So with the weather fine at around 25 degrees centigrade and hardly any wind the game got underway. B&PCC were fielding first which is always my preferred option. Harry Davie opened the bowling with some of his pace bowling. He was unlucky to get another wicket when my Joe (Thompson) was unable to hold on to a ball at Mid wicket. Their batsmen were a bit shakey with their communication between each other and the B&P boys missed out on a few run out opportunities in the first 3 or 4 overs when the ball should have been returned to the bowlers end rather than the wicket keepers.
The impression I had was that they'd put in their better batsmen and they dealt with Harry's bowling quite well, scoring a couple of runs through inept fielding from some of our blokes - primarily not using the long barrier and balls going along the ground on at least one occasion going through 2 fielders hands!
Travis Singelton bowled superbly and could have come away with a wicket but had a dolly dropped off of his bowling. Ben similarly might have taken 3 wickets but had one of his dropped too. He also was hit for 4 which should have been stopped as it went straight to one of our fielders that again must have seen all of the previous runs not being stopped, but still didn't get his leg down for a long barrier which would have limited the runs to a single if that.
The little and younger boys did the best and came away with some good bowling figures, Joe Franks was doing really well bowling off a short run up and tossing the ball up, but then made the fatal mistake of assuming that a long run up and bowling faster would get him wickets, as soon as he did that his bowling went pear-shaped, but he realised and reverted back to slower loopier bowling.
The best of the bowlers were as follows
Joe Thompson with an average of 1.5 + a Wicket Maiden; Travis Singleton with an average of 1.5 + a maiden; Joe Davie average of 1.5 + a wicket; Alfied Davie average of 2.5 + 2 wickets so potentially he might work out overall as the best with good economy but 2 wickets, meaning his strike rate is a wicket per over. Followed by Ben Thompson with the same strike rate but an average of 3.5. Harry Davie works out as an average of 3.3 with a strike rate of 1 wicket every 3 overs. The most expensive was batsman Frank Farrington with an average of 5 with no wickets or maidens.
The most effective bowlers as in real cricket were the slow bowlers, the ones that toss the ball up, that the batsmen have to go after and make some effort to get the ball out of the park. Inevitably in their attempts to make runs and therefore show no respect for the slow bowlers they come unstuck and find themselves losing the game for their team. The pick of our bowlers as with their team were the slow bowlers. Their teams best bowler was James Hedges who was seemingly brought in at the end as an after-thought because no-doubt they're as deluded as most cricket people in assuming fast bowling is the answer to their woes. Maybe people should look at Grimmett, Benaud, Tiger O'Reilly, Murali and Shane Warne and examine their stats before putting on the slow bowlers as an obligation rather than as a strategy? Maybe Anthony Ayres the captain for B&PCC has something about him with regards this captaincy lark and perhaps that's because he's the wicket keeper and he sees what's going on from a different perspective?
At an average of 1.5, a strike rate of a wicket per over and a double wicket maiden I make James Hedges the 'Man of the match'. Well done James Hedges of Rayleigh! I did note that his 2nd over was faster and flatter and you can see the effect this had in comparison with his first over!
Rayleigh held back a couple of their better batsmen and made a spirited attempt at getting the run rate up, they demonstrated some good running between the wickets nicking some singles. Joe Franks was unlucky at the end of the game with a catch dropped at point and Frank similarly unlucky with an edged ball being put down.
Overall the bowling was superb with only 5 wides being bowled throughout everyones innings and the only no-ball was Joe's (Thompson) so that means he actually only went for one run off his 2 overs and incurred 2 runs for a no-ball. Looking again at the scores most of the lads bowled amazingly well with a lot of their runs being incurred though the wides and no-balls!
The conclusion I have to draw from the game is that if you're going to bowl fast, like the Aussie Shaun Tait in the recent 5th day of the one dayers the ball has to be on the stumps. If there's any width the balls going to come off the edge of the bat and go for runs. If you're going to bowl fast you need to practice and practice a lot, but then if you do that as a youngster you're going to cause yourself problems with injuries that might then last a lifetime.
Batting weirdy (Even in Ben's opinion) Anthony put Ben in to open the batting, but that may have been psychology at play, in which case a clever move. Their team seeing Ben take up guard and being one of the bigger and older looking boys in the team may have assumed that they'd be seeing the ball flying to the boundaries on a consistent basis! Ben did well in his first over, he didn't give away his wicket, but didn't make any runs. In his second over he lost his wicket and didn't make any runs, so there's some work to do there. His mistake was being too early on the ball and hitting it straight to cover. Joe on the other hand made 4 runs and was bowled by the slow bowler James Hedges offering up a flighted ball that looked as though it was there to be hit for six, but it was straight and Joe should have erred on the side of caution and blocked it, but his eyes lit up and he could sense the glory of his first boundary and his PB beckoning! A big heave at fresh air and the clatter of bails 1/2 a second later!
The star of the batting was Frank Farrington with 20 off 2 overs including 3 fours and keeping his wicket. Some of the other lads hit fours but had their total somewhat negated by the fact that they lost their wicket once. Harry Davie done exceptionally well scoring 3 x fours and a single bagging himself 13 and not out. Joe Franks and Anthony also batted well but gave away their wickets.
Even though he is my son I've got to mention Joe (Thompson) and his exemplary demonstration of running between the stumps, which I reckon he does better than anyone else and has no interest in keeping strike with pretentions of being better than anyone esle. If there's a run there, he'll take it and let the other bloke, be it bigger or smaller than him, with or without more potential to score runs Joe will run a quick single with a very clear Yes! or No! and waiting or Looking ! when the balls in the field potentially being fielded. As the bowler goes into his delivery Joe's off down the track ready for the quick single, with a very clear yes at the appropriate time creating pressure in the field and keeping the score turning over and his partnership with Joe Franks meant that Joe F was able to hit the fours and put the game beyond the Rayleigh boys.
Joe finishes his innings having put on a brilliant display of how to run between the wickets and communicate with the batsman on strike.
Unfortunately this image above was of Harry Davey Ben and Joe, but because of issues relating to child protection Harry Davey has had to be omitted. Simialrly there was a good image of Anthony Ayres I'd have used but can't.