We've had fairly spring-like weather the last week e.g. some sun and some wind albeit still cold. A couple of night as I've walked home past the paddock I've had a look and seen that it's still suffering from damage caused by dog walkers and the kids playing football. So this morning I had a look at it and raked some of the old leaves away and this afternoon I was going to give it a roll, but just as I was about to go and roll it a bloke turned up and started whacking golf balls around in the paddock and from what I can see from the house he's using the wicket as the point from which he's hitting the balls because obviously with all the work I've done on it - it's the flattest part of the field. Whether the bloke is from one of the houses nearby or not, I don't know, and it doesn't matter anyway as it's a public space and there's nothing I can't do. I wont be able to go and have a look at the damage till later or tomorrow, but he's using a big club and I know that normally they do a LOT of damage to the grass.
This bloke lives on our estate as he eventually walked off round to the back of my street. I had a look and I was actually quite surprised how limited the damage was considering he'd spent an hour or so whacking the ball around over there. Sure enough - he had been using the wicket because it is the only flat bit of grass there, but at the same time it looks as though where he'd been walking up and down so much he's also flattened the wicket as well. So tomorrow I'll get over there with the roller in the morning and give it a going over and flatten it a bit. I'm hoping that this was a one off and this bloke wont be back again? I'll just have to keep an eye out and see what happens.
Practice with Ben
I had a practice with my older son today net style at the Tennis courts at The Rec. I mixed the bowling so that one over he was facing spin and the following over he was facing seam up bowling and he didn't do too bad. We'd had a practice outside the house in 'The Square' but both Ben and Joe are now hitting the ball so hard that they're putting the balls into people's backyards, so I reckon that's the end of that, they're too big to have a knock about in there now. That's where the paddock should come into its own over the summer it's more or less fenced all the way round and is just a across the road from our house. Additionally there is the potential to put a net up and have proper net sessions in there, hence the reason I'm so obsessed with making sure the paddock is prepared ready for April/May.
I was bowling with Ben today at probably 85% capacity and it went okay, so that's promising. Bowled 95% Leg Breaks using the technique that produces my biggest turn and it went exceptionally well and it looks like my accuracy has improved since last year as well. So much so that I'm now bowling leg-side and at the legs looking for LBW's and 'Round the legs' opportunities. I think this season I'm going to be a lot more aware of the potential to target the batsmans weaker side, so I'm hoping for a good season again. I also bowled a few blinding wrong uns today that would have caused anyone problems. Following a sequence of Leg Breaks looking for the edge of the bat the last ball of 3 overs was the wrong un and all three were on target looking like leg breaks - to go away to the off and instead turned in towards the Leg-side all just bouncing over the top of Middle and leg or leg, so I was well pleased with that. The difference just seemed to be to bowl them like a Top-Spinner rather than trying to turn them massively and what with my affliction to naturally bowl wrong uns these 'Top-Spinners' came out as good wrong uns.