Monday, 13 May 2013

Washed out. Twice.

Well it's fair to say this weekend was a bit of a waste of time. In essence, I drove a very long way to and from two opposite far-flung corners of Staffordshire to spend two afternoons watching wet grass stay wet.

Moddershall first. Our motley bunch slowly assembled at the pavilion under unpromising skies, apart from Pete who was going straight there, and Andy who was late due to some minor domestic crisis. The first two cars set off while I awaited Andy, and we got to the ground at about half one, while Dan and Sam, who had got a bit lost, arrived about 15 minutes later. Never having been to Moddershall CC before I found it a lovely ground, two grass squares, a good clubhouse, a small pavilion for the second square and most important, a very nice cup of tea. The drizzle through which we'd driven on the way wasn't in evidence at the ground itself, but while the outfield seemed fine there were parts of the square and run-ups that had had just a little too much overnight rain to render them playable at the appointed hour. A half-hour delay was decided upon, so we waited.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Taking the helm

Chigsy's ill so tomorrow I'll be skippering the 4ths. It'll be the 4th match I've captained, assuming the weather isn't as advertised, and so far I have the rather unfortunate record of played three, lost three. To be fair, one was a tour game, and in another I only had 8 players to play with and we did surprisingly well. It's 1:30am as once again I can't sleep. I'm not sure I'm cut out for this captaincy lark as every time I do it I find myself endlessly agonising over what decisions I'm going to make.

My biggest headache tonight is batsmen as, to be perfectly frank, we haven't really got any. I don't know where they've all gone, but we've been batting-light all season and tomorrow I'm in charge of 11 players none of whom have ever scored a 50. I do have a couple who can hit a ball, but that's not batting. They're like a prizefighter who packs a mighty punch but who simply can't box. If I open with them, I risk us getting off on entirely the wrong foot, and if I don't open with them, then with who? One thing I have decided is that I won't be batting at 11 this time, as it gives me no chance to meaningfully influence the innings.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Overs remaining

Our first home fixture of the season on Saturday saw an all too familiar tale. The formula so far this season has been to win the toss, bat first, lose nine wickets before the drinks break, creep just beyond 100 and then wonder why the team batting second aren't chasing the game too much. Only three of our partnerships made it to 20, and none got to 30. To be honest I'm pretty fed up with our batsmen giving their wickets away so cheaply. Maybe they've been watching too much IPL and are labouring under the impression that all innings only last 20 overs nowadays.

As for my own cameo, I came in with 25.3 overs left and the score on 89 for 9. "We must stop meeting like this" I said to Jamie, as for the third time in three matches we prepared to see to what extent the last wicket stand could rectify matters. Jamie was keen to stay on strike and I was happy enough to let him, so I saw out my first three balls without any real trouble. Jamie was batting pretty well and hit a few boundaries, I meanwhile was taking wild swipes at anything pitched safely outside off (and missing) and solidly defending the few balls that threatened the stumps.