Saturday, September 20, 2014

Adil Rashid

Adil Rashid - Yorkshire - England - Wrist Spinner - Leg Spinner

I've just been watching Scott Borthwick bowling in the final at Lords between Durham and Warwickshire Bears in the 'Royal One day cup'. He bowled 2 overs and went for 7 for no wickets. One of the commentators Strauss was talking about leg-spinners in a general way, saying that Borthwick at the stage of the game was a risky option as he might go for runs, but was an option as the spinners create chances. I didn't watch both overs, but I was disappointed that he only bowled the two, but in the context of the game and the need to keep the score down it obviously made sense to the captain. They brought on an off-spinner later and he did well taking 3 wickets. Breese 7-0-30-3.
But the point of interest was the fact that Strauss mentioned the fact that Rashid had done well this season and that with age his bowling is maturing and that maybe he'd be reconsidered for a place in the England set up in the future?
Reading around different websites it seems that he had a terrible year in (2102) with a public slagging off from Geoffrey Boycott and was dropped from the Yorkshire 1st XI. All of that on top of the fact that he was slaughtered when he played for the England one day team and some people were concerned that the exposure to cricket at that level was potentially damaging.
It does appear that the damaging series in South Africa, where he was removed and replaced by Swanne who had been injured, did knock his confidence. Rashid still maintained his position in the England Lions set up and continued playing for Yorkshire, but then went through a few lean years culminating in 2012 where he seemed hit an all time low. Despite the public drubbing from Boycott it appears that Jason Gillespie the coach that came in 2011 had faith in Rashid and started to rebuild Rashid's confidence believing that he could play a vital role in the Yorkshire team. That belief started to pay off during the 2013 season and continued through this season and it appears Rashid is on track to return to the England set -up...
How Adil Rashid has not played for the England Test side is beyond me. He is the best spinning all-rounder in the country. Adil is an unbelievable player and I don’t understand why he is not selected ahead of James Tredwell, who doesn’t spin it. Adil is a good batsman, a great fielder who should be in the England set-up. We are crying out for spinners so I find it baffling that the selectors continue to overlook Adil.
Reading between the lines, there does seem to be a different approach to the handling of Leg-Spinners here in the UK in comparison to Australia? It might be just the fact that Gillespie despite being a fast bowler has somehow picked up on the 'Party-line' advocated by the likes of Jenner and Warne. It's baffling to me that Boycott on one hand is suggesting that Rashid is pretty much useless and yet in comes an Aussie and within a year he's managed to get Rashid back on track and spear-heading a fantastic season at Yorkshire.
To me there seems to be a genuine belief that the leg-spinner has a role to play despite the fact that they are acknowledged to go for runs early on in their careers. Rashid has been quoted as saying that the advice from Gillespie has been...
‘He has told me to just let the ball rip out of my hand and to not worry about going for runs'.
 Hopefully, this season heralds a new beginning for Adil Rashid and he continues in the vein of the last two years. With various people saying that he is of the calibre to once again pull on an England shirt, we may get to see him on the bigger stage in the coming years?

Change of content?

I'm loathed to say this, but one of my other blogs has recently registered loads of hits/traffic and the only reason for that increase was that I had a post that mentioned a celebrity. Some geezer called James McAvoy, never heard of him myself. I was interested, because one of the greatest photographers ever, photographed this bloke at two locations here in South Essex - Canvey and East Tilbury. Both locations - bleak and desolate which is a theme I work with in my own photography. Here's the link if you're interested

So the conclusion I have to draw, which I guess is pretty obvious, is celebrity and big names are what you need to get people looking at your blog!. So I may have a go at doing the same kind of thing and see if generates more traffic?

It'll be interesting to see how the title of this post and its labels do with regards to generating traffic...

Monday, August 25, 2014

Paddock News

We were away for a good few weeks this year surfing and prior to that week I hadn't cut the wicket in the paddock for a while and when we got back it was very green and long and in need of a cut. The council did their usual cut and once it was dry yesterday me and Joe went over and cut it, aware that today it would be raining.

This evening in the rain I've been over and done some repairs while it's wet and sown a load of seeds to repair the holes. I've then done a bit of top dressing in the newly seeded areas and left it at that for the moment. While we were away it had been sunny most of the time, but there had been 3 days were it rained a lot and know that prior to us going on holiday we'd had some very heavy rain. The affect is the paddock is in very condition and needs very little in the way of repairs and looks amazingly lush and green.

