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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Basildon & Pitsea 4th XI v Southend on Sea & EMT 6th XI

http://www.listofphotographers.blogspot.co.uk/

To be continued....

Another typical English mid summer cricket match. Last night at about 7pm it poured down with rain for the best part of an hour, so to ensure that the wicket was damp and sticky. Got up this morning and it was cloudy bright with more cloud than bright and a very stiff breeze. By the time we arrived at the match it was 95% cloud and it rained a little, but with the wind it wasn’t ever going to hang about.

 As usual we were low on numbers, we were missing 3 including the 'Captain' Lee Dutton 20 minutes before the match, but local lad Tim Brown had walked over with his kit having seen that a couple of players hadn't declared on the website that they were available looking to play. In addition Kieran 'The Barbarian' Barbero was on standby for such an event as well. The Captain turned up oblivious of the fact that he was the captain, he didn't have a score book or any balls, so 20 mins before the game we were in disarray. Lee (Joking) said to me, are you the captain today Dave? Someone then piped up, you're the captain Lee you was at the top of the list, that make you the captain. Lee said that a phone call might have been useful.

Pat (Anthony's Uncle) went back to the club to get some match balls and the call went to Kieran to make his way to the match and Tim was given the nod to play as well. A full team was in place, the opposition had won the toss and decided to field, seemingly to allow more time for the wicket to dry out.

The opposition looked (as usual) as though they'd probably be better than us, the boys in the team looked older and there seemed to more blokes in their team than ours and when they went into the field it looked as though there was too many of them for some reason?

Sonny Downes and Harrison Birch opened the batting for us. Right from the outset, they had a bloke ‘Wood’ bowling from the west end of the pitch and he bowled 17-5-34-6. Initially because of how slow he was and his run-up, which wavered from the left and then to the right and included a little skip, I thought he was a spinner, but the ball wasn’t turning. But it soon became apparent that he was bowling it on a nagging length with very good accuracy and varying the length slightly along with the speed. No-one could get him away particularly easily and throughout his spell which is the longest I’ve seen in this format here at Basildon. He took six wickets including Sonny Downes our opener, Sonny went cheaply for only 3 runs. Looking at Woods bowling figures, he took all 6 wickets from the first seven batsmen except for Anthony Ayres who came in at No.5 and ended up with a superb 49 not out. Anthony was denied his maiden 50 in any format, by a couple of things... Brads rash shot through cover that was caught by a sharp catch and possibly by a ropey decision on my part when umpiring. One of the byes I called when Anthony was batting, he claimed at the time came off the bat, but it was too late it had been signalled. That mistake cost him his 50, but to his credit he was amazingly philosophical about it, saying that he was okay about it and not that bothered, just happy to have made such a valuable contribution.

Harrison Birch also did well, scoring 24 before being bowled by ‘Wood’ and next in line for commendable batting was Lee Dutton the captain with 15. I scored 5 runs which is good for me, one of which was a four, but the bowler put the ball right where I needed it to be to hit it back past him on the onside, with too much speed on it for the mid-on fielder to get to it. Kieran ‘The Barbarian’ Barbero did well too with his ‘Cow corner’ slogs, if it wasn’t for some pretty nifty fielding he may have scored 15, two of his potential fours were stopped almost on the  boundary line and he only managed to get one through for the four. Our innings finished all out for 150.
150 didn’t look like a lot. The Southend bowling had been shabby a lot of the time with the exception of that one bloke ‘Wood’.  With 20 of our runs gained from wides, it seemed as though, this was not a bowling side and therefore the aspect of their game that sees them in the top three in the league along with us, must be their batting. It looked as though we was going to have a battle on our hands, but we did have a couple of good seam bowlers in Ben and Bradley Staff.

