Monday, May 31, 2010


The Flipper (Not the Dolphin) is a bowling variation invented by Clarrie Grimmett back in the 1930's and is one of the variations I learned fairly early when I started bowling and for a while I used it but then dropped it. But since then having read Grimmetts 'Taking Wickets' I've learned that there's a whole bunch of variations of the bog standard Flipper that Richie Benuad hijacked and claimed for himself. In the same way that you use the wrist in different positions to bowl Leg Breaks, Top-Spinners, Wrong Uns and Sliders you can do virtually the same thing with the wrist using the 'Click' technique deployed with the Flipper.
Recently I've been ineffective in the matches I've played so far this year and in looking for solutions I've turned to the Flippers for a potential solution. I've been pretty much un-impressed with the standard back-spinning Flipper as it strikes me as being a slow version of a pace bowlers bog standard delivery. But the Top-Spinnng Flipper much favoured by Grimmett for a few years and the variation that he concluded was the better strikes me as being a potentially good ball. Of the variations that Grimmett did explore The "Wrong Wrong Un" and the Off-Spinning Flipper are those with very little mention in any books, other commentators across the years including Grimmetts biographer Ashley Mallett and Terry Jenner have dismissed all of the Flippers with the exception of the back-spinner as being either physically impossible to bowl or so difficult as to be virtually impossible and probably like Warne a part of Grimmetts overall plan to deceive batsmen into believing he could do far more than he actually could.
But the last couple of weeks I've been bowling the Top-Spinning Flipper and the 'Off-spinning Flipper' and seeing that there's a lot of potential with these balls. The Off-spinner in particular which I wrote off about a year ago as being nigh-on impossible to bowl has been a revelation. I've found that in practice situations I'm able to bowl this with exceptional accuracy line and length with variation of speed and flight not having any detrimental effect. I've noticed too that by angling the seam either back or forth increases drift and creates totally random spin direction which as yet I've not fathomed why one delivery it breaks to the leg and the next the off? The other really encouraging aspect to it is difference in speed which is vast from the slowest to the fastest but still managing to retain the accuracy. Needless to say in practice this is all academic, the effectiveness will come when bowling to a batsman, but if the practice results are maintained I may try and bowl a whole spell using the 2 obscure flipper variations and see if they get me some wickets in the next match?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Like Warne? - You'll like this......

Check this youtube link - in high quality - recent clips of Warne in the IPL

Monday, May 24, 2010

1 step forwards 4 steps back

Strewth - loads to write about this weekend , loads of cricket in fact possibly too much. The headlines - or rather order of events.

Mid week no sign of a game at Thurrock - not on any of the team lists. Towards the back end of the week I got an email from Wayne asking if I could play Saturday, I emailed Wayne saying that Saturday wasn't possible but if there was anything going for Sunday I'd be up for it and then didn't get a response so as Friday came I was looking at a gameless Sunday. Then on Saturday morning a bloke from B&PCC (Joe and Ben's team) rang and asked if I could play for them and I said yes. So on Sunday morning I was at Grays with Ben and Joe who play for B&PCC who were playing against my club - Thurrock. Then in the after I played with their club against SLHCC. So it was going to be a bit hectic as usual.

The weather for the weekend was predicted to be good - the warmest days of the year so far with the temp up in the 28 degree region. So Saturday started out with us setting the net up in the paddock and Ben and Joe initially quite enthusiastic about the prospect of batting and bowling. That started out okay but within a short period of time the heat was taking the fun out of it and they got fed up and neither of them were batting well. But we had about an hour in there. The surface of our wicket in the paddock with the heat and it being clay is beginning to break up and come loose and possibly is causing the ball to move off it's line too readily so even throw downs become difficult to bat. Faster balls tend to be truer, but I don't think that helps too much with their batting as they benefit from the ball being bowled at increasingly faster rates rather than going straight into fast balls.

