Friday, May 08, 2015

Basildon & Pitsea U15's v Thurrock 15's at Blackshots

As the day drew towards the evening the weather turned and I looked outside at 4pm and it was raining and the sky was grey with little hope of any potential improvement. On the train travelling west from Southend it looked as though the weather was worse in the west where the weather was coming from. Walked from the station in light rain and as I ate my dinner the rain got worse. Joe was ready and we checked all the social media for the inevitable cancellation notice and it wasn't there.

The manager for the U15's this year is Mark Farrington and I called him on my phone (First time I've turned it on since March)! and left a message. Looking outside it didn't look any better but the rain wasn't that heavy and I thought there may be a vague chance the game might be on still and decided we'd drive over and have a look.

It rained all the way albeit light and as we got within site of the pitch it was obvious that there were players there. Once we pulled up it soon became obvious that we were still short and as the start time approached we were still short of two players Mo and Abdul Baig. Then I realised that I had their Dads phone number and gave him a call. They were on their way but struggling with their Tomtom satnav thing.

The weather in the meantime had improved, the rain had stopped but it was grey. Thurrock won the toss and with the wicket wet, the light already really poor and us short of two players they decided to bat. Our lads with the first ball got off to a good start with my son Joe bowling okay and then Sam Good taking the wicket of 'Alex' with his first ball without making a run. Then in his second over Sam good got 'Sharma's' wicket cheaply caught by new kid 'Andrew' at Mid-off. Joe then followed that up with another wicket with a catch going to the impressive new kid Andrew this time at square leg.

Around about this time Abdul and 'Mo' Mohammed Baig turned up and joined the team making up the full team. The game was going well with 29 runs made off of 7 overs for 3. Frank Farrington the captain brought on the next two bowlers Abdul Baig and Tom Paul. Tom got a wicket with his brother taking the catch (Henry Paul) and the combination restricted the runs to a potentially  achievable total, subject to the light conditions as they were worsening by the minute. Then Frank brought on Mo Baig (Leg Spin Bowler) and this move turned the game massively in our favour. Mo's first ball was LBW and then he went on a rampage...
In his last over including the last ball of his spell, Mo took three wickets! In all he took 5 wickets for 13 off of 4 and this was his first under 15's game and he's still only 13 years old. The other thing was these weren't balls that were in the air, these were wickets where he hit the stumps including their in-form batsman 'Alfie'! So well done Mohammed Baig.

Thereafter the tail was cleaned up and with the light fading extremely quickly they all went off for a break and as far as I was concerned took far too long given that the light was quickly disappearing behind the horizon. No-one else seemed to think it was an issue and the opening batsmen Frank and Sam Jones seemed to dawdle on to the pitch as if the floodlights were going to come on any second. Initially they scored slowly, painfully slowly considering that the light was failing so quickly, for a while we were behind the run rate for the first 7-8 overs and then the run rate increased as Frank started to score runs.

To be continued...

The bloke that appeared to be Thurrocks manager, umpire and scorer all in one was the legendary Wrist Spinner Alex McLellan. We were blessed with a whole army of people to do a number of jobs. Despite being a one man show Alex did very well and hosted what was a very good game.