Thursday, May 12, 2016

First league match - this coming Saturday 7th May. B&PCC v Leigh-On-Sea CC

It’s Thursday as I type, the squad was posted up on the website on Tuesday and a few of the regulars appeared on the list along with some new names. See below.

 If you look there’s a new aspect to the squad list that identifies the ratio of finger-spinners to wrist spinners. I’m under the apparently misguided impression that there is a dearth of Wrist Spinners because it’s so easy to do and there are hardly any finger spinners because that’s so ridiculously difficult to do. So with the teams I play in over this season I’m going to try and identify the ratio between Wrist-Spinners and Finger-Spinners. At the moment I firmly believe that there are far more Finger Spinners than Wrist-Spinners but on there’s a bunch of people that are assuring me I’m very wrong, so we’ll see. Last week’s came as far as I’m concerned was packed with ‘Wristies’ as there were two of us one on each team, but in-line with my observations there were at least 4 finger spinners on my team and our team was bowled out cheaply before the finger spinners were deployed on their team, so there may have been more?

The weather has changed massively, the weekend was cold last week, but on Monday when we all went back to work the wind direction changed from northerly to southerly and now we’re into Spring proper with temperatures today in the low 20’s and by the weekend mid 20’s so we’re going from freezing our nuts off with three layers and coats to sun-bathing and shirts off at the weekend.

 Leigh-On-Sea are a new team for me and a new venue so hopefully there’ll be opportunities to shoot pavilions and report on whether their wicket is spin-friendly. I’ve not checked yet, but I reckon their ground must be ‘Belfairs’. We’ve gone down a league too, so we should do okay this season.

Injuries – I twisted my knee and pulled something last weekend, but this week I’ve not bowled or done anything to stress it any further, so have rested it, so hopefully with a knee support I’ll come through if I take it easy. As proved last week if I have to, I can bowl off of a Terry Jenner-esque two step walk in and still take wickets and that was against a 3rd XI team described as being strong, so hopefully it’ll come good this weekend.

Fitness – I’m not feeling it at the moment because of the crap weather at the start of spring, so if the knees recovered enough and I come through this weekend unscathed I’ll have to start working on fitness. My back has nearly fully recovered from a lifting/carrying injury, but thankfully doesn’t seem to be affected by my bowling, so hopefully I’ll get to bowl for more than 2 overs this weekend? Having said that there’s loads of names in the initial squad sheet that I don’t recognise and for all I know they may all be bowlers?

New rules – Aside from the 45 overs rule, I heard at the weekend that there’s a maximum bowling allowance. No-one is allowed to bowl any-more than 14 overs and this apparently is designed to stop ‘Old blokes’ from bowling the whole game from one end, which I’ve seen happen once before with a Southend EMT game at Langdon Hills, this they’re hoping will give kids a chance to bowl. With only 45 overs it looks as though I’d be dead lucky to get 14 overs in the future, our team usually has people queuing up to bowl and I reckon if you get 5 blokes bowling 9 overs each you’re going to be counting yourself lucky. My son Joe is usually given his full allocation of 12 because of his ability, and if he’s supported by another seam bowler doing a similar job, that’ll leave 21 overs for the rest of us to fight over, it doesn’t sound good at all especially if there’s more than 5 ‘Bowlers’ in the team.
First league game of the season and the good news is that we fielded 11 players…

Weather – Warm -22-23 degrees Centigrade, south easterly breeze 15-20 mph, with hazy cloud varying between 40%-60% cover. (We played on the wicket top left) Double click the image for an assessment of whether it was a spinning wicket

Lee Dutton* – Captain
Jamie Britton – Wicket Keeper.
Joe Thompson*
Dave Thompson@
Farhan Malik*
Abhinanadan Bidari
Gopal Viswanathan
Jayanand Shivapujimath
Steve Bonnett
Josh Debond*
Travis Singleton

* - Finger Spinners
@ - Wrist Spinners

 I asked the opposition about their spin options and they said they had one finger spinner, no Leg-Spinners, when I was talking about this Lee and another bloke joined in and said “You got a lot of kids a few years back trying Leg-Spin, but once they all got up to adult cricket they tended to disappear… it’s too hard, that’s why you get so many finger spinners, Leg-Spin is so much harder to bowl”.