In the afternoon we went over the Rec with 3 other families and had a knock about, but again slightly problematic in that my boys want to play it seriously and the majority of the others are just mucking about. The only thing that they potentially end up improving is their bowling, but then everyone else is saying 'Give the other kids a chance' and things like that. The other aspect is when the not so adept kids are bowling the fielders and the batsmen get bored because the ball isn't on target, so these are difficult situations to manage. In essence we need more kids that play a bit who can bat and more importantly bowl so that my two kids have to learn to play proper strokes. All in all though a good day in the warm sun. The kids came home slightly red primarily from the hour in the morning in our nets.

Sunday B&PCC v Thurrock (AKA Grays and Chadwell CC)

So, Sunday morning up at some stupid time getting ready to get the boys off to Grays. Again the prospects of another beautiful hot sunny day in stark contrast to the week before. We arrived early and soon were set up with some stumps and got the lads practicing with their bowling. B&PCC were put in to bat first with Harry Davy and Billy Franks opening between them the came away from their 2 overs with a figure of minus 6 what with both of them being dismissed once each ( -5 points for each wicket lost) Billy Franks hit a four. As you can see this version of the game Terrier Cricket focus's on the need to not lose your wicket and I suppose is designed to encourage the boys to play straight and not go swinging at the ball when it's straight.

Ben and Alfie Davy were up next and they came away from their 2 overs with minus 3, Ben lost his wicket -5 and they both made a run each + 2, so as a pair they did better than the opening pair.Ben comes away having only been dismissed once and is relatively happy.
Joe and Joe Franks were up next. Our Joe who probably likes batting less than Ben came away un-scathed and played a good innings, playing straight and blocking the balls that were on his stumps, anything wide he had a go at and one ball off of the kid bowling from the pavillion end he made good contact with but the Grays boys were on their toes in the field and were fielding with full-on committment and the ball which may have gone for 4 was fielded comfortably. Joe Franks a big swinger of the bat across the line on the other-hand in his first game was dismissed twice - bowled once and run out once, his run out was off a ball hit to Mid Wicket, Joe saw it was going straight to the bloke and stopped, but Joe Franks was well on his way and Joe legged it and made it home, but the fielder threw down the stumps from almost side on leaving Joe Franks short of his crease by about 4 metres he ended up minus 10 + 2 runs; Minus 8 for the pair.
Joe contemplates a clean sheet and no minus figures.

Anthony Ayres and Charlie Blerkom were up next and did really well coming away with the only set of plus figures. Both Anthony and Charlie made runs scoring 4 and 3 respectively and with only Anthony's wicket being taken they came away with + 2 runs.
Anyway, all that aside and the fact that they did lose doesn't reflect the fact that they batted far better than in the previous games a lot fewer wickets were lost and at the end of their innings the prospects looked excpetionally good. The Grays boys had some good bowlers, but most impressive was their fielding, very energetic and tight with our lads not being able to get the ball through the fielders.

The Grays lads on the other hand batted well and were quick to take singles looking for opportunities when our fielding was a bit lack lustre. Our bowling was pretty good, but the Grays lads batting was more than up to it and they lost fewer wickets and were soon past our total and in a strong position. The last four batsmen stood their ground and held on to their wickets consolidating their position and winning the match by ********

But our lads came away realising they'd put in a good performance that demonstrated a good level of improvement over the previous week.

The Bowling

Here's the bowling figures Ben opened the bowling and bowled 2 overs and went for 2 runs, Looks like he bowled a wide and a no - ball and the no-ball looks like it included a runs as well. Joe bowled even better with No runs for the first over but he bowled a wide and his 2nd over was a maiden, so he did really well. Confusingly there's another over here that looks like it conceded no runs but did include 2 wides and yet that's been marked as a Maiden? Generally though the bowling in comparison right across the team is massively better than last year, far fewer wides and no-balls. The wickets interestingly come from the blokes that also go for slightly more runs.