Two big strapping lads strode out wielding Warsop bats. By my reckoning (as a bowler) if you’ve forked out for a Warsop bat, which is an expensive piece of willow, you've got to have the batting skills, technique and all the shots to justify such a gesture. The word went round amongst the bowlers... "Uh-oh, look out lads, they've got Warsops... now we're in trouble". Were we about to see a display of batting superiority... Bradley stood on his mark, ball in hand, the bloke on strike, facing him, ready to unleash the wrath of Warsop...
But then... 3 balls in and only one run on the board L. Bunce is caught at point by Kieran 'The Barbarian' Barbero off of Brads bowling. We're all looking at each other incredulously, thinking... but he's got a Warsop... Ben was the next bowler, bowling from the eastern end, his over only accrued one run, despite the use of the Warsops! The bowling continued in this manner and eventually someone hit a four in the twelfth over lifting the run rate above 1 an over. Both Brad and Ben bowled really well. Ben recently has bowled poorly and has been disappointed, so this sudden return to form was good to see, he put it down to the fact that he wasn't marking out his run up and was just getting on with it and bowling with freedom.  In the 7th over the other bloke with the Warsop was dismissed in exactly the same way... Brad bowling, Kieran taking another very sharp catch at point, so Warsop bloke 'Elmer' had to make his way back to the sheds having scored 5 singles. Personally, if I was being dismissed in this manner, I'd consider buying a second-hand bat or a new Kashmir one, allowing me to walk off without that sense of expectation from the opposition based on the fact that I'm wielding a Warsop, but that's just me. There does seem to be a pattern developing here, it's as though the use of the Warsop bat puts the batsmen in some kind of deluded superior state of mind, as though the bat makes a difference. The evidence does seem to suggest otherwise.

The game progressed with Southend not being able to get the runs on the board, wickets fell relatively easily. Lee threw the ball to me and I wasn't sure how it would go, given my recent poor form, but these bloke were in a difficult situation and we were cruising. Still undecided whether I bowl off of a run-in, or whether I include the bound if I come in off of a short run up, I opted to go for a Jenner-esque two step walk-in.

The first over included the obligatory wide ball off the cut strip and the batsman smacking me for a couple of 4's, so I came away with 9 off the first over, but Lee could see it was coming together and said "Yeah, have another one", thinking by this time (I reckon) the opposition were moving towards playing for a draw as opposed to a win. The next over was a lot better, the field was changed and I only conceded 1 run. I may have chucked in an Wrong Un as Sonny was right behind me at Mid-Off saying 'Bowl him the Wrong Un Dave'. I tried going round the wicket to one bloke who looked susceptible and then went back again, then with S.Ridgewell on strike a loose ball went legside (As did several) and he tried to flick it away down past Ben at Fine Leg. The ball was in the air and Ben came forward and took a very low but obvious catch and I got a wicket at last! Nice to have a father and son combo wicket as well! There was a chance during my bowling where a run out was on, but as the ball came in low and flat off of Brads fielding I couldn't hold on to it to take the bails off and missed the chance.

A bloke came in shortly after my spell and Lee had a few overs as this bloke who seemed to make what appeared to be a concerted effort to get the run rate going and move towards the chance of a win? Lees bowling was erratic, which made me feel a lot better about some of the overs I've bowled in recent matches and I reckon I'd have Lee as captain any day of the week as he's probably a lot more empathetic to the plight of the spin bowler on a bad day, as he's a spinner himself and has been through the same crap as I have! Lee got a few wickets from what he described as poor bowling except for one really nice one. In his overs he bowled a fair few wides outside of the off-stump and for the most part the ball wasn't turning, but then he threw one up well outside of the off-stump and the bloke just raised his bat to get the wide and the ball, which was spinning, hit a bit of rough and came back in at 45 degrees and hit the stumps!
"That's what you call and off-break mate" he said as the batsman walked off looking back at his broken stumps.

Around about this point in the game they shut up shop and seemed to make the decision that the win wasn't on and that they'd play for the draw. A kid with a mullet (Bottrill)?Then came out (No.3) and started to bat at the east end (Park end). He then blocked and blocked and blocked like I've never seen before. Lee tried all sorts of tactics, fielding in close looking for a catching chance, but the kids bat was firmly angled forwards and everything was being hit into the ground. Anything slightly wide of the off-stump was just left. Lee moved us all out to see if he'd try and hit it and run a single, but he wasn't going to go anywhere unless he hit a four or a two. I don't know how long he was out there, but it seemed as though 90% of the time he was at the park end blocking away making Geoffrey Boycott look like a T20 player!

