Went over to the paddock for a wicket inspection and looked to see how the grass was fairing after yesterdays cut and it looked fine, in fact it looked long still so I decided I'd go back to the garage lower the blades on my Ransomes Ajax lawnmower and give it a better going over. I also looked at the amount of leaves that were on the wicket area and decided it needed a rake as well and a general tidy up. I looked too at the end that was furthest away from the stumps and thought too that if I got time I'd fill in more of the holes and in doing so extend the flat part of the wicket even closer still to the bowler.
So it was cut and raked and looked an awful lot better and this is how it currently looks and there's an image below as it was back in early September.
The shot here below is how it looked today after the mowing, as you can see the seeds have now taken and the grass is establishing itself. The surface at the minute is still pretty even after being rolled prior to the seed being sewed. With all the recent rain the surface is soft and we had a bowl but with the stumps set further back against the fence so not a great many balls landed on it, but later Ben joined me and batted and I then had to bowl shorter and the balls were then landing on the fresh grass. The surface is so soft the balls were leaving and indent and then when Ben left I noted you could see the indentations in the surface as by that time the sun was lower in the sky and picking out the indents. The effect was like a Hawk-eye Pitch Map http://www.hawkeyeinnovations.co.uk/?page_id=1012&PHPSESSID=d39d98684a65f58279c0c405dc15c6c0 and my bowling looked pretty impressive with virtually every ball on or just outside middle and off.
I noticed as well because I've been moving the stumps around at the batting end I've had to bowl from different positions at the bowling end and over the months the affect is that at that end the ground has become a lot more flattened and bare - there's hardly any grass and I'm now looking at that end thinking that maybe if I get the earth for it I might start looking at making that even and have that as a wicket end as well, but with hardly any grass?
Other than that I bowled okay and Ben - the older son batted pretty well, he's good with balls down the Leg-side. The younger son Joe came over for a short while and then bailed out pretty quickly when he was unsuccesful with his bowling. Rather than have a go at him or try and get him to stay I let him go. But the good thing is the older of the two at the minute seems to be up for it a bit more than he has been in the past.