Usage this year - to be honest with Ben being that bit older he's not been out there much at all. Joe has though and hopefully will do next year, so I reckon I'll continue to maintain it for at least another year. I've used it for practice - did so yesterday for a couple of hours and will do through Sept and October, so for the moment it's still be looked after and cut.

Ben's first five fer

Blimey! Busy year this year, what with work and the fact that I had to step in as captain for the 4th XI. I'm not going to get all reflective about it as yet as there's still a few more games to play. It looks as though there's a chance we may yet stay up in this league but we'll have to see how it goes, I know that one of the games that we're due to play is going to be problematic with regards to getting players as there's a wedding and a lot of the players are going apparently.

Ben's first Five fer.

The weekend just gone followed a win at home the weekend before where one of our bowlers took six wickets for very little in the way of run - Mark Williams. But this week my older son Ben who's just short of being 16 took 5 wickets in a game we lost and my other son Joe who's only just 13 took the only other wicket other than a run-out. So well done Ben for getting your first Five fer! Some of the wickets were exceptionally good - I think two were the top of off stump and the last one nearly had the stump out of the ground. This was in a match against Hainhalt and Clayhill 5th XI

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Basildon & Pitsea CC 4th XI v Old Southendians and Southminster CC 7th June at the Rec

I'm going to try and write this one up on the quick, because as I write I still have 2 other matches to blog about that I've started and not finished. It's not helped by the fact that I've got hundreds of images to go through and edit down to the best and then reduce them all so that they're blog size.

So lets think about this - how can I break it down - 

  • Weather
  • Team changes
  • The team
  • First Innings
  • 2nd Innings
  • Comical stuff and good stuff
  • Conclusion
Basildon & Pitsea CC 4th XI v Old Southendians and Southminster CC 7th June at the Rec.

Leading up to the game all week there was reports of bad weather, hailstones of biblical proportions, lightning and enough rain to start chopping trees down to start making arks. Ignoring all that and watching XC weather, it looked as though we would be okay and as the game drew nearer, it looked as though the weather would miss. As XC Weather had predicted, there was rain early at about 07.00 hrs and when I got up at 09.00 hrs it looked gloomy and damp and I knew there'd be more rain before it would clear up at 13.00 hrs. It did rain... At 11.00 hrs and looked a little touch and go, but the rain was soon followed by sunshine and as the morning went on the weather got better.

Team Changes
I got pretty much the team that was selected on Wednesday, the only change was Frank Farrington (Wrist Spinner) for Tom Hardy (Chinaman). Not sure which of the two has the better strike rate. So as we all arrived the team looked like this...
Back Row L-R
Gary 'Savvo' Savage, John 'Moondog' Bedford, Steve Healey, Stuart Munday, Jamie Britton, Dave Thompson (Me).
Front Row L-R
Tim Brown, Ben Thompson, Kieran 'The Barbarian' Barbero, Mitchell McLeod, Tom Hardy and 12th Man Joe Thompson. 

No real mishaps today getting the team together, Mitchell sent a text shortly before the game asking if it was on and he ended up turning up late and 12th man Joe was sent home to get his gear because prior to Mitchell showing we had no real idea when he'd arrive, in the end he was about 10 minutes late and arrived the same time Joe turned up, but he didn't really want to play so was quite happy to be relived of 12th man duties.

The opposition won the toss and said they'd bat which was good we'd have said we'd field if we'd have won. The bowling order...

1. Ben - Bowled as the opener and started really well and the 2nd bowler was Kieran. After Kieran's initial traditional full toss at the batsmans head, he then settled down and bowled exceptionally well. Both openers (15 years old) bowled and kept the rate at around 3 an over and the game looked under control, but I was aware that the bowling was going to change in nature later in the game and Kieran and Ben bowled with no reward. I don't even recall any real chances. In Ben's first spell, one of the bats smacked on of his last balls for 6 and I kind of had the idea at this point that both batsmen were just getting into gear and looking to accelerate.
Stuart replaced Ben and again toiled away with out reward, once they'd got a look at his bowling, they then got underway looking to up their run rate. Not many chances came, all ball came my way at mid wicket and I manged to get a hand on it, but not enough to catch it. For me it was one of those days where the balls went under me as I tried to get down and stop them and this seemed to be pretty much the same for lots of the fielders. 
It was the same for MItchell, he bowled well and for no reward again. I then brought Tom on to give him a go, by this time Gary was pretty much playing the role of on-field captain which I'm more than happy to go with. The three slow bowlers Tom, John and I came on and bowled a handful of overs each to no avail, I nearly got a wicket early on in my first over as the batsman hit the ball straight over my head and a new bloke (Steve Healey) to my team who was on the Long-on boundary ran in a long way to take a ball for it to bobble out of his hands and be put down. Shame, because it was obvious from the way he was fielding that he's a very good player. He's not new to the club, he's been around for years, but just new to me. Hopefully looking at his batting averages he's going to stick around and maybe play in the 4's for the season? 