Teas came and went and the 6 o'clock rule came into play and this kid was still there blocking for England. In the meantime the blokes at the other end seemed to have another agenda altogether. They were hitting the balls and running - again, seemingly in 2's and 4's meaning that Dr Block (Bottrill) always remained at the same end. Watching the overs tick by the game changed and went from a position where it looked like they were playing for a draw, to a situation where we were creeping towards a win by virtue of taking wickets. But then the last man came on with several overs to go - the bowler who'd taken all the wickets (Wood). Lee said "I know this bloke, I've played against him before, he can block like the kid here, this is going to be a draw. Wood took his position at the crease and then swung that bat like a psycho dealing mostly in 4's and throwing in a 6 or two! The game changed again, we needed a wicket, if the ball was on the stumps Wood blocked just as well as Mullet boy. Anything slightly loose and the ball was sailing over or between the fielders going for 4's and very quickly!

Their total on the 13th over was 135 chasing 150 with Wood still smacking the ball around with gusto and confidence. I'd been back on, Sonny had a go, Lee had been on again and so had Brad and Ben who'd bowled really well. Kieran wasn't an option because his shoulder was knackered, but he'd have been my choice because he swings the ball and bowls on difficult lengths. With only 15 needed off of another 6 or 7 overs, the draw was looking like a highly likely win with Woods batting. But these were the last two blokes and we only needed that one wicket! But with the win now an option, their tactics changed and they started to take singles looking for the win and worked slowly towards a victory. Because Wood looked solid despite the fact that he had been going after the ball and Bottrill had played so well for so long blocking it was beginning to look like a lost cause. It was quiet in the field, so I took it upon myself to start getting a bit of noise going "C'mon Basildon"! Clapping and commending the bowling when the dot balls came or the fielding was good. With Bottrill now looking for singles and Wood doing the same, the pressure was on them now to bring home the win. We just needed to bowl tight and field well. Wood hit a couple of fours in quick succession, leaving Bottrill on strike. Lee made another bowling change bringing Anthony back on, the first ball bowled did the trick, Bottrill bowled and the game won with only a handful of runs needed on their part. Bottrill was gutted, Wood was more philosophical saying it had been a good battle.

A couple of days later the league tables were updated (See below) and this win now put us up into 2nd position in the league with our next game against Orsett. Thankfully Orsett are languishing down at the bottom of the league table, suggesting that we have a chance of winning.

 
 
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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Joe progress compound fracture recovery

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http://www.listofphotographers.blogspot.co.uk/

I haven't done this in a while because the healing process has slowed down considerably, so the week by week differences are so minimal they'd probably be hard to see. The images here are the first for 2 months, so if compared with the images shot at the start of April here, there maybe a noticeable difference.

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 The leg overview.
 The inside of the leg with the 'Hole' next to the penny and the exit wound to the left.
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 'The hole' close up.
 The exit wound close up.

This it the impact wound on the back of the leg.

Overall it's coming together for Joe slowly, he's back to doing as much sport as he can, but as the physio said back in March it's going to be a long haul (2 years) before he regains the fitness levels he had at the time of the accident. One of the consequences of this, is that when he's playing cricket it's almost inevitable that he's going to be run-out, because he still hasn't got the muscles to get going and he's still carrying some additional weight gained whilst recovering. He had to miss out on some of the school sports that he would have participated in - running etc and he only managed to secure a place in one event whereas he'd have expected to represent his 'House' in several events.

Update
 
Another quick update on Joe. I followed Joe on his way out to school on Friday after I'd updated my blog and reported to you that he doesn't limp. I watched him walk down the rode and noticed that he does in fact still limp, I think normally it's not something I'm looking for, as I'm usually looking to be positive, but he leaped over a wall and I thought 'Well, that's good to see as well', but then watched as he walked away and watched and observed that he does still have a limp. It may be that it's one of those situations, where initially, early in the day he's not loose and warmed up, and as the day goes on he loses the limp, but that's something I'll have to look out for?

http://www.listofphotographers.blogspot.co.uk/
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 Check out my other blog here - this is all about Leg-spin bowling and nothing else. Double click on the image below.
http://www.legspinbowling.blogspot.co.uk/
 
 
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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Best bowling figures for a spin bowler?

