Friday, May 20, 2016

B&PCC v Leigh on Sea CC 14th May 2016 3rd XI

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The first home game Saturday 14th.


The forecast leading up to the game was one of bright and breezy with the wind being North Easterly and therefore from the Arctic, so the temperature was due to be about 16 degrees, which’ll be fine if the wind is light. Joe and I had a look at the wicket a few nights ago and it looked okay. The outfield looked pretty lush and thick so again any balls along the ground are not going to reach the boundary when we hit them. No doubt the opposition will be well armed with wanna-be Chris Gayles and they’ll take the aerial route! When I last looked it looked as though we’d be pretty short of batting again other than John Bedford and Dutton. Or will 13 year old Travis Singleton have another good day and score some runs for us?


Gutted, 11 o'clock at night I get a call from Luke Daw asking if Joe and I can play at Leigh-On-Sea in the 3rd XI. Having answered the text I then noticed that during the day, Phil had sent a couple of other text messages asking if Ben wanted to play. Ben's not played for two years.  Very reluctantly we took a hit and agreed which totally screws up everything for us...


1. Michelle's then stuck at home without a car.

2. I was going to shoot pictures of the 4th XI team for a project at college, that's now screwed.

3. Less of a chance that we'll get a shed load of overs to bowl and we'll bat at 10 and 11.

We weren't happy, we were looking forward to a game at home in the 4's.

When we got there, it turned out there was loads of swapping around done last night and the teams looked nothing like those that were last posted on the website last. We were a man short and had to play with the following players...


1. Phil Murdoch

2. Chris Debond *#

3. Mike Blerkom

4. Dave Thompson #

5. Farhan Malik *

6. Anthony Ayres

7. Joe Thompson

8. Brandon Debond *

9. Josh Debond *

10. Charlie Blerkom


  • Finger Spinners #Wrist Spinners

 As we drove to the same venue as last week Joe said "I hope we bat first today". The outcome of the toss was they won and opted to field.

Batting got off to a decent start, but then faltered (I didn't photograph the batting stats). Chris Debond was rattling along at good pace, but then was caught at extra cover by a fantastic catch by 'Jeddy' - looking over his shoulder watching the ball and running in the direction the ball was going he had to dive at the last second to get to the ball, the dive was a massive full length one with a big impact landing and he still hung onto it. Very impressive.

Around 20 overs or so it wasn't looking that clever and Pat Ayres who was scoring said it looked like 120 was possible, then Mike Blerkom got into gear and started to make a difference after a slow-ish start. Anthony Ayres towards the end of the game made some vital runs riding his luck being put down a couple of times, but at the end of the game with me facing the last ball of the match and hitting it and running 3 with Farhan being run-out in the process we reached 170 which seemed defendable.

Joe who batted at 9 was told the same as me... "Swing at it". Went for 0 - clean bowled and was part of a team hat-trick orchestrated by their bloke Jeddy.

 Spinners on their team...

 J.Elliott - Left arm orthodox (finger spinner)

H.Jeddy - Right arm finger spinner.

 I asked about Leg-Spinners in their team and they said they never had them, I then asked what about in the club? They all looked at each other, one of them then said...

"Er... there's a bloke who's just joined the club and I think someone said he bowled leg-spin... If he does, he's the only bloke in the whole club as far as I'm aware and I'm not 100% sure even if he does".

"What about finger spinners"?

"Yeah we've got loads of them - two in the squad today".

After a half decent tea, we took the field to see what we could do. I didn't have a clue as to how Joe or I would be deployed, I guessed that Joe would be amongst the openers in line with the fact that I'm fairly certain 'The Club' would like to see him playing at a higher level. If that is the case they need to handle him carefully because as with Ben, he's not that fussed on cricket and if you were to give him half a chance for not playing he'd be easily persuaded. He likes the 4th XI, but is reluctant to play in the 3rds. He's only 14 and enjoys the 4th XI games, I personally would advise the club to leave him in the 4th XI for this season and allow him to have the success that this will bring him and therefore grow his confidence. Then when needed as in the case of today, get him into the 3rds.

