternoon and I'll be sloping off early from work primarily for that.
Longer term though (Sept match) there's a lot more enthusiasm so hopefully we'll be able to field a team made up of primarily MPA blokes and hopefully our stronger players?
Valence Way cricket ground AKA "Local Field".
I've been over there today and cut the grass. The outfield though is getting really long and the roller hasn't materialised which is a shame as the weather tomorrow is sunny so the ground is going to start to dry out again. The field needs to be cut, so I'm hoping if the sun is out next week the groundsman will come and mow it?
This evening went over and threw a few balls - fairly uneventful, but I'm not going to read too much into it.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Sunday I've got a match with Runwell Commoners at Billericay's Lake Meadows Pitch http://mpafirsteleven.blogspot.com/2008/06/grays-and-chadwell-vs-runwell-commoners.html
The last game we had there was pretty good, Neil orchestrated a very close finish where we ended up winning by one run! It's a nice little pitch and this time I'll take the camera and do some pictures. It's also nice in that I managed to get the ball to turn and again that was after some recent rain, so it does look as though if the pitch isn't dry and powdery I can get the ball to turn off the wicket? I may even be tempted to bring in the Gipper? I'll see how it goes in the pre-match warm up and if I can get the line and length I'll use it.
With regards the Tuesday night match - the weather is shaping up to be dry and warm, possibly cloudy. It looks almost certain to be a G&CCC V's Modlife CC rather than the MPA boys although I still haven't given up on 5 of them yet -
Rod the Aussie
Plus I'll speak to the Sri-Lankan bloke tomorrow? But I'm not holding a great deal of hope out for them.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Post match analysis; As mentioned, Sunday turned out to be my best match performance ever, but I'm definitely less of a bowler in match situations compared to practice. The need to get it right means that I bowl in far more cautious way - in the match just gone 85% wrong uns, 10% Top spinners and 5% Flippers (Normal variety). whereas in practice situations I bowl alternating Gippers and Wrong uns and once I get into the flow both balls work really nicely. I think where I backed off with the Gippers (Upside down Flipper) this is due to the fact that when I do start to bowl them it takes a few that go very wide before I find the rhythm, line and length. It's this that caused me not to use them at all. But last night I threw a few and man when they come right they are such a good ball so they're definitely something I've got to work on and get the confidence to use. So this week I'll be mostly throwing Gippers interspersed with Wrong Uns. What I might try is 2 or 3 Gippers for every Wrong Un and see how that pans out? I definitely need to be bowling the Gippers more. The thing is they would then stand in for the bog standard Leg Break as they do what the leg break does in many respects, so I wouldn't then have to struggle in the way that I have been with trying to learn how to bowl Leg Breaks.
Something I had forgotten was that on Saturday one of the other Dads who takes their kids swimming along with ours used to play cricket and is a bit of a dibbly dobbly bowler. This Saturday none of mine wanted to play whilst waiting for their swimming session and this bloke said "I'll bowl with you if you want"? Then we just stood opposite each other and bowled back and forth (Gippers and Wrong Uns). The encouraging thing was I was able to bowl the Gipper consistently onto a small round circle pattern in the floor and get it to turn. So it's obviously coming together and with that bit more practice I'm nearing a situation where I'm going to be able to use it. One thing that I do notice is that when I do bowl it I have initial success with it once I find my line and length, but the more I bowl it the more the hand comes round to a less acute position and the spin is decreased sideways. This is something that I need to address.
16.26 I've just realised that the knackeredness that I mentioned earlier isn't in fact knackeredness due to physical activity but because I'm ill and coming down with something nasty as every part of me aches and it now includes my eyes, head and my skin all over feels sore, so I've obviously got some kind of viral attack happening and I need to rest. So this now jeopardises the cricket match.
Sunday, July 06, 2008
Shed loads to write here to night including a load of stuff relating to the MCC match. Again this'll probably be posted over 2 nights.
Then it was our turn............
