Busy cricket day today. First session was with the MPA boys at the school with the prospect of my captain from Grays & Chadwell turning up. I turned up early to find that the mats were locked in the cupboard and no sign of the caretaker and thought I'd sort that out once Alex turned up. Alex had already text me saying that his train in from London was delayed because of line repairs, but there was no sign of Makr or Simon and I'd even stopped off at the station on the way through in the event that Mark might have already arrived.
12.15 and still no-one and no sign of the caretaker. I'd got the nets out and started to bowl on my own and then decided that I didn't want Neil to turn up as this was looking like a shambles especially if I couldn't get the mat out. So I sent Neil a text saying not to bother. Then around 12.30 Simon turned up so I rang the caretaker and he came along a while later just as Alex arrived. In the meantime unbeknown to me Neil had sent a message indicating he was up for it but somehow I didn't hear the message come in otherwise I'd have said - yeah come on down. So that was disappointing. Anyway the session got under way and I bowled pretty much as I did on Thursday - crap. That combined with the fact that Simon had definitely decided that he was going to come down the wicket to the pitch of the ball, which he did very affectively smothering most of what I had to offer. So that was wholly unsatifactory. Then I had a bat. I took the approach of defending my wicket not swinging at wide of the off stump balls. Whilst I was concentrating this went okay as long as I went about it in my own manner, but I was aware of the fact that I was still swinging the bat round rather than through. Only when I tried to bat through the line of the ball in the style that they've been trying to teach me did it all come apart and I was bowled. Once I got my eye in I decided to come down the wicket it a bit stand in front of the crease and then step back and play back foot shots if appropriate. This kind of allowed me to play in a far more instinctive and natural way and I managed to get the bat on the ball a lot more playing what I felt for the best part were productive shots 95% of which were low or into the ground eliminating the chance of being caught. It'll be interesting to see how that works at Grays. Although there's no way that it'd work against the Wizard. I think if I batted against the wizard I'd just have to defend. Maybe if I was confident and had my eye in I might come down the wicket at him?
Out of there late the caretaker saying that the next lot were in at 3pm and he wasn't fussed if we overrun. But that meant I was straight home and back in the car and up the A127 to Rayleigh for their nets. This week they were in the nets facing real balls. They liked it, they both did okay, but I thought they were going to be a bit miffed at being forced to bowl with an exaggerated step over a little obstacle before their delivery. Ben was okay with it but Joe had real difficulty. But the thing is they both do it anyway and this obstacle seemed to be placed where it made it really difficult for them. But the coach was okay with them offering instructions and encouragement and they both said at the end that they liked it. Ben was also asked questions about fielding positions and then later said that the bloke was going to test them next week. Both of them batted okay and didn't seem too worried at facing real balls.
There was a shortage of balls, so I may buy some real ones for them from the ECB shop - the smaller variety. Once home we had half hour out in the street with some other kid but he was clueless, he just couldn't get the straight arm bit and just kept throwing it.
Just about 5pm I decided that I'd drag the roller over the field and give it a going over and see if it made any impact on it. I spent about 15 - 20 minutes rolling trying to ensure I got the middle of the track and it did seem to make some difference. I dragged the roller into the corner of the field and left it in the bushes but it did seem very conspicuous and decided that later that I'd go and drag it back. So tonight under the cover of darkness I went and retrieved it, coming back is slightly up-hill so it was a bit tricky. But I also had a look at the field and as it was dark I noticed that underfoot it felt very different where it had been rolled, so that's encouraging.
Other than that I've got a question about scoring. The stuf I'm looking at on the internet relating to scoring looks as though it's different to what we do at G&CCC slightly. The main question relates to the tally on the right hand side and the symbols/letters we/you use for extras and stuff?1. Wides, No-balls, Byes and Leg Byes do they get put onto the overall tally as we go along or do we add them at the end?2. What symbols/letters do we use for Wides, No-balls, Byes and Leg Byes? The system I'm looking at uses a cross with the runs placed as dots in each corner of the cross - have a look at this link and you'll see the symbols - http://www.aucc.co.nz/Cricket%20scoring%20-%20getting%20started.pdf
I reckon if I can get this established I've sussed it.