Last night I witnessed and recorded on a video, an amazing spell of bowling by the wrist spinner Frank Farrington (Aged 12) bowling in the U15's for Basildon & Pitsea cricket club. I remember reading a few years back, news paper clippings about Peter Philpott, who wrote the seminal book The Art of Wrist Spin Bowling. The figures that stood out for me were 2 for 36 and 3 for 77 in games played in Manly, New South Wales against adult teams. I know already I've seen Frank do better than that last summer against adults and I'm fairly certain he did as well as this in a recent adult league game. But last night in an Under 15's B team game he did something that can only be described as amazing...


So Tuesday night, same story – rush home, get in, get my work gear off, chuck some civvies on and in the car to try and get to Orsett in 10 minutes! Needed a Subaru Impreza and a rally driver to do it though! The weather didn’t look promising, heading towards Basildon the sky looked ominously dark in that area as it had done heading out of Southend.

 
By the time we arrived at Orsett it didn’t look any better and as we got out of the car it started to spit. nostalgia casino online casino danmark lotto results
 
The background story to this game… Having played at two clubs in this area of Essex, Orsett are seen as the team to beat. Rumour has it that they are such a big set up, with so many kids wanting to play for them, the kids have to go through some kind of aptitude test and if they don’t come up to scratch they’re not taken on. A mate of mine who lives right near the ground has a son who’s around about 13 or 14 and he managed to pass this test, but I recall speaking to him a couple of years later and he was saying that despite the fact that he was in the set-up, he’d never played a league game for the club.
 
The club is very well resourced both in terms of players and facilities and as such tends to be a very successful team. A couple of seasons ago our U13’s met them in the final and we lost by one run, so for us they are the team to beat. Our U15’s A team, who for the most part are made up of that same team that were beaten by one run, played their game at Orsett last week were bowled out for 53, batting first and were home within a matter of 2 hours, six of the lads went for ducks. So, today there was an expectancy of more of the same.
 
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As we arrived it looked as though Joe was going to open the bowling again for the 2nd game running and the umpires were still getting themselves organised, so I quickly set up the camera only to find that I didn’t have a tripod plate. Despite this, I still video'd most of Joes bowling in the rain which now had increased to the point where it might look like the game could be called off. Joes first over was okay with him bowling into a very stiff breeze and pouring rain and he bowled a couple of wide-ish balls one of which was given as a wide, but then got it together and settled. He was bowling slow, so I can only assume that he was trying out his finger spin or he was knackered from doing PE in his last lesson at school following on from school sports the previous day. Remember too, he is still recovering from his RTA and compound fracture of his tibia and wont be fully fit for another 18 months according to the physio’s. Looking at the score sheet though, once he got it more on target and at the stumps instead of outside of the off-stump, they started to get into him. The two scorebooks don't tally up and one has him finishing with 4-1-16-0 and the other 4-0-21-0.

Oliver Biebuyck bowled from the southern end a little faster than Joe and overall it looked fairly tidy with his first over a maiden. The fielding was good and despite two strong batsmen they kept at it. The two openers and the number 3 & 4 all had decent innings and the opener retired on 35
You can see that they readily took to our bowlers, scoring freely, all hitting fours. Behind us where "The Orsett", all waiting to go in and plunder the bowling, I could hear kids saying “Oh I can’t wait to get out there, they’ve got spin bowlers, I’m just going to smack them out of the park”. Well, actually none of them are spin-bowlers as such, these are just lads trying to find their way and haven't quite settled as yet with regards to what they do, with the exception of one lad - Frank Farrington.
 
The runs kept coming at over 6 an over and we couldn’t dislodge the batsmen and then there was a break through. Frank brought on Luke Sharman, a left-arm orthodox apprentice. He had a very shaky start with his length, bowling far too full - full tosses and the first ball a beamer that nearly went over Harry "Jeff Boycott" Hodgsons head (Keeper). The following ball to C.Boreham he tried to smack out of the park through the mid-wicket region, but again it was another full toss and he didn't get any bat on it. The follow-up ball was similar and the kid Boreham smacked it as promised by his pals sitting behind me. The ball went sailing over the boundary for 6 through mid-wicket and the score at this point was looking beyond being salvaged. Frank discreetly made a field change and pushed Tim Brown deeper towards the boundary at Mid-wicket. Luke tossed another one up and this time (I think) it bounced and the kid swung at it with the same intention, but this time it went right up in the air straight towards where Frank had set Tim. We went inside and had a cup of tea and came out and the ball by now was coming down and Tim was settling himself beneath it to take the catch. This being our B-team the odds were against us by my reckoning... The hands went up and met the ball - thwack! Straight into Tim's hands and then out again, we all held our breath. In a split second Tim swivelled his head, got sight of the ball again and grabbed it... This time safely! Everyone went up and all the lads ran in to congratulate Tim...