With the game now going away from us and both the batsmen very well set and hitting the ball clean it was time to bring on the big guns again in the form or Ben and Kieran to see if in their last 5 overs each they could make some kind of in-roads? 

During this phase of the game our regular wicket keeper who has been a way for a while and left the last game having copped a ball in the cheek, breaking his glasses had another mishap today. He had a ball square in the nuts whilst keeping off of John Bedfords bowling (I think) and went down like a sack of spuds. He was down for a long time in obvious pain and it too a fair time for him to recover and resume and when he did it was pretty obvious he was still in a great deal of discomfort. He played on for a while into Ben's second spell and eventually a wicket was taken when Taylor tried to smack the ball for six over deep square leg off Ben's bowling and Mitchell McLeod took a good catch just inside the boundary stopping Taylor just a little short of his hundred. At that point as the new bat came out Jamie went off the filed and 12th man Joe Thompson (13) my younger son came on and Steve Healey took over as wicket keeper. 

Both Ben and Kieran were taken to task being hit for 4's and in the 42nd over the bats decided that they would retire. Then off the last ball of the game the captain Nathan  Linfield who was on 146 mis-hit the ball off Ben's bowling and hit it towards Fine Leg, but it went up in the air and the replacement Wicket-Keeper Steve Healey ran and caught it.

Our Innings

With John Bedfords batting performance last week, although it was a big total, I thought that with this weeks line up we may be able to force another draw. As I don't bat at all and I'm pretty useless at it, I can't begin to speculate how the bats rationalise their approach. I'm assuming that they may have a look - see what the bowling's like and then make a judgement as to whether they give it a go and try going for a win initially? Unfortunately it didn't pan out that well again with 3 naughts and a single for 4 of our top order, it was obvious that we were in trouble again right from the outset. John Managed 10 before being caught at Mid-wicket. 15 year old McLeod played his normal game... all or nothing and with 2 x 4's and a 6 within his innings came off after a few minutes with 16. Tim Brown got a 0 and that brought me to the crease with Tom Hardy and we stuck out a load of overs facing two left armers - one a finger spinner, so his balls were like Leg Breaks and the other bloke bowled left arm over and was very accurate. We blocked for England and very slowly made some runs. Tom Hardy did really well and accumulated 20 runs making him the most productive batsman from our team and I managed 8. I eventually fell foul to an older gentleman who apparently played for England and represented England in the Ashes back in the day!! He bowled dead straight slow and loopy and varied the speed. It just looked like the easiest bowling to attack if you were even marginally good at batting. He came round the wicket (Right Arm) and I tried sweep slog it down to fine leg and he bowled me. 

Ben was next and he blocked well and hit the balls that he felt he could, but fell for naught off the same bloke bringing Kieran to the crease. Kieran managed 2 before being bowled by the England player in the same fashion as both me and Ben. We at least managed 65, at one point it looked as though we may have been bowled out for less than 50.

On Reflection

Another game where we were comprehensively thrashed, but again another game where we had a game loaded with young-uns, who are primarily bowlers. Jamie batted with his nuts in tatters, so I wasn't surprised that he went for 0, it might have made a psychological difference if he'd been okay? The main thing though is that we got a full game and the bowlers all got a bowl. I'm not sure if Steve Healey would have bowled if given the chance, but when asked he didn't seem fussed one way or another so I left him out, knowing that he'd bat up the order. I know that a lot of the older experienced players are left in dismay at some of the fielding, but these kids are learning and getting overs in and having a bowl is important. One of the best players on the field who is liked by the kids is Gary Savage he's vocal and very supportive and very sympathetic erring towards pointing out the positives and letting the negatives go. All these kids when they bowl, know that they're getting it wrong when it does go wrong and they don't do it intentionally. They obviously beat themselves up over it and feel bad about it, so I like Savages approach and I hope he plays in this side for the rest of the season, he's a really good bloke. While I'm at it, I'll mention Stuart as well because he's very similar, but not quite so vocal and obvious. 