As you can see he was given the new ball and opened into the wind from the southern end, after being asked what end he wanted to bowl from. He should have bowled from the other end as he swings the ball from leg to off and the wind would have assisted him with this as it would have been with him diagonally, I need to talk to him about this and ask him if he realised that would have been the better option. He went with the opposite end as that's the end he bowled from last week when the wind was in the opposite direction.

As you can see below he bowled well taking two wickets and his first ever bowled and caught.


The fact that Joe was involved in a 3rd XI game and it was one that we won, will help with the integration of Joe into the other teams, but they will need to be careful how they handle him remembering that he is only 14. I think in time he will make the transition and I reckon in the longer term if I and the club can keep him in the game he'll want to move away from playing in the same team as me, it's just the nature of the beast. But, the trick will be to keep him on board and keeping him liking the game and liking the team he plays in, he doesn't take it too seriously and it bothers him when other people do and I think that's down to the fact that he's the age he is. As he gets older he'll naturally get more competitive and will understand other people's desire to win and their passion.

My bowling went well, both spells were spent bowling at the same two players. One an old bloke who’d already introduced himself by way of asking about our older player Wayne Morgan, When I asked him how he knew Wayne he said “Wayne’s our 12th Man, he normally plays in the Essex Vets 2nd XI team, but occasionally plays for us”. This bloke was one of the Spinners in their team neither of whom had spun the ball very much at all. The other player was a kid from the SEDCB district team that Joe’s practiced with all winter and will be playing with soon. With such a bad start it was obvious that they’d been put in at 9 and 10 to block out the game for a draw.

I still haven’t got my head around the new rules yet, but I noticed that the overs suddenly appeared on the score board after drinks and were counting up to what I thought was 20 and then someone said ‘Come on lads’ with 10 on the board ‘There’s only 6 more overs to get one of these two out’. I’d bowled tidily in the first spell - the kid had cut a leg-break poorly through backward point where Joe was fielding and it just about evaded him – far more uppish than he’d have hoped for, the ball dropping short and being fielded for two.

The 2nd spell was better because they’d got a sniff of getting batting points (125) and started to hit the ball more frequently rather than just blocking it. They rotated the strike well frequently hitting singles and had slowly edged their way to about 15 short of the 125 required for the points. As soon as they moved up a gear the chances started to come, the ball was in the air a lot, but luck was on their side as they moved ever closer to the 125, but with it came the sniff of victory for us. The last man who’d been sitting with his pads on now for nearly an hour and a half was visibly nervous even from right out here we could see his leg jigging up and down and he didn’t look as though he fancied his chances. We could sense that if we could either of these two we'd be in with a shout but they were more than competent batsman if left to defend and block for the draw, but greed was there for the batting points and it looked to be their un-doing. Both of them started to make mistakes, my bowling was good  - I wanted the old geezer and in the last 12 balls one of the balls broke and must have missed the edge of bat by billimeters! The kid couldn't pick the top spinner and that had him all at sea, but generally both of them being as good as they were dealt with the leg breaks quite well, but as soon as they went looking for runs and started to play their shots it started to fall apart at the seams.
Buzz played his part, him and Blerkom decided that they'd mix the bowling up, after my first spell I though that would be it, but I was brought back on again after Joe and Anthony had been deployed again with the fast stuff, but with the fast stuff brought runs and it was in this phase that they changed their mind set and looked to play their shots. Buzz changed the end that Anthony bowled from and in no time the kid was clean bowled and LOS were still a few runs short of the 125 that they were now looking for. This brought the nervous bloke on and within a few balls it was all over with and we'd won the game. The star of the game for us was Anthony Ayres with his

It was really good to be involved in a game where we'd won, but I still don't think one win will win Joe over and encourage him to play in the 3's more regularly. Yeah he enjoyed it, but he is just 14 and he's not obsessed with cricket in the same way that others are.
 The on-going tally between Joe and I as far as I can recall (I didn't copy the score sheet for the 1st friendly match).

Me - 14-0-52-3
Joe 26-2-65-4

Spinner count.

3 games down Finger spinners - 15, Wrist Spinners 6
 Chris Debond
 Mike Blerkon and Buzz
 Anthony Ayres
 Joe Thompson checking his bowling figures.
 Pat Ayres
 Joe Thompson happy having won the game.

J.Elliott bowling to Mike Blerkom