Basildon & Pitsea cc v

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Paddock May 21st

Had a bowl in the paddock tonight as usual. A long session of about 2 hours working on Leg Breaks, Top and Back spinning Flippers and Wrong uns. Most of it was going well excpet for the Leg Breaks, but to be honest I wasn't that focussed so not that fussed on the outcome.

It doesn't look like I've got a game on Sunday, so I may go fishing around and see if there's anything doing at Basildon and Pitsea. I think tomorrow the boys are going to join me over the paddock in the morning for an hour or so and I've sent a text to Talak to see if he wants to come over and join us as well in the nets, his son plays in the U13's. As yet I've not had a reply, but he may be working shifts as he's a consultant doctor or similar?

So in preparation for that I've cut the wicket this evening and treated the weeds with round-up being careful not to get too carried away with it as it kills everything - grass included. I also cut the grass at the bowlers end -what's left of it with a view to wearing the earth down and hopefully making it a lot flatter, this may facilitate the potential for using the bowling end as a wicket as well - possibly much later in the summer or getting it ready to work on over the winter.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Legspin manual from the 1950's

Found this link tucked away in one of the other blokes blogs. This is an old MCC coaching manual from 1952, there's some brilliant stuff in here including some images of Arthur Mailey and Clarrie Grimmett.

The Big Leg Break news

Yep, still persevering with this and now able to get it up over 22 yards with a degree of promising accuracy. The subtleties of the wrist position are flummoxing me at the minute with many of the balls going straight or turning into wrong uns. It seems achievable but more time is required. But I am getting there, when it comes good it is unbelievably good.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Big Leg Break

I've had a play around with this tonight worked with it over 22 yards and with the increased effort across the 22 yards comes the malfunction of the wrist position and the reduction in turn off the wicket. Speaking to Jim2109 he was saying that if you release the ball once it's past the vertical position the ball is going to be released with the seam angled so that the ball makes contact with the wicket on the smooth part of the ball and the answer maybe a loopier flight released slightly before the vertical position.

The session was better than expected and I'm able to bowl accurately whilst giving the ball a big flick ripping it with losts of spin, the problem seems to be in timing the release and or the wrist position on release, but overall it was another positive bowling session.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Big Leg Break and Paddock news

The Paddock

It's rained at last as you'll have seen from the match report and quite substantially, so the paddock has had a soaking and the grass will have had a good watering after weeks of cold and windy but dry weather. With the earth being wet I took the opportunity to repair some of the holes in the wicket.

I mixed up some clay and wetted the hole and using a scraper roughed up the hole and put the pre-wetted clay in the hole hoping that it'll fuse with the earth that's already there. I did try this a month or so ago and it didn't work the clay and the existing earth dried at differing rates and the clay crumbled easily and broke up. This was different clay so it may work, we'll just have to wait and see.

The Big Leg Break

This ball still alludes me so tonight I had a good hour working with the Biggun tonight, initially over 15 yards but after about 1/2 an hour I got it up to 18 yards and stayed there. At 18 yards everything was working - line, length variations in flight and turn and it was turning a lot more than any of my other bowling techniques. For some reason it was just working exceptionally well - but only over the 18 yards. I'm going to try and commit to this for a while because it was so successful tonight and maybe I might be able to suss it out. But I know from previous experiences I go out the next night and it's gone.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Thurrock cc v Loxford Falcons cc

Match Report and score sheets to follow.

As mentioned elsewhere this team usually send us packing with our tails between our legs. I seemed to remember there's a few batsmen through to around 4 or 5 that are pretty handy and then there's a bunch of decent bowlers as well, so on the basis of recent history this was going to be a challenge.

I didn't get away from Ben and Joe's game till late and this meant that I didn't get to Blackshots till almost 1pm nearly 1/2 hour late and everyone was there waiting for me. 3/4 hours later we arrived again as with last week leaving me with no opportunity to have a warm up bowl.

