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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Grays & Chadwell CC V's Horton Kirby CC

I had a look on the internet where this was and the website kind of gave an impression that it was a fair looking ground, but then when I got there I was quite surprised - it was a lovely ground just near the River Darenth . The day was pretty amazing for May 11th - back to back blue skies and 27-28 degrees - lovely!

I got there before everyone else which was odd as I'd left home late, but then I use maps rather crapnav or whatever it everyone uses (The thing that sends ambulances 200 miles off course etc). I had a wander around and took a load of pictures and realised that this was one venue Michelle, Ben and Joe could have come along to especially if they'd bought the bikes as they could have just cycled around and explored. The surrounding countryside was beautiful.
While I was out taking pic's the rest of the Crew turned up and I found them already looking a bit weary in the bar moaning about it being too hot to play! I've been waiting all winter for weather like this!

The Captains went for the toss and think we won and Neil chose to field first much to the surprise of the other capt.

This is where I'm not sure whether I'm going to be dragged into the whole stats thing with cricket and whether the blog is a good place for it and what's going to be too much or too little. Anyway unlike 2 weeks ago I had my note book and took a few notes as well as pictures. I've got to say I know there's a few readers out there who take cricket pictures and they're going to be casting a critical eye over these images. I'll just state my case here in my defence. I'm not a sports photographer and today I was only using a 28-80 zoom so there was no way I was ever going to get a good shot anyway. I did shoot a load of "Action" images but I've only included one which you'll see later and I had to Photo-shop that as the ball was lower and was merged among the bushes, I've cloned it so that it's more visible in the sky.

So, Lovejoy was the first up for us bowling with the wind behind him running in from the pavillion end. We had 5 bowlers, 8 overs each and again sorry I still haven't sussed everyone's Christian names yet. Nick Buckley was the wicket keeper. Lovejoy's a fast bowler and he started off well bowling nice and consistently and by the end of his spell he'd had a maiden, no wickets and restricted the runs to 37 off his 8 overs. The fielding was a bit lack lustre with people seemingly not putting there all into it and getting a bit of verbal off the captain - Lee Downes in particular. I was crap as well - the ground unlike the previous match at Loughton - in - the - Rain which was a marsh almost was rock hard here having had a week or so of hot weather, so you kind of feel less inclined to dive even though I did once half heartedly. But worse was my now starting to feel as though it's healing thumb was being pounded by people throwing the ball from one to another as the bowlers walked back to their starting points - including me. Worse still half the time it was coming out of the sun and I must have dropped it about 15 times just catching it from a few yards away.

Along with Lovejoy we had bowling into the wind "Super Dave" and he bowled very well producing 2 maidens and getting 2 wickets with 38 runs made against him. He took some bloke called D. Chamber which Sammers caught and P. White that Lovejoy caught. Then the spinners took over starting with Neil downwind and the Pomphrett bloke bowling into the wind. The Pomphrett bloke is an older bloke (Older than me even) but probably has loads of experience, they both bowled seemingly quite well. The Pomphrett blokes bowling looked clever, looking so much slower than Sammers but bowling short thus tempting the batsmen out of the crease to really have a go at it and he drew 2 of their blokes D.Bull and B.Bull forward of their crease so that Nick Buckley the keeper had their stumps, made it look easy - experience counts for a lot in this game I reckon? The bloke D.Bull was looking for his hundred as he'd reached 92 at the point of being dismissed.

Then I was called in to bowl from the field end into the wind. That didn't help psycologically and additionally because of the less than relaxed atmosphere at home this morning I didn't dare pick up a cricket ball and have a practice this morning as I'd liked to have had done! So I was straight in there cold as such. Thinking about it I should have spent 10 minutes or so bowling in the outfield rather than walking around taking tourist board pictures of Picturesque Kent? So up I came and bowled a heap of crap. Wide after wide after wide, by the end of the 2nd over I thought I'd have been taken off, probably would have done if there'd been other bowling options? But Neil kept me on encouraging me saying don't worry about it and good bowling when it did go right. I think in either the 2nd or 3rd over I bowled 4 consecutive wides. At which point I gave up trying to bowl wrong uns hoping that I'd get them to turn and started to bowl straight balls - top spinners and then it started to come together a bit.

