Sunday, May 18, 2014

B&PCC 4th XI v Loughton CC 5th XI May 17th

B&PCC 4th XI v Loughton CC 5th XI May 17th

So, Loughton again, a couple of weeks ago we played a friendly match and were massacred by their 3rd XI. This time we were up against the 5ths and we had some good batsmen in the team and plenty of bowling in a variety of forms. Leading up to the match I lost my Chinaman bowler to the dreaded GCSE's; this kid is taking his GCSE's very seriously which is commendable I have to say and he was replaced by John Bedford who I thought had stopped playing, but a good addition to the team. On Friday night it looked as though I had another full team and there were no problems.

Saturday morning I woke up to a muggy warm day with the sun coming through thin cloud it looked as though we'd be on for a bit of a scorcher. All the stuff leading up to getting in the car and heading to the ground came together okay and I picked up Yash Patel one of our younger batsmen. The team this week looked like this...

Player Profiles per batting order

1. Lee Dutton - 4th XI regular right arm off-spinning all rounder.
2. John Bedford - Regular 3rd XI player not played for a year though
3.Tony Harms - 3rd game after years of being away from the game - bowler?

4.Yash Patel - 17 year old 2nd XI batsman scored 200 + last year in 4th XI game
5.Frank McLeod - Very experienced batsman 3rd XI regular
6.Mitchell McLeod - Under 15s player, plays in both 4th & 3rd XI
7. Gary Savage - 2nd game after several years of in retirement. Experienced player.
8.  Stuart Munday - 3rd game - coming out of long term retirement (All rounder)? With experience.

9.Liam Harms U15's bowler, 2nd ever adult league game 3rd game of cricket ever in any format!!!
10.Dave Thompson - 4th XI regular (Wrist Spinner).

11. Ben Thompson - 15's bowler & 4th XI player (2nd season).

A lot of these players have years of experience and are good batmen. The other thing is - every player here bowls, so my approach was to give the younger bowlers a chance first up and then the middle order blokes who can bat as well a chance later in the game. The blokes I had in mind to bat up the order, I had them bowling later in the game if at all. I asked some of them at the start of the game whether they wanted a bowl and some of them declined or seemed indifferent, so they were excluded at that point unless something bad occurred. They were there if needed.

We did the toss and I won, on advice from my tactical advisors we had a bowl which is the option I'd have gone for. I always like the idea of knowing what you're going to have to do with the bat.

Ben, my older son opened the bowling and got off to a good start taking his first wicket off the last ball of the over, can't remember what happened exactly, but Yash Patel took a catch. Ben was also called for a no ball that went for 4, it was for stepping over the popping crease line. He was called several times over his 10 overs, but I was fielding quite near the umpire and it looked to me as though he was okay most of the time? His 2nd wicket came in his second spell after being moaned at by Frank, who at this point had put on the gloves and was wicket keeping. Ben had sent a few balls down the legside and Frank wasn't happy telling Ben he needed to bowl full, down the off-side. Ben hates that, his view is...
"Why the hell do they say that, you're embarrassed as it is for doing it and more often than not, it's cost you runs, why do they say 'Line and length - Ben line and length' it's not like I don't know is it'?
But despite that he then did take it on board and didn't allow it to wind him up, instead he said I remembered what Jack Farrington had said at one of the under 15's training sessions to look at a point on the crease and aim at it and lo and behold he hit the off-stump bail and broke it! He came away with 10-0-22-2, bringing his total to 22-2-86-3 so far this season from the records that I've got so far.

I wasn't even sure whether I'd bowl or not, there were still 2 good bowlers who hadn't bowled, John Bedford and Lee Dutton. Lee hadn't bowled too well last week and John when asked seemed completely indifferent and knowing that they were going to be up the batting order I wasn't sure what to do. Thankfully Lee approached me and said that I should have a go...