The toss dictated that we fielded first - always my preferred option and Jay opened with Ifty and a young Off-spinner Jordan and he looked to be doing okay. Ifty was steaming in with the fast stuff and it soon became apparent that the two openers had something about them and we were soon leaking runs at a rate of 7 + an over. Then with the spin they were looking to run singles at every opportunity and Jay made a few changes putting me at Cover and Jack at Mid Wicket ensuring that the singles were reduced. A few faster runners were put deep into the field to cut off balls that got through and for a while it worked a treat forcing the batsmen to try and hit the ball to get it through the fielders. For a short period during Wayne and Jordans combined Off-Spin attack the run rate was reduced with Jack racing in and cutting off the single every well, this then forced both the batsmen to try and hit the ball through the off-side where Jay had plenty of fielders and while Wayne was bowling well it worked and it was probably the best fielding I've seen G&CCC (AKA Thurrock cc) ever do, helped no doubt by the accuracy of the Finger spinners.

Jesus sorry lads if you're reading this but your score book was in disarray, it took me ages to copy it up on the day, but looking at it again it's now obvious that I got it wrong and everyones bowling figures in our book probably look slightly healthier than this although even with this and blowing up the scorebook x 10 in Photoshop I still was unsure about some of the scoring!

Anyway the run down of the scores and stuff........

As I'm primarily interested in the spin attack

Jordan Warren (Off) 7-0-42-0 av 6
Wayne Simmonds (Off) 8-0-55-0 av 6.87
Alex McLellan (Leg) 7-0-54-1 av 7.7
Dave Thompson (Leg) 5-0-41-1 av 8.2
Jay Shohaji (Off) 4-0-32-0 av 8

In contrast the fast bowlers best avearge was 7.2 and he took a wicket Stuart Farr and the worst was Ifti at 8.6 with no wicket. The 2 openers were dismissed by Leg Spinners F Qawood was bowled round the back of his legs by Wizard (A McLellan) when he was looking dangerous at 23 and looking to shift up a gear and Jay caught one out at Deep Mid Off after telling me to flight one in a bit loopy which I did and he caught. Stuart took the other in the rain the bloke slicing one that Ifty caught at Cover. Teja took a wicket in the pouring rain just as he fell short of bowling the last 2 balls of the match. At which point the match was abandoned and we all went in the clubhouse to watch England beat the Aussies in the 20/20 World cup in the West Indies.

Wizards wicket is worthy of more - it seems that he's had a bit of a wicketless few games before now and his first wicket for 4 weeks or something was this one, so to say that when he bowled the ball round the back of his legs hitting the stumps of a batsman that was looking to get the upper-hand he was quite pleased. He made Panesars celebrations look muted and anyone watching would have thought he's just won the Ashes for England! But I've got to say bowling a opening batsman round the back of the legs and sending him back to the sheds is pretty special for a wrist-spinner so he was entitled to his reaction and he did apologise to the bloke for his histrionics.

Alex and Jay discuss the win over Australia or was it field positions and captaincy?
Shall we mention the discussion on the field about how you should go about fielding at Slips?
Sod that I'm off I'll let them get on with that one......
We were hoping that after tea we'd give these Loxford Falcons a good thrashing - but they were saved by the rain.

B&PCC U11's & U13's inter team match 16th May Mopsies Park

Arrived fairly under a gloomy sky and fairly cool conditions, set up some stumps and got the gloves on and kept whilst Joe and Ben bowled and gradually more of the boys joined in and practiced while they were waiting around for the game to start. Joe was all over the place which was disappointing after yesterdays practice session in the nets where he bowled absolutely perfect.

The teams were selected from the U11's and U13's mixing both age groups together meaning that Ben and Joe were placed in opposite teams. Ben and Joe both bowled their allocated 2 overs each neither taking wickets today and Joe bowling quite a few wides. Ben bowled okay without any real success. Both of them along with most of the team batted well, there were very few wickets taken and whether that's a reflection of a medicore bowling performance or an improvement in their batting remains to be seen. Joe got some bat on the ball and hit a potential four low through Cover, but was fielded perfectly, but he was happy to have hit the ball so well out of the middle of the bat. The remainder of his innings he appeared to block the ball well and keep the ball off the stumps. He dabbed a ball into the middle of the pitch when facing faster bowlers and was nearly caught, but generally did really well and came away pleased with himself and he made a few runs.