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Everyone had bowled and the score was in excess of 103 and 14 overs had gone, with only a few overs in hand, so Frank brought himself on. For me, he’d come on too late and later in the game I asked him about this and he came back with an interesting reply. He bowled his first over and it was uneventful coming away with 1-0-6-1. From where I was, I couldn’t see whether it was turning or not off the pitch, but his bowling action looked good and he was bowling with lots of air. Their no.3 batsman was doing well and was on 25 and survived Franks opening over.
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His second over was better. The first two balls were singles, but the batsmen didn’t look as though they had any idea as to what to do – this is the same kids that were going to smash the spinners out of the park. The 3rd ball was tossed up leg-side and turned sharply hitting middle and off and Frank had bowled him round the legs! Things had suddenly got better, but remember... we had the "smash em out of the park brigade" on their way in with their Warsop bats. The fourth ball looked a little ropey as though he'd dragged it down a bit and it pitched short, the kid dropped to his knee ready for the big heave-ho instead of a defensive straight bat block, missed it and was given LBW. Frank was now on a hat-trick. The next kid came in and you'd have thought he'd have been thinking I'll block this, play safe and then smack him out of the park in the way that he deserves to be. Nope, the cock-sure wanna be batsman, clears his legs out of the way of his stumps, drops to his knee like some Kevin Pietersen, takes a massive swing it and gives Frank his hat-trick! Our boys go mad!
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The new kid A.Cammack has a go and luck is with him and he scores 4. But Frank isn't finished with them yet. He starts his 3rd over with scores of 2-0-12-3. The first ball is a dot ball and the four hitter Cammack is on strike. Again the kid clears his stumps to free his arms, this time standing up - massive swing, cops hold of the ball with the bat and straight up into the air and Abdul Baig trots in for an easy catch. 2:2-0-12-4. The next kid comes in and they're still deluded that they can play spinners and that it's easy. What was it that the greatest batsman in the world said -
 
"No ball bowled is as difficult as one which leaves the bat and goes towards the slips. The really good leg-break beats them all.” - Sir Donald Bradman
 
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I'll carry this on tomorrow, but in the meantime here's the BBC version of the video. I've emailed the BBC to see if they want to use the story and I've contacted the local papers, at this stage I'm waiting to here from them.
There will be another video which is longer including some of the play in between and that'll have some comical captions. A lot of people have commented on the bloke in this still image above, saying that his reaction is hilarious. So watch out for that in the next few days.
 
It was noted that these lads were not actual B-team players as such, because as many as 5 of them were in the U15's A team last week. This is kind of backed up by looking at their website http://www.orsettcc.co.uk/youthU15.php and you'll see that there is no B-team as such for the U15's, which kind of contradicts my earlier supposition about how well resourced player-wise they are.

The opinions and views expressed on this website are not endorsed by any of the clubs involved.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Oliver Mowles bowling

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A mate of mine has just posted this over on www.bigcricket.com it's an account of his sons bowling and it's pretty impressive and worth a post on my blog...

Dave, hope you and the family are well and that you and Ben are both enjoying the experience of playing together and that Joe too is starting to get a few junior games (sorry if I have missed this on your blog).

Anyway, without the benefit of a blog, I really, really need to tell someone (everyone) about Ollie's performance on Saturday. We both play for the 2nds in the lowest local league which is made up of half village teams 2nd XIs bringing along juniors (like us) and half of teams trying to get promotion. This week we played a similar club to ourselves, we fielded 10 due to a late call of in the 1sts with 2 under 14s and an under 13, whilst they fielded 11 but with 2 under 16s, 1 under 14, 1 under 13 girl and an under 11 (I wasn't happy but he was the opposition captain's son and they took responsibility for him) but their adults were mostly in their 20s and ours are mostly in our 40s. There were two batsmen in particular who had put Ollie to the sword in his first game for the 2nds this time last year who were both in the team again on Saturday.