I just hope that the sequence of losses isn't too much of an issue for people, and that,if they focus on the fact that in these situations when we get to bowl first, that this should be seen as a positive - we all get to bowl and it gives us a chance to pit ourselves against good batsmen. Plus we get a decent length game in. It also means that the lesser batsmen in situations like today can spend time at the crease and at least gain some confidence in some way and make a few runs.

Scoring - just when I thought I was getting the hang of it, today's scoring turned out to be a disaster again. I did try and teach Tim Brown how to do it, but he lost interest quite quickly. I'm going to target Ben in the coming weeks, but to be honest I need to practice more myself and not allow myself to be distracted!!!

 You should never pull daft faces at the camera! Ben before the game.
 Steve Healey, Stuart Munday and Gary Savage and the Langdon Hills Rec shed.
 Joe and Ben pre-match banter in the sheds.
 Me performing some pre-match formalities with the oppo.
 After the two deluges, thunder and lightning in the last 6 hours The Rec Langdon Hills came good again due to it's drainage attributes and the fact that it's on a hill. Well done to the groundsman who looks after it!
 Joe took some shots of the action for us - Nathan Linfield fends one off.
 This is the other geezer - J Taylor who scored 90+
 Nathan Linfield batting
 My wife Michelle and Kieran's Mum Tanya with a well prepared and delicious tea, that the opposition commended them on.
 More tea action...
 L-R - Tim Brown, Mitchell "Three plates" Mcleod and Tom Hardy

 Ben blocking. At this point most of the bats had the whole team around them within 25' of the bat!
 Nine blokes around the bat for Ben facing the ex Ashes bowler
 Ten blokes for Tom Hardy who in the end was the highest scorer of the game and not out - well done Tom!! 
End of the game and another thrashing...

Monday, May 26, 2014

B&PCC 4th XI v Stanford Le Hope 4th XI at The Rec Langdon Hills (Home)

So, two big losses out of two games and two losses in friendly games as well, I can see a pattern developing. Initially the team looked okay with some decent regulars, but as with all lower XI teams I had my players promoted up into the 3rd XI, it was touch and go whether my older son Ben would play in the 4ths for a few moments as they wanted him to go up to the 3rds, but then I realised my in-laws were down from Derby and were going to come along and see us all play in the same team, so Ben was left with us. The weather was looking a little iffy before Saturday and played its hand in making that decision the right one in the end.

Friday night there was final shift around and the last two players made themselves available on the website and I ended up on Saturday with...

In batting order..

Stuart Munday (Regular)
Dave Thompson
*Liam Harms
Gopal Viswanathan
*Mitchell McLeod
*Kieran Barbero
Lee Dutton
*Tim Brown
Tony Harms
*Ben Thompson
*Joe Thompson (U13)

* Indicates U15 players

None of whom have massive reputations as being batsmen that can save a game single handed with someone doing a good job at the other end. It looked again as though we were going to struggle with 6 under 15 players. During the week I'd been looking at bowling stats and was planning to try something unusual with the bowling, but as the moment of truth approached I began to think I should put that plan on the back boiler. One thing I had considered having seen the team, was that, if this was going to be another easy win for the opposition, would I be facing a situation where some of my better adult players would be looking at the situation and thinking I'm fed up with turning up every week and losing?

Saturday morning at 09.00hrs it was raining and it looked as though as predicted it had been most of the night, meaning the wicket would have been soggy. As the morning went of the rain stopped, but the sun didn't come out and the wind wasn't that brisk, so the wicket was going to definitely be wet. Once at the club talking to those in the know, the general consensus was that we should bat first, so I left with that intention. This time round what with it being a home game and all the ensuing organisation aspects, all that was a lot easier and in addition my wife Michelle had said she'd do the teas.

Once there at the Rec under leaden skies, it soon became apparent that the opposition weren't happy with the wicket, saying that it was too wet to play on. They asked about sawdust and I had to say that there wasn't any and there didn't seem to be any plan to have any available either. Lee Dutton had turned up in the meantime and agreed with the oppositions captain saying that we should leave it for a while and see if it would dry out a bit. At that point there was a distant break in the clouds and the chance that if left till 1pm there might be an improvement? The toss was done and we won and went with the prior advice to bat.