The team had a very different look to it, with a lot of new blokes including two kids Josh and Travis who are only 13 years old. Tony and Liam Harms were not there and the word is because of Tony’s new job we wont be seeing him for a minimum of 5 weeks, whether that’s the same for Liam or not I’m not sure? Farhan has played in the 4’s before and possibly Gopal, but the other two blokes were new-comers.

 Dutton won the toss and with all the new blokes being unknown quantities opted to field. Before we went out I marked out my run-up from the end I wanted to bowl from (Southern end) and had a practice next to the wicket to see how my knee twist injury from last week was feeling and it was obvious that the new energetic run-up was a no-go, so there and then I decided to play it safe and come in off of a Terry Jenner two step approach to the crease if I was asked to bowl.

 Joe - was asked to open and I was at the other end with spin. Joe as always got off to a good start bowling seam up, he continued to do so all the way through both his spells, but he did say at the end he was at one point considering bowling some finger-spin, but opted not to.

Joe’s 2nd spell was the better of the two with two wickets being taken, the first wicket on the scorecard was a run-out by Jayanand. But the two wickets in the last over with the very last 2 balls were very good, as was the bowling around it, excellent length, getting the ball to swing away and go away off the seam. He was also unlucky in the first spell as a ball was hit straight to Steve Bonnett at Gully, a high ball that Steve jumped up to and parried upwards off the top of his fingers and not being able to gather, but he stopped it going for a certain four despite the state of the outfield.
My first spell went okay. One of the two first balls, possibly the first ball hit the bloke on the legs plumb as far as I was concerned - nice and full, but I didn't go up initially and then did so half heartedly and was turned down. Ball number three was exactly the same, but this time I went up for it and the batsman was on his way back to the sheds. With all the new blokes, Dutton was looking to give everyone a go, so I was off after 4 despite looking quite threatening. The 4's unfortunately were both wrong-uns that were a little short, and again the same in the 2nd spell, so that needs some work. Other than the handful of Wrong-Uns I kept it quite simple, there was very little on offer for spinner on this wicket and Lee was of the same opinion, so the order of the day was to pitch it up. No wides as you can see, which was pretty good, there were a few leg-side balls, which because they were pretty full, none of the blokes played that well. I had one ball that got through the gate, can't remember whether it was a wrong-un or a Leg-Break, but it hit the inside edge or something and deflected missing the leg-stump by a gnats breath.

The other thing I noticed when I was bowling was that one of the balls drifted a lot, drift isn't something I see with my bowling much, as I have very vertical arm normally, so I can only assume with this different two step 'Run-in' my arm must have come down a little or maybe it was the head wind which was blowing slightly left to right.
I found this drift aspect quite interesting, as last week the Leg-spinner at the Chelmsford game was getting loads of drift and it was obviously as a result of the Malinga style arm. In the past I've practiced with a much lower arm and done so with a good level of success, the ball turns more and drift as I recall was more evident. Along with that the ball turned more too. The thing I'd have to work on is getting it so that I could switch from a high arm and gradually bring it down and then go from high to low and still maintain accuracy. It's something I might work on Wednesday at nets next week.

Considering my knees knackered, it was an okay performance and with the wicket. The opposition were very complimentary about my bowling with a number of them commending me for bowling so well!
2-0-13-2 (last week)
This week 6-0-23-1
Grand Total - 8-0-36-3 plus this week I took a catch off of Lee Dutton's bowling.

Dutton came on a little later and bowled well, he was happy as he's starting to suffer from arthritis in his fingers and was saying that it hurt to bowl, plus last week he was involved in a car incident and suffered whiplash. When he was bowling he had me at Mid-on, and one of the better batsman hit a ball straight at me and I did virtually the same thing as I did last week and dropped it again. But I redeemed myself in the same spell where one of the blokes T.Bull who looked like a steady batsman hit one right up in the sky in my general direction. For a moment I'd written it off and then realised it was going up more than it was going along, so changed my mind and went after it and got myself in position. Lee was watching and said to himself Oh crap, this is going down as well (I'm not known for my success rate with high catches like this), but I caught it... not perfectly, but it stuck and the geezer was out... Nice.

