The weather during the week had been pretty crap but it looked like it was going to shape up a bit for the weekend with today the better of the 2 days.
I got dropped off at just after 12 and there were a few lads there including The Wizard and they all commented that they thought I'd left and gone to Basildon. I explained that in the last few months Wayne had contacted me a couple of times, but the 2 or 3 ocassions that he had done, I was either doing family stuff or on holiday. Someone joked that Jay Shohaji reckoned that I'd left because I'd got fed up with him asking for pictures that I'd shot over the last 2 years.
Jay, if you're reading this I do intend on sorting through the hundreds of CD's and DVD's I've got and making a compilation up which will include the shots I've got of you! But you're right to keep pestering me, so just keep reminding me!
Incidentally I noted that in the clubhouse there's a big montage of one of the do's a couple of years back at Laindon Golf club and all those pictures are mine!
Anyway back to the game, by the time the oppo turned up - Capricorn cricket club we only had 8 blokes. The word was that Ifty was on his way and there were 2 younger kids on there way from a football game in Southend. No real indication of when they'd be here. The oppo were waiting for some of their blokes but it ended up that we were put in to field with only 8 blokes and this ended up being instrumental in the final results.
Initially I didn't recognise the opposition, but later in the game I realised that they were in fact the team that around this time last year Rees Downes scored his first 100 against and I remembered that they were really passionate and determined to win screaming at each other like it was the final of a cup game rather than a Sunday match and henceforth this kind of explained their approach to their batting.
The pre-Ifty scoreboard
The game in progress
The walk back to the sheds
Wizard and Ifty
The overall bowling figures for us
Thurrocks finest Sunday XI lads
One of Ifty's sixes just a foot short of ended up in the greenhouse!
And so it came to the point in the game whereby I was thrown the ball and what with Wizard already putting the breaks on their free for all rampage against the seam bowlers all I needed to do was pretty much the same thing and look to take wickets. Looking at the way the Wizard had set the field e.g almost everyone of the leg-side, Ithink he'd deduced that these blokes were looking to put the ball through the leg-side boundary as we were on the outside strip and the boundary at square leg and deep mid-wicket was exceptionally short. Where as the opposite side boundary was way off in the distance through long grass you'd be able to hide Tigers in!
As you can see below the 1st over was good, the ball was turning and I was varying the flight and length and used the odd Flipper in there. As my spell went on nearing the end of the game, the batsmen were looking increasingly to up the over rate and were batting more aggressively. In the final 2 overs with a new man in they had obviously made a decision to start to put the ball out of the park as they still had loads of blokes in the sheds waiting to come out. They threw caution to the wind and started to free their arms and as you can see my figures then suffered a bit.
W'hey bowling figures I don't mind posting at last!
Normally I don't like to go over missed opportunities, but I bowled pretty well and everyone would probably concede that I had 4 good chances go missing. One of the late arrival kids "George" Benson was fielding at a position just forward of point and 2 of my Leg-Breaks were skewed off the bat falling 6-12 inches in front of him, whether he was walking in or not I don't know and he certainly made no effort to put the dive in, but bless him he had played football for 90 minutes earlier in the day, so he must have been knackered!
Another 2 were close as well, with the ball being hit over my head and landing in between The Wizard and T.Owen, both of them went after it and on both occasions the ball didn't go to hand, one of them the bloke T.Owen put a valiant dive in - got it in his hand, but the impact of his elbows hitting the ground first bounced the ball out of his hand and he made another scramble to get it but it went to ground. So again just bad luck as the ball dropped slightly short.
The better view of Thurrock CC's ground and clubhouse.