We took Mitchell off and I then bowled from the pavilion end and right from the outset it went really well. I didn't feel confident enough to bowl the flipper and bowled my leg breaks and Top-Spinners. Again the two key things I did in this spell was to employ the stupidly loose grip and to try and stay relaxed and sure enough it worked fine. My length was good - full-ish and the batsmen found it difficult to get me away. One of the bats was well set (Tony Greywal) and was hitting sixes and fours at will and was heading towards his hundred, I joined the fray with him in the 80's, so he needed to be sorted. I set my field as below here...
Initially, despite one of the players making a comment regarding something about Cow corner and the frequency of balls going that way I had my No.9 and no.3 up just behind me to see how things would go bowling at the other batsman. If Greywal was still going to be going big they'd move back. I think they new intuitively that when I was bowling at the other bloke H.Ikram they'd come up and drop back to the boundary for Greywal. As it happened, realising that I was a 'Leg-Spinner' H.Ikram thought he'd have a pop at me and someone must have told Liam to drop back a bit because he went big smacking it back over my head looking to clear the boundary and with the over-spin and possible extra bounce he didn't middle it and it went more up than along and I watched as Liam settled himself and caught it perfectly! That so rarely happens I was well chuffed. Ikram was replaced by captain Peter Bridges and for the next 3 overs he struggled to get me away. Greywal hit me for a couple of 4's, but for the most part I was able to tie down whoever was there at the crease. Eventually Greywal came after me, doing exactly the same as H.Ikram smashing it over my head and again for whatever reason it was more up than along and Liam again had all the time in the world to settle himself and caught the ball beautifully.

I bowled okay, pretty well by most accounts with loads of encouragement from most quarters. A few balls strayed down the legside, but I'm not that fussed about them, sometimes they hit a bit of rough and come back in on the stumps, other times the batsman mis-hits them and the bloke round the corner takes a catch. As Frank says 'Don't worry about the last ball, think about the next one'. The main thing I have to keep in mind is the loose grip and not to get tense, when that's all under control I tend to bowl okay, so today I came away with 4-1-10-2 bringing my running total as far as I can make out to 18-2-71-5 a strike rate of 21.6.

The best bowling came from Yash Patel, he normally plays in the 2nd XI as a batsman and doesn't bowl that much, but in this game he was the only other pace bowler as such with the exception of Mitchell, but he was keeping. Yash came away with figures of 10.2-1-38-4, so a very impressive couple of bowling spells and again 3 of the four wickets as a result of catches being taken. Liam, Tony and Lee Dutton to finish the game off.

Gary Savage bowled a tight 6 overs with a wicket maiden, coming away with 6-2-15-1, so he's an asset in the games. In the 2 games so far his figures are 9-2-31-3 so a very good strike rate of 18
Running totals of the bowlers

Dave Thompson - 18-2-71-5 a strike rate of 21.6.
Ben Thompson - 22-2-86-3 a strike rate of 44
Lee Dutton - 7-0-69-1 a strike rate of 49
Gary Savage - 9-2-31-3 a strike rate of 18

They only had 10 players and we managed to bowl them all out for 166. I think the general consensus was that we'd done okay and all we needed to do now was chase that figure. Looking around at all the batting experience within the team and from what Dave Ayres had said it looked like my first win might be on it's way. But someone had said in the previous days... "Even though this is a 5th XI, this is a big team with a lot of players, they're not going to be a pushover".

I picked the team with a little bit of input, but because Lee, John Bedford and Tony Harms hadn't bowled I put them all at the top. I had the impression Frank likes to bat around no.5 and I put Mitchell in at six. It looked promising - batting all the way down to No.8 because both Stuart and Gary bat well too. But no-one took into account the bowling of Mo Ali Layoria and Peter Nicholls, within a matter of a few minutes people were scrambling to get their pads on because wickets were falling rapidly!

See below... Once Frank McLeod had gone for 9, I knew it was a lost cause. But the two openers were exceptionally good and Mo Ali Layoria is a 15 year old lad and not massive or tall, but obviously bowls exceptionally well!

The bloke who bowled me must have had a laugh - set me up good and prope.. several straight balls, varying the pace, some loopy trying to tempt me to have a go and then he offered one up wide and loopy and my eyes lit up and I popped it into the hands of the bloke at cover.

The weather was nice, our bowling looked good and did the job, so all in all it was okay. So that's two losses now, fingers crossed at home next Saturday it'll be a little better? The scoring was okay, I got lost a little during Mo Ali's 3rd over when he bowled all sorts, but when it all tallied up it was only a few out. I need to try harder.

I was hoping to shoot more pictures, but it's obvious being the captain isn't conducive with doing so.