Looking around at our blokes and theirs it was obvious that again this was going to be another up-hill struggle. Only two of their players were marked as being Under 18, so not even under 15? A massively different looking to side to ours.

Talking to Lee he wasn't optimistic either about our prospects and said that we should mix up the kids with the adults, but start with a couple of adults, he didn't want to bat up the order and I offered to go in with Stuart.

Stuart and I saw out 15 overs, with Stuart able to get the ball away for runs a lot better than I ever could, but I kept blocking and made the odd run every two overs or so. Around about the 15th over Stuart suggested that we upped the game a bit and then within a few more balls he was given out LBW. Liam Harms came out to Join me and was gone with a matter of seconds having scored no runs. Gopal was up next and before he got going with me having Stuarts words still in my head about starting to get some runs on the board I tried to turn a leg-side ball around the corner only for it to hit the edge of the bat and ping up for an easy  bowled and caught.

The good news was, as I walked off I saw Gopal walking out to replace me, so, hopefully this would be the start of getting some runs on the board as Gopal is a 3rd XI player as far as I knew. I was still taking my gear off when I heard a cheer go up and looked to see Gopal on his way back having scored just one run. But that wasn't too bad we still had Mitchell and Lee to come and steady the ship?

Unfortunately Mitchell wasn't there very long either and was dismissed for 1 being caught at Mid on. Kieran lasted seconds too playing a defensive shot that went straight under his bat. Tim went out and scored 1 run. Lee went out and hit a four and a couple of singles and all around him batsmen came and went without scoring any runs. My older son Ben blocked for a couple of overs almost, but couldn't get anything away and eventually went the way of many of the others for 0, Joe strolled out and strolled back for 0 too. The whole team bowled out for 49 off of 20 overs.

The batsmen had licence to do what they wanted to and the whole thing was over within 10 overs. Totally out played. One of our players didn't even stay for tea, saying that he wasn't prepared to do this every week and pay £12 to do so and that in the week he'd be looking for another team. Which I guessed might be the situation with some of the experienced players. I spoke to a couple of the others and they seemed to be a lot more positive despite the 5 losses out of 5 games, they just seemed to be happy to be playing cricket, but the bloke with the hump will be a big loss as he's one of my key players.

 Ben surrounded by the SLH players blocking for his life.
 My son and our U13's player Joe going out to meet certain death
 Both sons passing each other
Joe trying to block, the ball went on to hit the stumps - out first ball

Next week though it gets worse as my secondary wicket keeper is away for three weeks and my regular keeper is still not due back for at least another 2 games as far as I recall.

Reflecting on this longer term, I can't see that there's going to be anyway in the short term that this is going to change a great deal and I'm kind of resigned to the fact that as far as batting is concerned we're always going to struggle. In which case it seems to me...certainly for the next few games or so ,we should play to our strengths and ensure that as a team of kids and blokes whose strength at the moment is in their bowling, we should look to always bowl first? The rationale being that, we're all going to be bowling at potentially much stronger teams and therefore this is an opportunity to bowl against a range of different players and think about our bowling, both collectively and as individuals. Already, just in these few games I'm already in a situation where I've started to think in terms of bowling to the batsmen in different ways dependent on how they approach their batting, or whether they're right or left handed. If, all the kids can approach their cricket in a different way e.g. look to bowl well, look to learn how to bowl to different batsmen, there may be far more value in playing than there is at the moment where we're thinking in terms of winning the games through the contributions of the blokes that bat which seems unfair, because generally there's so few of them? I'm not suggesting that we forget batting altogether, but maybe dependent on who we have got batting we approach the batting more defensively if we're low on attacking batsmen. I mean this week as you've just read, I survived 15 overs, if everyone else who struggles with the bat can do the same maybe we'll sneak a win or two or maybe force a draw if we've bowled well? At least we'll have had our money's worth?


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Fitness drill - cricket specific

I've noted that my bowling this year has started off really well and I can only put it down to the fact that since Christmas I've been working on my fitness, stamina, upper body strength, core strength and flexibility. I've been doing a combination of this workout here (Cardio) and this one here (upper body). I've also been either power walking or running for 20 minutes most other nights. None of it religiously, but enough to make a difference. Now the weather is with us and we can get out on the paddock I've adapted what I do and made it even more cricket specific.

