Thursday, 29 September 2011

Season reflections, part 2

Having gone through my experiences as a cricket fan this year, I now turn to how I look back on my season as a player. With 21 matches played it was a pretty full season for me, and it was a very up and down affair right from start to finish.

I've undoubtedly made a lot of progress since last year, but still feel somewhat unsatisfied with various things, particularly my batting. 18 runs in 17 innings is pretty poor in anyone's book, even if I was not out no less than 8 times. Also despite a my bowling figures ending up showing a decent strike rate, my economy rate of over 7 was a real barrier to my captain bringing me on to bowl, which meant I often got a chance only at the fag end of the innings, which meant the batsmen had a go and I went for runs. It was a difficult cycle to break out of.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Season reflections, part 1

Looking back on the 2011 season, what will I remember best in 20 years time? I suppose taking my first wicket will be prominent, as will the car crash that was the game before. However, I'll leave all that for another post, and keep this post to my memories of following cricket rather than playing.

It's been a momentous year, that's for sure. England came back from a memorable winter during which they retained the Ashes for the first time in my memory, and off they went to the World Cup, where they avoided the kind of drubbings they have suffered in recent tournaments, but never really played their best. Somehow we managed to beat South Africa, tie with eventual winners India, and lose to Ireland. It really was rather a peculiar performance overall.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Pre-season training starts here

Yesterday officially saw the end of the season, as Stafford CC 1sts and 2nds played their last games, and rather pleasingly both of them won relatively comfortably. Stretching out in front of me, however, is a vast barren landscape of four and a half cricket-less months before winter nets starts up again in February.

However I don't want to let that time go to waste, so I'm going to try to get into a schedule of training so I'm in as good a shape as possible by then. If I'm able to I'm hoping to go to the gym on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but at the very least once a week on Thursdays, so as to mimic the rhythm of net sessions we've had this season.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Season statistics

Here's a fairly comprehensive run down of all my stats for the year.

All 21 matches:
Batting - Innings: 17, Not Out: 8, Runs: 18, Balls faced: 88, High score: 5*
Average: 2.00, Strike rate: 20.45, 4s: 1, 6s: 0, Ducks: 5
Bowling - Innings: 16, Balls: 298, Runs: 358, Wickets: 10, Best bowling: 2/11
Average: 35.80, Economy: 7.21, Strike rate: 29.80

Friday, 9 September 2011

A premature end

I've just been informed that tomorrow's match has been called off, so that's it: my season's over.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Mission Accomplished

With just two matches left before the end of the season, both on the home artificial surface where my place in the team has been anything but certain, I went into the weekend with a simple goal: Get the one wicket I needed to make it 10 for the season and thus achieve my principle goal set way back in pre-season. After what I regard to be my best bowling performance of the season, I did just that.

I went into the game knowing that I'd never taken a wicket on that surface before, so I had a good long think about how I should approach the game. My biggest problem is that it's slow, doesn't turn much and bounces quite high, meaning any ball on my normal length with probably bounce well over the wicket and right into any reasonable batsman's hitting zone. As such I decided, following the example of countless Australian leg-spinners on their bouncy wickets over the years, to make heavy use of a back-spinning ball so as to reduce the bounce and threaten the stumps more. Before the game I warmed up majoring heavily on my zooter, as my flipper isn't good enough yet, and also giving my leg-break and top-spinner a go, and hearteningly the zooter seemed to be coming out pretty well.