No Badger this week as he phoned in sick. I tried to get Simon Grainge along but he sent me a text saying he'd already arranged to do something other. So after a rubbish day of more rain and dampness where the only thing that represented some practice was some use of the Bradman bat I was looking forward to a session in the nets. Primarily to see if the Bradman bat made any difference to my batting?
After some warm up exercises the nets were pulled out pretty sharpish and we had about 6 blokes in the nets. I was hoping to bowl at some of the first team players as I did last week but Matt said that he only wanted 1st team players in the net as they needed to practice seriously as there's only a few weeks left before the season gets under way in a more serious manner.
Initially I bowled rubbish which underlines the neccessity for me to bowl before I go into the nets or a match. After several balls I settled down a bit and bowled primarily Top Spinners, Wrong Uns and Flippers (Grimmett Flippers). It went quite well as I hit the stumps at least twice this week and got it past the bat leaving the batsman stranded out of his crease several times too which is the technique that I tend to favour in the nets. Then the chance came to bat, I got all my gear on and then realised I hadn't brought my special 'Box pants' with me and that I was wearing baggy boxer shorts. So I stuffed the box down there and then got some support from the elastic from my hip protector but to be honest the box was rattling about all over the gaff, but I was so determined to see if the Bradman bat had caused any improvement I decided to risk it. What it did mean was that every 4 seconds or so I was having to re-adjust it, but I persevered and despite the fact that I had to concentrate more on my balls than the balls that were coming out of the hands of the bowlers I did remarkably well. Without doubt this was the best net session with the bat I've ever had. I reckon I managed to get the bat on the ball 9 out of 10 times and 8 out of 10 times it went somewhere in a safe fashion rather than high and potentially into the hands of a fielder. So for me this represents an exponentially large improvement that I'm going to attribute to the Bradman bat practice and therefore means I'm going to continue with it for the forseeable future. Additionally I was having to face some of the faster bowlers who bowl in excess of 60mph - a bloke called Mason in particular and some new bloke I've never seen before and with all of their balls I was either able to make contact with the ball or leave it. So this was very encouraging especially in view of the fact that I had problems with my box. I'm now looking forward to next week after another week of practice with the 1" bat and I'll be wearing my special pants.
Again they had the speed gun in the nets and this time I had my bowling speed measured. I've always been under the impression that I bowl ridiculously slow and that even my faster deliveries were not going to be that much faster. So I was very surprised that with very little effort my Flipper came in at 43mph and my wrong un was measured at 47mph (And it took the wicket clean bowled). The faster version of my wrong un I don't generally bowl that much and it reminded me that when I first learnt to bowl it we used to practice with a Pakistani bloke over on the field (Suhail) who claimed to have toured England with the Pakistani under 21's team or something when he was younger and it was with this fast Wrong Un that I was always able to bowl him out and he was a very handy player and was always full of praise for that particular delivery. So maybe I should start to use it again as a variation, perhaps any time I bowl the wrong un this is the way I should bowl it in future? Seems to make sense?
Scaffold nets and the bloke at the Council.
This is another news item. I've scored a load of net from a building site. We saw the scaffolders taking the stuff down so I went and asked what they did with it and whether it was possible that we could take some and he said "Yeah take as much as you like mate". So I've now got 2 bits of net that are 2mtrs x 50'. Additionally I checked an old email account that I don't use anymore and found a message from my contact on the local council who runs the parks and garden dept in the area and he'd got back to me with regards to setting up temporary nets on their fields and he's okay about it and has n o problem and has just asked to see what we do the first time we do it. So that may be an idea back on the agenda again?