Thursday, July 28, 2011
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Shaped up, fitted with a bat grip and sanded down it came up looking like this -
I texted a couple of mates to see if they'd be up for it and none of them were, but one warned 'Get there early as it'll be packed'. We heeded his message and decided we'd get there just as the ticket office opened at 08.30 hrs. With sandwhiches, drinks, passports (ID), binoculars and £20 cash ready we made our way to Lords coming round the corner to our first view of the ground at 08.32. What we saw, we could not believe, the queue went up one road out of sight and down the other road out of sight 4 people wide! Thousands and thousands of people already there and waiting it didn't look promising. I knew that the capacity of the ground was in the 25,000 figure, but just what we could see here was several thousand already. We followed the queue along the road and round several corners and past another seperate queue that was apparently just as long! 10 minutes later we found the end and joined with the prospect it seemed of probably missing the start of the match.
A little later some marshalls went along the crowd saying 'Can you please be aware that you are so far down the queue, you're not guranteed a seat and you may well be turned away. Can we please ask you not to turn on the marshalling staff as it is out of their hands and not their fault'. Again, this didn't really fill us with any sense of hope, but we were here and it looked like we might get lucky.
Shortly after joining the queue (10 mins) a bloke pushed in and an Asian bloke directly in front of us took exception to this blokes action and accosted him, telling him to get out of the queue and get to the back. I was most impressed, I hate queue jumpers, but find that because of my British reserve I don't ever say anything to them directly, but this bloke dealt with the queue jumper effectively and I decided to take a leaf out of his book and join him and help him eject any more queue jumpers and this turned out to be a good move as it served to break up the boredom of queueing for 2.5 hours and created a sense of community amongst the people around us who all joined in eventually to form a united front against queue jumpers.
to be continued
So, as a result I haven't got that much to write about and I've resorted to writing about my kids and the some of the kids at B&PCC. Anyway, today the enthusiasm was taken a step further again in that we did training drills and made up a game based on what we'd seen in the field at Lords. For me as I'd mentioned one of the most exciting things in the game was seeing Swanne bowling with Ian Bell, Matt Prior, and Alastair cook and Andrew Strauss all crowded round the bat trying to take close in catches. So, today we came up with a game where I bowled and the batsman had to produce strokes that would create edges and catching chances for the close in fielders to take and it worked, they loved it and were diving around all over the place. Then later on we did some catching drills of the type they do at Mopsies with the coaches - the one where all the lads stand in a line and the coaches hits a ball off the bat to the line of boys and they catch it. They loved it and some of their other non cricketing mates are also getting into it as well. Secretly I'm trying to encourage one of them to take up being a wicket keeper.
The day was then finished off with the usual Tuesday evening over at Mopsies doing their regular training with their team. Today they were doing diving - stops on the boundary, which kind of tied in with what we'd been doing. Then at the end Joe, Ben and Kieran didn't want to leave they wanted to stay behind and do more cricket drills!
The next day Joe and I had a knock about in the paddock and he got fully kitted up - enthused by the fact that he's inherited his older brothers cricket spikes that he never wore (Twice maybe)?, so this kept the cricket momentum building further still. With the spikes and being impresssed with them it meant that he was more than up for a game on Sunday, but he then realised generally the U11's play on the artificial wicket, but I said they may get lucky and they might play the U13's inter-club match on a real wicket?
Sunday and we were up early and one of the first to arrive at Mopsies. On this ocassion I'd taken along our score-book to practice my own scoring skills and see if I could get the hang of it. The teams were divied up U13's with a handful of U11's - 8 aside as there was a pretty poor turn out. The weather was predicted to be warm but blustery, blustery it was, warm it wasn't particularly, especially if you were sat in the shade.
Bens team fielded first captained by Harrison Morris I think? They did pretty well, especially in the bowling department with almost everyone bowling pretty tight and not giving away loads of wides. At this point I'll have apologise for my scoring ineptitude and remind you that this is an on-going learning process.
Of their bowlers only 2 of them produced wides, with Harrison Morris producing the best bowling performance with 3-0-5-2, a strike rate of a wicket for every 2 runs. What is good to see is that despite the fact that Frank Farrington (Wrist Spinner) went for 9 runs off his first 2 overs which is the 2nd worst with regards averages, the captain gave him the 3rd over, hopefully because he could see that Frank was producing opportunities to get wickets. My son Ben bowled okay, but as often happens was let down by the wicket keeper albeit a part-timer on this ocassion - George, as he let a few balls through due to his pace. Joes team captained by Anthony Ayres scored 69 by my reckoning off the alloted 20 overs, with Anthony scoring highest with a 15 not out, batting at No.6. My younger son Joe scored 2 before being run-out off a ball that was already in the fielders hands when the kid at the other end opted to run and was already 2/3rds of the way up the pitch before Joe followed his lead leaving him no hope of getting to his ground.