Been working on my fitness with Joe over the last week or so. The drill incorporates the kind of approach seen in SAQ cricket. It'll be interesting to hear from the experts that look in on my blog every now and then and comment on regards the worthiness of it?

Equipment & space

Training ball or cricket ball, stumps and optional keepers gloves or catching mit   + open space.


Set the stumps at 22 yards or more. One player acts as the coach whilst resting stands at end (A). The active player starts at end (B). The coach rolls the ball out towards end (B) and the active player runs in and attacks the ball scooping it up (Or long barrier) and throws it back to the coach over the stumps aiming to do so with accuracy.

The active player runs round the coach at (A) heading back to his/her starting end (B) as the active player sets off back to (B) the coach throws a high ball back towards the players end (B) so he has to catch the ball over his/her shoulder. On catching the ball he/she throws it back at the coaches end stumps (A) trying to hit them and then sprints back to (B). Then, runs round the stumps at (B).

Then finally runs back as fast as possible to (A) and the coach throws the ball to the incoming player underarm to catch whilst on the move and the throws down the stumps whilst running towards them.

Both players swap roles and repeat ad infinitum for either 20 minutes or until they can't run any more!

The theory is that the rest period whilst being the coach reflects the period when the body rests momentarily before having to set off again running at full pelt as in a batting situation. The 20 minutes gives you an aerobic work-out, the turning, stopping, accelerating all reflect movement in cricket. The catching and moving pick-ups reflect fielding skills. All in all I reckon that's a lot better than running or walking for 20 minutes which is boring as far as I'm concerned.

Gibbs Reflective Practice used in cricket - bowling

Bowling update

Using the Gibbs Reflective Practice model
Description - what happened?

We're 4 games into the season, 2 friendlies and 2 league matches and my current figures are...
18-2-71-5 a strike rate of 21.6.
All my recent practice sessions have gone really well. I've changed the way I bowl completely - relying on how I feel and whether it feels right.

Feelings - What are you thinking and feeling?

At the moment - I'm really confident and pleased with my bowling and feel as though if I keep up the fitness routines thing might even get better or least be sustained?

Evaluation What has been good and bad?

Good has been my general bowling performances, bad is that I seem to have not found a way to get into the classic side-on delivery stride and I'm now looking at scrapping that in the short to middle term.

Analysis What sense can you make of the situation?

I've had a radical over-haul of how I approach the start of the season and the way I bowl. I'd recognised that over the last two seasons that my bowling didn't really get going till July/August time. This seems to have been off the back of going on holiday and surfing for two weeks and walking up and down a bloody great hill sometimes 2 or three times a day when there.

So this year, since Christmas, I've been doing a lot more fitness work and it looks as though this might be having a really positive affect. Additionally I've scrapped trying to get side on out of my bound because it just seems to create massive inaccuracy. So, I've changed my bowling action to one that feels right and provides the accuracy I've been looking for, but isn't at all detrimental to the amount of turn I get with my stock ball. Along with the accuracy I'm able to bowl a Leg Break, Top-Spinner and a ball that goes straight on and stays low which I can only imagine lands on the shiny part of the ball yet spins like big turning leg break? What you might call a slider although I'm loathed to call it that, but the bowling action I reckon must look like I'm bowling a leg break.

In addition to the Leg Break and Top-spinner I've got three flippers that are coming out well, one out of the front of the hand that breaks like off-spinning ball, the conventional back-spinner which is unpredictable and seams all over the place and another back spinning ball with the seam angled towards slips, that stalls massively. All these flippers though are still being worked on and not quite ready for a game scenario yet.

The new bowling action I'm aware doesn't look like a conventional bowling action, but is faster, accurate and I get good and controllable variations with a decent amount of turn and over-spin.

But the key thing does seem to be fitness and agility and I've now come up with a series of drills and exercises that seem to be making a significant difference.

Conclusion - what else could you have done?
I'm beginning to think the only way I could ever develop a side on action is if I did nothing all summer or preferably all winter. If I did it in the summer, I'd probably bowl 3 overs a spell and get hit for 12 an over and take myself off! The only other thing would be to pay for one to one coaching with someone who new what they were talking about who could assess me and point me in the right direction and produce some definite measurable outcome.        

Action Plan -   

Going forwards the best plan of action is to stay with what I've got at the moment and keep working on my overall fitness and agility. I might spend 10 minutes every now and then just trying to see if anything positive comes out of trying to get side on, but I'm not going to get hung up on it.