The 2 new blokes Johnny Kale and Cameron were the stars of the day and saved us from total embarrassment. I was expecting that Russell "Black Shoes" would get at least 50 after the slating of my bowling and being mediocre in the field. In fact someone pointed out that even whilst the ball was in the air on it's way to the bat he was standing around much of the time with his hands in his pockets. It may be he was a "Decoy" player just brought in to make up the numnbers (Hence the inappropriate footwear)? Russel Black Shoes was also making the point that it takes up your whole life if you play both Saturday and Sunday. The way he was saying it suggested that this was possibly his first weekend of cricket, so that kind of suggests that perhaps he was a "Decoy" player? From the banter that was going around it seems that there had been a big "Beach Party" party up at the clubhouse the night before and they were all a bit worse for wear, many reporting that they'd been there till gone 2 in the morning and still feeling very rough. So maybe he was a part of that event in some way and a social member of the club rather than an active cricket playing member?
At this point the weather was looking to make another show but this time with a lot more rain, I'd been trying to take pictures of the dark skies and the action and failing abysmally once again, but the general over-view images came out okay with the juxtaposition of the match against the foreboding skies. Then I got the shout to pad up as Wicket Keeper Nick made his way out to the crease. Nick went on to score 21, I didn't see what happened but someone said "he went for a big expansive drive and hit the ball straight up in the air to be caught easily by the bowler". Chirpy was next and by now I was padded up and ready to go, it was obvious that Lovejoy for some reason had forfeited his innings to let me go out next. Chirpy put on another three runs and then it was me. There had been an older bloke bowling - the same one that nearly caught Cat off his own bowling twice, but shortly before I went out he'd had his allocation of overs so I was left facing two of the less affective bowlers, which was nice. I took the stand with new bloke Cameron and initially screwed up on the communication thing what with just trying to concentrate on surviving. It wasn't until I recognised the exasperation in his face with the lack of me calling for runs when the ball had gone behind him for about the 3rd time that I realised it was my call to run, then still not quite getting the procedure and what with Cameron still looking to score 36 runs somehow off of the last 6 balls to draw that we both nearly ended up getting run out. But in between the confusion I hit my second 4 for G&CCC and then got 3 singles taking me to my new record for Grays and Chadwell. In my head that still feels pretty pitiful, but it is still short of the 9 I scored for the MPA 1st XI last summer. So my attitude is to take what I can get and just work towards beating that 9. The encouraging thing is that some of the far better players go for less albeit facing much better bowlers, but then my 9 was against a 2 F**K off great fast bowlers who's 2nd game was Rugby and both stood 6'6" or more and were 4' across the shoulders and South African and Kiwi to boot! All I did was hold my bat up and the ball pinged off miles to enable those 9 runs! In the last over of the game I hit the ball and sliced it and it was caught at Gully the same as John Buckley's. Neil then came out and score a run before the game came to an end. We ended up with 173 I think with Cameron not out with Neil.
Saturday, July 05, 2008
There's been loads of mini - developments so here's the update.
- I've had a message left on my mobile phone for some bizarre reason (I do have a real phone)? by Boffa the captain of the MCC and the message indicates that the game is off. So I've emailed him tonight and maybe he'll email me back and clarify the situation? In the short term I'm going to assume it's a false alarm as he said something along these lines in an email and them corrected it a couple of days ago.
- Last night at Saks Simon Grainge confirmed that he'd be up for a game on Sept 12th so that's player No.4.
- The council have come back with a price for Sept 12th and it's £74.00 so we need to move on that soon otherwise we may lose the venue.
- Neil Samwell has also given us a price for Blackshots and that's £50.00 for the whole day and that will include a bar to have a few beers in during and after the match.
- Neil has also suggested that if we could cobble a team together we could have a quick 20/20 match one evening (before July 18th) and there'd be no charge for that at all as long as we had a few beers in the bar after. This I reckon could be a useful exercise as pre-run of the real thing as he needs to see how our team shape up as a team and look at our strengths and weaknesses prior to the one dayer.
So what do you reckon then MCC blokes? I personally would go for it but with only four of ours signed up so far we may struggle to get it together. But if we were to fix a date between now and then I could get on the phone and chivvy them along. If push come to shove I'm sure some of the G&CCC blokes would make up the numbers? What do you reckon?
