Woke up this morning and as expected what with all the sleep I've been having and the medicine I felt a lot better. It was a bit of a rush getting ready as I had to go and collect a cricket bag from a post office that had been won via a bid on ebay. If you're looking to buy a wheelie bag for cricket gear there's a bloke who's got a job lot of them he's selling and he's got them up on a best offer basis. I reckon they're a pretty good price http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/WOODWORM-WHEELIE-SUITCASE-TRAVEL-HOLDALL-CRICKET-BAG_W0QQitemZ310103747240QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_Tickets_Travel_Luggage_CA?hash=item310103747240&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1301%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A12%7C39%3A1%7C240%3A1318 don't pay the full whack - make the geezer an offer and you'll probably get them at a reasonable price.
Having done that I had to rush around a bit and get all the gear ready, I wasn't sure what balls I was going to use and ended up getting the kookaburra ones, which are expensive and prone to getting damaged when used in the way we were playing. The hall was 8 quid 50 and when I arrived 5 mins early Alex and Badger were already there. Simon turned up a bit late. The hall as mentioned before is a bit short, but considering how unfit we all are and out of touch (More them than me) it was okay as a starting point. The distance between the stumps was probably 17 yards and virtually no run up at all. The width of the hall from wall to wall is probably 22 yards? Anyway not to worry we just got on with it as it was just a get together to see if anyone had a thirst for some more. I'm not sure what goes on in their heads - whether they'd be up for a match or whether they just like the idea of a knock about every now and then? In fact I reckon they're quite happy just to have a knock about which suit me down to the ground as it means I get a bit of a workout with the bat. Then if there is some interest later and we can get a team togther with very little effort I'd be up for a game and I'm sure they would be, but they readily acknowledge that getting 12 of us in one place on one day is pretty unlikely - so knock abouts it is! Here's the hall -
I had a bat first as I felt quite confident after my recent practice in the subway/underpass. I didn't do too bad at all the only person that caused me any real aggro was Simon as he's a lot faster than the others and he was getting the ball to outswing and the most difficult balls were the ones that initially looked like they were all going down the legside and then they'd swerve in towards the stumps on a yorker length. He had my stumps several times when I tried to play the ball. If I just played defensively I was a lot more successful.
I spent half hour batting and I reckon I didn't do too bad - you've got to remember my highest score ever is 9 runs and I struggle to get Willow on leather, so I was quite pleased. I then had a bowl and was wary about the fact that I've not done any for quite some time because of the weather and then my recent illness, so I wasn't intending on doing too much and besides the wicket was too short. Couldn't get the Leg Break to work, the Gippers worked okay, but not the new upside down Flipper/Doosra ball, that just felt like it required a lot more arm twisting and was too 'Out of the back of the hand' for my liking when I'm totally committed to bowling Leg Breaks - I don't want to lose what I've gained with the leg breaks so I was mostly bowling standard Flippers and they were okay.
I had a second bat and that was okay too, I even manged to get the bat on some that went down the Legside and again I was quite pleased that I did okay - nice cover drives and they all commented that for the most part I managed to keep the ball low or on the ground. Simon again was the one that caused me the most problems but playing defensively against him seemed to be the way to go. It'd be nice if we could get enough of us together in some real nets somewhere for a couple of hours every two weeks or so with real balls, so I reckon we could look into that. If we could get Nick Naughty and Mark Soye on board that'd be six of us - but 2 hours in the nets at James Hornsby is quite expensive. Whenever I've tried to contact other schools they've never replied to my emails. But it's definitely something to think about?
I took the G9 camera and shot some video. I've uploaded a clip of my bowling but even I can see the issues, but I'm going to make some excuses - I'm in recovery from having a bad cold, the wicket was too short and there was no room for a run up. But having said that I reckon my action looks okay - just really slow. I reckon I should go for a speedier run up and whip that arm round a lot faster - which is something Super Dave at Grays has said before. I also reckon that the next time we go I should have the camera up behind the bat or up behind the stumps at the bowlers end from a high viewpoint - which I could do if we had access to proper nets? So more reason to try and get somewhere better to practice.
G9 issues - I've since discovered that it's best not to record using the lowest setting and the next setting up is far better quality and allows you to record for an indefinte period of time, only restricted by the size of the memory card, so next time the quality will be far more improved. I also want some footage of my batting from the bowlers end - zoomed in so I can see what I'm doing wrong with that too.
With regards the others, I reckon they all did okay considering this was the 1st time any of them had picked up a bat in 2 years almost! They were all really kanckered and flailing by the time the 2 hours was up! Yep we stayed for 2 hours - 1 hour was nowhere near long enough, but for them 2 hours was just a smidge too long considering their current fitness levels. I found the second session with the bat tiring on my forearms and upper body strength, so that's something I need to work on or could it be that I'm not fully recovered from being ill? But - more rotational push ups and stuff are on there way I reckon.
The others need to look at their follow through with their bowling, that to me looks like their weak points. But a very good session and something I'd like to repeat again and I reckon batting is the area I need to work on in these sessions as it's something I don't get to do and I reckon they should use a real ball with me.
Here's my bowling video - if you want to comment on it and give me some advice please do so.