5-0-15-1 Lee Dutton

Another surprisingly good bowling performance came from Travis Singleton, who's only 13 he bowled as per below...

Batting Yeah this didn't go so well as you can see from the sorry looking scores below. 2 new blokes top scored Jayanand below and one of the new kids Travis. The rest of us were a bit of a shambles, which was a shame as the bowling (see the bowling stats for their team) was a little ropey at times, but then as one of my mentors used to say to me ***t bowling gets wickets. Having said that some of our bowling was a bit off the mark too.
My dismissal was crap. After all the net sessions and that carrying through to club nets and despite last weeks 4th ball dismissal, I was hoping to make some runs with the support of Jayanand. It seemed that one of their better bowlers was saved for this part of the game and he was on when I went out after Jamie. I kept him at bay for a couple of balls and then had the prospect of facing one of the kids (Wrobel) that seemed to be bowling at an innocuous pace. The first ball he served up was short and legside... A gift in most people's eyes and I thought the same... whoa that's short and it's safe and then I knocked it straight into the hands of Barton at head height at square leg. Gutted - out for 0 again off of about 4 balls faced, same as last week. Note to self Hit the ball into the ground - roll the wrists.

 Jayanand Shivapujimath here was our best bat of the game followed very closely by the 13 year old Travis Singleton.

Image below left to right Lee Dutton, Josh Debond, Travis Singleton and Steve Bonnett.
 The wicket looking north
 The 2 captains at the toss.

 Joe Thompson medium fast today. 10-1-22-2 He bowled well today, getting the ball to swing away and move off the seam away from the bat and deployed his knuckle ball.
 Below Left to right... Lee Dutton, Jayanand Shivapujimath, Abhinanadan Bidari and Steve Bonnett.
 Mobile phone hell... Abhi looking a bit left out.
 Lee said to Joe - play with a straight bat, get on the front foot... Joe nicks an edge for a spectacular dive off of the wicket keeper and like so many of us out for 0.
 Some of the lads said they'd be back next week...
 Hello what's Bob Willis doing at Leigh On Sea? The opposition start to pack up.
 Dutton gathering the cash...
 The drainage ruts...
 The drainage ruts run at regular intervals across the outfield.
 Joe and Jamie Britton trying to jam the bags into the back of out Astra.
The next game is at home against Horndon-On-The-Hill, who are a team I don't recall playing before, but I think they're going to be quite strong because their team was bolstered by the demise of Pegasus.

Joe my younger son was saying that we've not gone down a league, because there was a big shift around in the organisation of the what teams played against who, making it so that we play teams that are more local to us, rather than go miles to play, which I don't mind myself even though it's me that has to stump up for the diesel! Joe was saying we're pretty much playing at the same level again this year, which if it's true is a shame because it'll be a season of getting beaten virtually every game. I guess we'll see as we go through the season?

It was a disappointing loss especially as the opposition captain was saying that his team was weak. I don't know what it is that we do wrong, I came away from this thinking, maybe it's nothing to do with the batsmen, maybe it's the way we field? When we field, the positions are always pretty conventional, but for some reason when the opposition hit the ball they get it in the gaps? Then I thought is it the bowling? There were shed loads of extras in this game, in fact I don't think I've ever seen as many extras in game ever - other than kids cricket.

We bowled the 45 overs and bowled 23 wides and 1 x No-Ball. This was down to the fact that some of the players were totally new to the 4th XI and Dutton gave everyone a go, possibly to see who does what? Hopefully this next match he'll take a slightly different approach, now he's got some idea of people's strengths and weaknesses?

They bowled 23 overs and bowled one more extra than us. So perhaps they were doing a similar thing? I did ask their players about who bowled what, trying to find all these wrist spinners that people are talking about on the internet, but there was only A handful of finger-spinners, but just the one leg-spinner.

It's a funny old game this cricket, difficult to make sense of? Or was it they just had far superior batsmen? We lost so badly and they didn't even have to use Bob Willis ;-)

2 games down. Spin count

Finger spinners 10, Wrist Spinners 4