Sunday, 15 May 2011

A mad rush

Saturday was my first match on Stafford's main square, which I've been looking forward to for some time.

The couple of hours before the match seemed to bring one minor annoyance after another, as first the guy I'd offered to give a lift to the ground decided he wanted picking up half an hour later than agreed, then the traffic in town was a nightmare, and then once I'd arrived I helped take the covers off before Sam gave me the job of collecting the subs. While I was doing so everyone else was mucking about and I ended up getting hit on the foot by a cricket ball - not hard enough to injure but just enough to annoy. All I had wanted was to turn up nice and early and get some bowling practise in but more and more things seemed to be getting in the way.

Bugger it. With all but two players having paid up I left the subs behind the bar and went for a bowl. As it turned out I was bowling pretty well, with lots of turn and that feeling of command I get when I'm bowling well. The opposition turned up so I made sure they could see a few really hard-spun leggies that turned miles, and I was feeling good.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

OK, so the headline actually relates to the 1st team's new pro, a slow left-armer, but it made me giggle and I do get a mention later on in the article...

Sunday, 8 May 2011

What a difference a week makes!

Well if last week was the worst I've ever known so far, this was definitely the best. I finally got that wicket I've been working so hard for these last 16 months, I got my first run of the season, the 4ths got our first win of the season, and I played two enjoyable matches against two teams who were both wonderfully friendly. It could not have been more different to last week's match.

Saturday's game was against Church Eaton, and while it had been raining quite heavily on Friday night and Saturday morning, we got to the ground and found the wicket a little damp but not too sticky, and the game was on. We lost the toss and were put into bat, I went out to umpire and although we lost the first wicket early on and then continued to lose them at regular intervals we were humming along nicely with Sam's brother Dan making a very impressive 54 not out. I myself was batting at 11 and came in with three and a half overs to go and the score on 181, but sadly after what was by all accounts a very solid block to the first ball I couldn't repeat it and the second ball beat the bat and ripped out middle to end the innings.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Blown to smithereens

Today was, quite simply, the most frustrating day I've ever spent on a cricket field. I got to the club pretty early hoping to have a bowl to make sure everything was working right, but whenever I went to use them someone else got there first for some throw-downs. Fair enough, they're not my personal nets and if the visiting team players want some throw-downs before their match I'm not in a position to stop them.

When I finally did get a net to myself it wasn't working brilliantly. There was a huge gusty crosswind, the same one that's been blowing across the nets and wickets pretty much all week. By coincidence I was reading another part of Philpott's book only the night before where he criticises any spinner who doesn't take a mental note of which way the wind's blowing as soon as he arrives at the ground. At least that's one mistake I didn't make, and I said to Sam that if the wind stayed the same I'd prefer to bowl from the far end so the wind drifted the ball towards leg. It turned out to be a rather big if...