I lost the toss so we had to bat, in the absence of our usual opener I promoted myself from no11 to no2 as no one else likes opening, going OK until a very close run out saw the end of my knock, but 12 is a top score for me since returning to play. We ended up with 72 which is never anywhere near enough and their captain did ask if tea was ready or should they go out to bat (inference being 'it won't take us long to knock this off'), but I politely declined and had a good chat with him over a sandwich or two about the youth development at both clubs.

I should at this point mention Ollie and me had an extra bowling session on Friday evening because there were no school or club junior matches last week due to half term and we got his in swinger back working (technical issue with back foot landing position). This, combined with lots of cloud cover made me hopeful that Ollie would have a reasonable day. First over was uneventful and they moved comfortably to 5-0, Ollie opened up from the other end. First ball yorker hit the batter on his back foot, we all go up and the umpire gives it LBW (Ollie has had similar shouts the past two weeks but not given - one umpire saying he doesn't give his son out LBW - that sort of league I suppose, so Ollie was well chuffed), couple of balls later and a big inswinging ball accounts for the no3's off peg and they are wobbling at 9-2. Jimmy keeps the next over tight but Ollie comes back with a wicket of the first ball of his second over (bowled) then another with the third ball (bowled) and then another with the final ball of the over (caught by the keeper off an edge playing inside the line), so Ollie's figures read 5-6 off two overs and both teams are in disbelief with the score at 15-5 off four overs! Ollie then bowls their no4 off the last ball of his third over and he has accounted for their top 6. Couple of overs later he then puts the icing on the cake with a direct hit run out to remove their no7 and its all over bar the shouting. I desperately try to swap the bowling round to give a couple of lads a bowl but we end up skittling them out for 36 off 14 overs, with Ollie finishing with figures of 5-0-13-6. Full scorecard is here
http://gooderstone.play-cricket.com/scoreboard/scorecard.asp?id=11691474

Sorry for going on, but to be on the field when that sort of thing happens is a fantastic 'dad' moment and even if Ollie bowls that well again I can't see everything else coming together, umpire might not give the plumb LBW, keeper might drop the edge, etc

All the best
Tony (still high as a kite nearly 48 hours later)
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Friday, June 07, 2013

No cricket this weekend

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Neither Ben or I were selected this week, which is a bit gutting as the weather is set to be fine and it's at our local pitch just a few hundred yards away. So instead we're heading down to the south coast for a bit of beach cricket maybe and possibly some surfing as the wind is going to be offshore... Just checked, no surf it's flat. Cricket it is then and a little light reading - Charlotte Cottons "Photography as Contemporary Art".

Other than that tonight, I mowed the wicket in the paddock and had a bowl. My bowling in the last couple of matches has been poor for a number of reasons and when I came away from the last game I'd decided that maybe I should look at my walk in/run in. I'm less inclined to work on the faster run-in and maybe look at working with a very short walk in, as it seems my accuracy is massively improved and I get the ball to spin far better. Someone had noted that as I run in I waver all over the place and they said that perhaps this was the reason for my inaccuracies. Recently one of the main things I've been doing with a more energetic run in is bowl full tosses and this is a recipe for disaster. So I tried the energetic approach and again poor accuracy and very bad length.

One of the things I then considered if I am going to bowl off of a short walk in, was to increase the arm-speed e.g. whip the arm over at more speed to allow a variation in the speed of the ball through the air, so I've been working on press-up, planks and other core strength and rotator cuff exercises and generally there seems to be some improvement. Although watching one of the Finger spinners at the club and facing Finger spinners, it's not so much the speed, but more the accuracy and the length. So off the 2 step walk -in, if I can increase accuracy and consistency of length and line, the other components are already there. The handful of balls I bowled tonight did seem to come out really well and spun really well with loads of turn off the wicket. The same approach works well with the Googly and my current flipper variation, but no doubt a match will be the measure of how effective it is...
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Monday, June 03, 2013

Basildon & Pitsea U15's (B-Team) v Pegasus & Corringham B

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Strewth! 2 more matches to catch up on and report on.

