Sunday, June 13, 2010

A game at last!

Checked out the playcricket website earlier in the week and there were no Sunday games posted up for Grays and no-one contacted me during the week leading up to the weekend, so when B&PCC contacted me saying they needed players on Sunday I once again jumped at the chance.

Ben and Joe have their best game to date with B&PCC U 11's

Both of them recorded their personal best batting scores and both didn't give away their wickets which in this form of the game (Terrier Cricket) concedes the loss of 5 runs. The key to the game seems to be to defend straight balls and look to score runs off the loose balls, but the pirmary objective is to not get bowled or hit the balls into the air to get yourself dismissed. Which to me sounds like a pretty clever form of the game for kids to learn with. I've heard of kids being encouraged to try and hit the ball big in this format and end up at the end of the season with a deficit of runs because of all the dismissals they incurred in between hitting the fours and sixes. This same strategy also means games are lost whereas the same kids who obviously have a good eye-ball combination would potentially come away at the end of the season with a high run tally if they played straight and listened to the coaches.
Ben and Joe so far this year have been a lot more successful with thier retention of their wickets and are slowly growing in confidence with their batting. Joe especially who seems to be paired each week with Harry Davy an older and bigger lad is doing well and is a more focussed batsman than his bigger brother Ben. Joe's good with the calling and is always halfway down the wicket once the bowler has passed him in his delivery and I think he understands that Harry is a better batsman and looks to get Harry on strike. Harry's not as vocal as Joe but Joe says that he gives him the nod when he's going to run.
If you look at the scores Frank did best scoring 12 with Harry and Ben coming second scoring 7 runs each and then Joe in equal 3rd place with Anthony, so not bad for a couple of bowlers. It wont be long before they pass my personal best of 9 which I scored in my first game ever and have never been able to match since. One of the highlights of Ben's innings was his 4, a lovely straight-bat cover drive which John mentioned the next day in training.

The details will follow through the week along with some images.

But some of the headlines..............

B&PCC v Harold Wood CC - away

Slipped and twisted my knee fielding

Quite early in the game fielding at Mid-off, the ball came at me at some speed going to my right and I think I set off after it and realised I'd over done it and was going to over-shoot where the ball was going to come through so I kind of dragged my back foot to brake and leaned back towards the back foot where the ball was now heading. My back leg which was now bearing all the weight slipped and buckled under me having to give at the knee to accomodate all the re-direction of my body weight and twisted my knee joint in the inner leg region. It hurt and for a moment I thought I was going to have to go off. All this on top of the fact that I'm increasingly suffering from the plantar faciitus which already now limits my running abilities. So that was sore from about the 9th over through to the drink break at 20 overs. Then I got one of those tubi-grip sleeves and put in on the leg for support and it worked a treat through my 7 overs and right through till the end of the game. Sitting here now it feels like it's going to seize up over night and be really stiff in the morning?

My Bowling
As usual of late I was pitched in amongst a couple of blokes that were well set and looking to score big totals. The seamers had all done their jobs and Pinno the Spinno who'd had a practice in the nets at Mopsies before we came seemingly had ruled himself out of the bowling, so I was the only spin option. So with my list of injuries and recent run of bad form and lacking in confidence I gave it a go keeping in mind that if the leg-breaks didn't work out I could turn to the Flipper variations.

Pulled off some pretty impressive dives in the field one at Mid-off going to my right and one at Point protecting a short boundary again going to my right.
Took a wicket - actually hit the stumps on a wicket that wasn't offering any assistance, got one to turn into the batsman (Wrong Un) hit middle. 7-0-54-1 so not that good, but a wicket nonetheless.
The Big Leg Break
They had some half decent nets at the grounds at Harold Wood so I was able to have a bit of a bowl and tried bowling the Biggun and it came out well, good line and length differing degrees of turn off the wicket. I was almost tempted to try it in the game, but bottled out. Interestingly looking at the Richie Benauds Master class video uploaded by Golden Arm I noted that he also advocates learning to spin the ball hard first and then add the accuracy later - saying that it can take up to 4 years to get the accuracy aspect sorted. So what with how it went in the nets today I'm kind of enthused and as soon as my leg allows me I'll be focusing on spinning the ball hard and working on some accuracy.
My Batting
Once again I batted at No.11 but in front of me was ***** and he's a pretty good batsman so I was fairly optimistic about my batting prospects. The wickets in front of me had fallen in pretty quick succession from some medium pace and slow bowling and the word was that it was straight and not turning or doing anything off the pitch so as long as I defended and played the loose balls there might be some runs to be had and there were overs in hand (5 or 6). The first few balls were on the money and I just blocked - this was facing the slow bowler who was tossing them up tempting me to have a go and I resisted. One ball went down the legside and I hit that with my one-handed shot that I seem to have developed. The next ball off the slow bowler was a full toss outside of the Off-stump so I had that away over the top of mid-wicket but to the longer boundary and I got three runs. That ball was the last of the over which meant I was back on strike to the very straight medium pace bowler. I blocked the ball fairly well, but then the bloke put one down the legside and I hit the ball with my one-handed legside shot and there was a Legslip waiting there and that was the end of me. So I've been caught by Leg-Slip fielders twice now recently, so I'll have to keep an eye on them.