We had a knock about as usual while the weather lasts over at the Tennis courts at the Rec. We took a couple of cans of spray paint and marked out the crease lines as well.
A couple of Ben's mates joined us it and it seems that Cricket at Billericay school is most definitely on the agenda as these 2 kids are playing it at lunch time in their sports hall. Apparently its very informal with a teacher sitting on the sidelines eating his lunch who just looks up every now and then and shouts 'Change' so that the bowlers and batsmen rotate ocassionally. One of the Kids, Kieran, who's dead sporty seems to be really benefitting from it as he's gone from being a poor bowler a few weeks ago to a half decent bowler on the basis of todays knock about. The other kid Ozan has got some catching up to do as he spends 95% of his life on You Tube or Xbox PS3 type games. We play a couple of different formats dependent on who's around, because it's a double tennis court area with a big fence round it, it's like indoor cricket to some degree, the important thing being even if there's just 3 of us, the fence means the balls never a few seconds away from being retrieved and ready to bowl again.
I'm hoping that we can get 5 of us over there on a regular basis as that means that we have two blokes batting and we work on forming good partnerships installing the need for good communication, backing up with both the fielding and the batting. We have a couple of cones that we place either side of the bowlerand fours and sixes can only be scored inside the cones (through the coloured area in the image). If the ball is struck along the ground between these cones that gains the bat 2 runs without having to run and a ball struck through the air hitting the fence gains 4 runs. Sixes can only be scored through the same region and they have to go over the fence, which in a cricket maych would be equivalent of striking the ball over the bowler and mid on and mid off. This set of rules encourages them and me to play straight back down the wicket. The ball hit elsewhere over the fence is out so again this encourage playing the ball late so that it stays low.
I'm also now (see below) adding a competitive element to the procedure in that I'm logging the scores and some of the stats as this hopefully will encourage a different dynamic to the game - Pressure. Last week Ben and Kieran who are good mates and extremely competitive posted a batting partnership of 28 and twice now two different partnerships have got within a whisker of equalling their 28. The partnership that is most likely to achieve this is Joe and I and again we came within 2 runs of equalling their 28. Joe was on strike today when we were 2 away from equalling and Kieran was bowling. He offered up a slower ball just outside off and Joe's bat was through it too early looking to hit the ball through cover and it just went straight up in the air and Kieran was able to take a catch for a bowled and caught.
Last week when they set the 28, there was a similar situation where Kieran's Mum who's sporty and extremely competitive was batting with me and the two boys looked as though they were going to be usurped by their parents one of whom was Keiran's Mum "We'll never hear the last of this if she beats us" said Kieran. In that situation with it looking very likely that we were going to set a new high score again Kieran bowled a similar ball and his Mum played it too early and Ben who I think was behind the stumps ran 40-50' towards Mid wicket to take a pressure catch to keep their total.
The good thing about the partnership aspect is that the individuals runs get forgotten and they play as a team, so I'm more than up for working with them with this format, just need a few more fielders.