Been bowling the Gipper tonight. It's a weird ball and tonight I was having a good degree of success with it when using virtually no run up and spinning it up high. It's an ugly bowling action all round especially the "Run in" with the weird body contortion required to get the ball to come out of the back of the hand and putting the spin on it using the Flipper technique. But when it does hit the deck it then does the weirdest and most radical spin. One ball was pitched 3' wide of the stumps on a good length and it turned back in and hit middle and off, I myself was in the mode of turning around to get the next ball as it landed assuming there was no way it was going to come back in and it did!
Played on the kids wicket in the middle of the field tonight for the first time but both my boys were already knackered and didn't really get into it at all. This evening I mowed both the wickets just in case it rains for the next few days and the length of the grass gets out of control. I've also noted that with the lack of rain there's been very little growth at all in the last month.So MPA 1st XI so far consists of -
Dave Thompson RH - Spin
Richard Sainsbury - W/Keeper
Neil Samwell (C) LH - spin
Simon Grainge - Seam Bowler (Med/fast)
I'm looking forward to the game tomorrow and it's going to be my first game at home. I'll try and get some pictures as well.
Thursday, July 03, 2008
So MPA 1st XI so far consists of -
Dave Thompson RH - Spin
Richard Sainsbury - W/Keeper
Neil Samwell (C) LH - spin
Neil if your checking the blog out count yourself in - how do you fancy being the Captain?
Concerns I have at this stage are adherence to the rules of the game. I know some of the MCC are avid cricket watchers but I'm pretty certain that they've never ever seen a cricket scoring book let alone have any idea of the dark art of filling one in! http://www.acumenbooks.co.uk/score40.gif
But that's all something they need to figure out between themselves over the next 2 months? So the ball has begun to roll let's hope it picks up some momentum and this comes together and it doesn't rain on the day!
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
Richard Sainsbury has confirmed he's interested (Wicket Keeper)? I've also had an email back from Basildon Council within 12hrs saying that The Rec is available on Sept 14th Sunday. The thing is if we want the Rec we need to book it ASAP. Nigel over at the Rec is a brilliant bloke - used to play cricket himself and he'll have it prepared beautifully for the game - rolled and prepared just before we start the game.
The other massive positive for playing at the rec is that -
All live within a mile or so of the pitch - many of these players have transport issues, so it works well on that level. The remainder of the players are coming in from London (Alex and Nakul) both who know exactly where the Rec is and Alex will have to walk from the station. Simon and Richard both live in Southend but both have played at the Rec. It makes sense to play at the Rec.
If we're short on players Suhail has got a mate Ankul who lives virtually next to the pitch and I've just met a Sri-Lankan bloke who bats a bit who also lives nearby who's indicated he'd be up for a game. Not sure at the moment what the situation will be with Neil Samwell but he's only in Grays if he's able to play.
Downsides to the Rec are - I can never get the ball to turn on that wicket or bounce much.
I don't know how the Tilbury boys are going to feel about waiting till Sept 14th but it suits me because realistically I reckon I need that kind of time and lead in to get 11 blokes on board and ready. It will also give us some time to get some practice in and so too the Tilbury boys.
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
and some moves .......
And this is just classic.......
SAKS in Southend this Friday..........
There team is shaping up to be -
Boffa - 43?
Bill - 44?
Clappa - 43?
Peachy - 43?
Bear - 43?
Chas - 43?
Tarz - 45?
Shock - 43?
Connor (Shocks boy) 15
Reece (DJ Phillips boy) 17
Postman Pat (Geezer from the pub) who knows what age? But obviously over 18
He said -
As for who bats and bowls its anyones guess. What i need from you is dates and times you can get a pitch and a team and I will cobble together a team. The sooner you can get dates the better mate with holidays coming up so let me know?
I'll have to get a name off of them. There's also the potential for this game to be a bit of crowd puller I reckon? These blokes have got a pretty big social network which hinges around a band that they're in http://www.modlifecrisisuk.moonfruit.co.uk/ and if the MPA boys manage to get a team together that incorporates a fair % of SEEC staff, some of the other staff may turn up as support?