Saturday, 22 May 2010

A duck and a dropped catch

Today was a match of mixed emotions for me. After all my doom and gloom we actually pulled off an exciting win, by 7 runs, but I wasn't too impressed with my own performance.

We were batting first and I was at #6 again. We lost 2 wickets pretty quickly and the third followed not so long after, so I was padded up and all ready to go. In fact, I eventually spent a full hour and three-quarters as next man in, as Bob and Jo set a new record for the 4th wicket partnership for the 4ths. When Jo was finally out for 60 I strode to the crease, took middle and leg, and was bowled first ball. I can't say I'm too upset about it, after all I'm an absolute beginner and this is only my third game, but it would have been nice to hang around a bit.

I haven't the foggiest idea what happened, to be honest. I saw the ball come out of the bowler's hand, judged correctly where it pitched, tried to play a decent defensive shot, but it just went straight through me. In the end though, mine was the last wicket to fall as Bob made a sublime 142 not out and the team posted an excellent 304-5. It was probably just as well I got out first ball as the guy in after me made a swift 60. Maybe next time I'll ask Joe to put me in at 8 or later, I'm quite clearly not fit to bat at 6.

So into the field we went and immediately I had another reason to hang my head in shame, dropping a straightforward catch off the third ball. Excuses? Well the sun was high, my hat got in the way, and it seemed to move in the air. But it's not good enough - I was right underneath it, got my hands to it, and I should have caught it. My mistake was not making my mind up between English-style cupped hands and Aussie-style overhead - I should have done the latter.

Anyway, having put that dropped catch behind me I set about my task, and overall I was OK except for forgetting to back up some of the time. I was fielding at deep mid-wicket most of the game, and had to run the whole width of the field between overs, which after a while got pretty knackering and led to a comical moment when I hadn't even reached my spot and turned round before the over had begun. Inevitably the ball was headed into my area but thankfully I was alerted by some frantic shouts and the boundary was saved.

I didn't bowl though, much to my disappointment. I had arrived at the ground an hour early to get my eye in in the net, and I seemed to be bowling well. However given the closeness of the match Joe didn't want to take the risk of a bad over from me sending us from being narrowly in front to narrowly behind in the match, and there's simply no point me bowling if it costs us a win, so I can't complain. It was a bit of a shame though as I'm gagging to bag a wicket.

The run chase was thrilling though. Our opponents started off pretty solidly (apart from a certain dropped catch), and although we always seemed to be ahead by a nose there was never any point in the game where we were significantly on top of the game. It came down to the last three overs with five wickets down and 33 runs for our opponents to get. In the 38th and 39th overs they scored 11 in each, so seemed on course to maybe just edge it, but in the end two wickets went down in the final over and they fell 7 runs short. So for the first time I was on the winning team!

Good points: Even if I didn't bowl I prepared well for it, my fielding was good for the most part, I made more noise in the field.
Points for improvement:I was distracted by the length of time spent waiting to bat, I didn't execute the shot properly, I fluffed a catch due to indecision, I lost concentration in the field on occasion, I didn't back up enough.

Today's stats: (Stafford 4th XI vs Oldfields Cheadle 2nds, 40 overs each)
Batting: Bowled J.Tanner, 0 (1bf, 0x4, 0x6 prt 0)
Bowling: (didn't bowl)
Fielding: Ct 0, St 0, RO 0

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