Sunday, May 04, 2014

Match 02 - B&PCC mash up v Loughton 3rd XI

Joe preparing for his first Adult game
This weekend was supposed to be my first outing as the 4th XI captain in an inter-club match with our 3rd XI. That was replaced by a friendly against Loughton CC's 3rd XI. The intention was that  we were going to get a team out combining players from our 3rds and 4ths. In reality it came down to a team made up of small boys, 4th XI players and one 3rd XI player. This is what happened...

We set off quite late and then got held up in the traffic and ended up getting lost as we approached the pitch. After some faffing about and with the help of Ben's phone we arrived about 5 mins late thankfully to find that the match start time had been put forwards to 1.30.

The wicket at Loughton
The facilities at Loughton and their 3rd XI blokes.

Looking around, the team I expected to see wasn't there, I knew it was going to be a bit iffy because I'd been asked to take along my 12 year old son Joe who plays in the U13's! But worse still, all of the Loughton players looked like 3rd XI types - for the most part, blokes in their mid 20's through to mid 30's and they were already all there with a full team plus what appeared to be spare blokes too!

An un-impressed Ben
We weren't the last players and our last 4 turned up 10 mins before the start and we could now see the task ahead was going to be an uphill struggle. Ben was not impressed, realising we were about to be mullered. Our team was made up of the following...

  1. Ben Thompson (15) My older son (Bowler)
  2. Nial Da Silva - Adult, 3rd XI player (All rounder)
  3. Harrison Birch (15) all rounder
  4. Mr Munday (New Bloke come out of retirement in his 50's?)
  5. Me (Dave Thompson) Wrist Spinner (53)
  6. Tom Hardy (16) Chinaman
  7. Harn Jnr (14)? New kid only just started to play cricket today, never played in any team before!
  8. Harn Snr Adult, hadn't played cricket for 10 years coming out of retirement fist game.
  9. Vanders - Wicket Keeper batsman 3rd XI player
  10. Mitchell McLeod (15) Good all-rounder and wicket keeper.
  11. Joe Thompson (12) U13's player at our club (Bowler).
We fielded first. I'm guessing that was always going to be the case, there'd at least be a bit of a game that way, where we'd try and get them out before they scored 400 + off of 40 overs? Then face the inevitable.

That's kind of how it looked as though it was going to pan out. Ben was given the ball first and had a reasonable over only allowing a 4 to spoil the first over and then as expected it went down hill. None of the pace bowlers made any in-roads and the two batsmen quickly settled and were hitting 4's and 6's readily. The main batsman who went on to score 100 + "Nali" was dropped off of a dolly by Harrison Birch off of Nials bowling - the ball being spooned up into the air for what looked like the easiest of catches at Cover. He'd have been dismissed short of his 50 at that point.

Vanders (The captain) brought on Munday and he made an impact taking Notley's wicket with his 4th ball for 17, he looked as though at that point he might be on for a good score and we were optimistic at this point that we might still be in the game. Nali had other ideas and took a fancy to Mundays bowling and started carting him around the pitch for 4's and 6's with relative ease.

Harrison took a wicket clean bowling B Sly, but this was around the time that the game was going away from us. Every time I walked past Ben at the end of each game he said 'I hate it'! He wasn't in a good mood after going for 4-0-36-0, but he never practices outside of net sessions these days.

Nali, retired thankfully and Tom Hardy and I were brought on after drinks. We did okay. I started off a little shaky, but the batsmen were fresh to the crease and cautious to start off with so it panned out okay despite bowling fairly short, but then I found my line and length and things got a little better. I was happy with what I came away with 4-0- 15 - 0. Tom on the other hand with his Chinaman bowling came away with 4-0-25-2 making him the best bowler of the day. The other two new blokes - the father and son outfit (Harns) both had a bowl but again were carted around the pitch. But the kid considering this was his first real game was good.

They retired their players and allowed most if not all of them to have a bat and eventually they retired  with the score at 33 overs on 290. I was hoping that Joe would have a chance of bowling against the lower order bats, but Vanders put himself on to bowl and it was at that point they called it a day, so Joe missed out although he was well up for it. But Vanders then said Joe could bat at No.3 as he'd missed out on the bowling.

Our bowling figures
The oppositions bowling was like a 3rd XI's bowling e.g. better than the stuff we'd see at 4th XI level. Wickets soon fell with a few of us getting ducks including me. Joe found himself facing a bloke who was about 20 years old and bowling very well. Joe was crapping  himself, but the first ball up showed no mercy whatsoever, but Joe got an edge on it and it sailed through the slips cordon of 5 players for 4! So Joe's first touch in an adult game at the age of 12 and he hits a boundary! He didn't last long though, a dot ball followed and he was out the next ball caught behind.

Harrison Birch was out for 0 caught at cover off of an identical ball to the one that he dropped off of Nials bowling. Ben was up next swinging the bat like mad and he caught one that sailed over the top of the fielders for 4. He lasted a few more and was bowled by S.Godding the bowler that was destroying our batting line-up. That brought me to the crease and I managed to block for a couple of overs against the bloke Godding who broke both the stump and the bails bowling at Harrison, but it was the other bloke Ahmeds bowling I didn't like - slightly slower and swinging a little. It was him in the end that got me off the faintest of edges. Neither he or the wicket keeper who caught it seemed to be interested, but the other fielders in the slips cordon were and after what felt like ages Tom did a Rudi Koertzen with a slow raise of the finger condemning me. Nial, Vanders and Mitchell all had a go, but without any support it was a lost cause and the inevitable came to pass.
Tom Hardy waiting to bat.

The batting figures and the final score
Ben hated it, all the way through, but I enjoyed it, it was one of my ambitions full-filled, as I'd played cricket with both my sons in a match. It'd been nice if Joe had bowled, but they'd both got runs whereas I  hadn't. In addition Joe had been thrown in the deep end with batting at No.3 and he also did a long old stint as the umpire doing square leg and the bowling end. Not only that, he had to make decisions about appeals - one on Ben for an edge, that Joe didn't buy into and one on Vanders the captain - that he gave out plum LBW. So I was suitably proud of him.

Next week a proper league game and I'll be in charge. I just hope I get some players and we can make a fist of it, otherwise if it's like this every week I don't think Ben will sustain it. My other concern about the coming weekend is that I've heard nothing with regards to whether I've been allocated a tea lady or if it's my problem to sort out a tea lady -in which case I'm up whatsname creek!!!

Oh yeah - I almost forgot! This was my first ever match with both my sons...

My running total currently (2 games) is 8-1-29-2