Monday, 17 May 2010

Off the mark

So Saturday saw my debut, on a ground a few minutes from J15 of the M6 against Keele Park 2nds. We lost the toss and where put in the field to start.

To be honest, we got what would technically be termed "a bit of a spanking", as we dropped about half a dozen catches and two batsman really got into their stride, knocking off 64 and 87 to get from 32-1 to 207-3 with the full score after their allotted overs reading a sorry 306-6.

For my part, I was terribly flat footed to begin with letting at least a couple of 4s past me before the guy I gave a lift to swapped positions. I did warm to my task after a while though, developing a decent base to spring from and by the end I was fairly solid. In terms of distance run I was probably up there with any of the fielders, although my throwing is still abysmal... There was maybe two half chances that came my way if I'd thrown everything at them but they came off the bat pretty quick and I'm still yet to develop a fearless attitude to diving for catches. I didn't get a bowl, which was probably just as well given the runs they scored anyway.

After a very nice tea break it was our turn to bat, and things got off to a pretty poor start with both openers out before a run was scored. Bob and Joe moved the score along to 33-4 when I went in, with two balls to come and all the fielders virtually standing on my toes. I had the full regalia on, complete with armguard and helmet, which was a bit excessive given the wicket had very little bounce in it, and "Hyacinth" had her first outing. I took a middle and leg guard from the umpire and prepared to face...

I stepped onto my toes as the bowler came in, as I'd practised for half an hour in the garden earlier, pushed forward to defend, hit it down behind me achingly close to the stumps, and before I knew what was happening the keeper had the bails off. I honestly haven't the faintest idea whether I was actually out stumped or not, I'd say I just maybe had a couple of millimetres of my boot behind the line, but certainly no more than that. Anyway, the appeal was turned down and I was pretty relieved not to have started my league career with such a stupid howler. A lesson learned - if my trigger movement moves me forward, I need to start further back! Second ball was smartly blocked with the minimum of fuss and the over ended. In the next my partner was out, and his replacement defended a few before snatching a single in the following over. Back on strike and I got a cheeky Chinese cut, my partner yelled "YEEESSS!" and I didn't hang around to ask questions. It took a couple of seconds for me to twig I was off the mark! In the following over another partner went down in a wicket maiden. Back on strike and I defended the first three, then looked to play the fourth but mishit it into the ground, with silly mid on looking distinctly nervous. Judging a catch unlikely I decided that attack was the best policy on the fifth, missed, off went the bails and I trudged back with the score now 36-7.

We made only six more before the ninth wicket fell, and with our captain not back from dropping off one of the openers, that was that. So my first proper game ended in a 264-run loss, but I'd scored my first run, and had a fun afternoon.

Good points: Felt the part, fielding improved as the game went on, correctly judged the line of all balls faced, played some good defensive shots, calling was better, got a run.
Points for improvement: Started slowly in the field, throwing still poor, didn't bowl, nearly stumped, got out by impatiently veering off my game-plan.

Today's stats: (Keele Park 2nds vs Stafford 4th XI, 40 overs each)
Batting: Bowled T.Bates, 1 (8bf, 0x4, 0x6 prt 0, 2 & 1)
Bowling: (didn't bowl)
Fielding: Ct 0, St 0, RO 0

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