Tonight it was Joe aged 11 and some of the other U13's and our Under 15's B-Team v's Pegasus & Corringham Under 15's "B-Team". Ours was a genuine B-Team, with our A-Team playing away at Orsett at their ground at the same time, so the B- Team consisted of the following lads...


Abdul Baig - U15's
Frank Farrington - Wrist Spinner U13's
*Harry Hodgson U13's
*Joe Thompson U13's
Stevie Wyatt U15's
*Oliver Biebuyuck U15's (his first match) .
Mark Broadhurst U15's
Tim Brown U15's
Michael Dickson U15's
Finlay Munro (No show) U15's
Luke Sharman U15's




Abdul Baig Member profile - no photo available
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Frank Farrington Member profile
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Harry Hodgson Member profile - no photo available
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Joe  Thompson Member profile
Joe Thompson
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Stevie Wyatt Member profile
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Tim Brown Member profile
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Michael Dickson Member profile
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Luke Sharman Member profile - no photo availableLuke Sharman
Leading up the game as late as Sunday night the team sheet indicated that the team was at least 4 short and I was gutted for Joe, Harry and Oliver who have been waiting for a game for ages and at one point in the early stages of the season it looked as though they were going to completely without any chance of a game and there was talk of people leaving and going elsewhere. But then Jeff Noble the youth manager came up with the idea of a U15's B-Team, that Harry and Joe could be part of. Apparently simultaneously the same thing was happening at the other clubs, their teams were short of players in the U13's category (This is the 'SKY' affect as far as I'm concerned - taking Ashes cricket off of terrestrial TV) as well and were scratching around for a solution. Our U15's quota is still fairly healthy, so much so that there's a regular team of boys which stops some of the others getting into the main team, which is seemingly always the case in these scenarios, but it means the lads that are constantly not selected potentially - eventually get fed up and leave the club. So this plan for a B-Team was the ideal solution. Then suddenly out of nowhere there appeared a series of fixtures for U15's B- teams, whether this existed already - I don't know, but it was the perfect solution for our club and the current situation.

Their first match was cancelled, so tonight was the first game and for some - Oliver, Joe, Harry it was their first proper games in that usually they'd have played Terrier cricket or school cricket. This morning I checked the website and the team had grown to 10, with only Finlay Munro not showing up. But there was 10 and a game could happen. The weather was good 20 degrees as we drove there.

Michelle and I arrived a little late and had missed two overs that Joe had already bowled, two maidens by all accounts and Ollie Biebuyck was bowling and it all looked very good with a few overs already gone and no runs on the board. At this point I didn't realise that it was Joe's first 2 overs for no runs that were integral to such a good start! Ollie bowled a couple of good overs and then Joe came on for his (The first one we'd seen) and he was good too. Tim Brown bowled well after taking three wickets in an adult match recently. Apparently he'd already got a wicket in this game.

They were doing well - really well in fact, because this opposition B-Team had the luxury of their A-Team playing on a different night, so this team had a number of boys that were A-team players. Not only were they A-team players, but they were kids that had been selected to show up and trial for the district team, meaning that they were strong players. Whereas our team was populated by genuine B-Team players and a bunch of 11 year olds. Also - as per usual these U15's were bigguns again, very imposing if you're only 11 years old and playing in your first non-terrier match, but Harry and Joe were up to it and they fielded exceptionally well, taking regular wickets.

Frank was the captain (I think Frank is only 12) and he did a brilliant job, giving the ball to the lads that had put their hands up and said 'I bowl'... Joe, Ollie, Tim etc, they all got their overs ahead of Frank, despite the fact that Frank himself is a very good bowler and is a District player. When he did eventually bowl he took a couple of wickets with his Leg Breaks.

Harry Hodgson (11) had been identified as the wicket keeper, but when given the choice he backed out letting Stevie Wyatt take the role and he did a very good job of it as a total newbie to the role. Harry himself, caught the ball off of ******** bowling getting rid of ****

Joe got 4-1-8-0
Ollie got 4-0-12-1
Tim 3-0-15-1
Frank 3-0-14-2


So overall a job well done, considering the odds looked to be in favour of the Pegasus and Corringham team. Then Frank surprised me again, putting in Mark Broadhurst and Stevie Wyatt as the openers. Mark, I could see the rationale, Marks always looked as though he's a top order batsman in the making and it's just a case of waiting and one day it could all come together. Stevie's always struck me as an all-rounder in the making as he bowls as well and would probably be suited in the middle somewhere, but because of the lack of games, none of these boys apart from Frank have a known track record.

