Sunday, July 10, 2011

Coaching Wrist Spin and getting it right.

It was my younger son Joe's 10th birthday Saturday and we had his cousins come down from Derby today. Initially they were supposed to have a arrived in the morning so their two games were side-lined and it looked like a cricket - less weekend was on the cards. Which was a great shame as you'll see below. Then on Thursday the travel schedule changed and after some texts they both got a game at the inter-club game at Mopsies our home ground. Ben missed out on a an away match at Pegasus in Corringham.

But the good thing that came about from the inter-club match was that I had a chat with Franks Dad (Mark)? Frank had played away in one of his District games and bowled wrist spin, seemingly for the first time and at the end of the match the District coaches had a chat with Franks Dad. They were very pleased that Frank had taken up Wrist Spinning and were impressed with his bowling in the match, even though it may have been the case that Frank hadn't taken any wickets. But the bit that was of more interest to me personally was what Franks Dad said about their assessment of Franks bowling and what he should be doing - going forward with it. He said that they'd said exactly the same thing I had. They'd asked whether Frank was getting any coaching and Mark mentioned me. I think he explained that I'd said that as long as he was getting the ball to turn with his Leg Break ball, in the short term there was little need for anyone to go interfering with his action and they reiterated the same point. I think they added that the only real thing that was needed was encouragement and to look out for how he deals with bad days when he gets smacked all round the park. They also said that in the short term while he's playing within this age group (U11's) wickets might be in short supply because the kids he's playing with wont be that cricket savvy yet and wont be playing with the levels of commitment and skill to take the catches. As a kid Franks age gets older and gels with the team and the team become more committed in the field and fields are set to Franks bowling, more wickets are going to be taken off the bat. Interestingly though, bowling with Frank today he said that since taking up wrist spinning he's taken more wickets than he been taking with his seam up bowling, so the future for Frank looks bright. Another observation they made that I hadn't noticed in Franks bowling is that he keeps his head dead still and focused on his target which apparently is a good thing and it's something I also do in my own bowling.

Joe and Ben's inter-club match

This went okay, both Ben and Joe had fairly good matches. Joe bowled Frank out when he was batting - hitting the stumps, unfortunately I hadn't started video-ing at that point and missed it. Later Frank got his revenge getting Joe bowled and caught. Ben took a wicket off his 2 overs bowling George Barclay. Personally I'd like to see both Joe and Ben put a little more effort into their batting, so I was pleased to see that Ben was paired up with his mate Kieran who he socialises with. This pairing is potentially a good thing because it injects a level of competition which is perceived as being achievable and desirable and therefore creates an intrinsic desire to improve if only to beat your mate. Kieran is ridiculously competitive, so when he turns up at our house, I've only got to hint at getting the nets up in the paddock and having a practice and it induces a reaction not unsimilar to Pavlov's dog. This then means whereas Ben would normally turn down the offer of a practice he joins in as Kieran could potentially move forward with both his batting and his bowling!

Ben is the Captain of his Year 7 team at school (Brentwood County High School) and this additional cricket is helping to engage him with a number of aspects that might of readily passed him by otherwise - batting orders, fielding and the need to get quick runs and to not run each other out. So it appeared today that he and Kieran had discussed their approach to running between the stumps and that they had a plan before they went out and it appeared to work. For a start it looked like they were definitely working as a pair with neither of them looking to stay on strike, so at every opportunity on byes, leg byes, wides, no-balls and mis-fields they were taking singles and two's so this meant that they were rotating the strike. The also looked as though they were looking to hit the ball as well as Ben hit 2 fours and 2 or 3 balls that were fielded on the boundary and Kieran almost did the same. I think by the end of their 4 overs as a pair they had acumulated 19 runs, but they had also suffered a run out and Ben had also been bowled. But overall a promising start to a potential batting partnership.

U13's B&PCC v Pegasus CC

Meanwhile in the match that Ben missed out on this was happening...........

Match report by Dave Ayres.....

The setting for the latest fixture for the U13 boys was the picturesque Pegasus & Corringham ground, a beautiful backdrop for what would turn out to be a beautiful day for the boys.

Skipper Mitchell McLeod lost the toss, and so Basildon & Pitsea were sent in to bat first. With the run rate skipping along at a healthy 6 an over, Sonny Downes was the first to walk the stairs with 25 in his back pocket and raptuous applause from the visiting crowd. The rate slowed a little in the middle overs, as some tighter bowling was faced, however not to be held back for too long Regan Mead got up to 26, and in doing so took his 6th retirement of the season; a remarkable achievement. McLeod skied one and was caught for 6, and Jack Green was just a yard short for a run out for 6, however runs from Harrison Morris who finished 20 not out and Nathan Hubble, who did not score left B&P on 112/2 off 20 overs.

After tea, B&P set about the Pegasus batting, and a perverbial lamb was slaughtered, as wicket after wicket tumbled in fairly regular fashion. Harrison Birch opened the bowling, and his second ball got the first wicket, Mead taking a catch near the boundary and the opener was back in the clubhouse on 0. The next ball put the number 3 sitting next to the no 1 back in the clubhouse, the stumps shattered for 0. At the other end in the next over, Harrison Morris trapped the no 2 LBW for 0, and the last ball of the over saw the no 4 take the walk bowled, and the score was 2/4.

The next over Pegasus showed some fight, however in the 4th Harrison Morris struck again, the no6 bat LBW, and the score 14/5. A change of bowling saw Ryan Davies get into the act also; his first over saw the no5 hit it straight to Birch for 10 and the fight was all but over. A Maiden followed for Morris, and then Davies struck again; same result caught Birch and the no8 was off for 0.

Everyone wanted a bowl now (including the manager, coaches and the President on the boundary) however Green was given the ball for the next over, and the same result; the no9 LBW and just 5 scored. In the 9th over, Harry Davie bagged a wicket maiden; the no7 who had so far avoided facing a ball suddenly spooned one up and Tom Hardy gratefully recieved for 0. All that was left was for the skipper to bowl the 10th, and Tom Hardy to take the catch off the last ball of the over to send the no10 back for 3, and the innings over for 25.

In short, not since the Romans invaded has there been such carnage in Corringham; a display of bowling and fielding which those that wear the badge have witnessed since who knows when. Unless results conspire against the team, there will be the small matter of a game or two late August for the boys.....