So up at 07.10 hrs, a quick cup of tea and by 7.30 I was there with my mower. A cold start with frost on the car windscreen. By the time I got onto the field the shadows were still covering the wicket and the grass was sopping wet from dew. I took the bucket so as to not leave grass cuttings all over the wicket and got on with it . There were a few dog walkers but I set up stumps so it was obvious what I was doing rather than just look like some total nutter attempting to mow 25,000 sq feet of grass! I did intend to just mow half the wicket up the end into which we bowl, but the mower is so good and so fast I did the full wicket. Oh man and did it look good, almost professional because of the stripes the mower leaves! The piece of ground that I've designated as the wicket is dead flat and once it was mowed you could see how nice and flat it is - it's lovely! By the time I'd finished several people had walked round the field and I didn't feel quite as self concious as I thought I'd have.
Having done that I measured out a piece of string 66 metres long and then measured the outfield and marked the perimeter by sticking bit of Tesco bags in about every 50' all round the perimeter. The only short boundary we've got is the one directly behind the batsman. I don't mind this as it's an incentive for people to try and learn how to take advantage of it by hitting the ball behind in some way.
So there it was a nice flat mown wicket, beautiful sunny day and perimeter set up all we needed was some blokes. Four of us turned up and that inlcuded my brother in law with his dodgey shoulder. So he kept wicket and the rest of bowled and batted - Me, Simon and Thomas. They did well with the bat especially Simon with regards neither Thomas or I managed to bowl him out. Thomas was hitting fours over my new boundary, but I also bowled him 4 times, but as he said he was being experimental with his shots. I couldn't bat to save my life once again, but I would argue the shot I was trying to produce I couldn't because there was a bunch of little boys having a football training session.
Simon seemed to have been enjoying himself and I think he thought I was nuts for getting up at 7.30 and mowing a wicket?
But as he said at the end of it we all need to get out on the grass and have a go as it is so different. We're looking this coming Saturday to only practice indoors for an hour and then get out onto the field for at least 2 hours (Maybe 3). Needless to say we need to practice with two blokes running between the stumps trying to work together to build partnerships. This is only going to happen if we get out on the grass. We also need to have Alex making decisions about who does what and applying tactics in order to get people out, like today for instance neither me or Thomas could dislodge Simon, but maybe with Richard as wicket keeper I could have bowled shorter and drawn him out of his wicket for Richard to stump him. I was pleased today in that bowled 2 flipper yorkers that had Thomas smashing his own stumps twice and the nearest I got to getting Simon out was a ridiculous looping yorker/full toss that almost hit the base of the stumps as it came down almost vertically! So come on you blokes make sure you're there this Saturday! (it'll rain now - you watch).