Meanwhile Pomph was given the other end and finished off his overs and Neil and me finished off the the last few overs. Eventually getting into the groove a bit I got a ball to go down the Legside and the bloke - Pellatt hit the ball towards Mid wicket and Neil was there to catch it, as it flew towards him I remembered the game at Loughton and his 3 consecutive drops, but he was safe this time! My first wicket of the season. In the next over I bowled a top spinner straight down the middle and hit the middle stump just at the bails dismissing N.Toomey. So I got 2 and had 54 runs scored against me with about 58 wides or something (10 I think)? So just a bit of room to improve I'd say? Neil took another bloke - B.Lane clean bowled. Neil only gave away 35 runs.

I also reckon I had a bloke LBW but no-one else shouted. One of Neils was also not given and that was a decision given by our very own resident umpire "Bruno". Everyone around for miles saw and heard it thud off the middle of the bat almost straight into the hands of Nick, but Bruno said no - reckoned he didn't hear it as the wind was in the wrong direction! Pomph threw his hat down in disgust he was that p*****d off about it.

So they left the field having scored 214 (I think). We then had a lovely tea that everyone commended as being top value for £30. Loads of cheese, ham and salad, even some chips that Lee single handed ate almost all of himself. Danny had a few but Lee was up there 3 times before he'd had enough to keep him going and then he went off and slept it off out in the oufield!

Because I had the camera and was looking to get pictures of everyone as they left for the crease I didn't really watch the batting that much. But Neil opted to bat first as the opener and went for 2 clean bowled. John buckley went out next and put on 4216244 before being dismissed caught in the slips. His six was good - straight down the pitch almost hitting the clubhouse.

Next out was Chris Buckley (His bother). I think John is also Nick's Dad? Chris scored 241241 and was put down in the slips at around half way through his innings off of an outswinger.

Nick Buckley was out next (Wicket Keeper) he okay well scoring 123112341 and in doing so smashed his bat at the toe. Nick was joined by Lee Downes who at this point must have been almost cooked in the sun what with lying there for the last hour or so.

Lee ran on from where he'd been lying to put on a few more runs but both him and Nick were looking a bit lethargic considering they're both young lads and pretty good batsman. Sammers and the rest offered support and derision from the boundary line trying to get them to step up their game a bit and get some runs on the board. Looking from where we were sitting they did look as though they couldn't be bothered at times. Lee "3 teas" Downes did well with 441221221422211121 but did look as though he should have only had the one tea at times. "I bet he's blowing Goats out there" remarked Super Dave after a couple of hits in one over where there was back to back 2's run.

Next out with the dismissal of Nick (I think) was Dave Skeels with a new bat he'd earlier been banished to the far side of the field for knocking in his bat in within hearing distance of the locals. We were all hoping for something a bit special from Dave after his 80+ at Loughton a couple of weeks back and he didn't let us down, he showed the young uns the approach that we were looking for them to take. He scored 441421121446144 before being dismissed. Lee went first and was then replaced by Danny Groves and I was then given the nod to pad up as I was possibly going to go out next, at this point I was taking pictures and getting padded up and I've lost track of what happened. But the gist of it was that Danny should have gone out there and hit a bunch of 6's as it was now down to the last 2 overs and we were still about 40-50 behind. Super Dave took my place in the very last over and made a run or two and we ended up losing by quite a few runs.

The other team were good bunch of chaps and it was a lovely place to play cricket and a really nice tea. Despite losing, it was a good laugh, but it means back to the drawing board and more practice for me and a definite strategy of bowling the ball either before I go to these matches or once I arrive, cos today I bowled like crap. Neil said he'd been watching my bowling and said one of the things I don't do is drive forwards with my hips. I know that part of my action is a bit naff, so I'll have to give it some thought - again it's issues now around the run in, this is a constant theme.

So a blog with loads of figures in - I wonder if that works for people? The inclusion of the images was long winded as well and it's difficult to layout the page well with the images. But I do like it with images, but I reckon I'll try and get portraits rather than these walking out to the crease type images shot today. I'll also try and get hold of a 400mm lens as that will help with the sports style shots and remember to take a tripod.

They had a couple of spin bowlers as well - an old geezer who looked like he knew what he was up to and a young bloke with long blonde hair. The old bloke looked the part setting his field out with confidence and bowling fairly well. The young bloke looked the part as well - spinning the ball from hand to hand but he threw a load of full tosses, but high ones - upper body/shoulder - head height, most of which were dispatched to the boundary. But these high balls started off a discussion between us as to whether you could get done for no ball off of a spinner? I'm under the impression you can't but I'm not 100% sure?

Check out my other blog here - this is all about Leg-spin bowling and nothing else. Double click on the image below.
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