Sunday, May 18, 2014

B&PCC 4th XI v Loughton CC 5th XI May 17th

B&PCC 4th XI v Loughton CC 5th XI May 17th

So, Loughton again, a couple of weeks ago we played a friendly match and were massacred by their 3rd XI. This time we were up against the 5ths and we had some good batsmen in the team and plenty of bowling in a variety of forms. Leading up to the match I lost my Chinaman bowler to the dreaded GCSE's; this kid is taking his GCSE's very seriously which is commendable I have to say and he was replaced by John Bedford who I thought had stopped playing, but a good addition to the team. On Friday night it looked as though I had another full team and there were no problems.

Saturday morning I woke up to a muggy warm day with the sun coming through thin cloud it looked as though we'd be on for a bit of a scorcher. All the stuff leading up to getting in the car and heading to the ground came together okay and I picked up Yash Patel one of our younger batsmen. The team this week looked like this...

Player Profiles per batting order

1. Lee Dutton - 4th XI regular right arm off-spinning all rounder.
2. John Bedford - Regular 3rd XI player not played for a year though
3.Tony Harms - 3rd game after years of being away from the game - bowler?

4.Yash Patel - 17 year old 2nd XI batsman scored 200 + last year in 4th XI game
5.Frank McLeod - Very experienced batsman 3rd XI regular
6.Mitchell McLeod - Under 15s player, plays in both 4th & 3rd XI
7. Gary Savage - 2nd game after several years of in retirement. Experienced player.
8.  Stuart Munday - 3rd game - coming out of long term retirement (All rounder)? With experience.

9.Liam Harms U15's bowler, 2nd ever adult league game 3rd game of cricket ever in any format!!!
10.Dave Thompson - 4th XI regular (Wrist Spinner).

11. Ben Thompson - 15's bowler & 4th XI player (2nd season).

A lot of these players have years of experience and are good batmen. The other thing is - every player here bowls, so my approach was to give the younger bowlers a chance first up and then the middle order blokes who can bat as well a chance later in the game. The blokes I had in mind to bat up the order, I had them bowling later in the game if at all. I asked some of them at the start of the game whether they wanted a bowl and some of them declined or seemed indifferent, so they were excluded at that point unless something bad occurred. They were there if needed.

We did the toss and I won, on advice from my tactical advisors we had a bowl which is the option I'd have gone for. I always like the idea of knowing what you're going to have to do with the bat.

Ben, my older son opened the bowling and got off to a good start taking his first wicket off the last ball of the over, can't remember what happened exactly, but Yash Patel took a catch. Ben was also called for a no ball that went for 4, it was for stepping over the popping crease line. He was called several times over his 10 overs, but I was fielding quite near the umpire and it looked to me as though he was okay most of the time? His 2nd wicket came in his second spell after being moaned at by Frank, who at this point had put on the gloves and was wicket keeping. Ben had sent a few balls down the legside and Frank wasn't happy telling Ben he needed to bowl full, down the off-side. Ben hates that, his view is...
"Why the hell do they say that, you're embarrassed as it is for doing it and more often than not, it's cost you runs, why do they say 'Line and length - Ben line and length' it's not like I don't know is it'?
But despite that he then did take it on board and didn't allow it to wind him up, instead he said I remembered what Jack Farrington had said at one of the under 15's training sessions to look at a point on the crease and aim at it and lo and behold he hit the off-stump bail and broke it! He came away with 10-0-22-2, bringing his total to 22-2-86-3 so far this season from the records that I've got so far.

I wasn't even sure whether I'd bowl or not, there were still 2 good bowlers who hadn't bowled, John Bedford and Lee Dutton. Lee hadn't bowled too well last week and John when asked seemed completely indifferent and knowing that they were going to be up the batting order I wasn't sure what to do. Thankfully Lee approached me and said that I should have a go...