Ben had a similar innings and the highlight of his was a late cut that went down to 3rd man and he ran two off that before it was fielded a bit short of the boundary line. Like Joe he was just happy to have survived without giving away his wicket as in this game your wicket is 5 runs against your overall score and the teams.

The game was conducted in cold weather and a bit of drizzle, but overall a good game was had by all and the fact that almost everyone kept the ball off the stumps is something to go forward with. Next stop - Thurrock cc (My team) at Grays.

The Paddock nets

For the first time this year we got the net out and put the nets up in the paddock. Joe was the only one around and him and I spent an hour or so in there bowling and batting. This morning at the B&PCC inter-team match U11's and U 13's Talak was their with his son watching the game and he asked if we were practicing outside of the B&P training sessions and I mentioned the net and he said he's join us, so maybe sometime this week I'll send him a text and see if he wants to come over.

Here's the set-up.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Bowling Drill for Legspin

Been working on my rotation and action through the delivery to make it a little more energetic looking for some more turn off the wicket and it seems to have worked. You'll read troughout my blogs that I don't advocate bowling a Leg-Stump line, but this new improved bowling action has seemingly produced better turn with no real loss of accuracy. Have a look at this bowling drill that I'm currently using which tests you for turn and accuracy if I can improve on this and get consistent turn I may change my lines of attack to include the outside legstump line?
You can see more clearly what it is that I'm doing in this image - the piece of car mat is about 12" x 14" and I'm trying to land it on that and then turn it into the stumps. I'm happy as long as it lands on the mat or hits the stumps, the straight balls that don't turn would only ever be any good against a very weak on the legside type batsman.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Horton Kirby cc v Thurrock cc

The report of the match will follow, but in the meantime here's the all important bowling figures and scores and a picture of the blokes that we played against. I've uploaded it quite large so they can copy the file and make prints from it.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Ben and Joe's first match approaches

Ben and Joe have their first match scheduled for this coming Sunday. Their team Basildon & Pitsea CC U 11's V Wickford CCU11's. The match is due to be played at Memorial Park, Rettendon View, Wickford SS11 8HU, which isn't a venue I've been to before. Let's just hope the weather holds out. With the match only a few days away we went over the paddock with 37 balls and all had a bowl to see who could hit the stumps 20 times first. Both Ben and Joe did well after a few loose balls. It looks like Joe's become a Googly bowler, but when he rotates properly and bring his leg up and over he produces the odd Leg Break. Both of them were sending balls down the Leg-side a bit too frequently, so that's a developmental point and something we'll work on over the coming days. But they both seemed to enjoy the full-on bowling experience of just bowling at the stumps with no batsman.

Sunday, May 02, 2010


After what seems like at least 3 or maybe 4 weeks of sunshine it's eventually rained today and I got my timing right with opting to not play this Sunday for a number of reasons one being that during last Sundays match which I still haven't blogged about I took an in-coming ball to the shin after the Keeper misfielded it. Initially it blew up massive and looked like an additional knee a few inches below the real one. Five hours later the swelling had gone down and seemed to have spread throughout the whole of the lower leg right down to my ankle. 5 days later, most of my leg was brusied all up the front and around the ankles and causing me some concern. An on-line physio said that it may be something quite serious and that I shouldn't play this weekend and watching the weather close in it looked as though the game was going to be called off.

The rain has meant that the paddock has been watered as such and this might help with the cracks on the wicket that were looking to get out of hand. I've been over there this afternoon and raked the areas where the cracks are and sown the last of my grass seed. Tomorrow I'm hoping to cover the seed and re-roll the bowling area. The forecast for tomorrow is sunshine and some possible showers.