It looks as though tomorrows game may include Ben (older son). Weather at the moment isn't looking too clever - raining now (Midday) and is expected to continue raining for the rest of the day. The team as usual looks to be a good bowling unit, but not so good when it comes to the batting. I was hoping that Joe would be able to get to the nets today at Mopsies for some practice, but the rain has put paid to that idea. At least the upshot of the batting situation is that we'll all get the chance to bat!
Looking at XC weather it looks as though the weather is going to improve substantially before the game - rain stops at 04.00 and thereafter there's sunshine and wind so hopefully it'll be ready to play on. The weather's been so dry over the last few weeks that the rain that we've got at the moment will easily be absorbed and will easily dry I reckon by 1pm tomorrow.
On arrival at the ground we were met with a new sight, a few our blokes dragging covers off of the pitch. Seems the club has purchased covers for the wicket at Langdon Hills and yesterday during the rain Dave Ayres and his son Anthony had been over there and put the new covers on preventing it from getting totally soaked. On arrival Tim, Liam, Tony and Jamie removed them. In an ideal world Dave could have went over there at about 08.00hrs and removed them allowing the wicket to have a an extra 4 hours drying in the sun (Joking). Joking aside though maybe there should be some kind of shared responsibility for removing the covers as soon as possible or putting them on the wicket as there are a few of us that do live near the ground. But that would involve issues around who has the key to the changing rooms/clubhouse I suppose.
Another issue is that this is a massively high risk strategy, what with the Rec being quite secluded there's a good chance that the covers could be nicked, so in a way the sooner someone gets over there in the morning of the match and gets them off and put away, the better the prospects of the wicket drying out and the covers not being nicked. We'll have to see how long they last.
Today with the covers not coming off till midday and the sun being out the moisture in the wicket was then drawn from the ground ending up as condensation on the inside not allowing the wicket to dry to the extent that it could have done. Despite this, the difference in comparison to the surrounding wickets was quite marked. Once off though and with an hour to play, what with the Rec's quick drying attributes the covers had done their job.
Good game today although we lost, it was at one point quite a close thing, but they held back their ace card till quite late in the game. Loads of catches not taken, I almost got their 'Ace card' man out in one of the final over, which wouldn't have made any difference apart from a miracle, but it would have been nice to have taken his scalp. We had a fielder out at deep square leg - one of our best catchers and the ball was hit perfectly to him and I thought at last after such a bad performance and everything going against me - the wicket of their best bloke...Unfortunately Liam didn't take the catch - being hit so far it parried out of his hand he then had a second bite at it and fumbled it into his chest, from where it bounced forwards and then the 3rd and final one - into his hands just didn't stick and down it went. A ball after that was then smashed through his Dads hands as he jumped up, but that was a really difficult chance. Earlier though I had a dead cert stumping of the big bad bloke, that even the crowd said was out all day long, our blokes all said it was out, but the umpire begged to differ. In my first spell I had almost two dead cert LBW's one of which was on the toe and the other slightly higher and again nothing doing, so as far as I was concerned I had at least 4 wickets denied through either ropey decisions or the ball not sticking! I guess when it comes down to it, they were all close calls and if in doubt the umpire will err on the side of the batsman.
Joe bowled well again taking 3 wickets meaning in the overall scheme of things he moves above me in the wicket taking and rightly so considering how bad I bowled in the first spell... This now puts Joe equal 4th with the legendary wrist spinner Frank Farrington.
On the subject of the Joe's figures, looking at the tallies taken from their scorebook, their scorers have mixed up Joe's figures with Liam's suggesting that Joe bowled 12 overs when he only bowled 10 and Liam was credited with 5 overs when he actually bowled 7. They've also got Joe as having gone for 65 runs which is mental, especially as I seem to recall he went for 1 or more maidens by my reckoning! Unfortunately I didn't photograph their scorebook and therefore unable to make full sense of the mistakes. I can't really say much about the situation as the kids that were doing the scoring were obviously learning and when you are learning you do make mistakes, so I'm guessing that we'll just have to live with it although it is a real shame because Joe's average and strike rate was exceptional up to this point. I can now see why bowlers used to get really disgruntled when I was learning to score and made a few mistakes.
John Bedford (right) walks off having scored 90 with the Captain Lee Dutton. At the start of the match we only 10 players and John had come over to watch, but was then told to go and get his kit. He suffered a pulled hamstring in the match and Liam Harms had to run for him. John helped us to get to a score of 240.
Dave Ayres who rarely plays and deals with most of the clubs organising, admin and managing put in a brilliant performance out of no-where. He always sells himself short, but today he turned it on smacking the ball for frequent fours adding 34 to the total equal to Duttons score. Jamie Briton made a solid 29 and new bloke Steve Bonnett made a quick 16.
Big Hitting Dave Ayres (batsman).
Neil on his way out.Neil Williams makes his way out to the middle for a very brief appearance (Duck). I think he face two balls, the second one that got him facing a spinner - was defended. The ball dropped at his feet still spinning and initially looked to be rolling away (Still spinning) towards the covers well wide of the stumps, but then with the spin started to arc back towards the stumps with Neil still looking at it, watching it heading towards the off-stump. I was looking and thought why's he not kicking it away but then it looked to be trickling so slow it was either (a). not going to quite get there or (b). Maybe it'll hit the stump, but there's no way the bails will move. That's probably what Neil thought as he didn't move and the ball trickled onto the stumps the bail fell off
Left to right - Dave Ayres (Scoring), Tim Brown, Joe Thompson (Bowler) Neil Williams (Comedian).
Jamie Britton at the crease.
Joe Thompson waiting in anticipation to bat
The captain - Lee Dutton
Man down - This bloke dived for a ball and landed on his shoulder hurting himself. I love the way that everyone ignored him, not even his team mates approached him! He was okay in the end as far as I can recall.
Joe batting with John Bedford.
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