We took Mitchell off and I then bowled from the pavilion end and right from the outset it went really well. I didn't feel confident enough to bowl the flipper and bowled my leg breaks and Top-Spinners. Again the two key things I did in this spell was to employ the stupidly loose grip and to try and stay relaxed and sure enough it worked fine. My length was good - full-ish and the batsmen found it difficult to get me away. One of the bats was well set (Tony Greywal) and was hitting sixes and fours at will and was heading towards his hundred, I joined the fray with him in the 80's, so he needed to be sorted. I set my field as below here...
Initially, despite one of the players making a comment regarding something about Cow corner and the frequency of balls going that way I had my No.9 and no.3 up just behind me to see how things would go bowling at the other batsman. If Greywal was still going to be going big they'd move back. I think they new intuitively that when I was bowling at the other bloke H.Ikram they'd come up and drop back to the boundary for Greywal. As it happened, realising that I was a 'Leg-Spinner' H.Ikram thought he'd have a pop at me and someone must have told Liam to drop back a bit because he went big smacking it back over my head looking to clear the boundary and with the over-spin and possible extra bounce he didn't middle it and it went more up than along and I watched as Liam settled himself and caught it perfectly! That so rarely happens I was well chuffed. Ikram was replaced by captain Peter Bridges and for the next 3 overs he struggled to get me away. Greywal hit me for a couple of 4's, but for the most part I was able to tie down whoever was there at the crease. Eventually Greywal came after me, doing exactly the same as H.Ikram smashing it over my head and again for whatever reason it was more up than along and Liam again had all the time in the world to settle himself and caught the ball beautifully.

I bowled okay, pretty well by most accounts with loads of encouragement from most quarters. A few balls strayed down the legside, but I'm not that fussed about them, sometimes they hit a bit of rough and come back in on the stumps, other times the batsman mis-hits them and the bloke round the corner takes a catch. As Frank says 'Don't worry about the last ball, think about the next one'. The main thing I have to keep in mind is the loose grip and not to get tense, when that's all under control I tend to bowl okay, so today I came away with 4-1-10-2 bringing my running total as far as I can make out to 18-2-71-5 a strike rate of 21.6.

The best bowling came from Yash Patel, he normally plays in the 2nd XI as a batsman and doesn't bowl that much, but in this game he was the only other pace bowler as such with the exception of Mitchell, but he was keeping. Yash came away with figures of 10.2-1-38-4, so a very impressive couple of bowling spells and again 3 of the four wickets as a result of catches being taken. Liam, Tony and Lee Dutton to finish the game off.

Gary Savage bowled a tight 6 overs with a wicket maiden, coming away with 6-2-15-1, so he's an asset in the games. In the 2 games so far his figures are 9-2-31-3 so a very good strike rate of 18
Running totals of the bowlers

Dave Thompson - 18-2-71-5 a strike rate of 21.6.
Ben Thompson - 22-2-86-3 a strike rate of 44
Lee Dutton - 7-0-69-1 a strike rate of 49
Gary Savage - 9-2-31-3 a strike rate of 18

They only had 10 players and we managed to bowl them all out for 166. I think the general consensus was that we'd done okay and all we needed to do now was chase that figure. Looking around at all the batting experience within the team and from what Dave Ayres had said it looked like my first win might be on it's way. But someone had said in the previous days... "Even though this is a 5th XI, this is a big team with a lot of players, they're not going to be a pushover".

I picked the team with a little bit of input, but because Lee, John Bedford and Tony Harms hadn't bowled I put them all at the top. I had the impression Frank likes to bat around no.5 and I put Mitchell in at six. It looked promising - batting all the way down to No.8 because both Stuart and Gary bat well too. But no-one took into account the bowling of Mo Ali Layoria and Peter Nicholls, within a matter of a few minutes people were scrambling to get their pads on because wickets were falling rapidly!

See below... Once Frank McLeod had gone for 9, I knew it was a lost cause. But the two openers were exceptionally good and Mo Ali Layoria is a 15 year old lad and not massive or tall, but obviously bowls exceptionally well!

The bloke who bowled me must have had a laugh - set me up good and prope.. several straight balls, varying the pace, some loopy trying to tempt me to have a go and then he offered one up wide and loopy and my eyes lit up and I popped it into the hands of the bloke at cover.

The weather was nice, our bowling looked good and did the job, so all in all it was okay. So that's two losses now, fingers crossed at home next Saturday it'll be a little better? The scoring was okay, I got lost a little during Mo Ali's 3rd over when he bowled all sorts, but when it all tallied up it was only a few out. I need to try harder.

I was hoping to shoot more pictures, but it's obvious being the captain isn't conducive with doing so.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Umpiring and scoring questions - run outs

This question relates to how these are recorded in the score book. As far as I'm aware if the batsman is run-out the bowler isn't credited, so how are run-outs recorded in the bowling analysis? Are they just recorded as a runs and dot balls?

Answers in the short term at