With only 80 odd to chase, my money was on Frank being somewhere up there near the top order to ensure some runs were made, but no... Frank put himself behind Abdul, in front of Joe and Ollie and Tim. I spoke to Marks Dad briefly about what we might expect from Mark and his Dad was non-committal saying that he'd been struggling of late. He got off to a slow start, lots of balls getting past him, but it had been the same for their team. But then every now and then he'd smack one through to the boundary, most of which wasn't pretty, but it was mostly along the ground and that way he wasn't going to be caught, so it was slow and safe. Stevie in the meantime was looking a little lost, not moving his feet at all and stuck in the crease.

To be continued... (Along with 3 other matches I still haven't managed to finish writing about!)

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"Paddock Boys" (Kids that I've been isntrumental in encouraging to play cricket) Left to right Oliver, Joe (My younger son) and Harry.
After the match - back in the shed. Left to right - Joe, Frank, Abdul, Luke and Ollie.
At last back in whites and playing cricket again
Frank congratulates the team for their performance in the field having restricted the total to a manageable figure.
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The victorious U15's B- Team at the end of the game.
Frank takes a bowled & caught off his wrist spin bowling.
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Joe back in the game.


Left to right - Frank, Abdul and Harry waiting to bat.

Throughout the game the batting didn’t look that convincing and the run rate stuttered along, but did so gradually. Then, they brought on a ginger kid, with hair the colour of a Jaffa orange, he was also J.Thompson and he helped us out loads in that he bowled a whole succession of wides (Worse than me this weekend just gone), that got the scoreboard ticking over again. Mark continued to hit the occasional four and crept towards 35 at which point he’d have been forced to retire, which would have moved Frank further towards having a bat and the chance of getting runs on the board at a better rate. Then with one to go he was bowled clean. Harry went in and looked nervous and didn’t get off the mark. Abdul went in, looked relaxed, but was soon dismissed not grounding his bat on a ball that was returned from fine leg. He had stopped well short of his ground and his bat was in the air and G-Man had done this in training a couple of weeks back! But he’ll know now for the future. No-one was sticking around, but Luke ***** who is 15 was staring to make his mark with a very deft looking shot that looked like a late cut shot, or a similar shot where he just seemed to be steering the ball very cleverly through 3rd man where there were no fielders off of the faster bowlers. Then Frank made his way out to the middle with Joe scheduled to go in next. With about 6 overs left it looked borderline as to whether they’d do it, they needed about 4 – 5 runs an over and the accurate quicks were back on. The first over was virtually run-less, the second over a tad better, but it wasn’t the decisive and the balance of the game had swung back their way. But it wasn’t lost all Luke had to do was get Frank back on strike – did Luke know Frank, did he know that Frank was a district player or was he assuming that as he’d come in at No.7 or whatever he was, he was a bowler? Luke needed to get Frank on strike. Frank hit a couple of fours and single, Luke was still attempting that shot down through 3rd man and it wasn’t working. The last two overs and needing 7  Frank was at the wrong end. Luke hit two and was back on strike, one more run at the end of the over and Luke ran and got himself back on strike for the last over needing four, it looked so close, “Get Frank on strike” I was imploring.

The last over and four was required, dot ball followed dot ball and then on the 3rd ball, out of nowhere Luke slogged a ball that flew over the in-field and looked to be going for six and feel short but went for 4… We’d won!
 
The highlight of the day was the maturity of Franks captaincy, he conducted himself very well and steered the lads to a very good win over a potentially tough opposition. he didn't hog the bowling or the strike when batting and allowed everyone to be involved in the game. The team talks at mid way through the game and at the end were spot on. I was very impressed.

Check out my other blog here - this is all about Leg-spin bowling and nothing else. Double click on the image below.
http://www.legspinbowling.blogspot.co.uk/
 
 














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