To be continued.
Friday, July 22, 2011
So, today once the grass had dried out I got the mower out and cut the grass in readiness for some use this afternoon. If you're wondering about the mower, it's an Ransomes Ajax IV from the 1970's which produces a very low cut and the nice striped affect that you can see in the images.
Here's a little video of us setting up the paddock ready for use http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGcTqIoYNO0 It's a time-lapse clip.
Sunday, July 17, 2011
During the afternoon, the rain continued sporadically, interspersed with short periods of sunshine and thunderstorms. This has meant that I've been able to get in the paddock with the roller and give it a bit of a going over in preparation for the next batch of good weather.
The earth has softened up so much that the deep cracks that were appearing have all now disappeared as the rain has been absorbed into the earth and made the earth swell. The rolling has now smoothed the surface out nicely and if the drying isn't too rapid we may get a few weeks of decent batting conditions before the surface crazes again and starts to break up.
Usually by this time of year the grass is yellow and the surface has gone through 3 stages - deep cracks, small crazing type cracks and the final flaky and crumbling surface, making it only any good for bowling on.
Here's the net being used to stop all the clay/earth sticking to the roller. This also helps to show up indents in the surface if it's uneven.
We've just got to hope now that there is a decent amount of drying that occurs over the next 24 hours, otherwise the football kids will get in there and run all over it damaging the surface. I've also cleaned up all the dog crap that was in there. I can't believe it, but people know kids go in there all the time playing football, but they take their dogs in there and let them off the lead so that they can s**t where they like and they don't clean it up.
Monday, July 11, 2011
It's modelled in part on the Alex McLellan field from August 2010 and my last game with Grays and Chadwell now (Thurrock CC). The fielders on the On-Side in positions 3,4,5 and 6 would be your most atheletic and best catchers, these would stay on the boundary looking to thwart any attempts at putting the ball over the boundary while you settle. The gap between deep long off (4) and silly point (8) is trying to entice the batsman to try and drive the ball, which as an exponent of targeting the off-stump (When it's going right) falls straight into the trap. Hitting the ball through the off-side to score fours off of slow bowling requires a level of skill I reckon isn't that common and should be my reckoning call for a straight drive which would then bring in the potential for the edge to be found and fielders at backward point, slips and perhaps even silly point to come into play.
Again this is all theory, but I'm going to put it out there and see what people reckon.
My bowling at the minute is pretty good and the balls coming out well with drift and spin and possibly even a bit of dip, overall I reckon I'm bowling pretty well and possibly better than I have ever done. In a couple of days one of the Basildon players Paul Card is going to join me in the Paddock and give me a bit of a going over to see if I'm as good as I think I am, which will be interesting. But the reality is that the first 12 + balls are still coming out bad until I find some rhythm and this is something I've been considering and wondering what it is that other bowlers do to ensure that they stay on and get to bowl 5 or 6 overs. The obvious solution is even more practice, which is on-going, but other solutions would be good to explore and then I stumbled across this.............
The point that Denly makes about Warnes field is borne out by the fields below which are all examples of his fields in T20 matches, where Warne knows that the batsmen are going to come after him.
This then led me to consider where it is that Wrist Spinners get smashed to when the batsmen are looking to bully them. In this clip here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sdwswou3k7U
Warne gets smacked for 27 in one over by Maharoof, his field is this one here below.
Sunday, July 10, 2011
But the good thing that came about from the inter-club match was that I had a chat with Franks Dad (Mark)? Frank had played away in one of his District games and bowled wrist spin, seemingly for the first time and at the end of the match the District coaches had a chat with Franks Dad. They were very pleased that Frank had taken up Wrist Spinning and were impressed with his bowling in the match, even though it may have been the case that Frank hadn't taken any wickets. But the bit that was of more interest to me personally was what Franks Dad said about their assessment of Franks bowling and what he should be doing - going forward with it. He said that they'd said exactly the same thing I had. They'd asked whether Frank was getting any coaching and Mark mentioned me. I think he explained that I'd said that as long as he was getting the ball to turn with his Leg Break ball, in the short term there was little need for anyone to go interfering with his action and they reiterated the same point. I think they added that the only real thing that was needed was encouragement and to look out for how he deals with bad days when he gets smacked all round the park. They also said that in the short term while he's playing within this age group (U11's) wickets might be in short supply because the kids he's playing with wont be that cricket savvy yet and wont be playing with the levels of commitment and skill to take the catches. As a kid Franks age gets older and gels with the team and the team become more committed in the field and fields are set to Franks bowling, more wickets are going to be taken off the bat. Interestingly though, bowling with Frank today he said that since taking up wrist spinning he's taken more wickets than he been taking with his seam up bowling, so the future for Frank looks bright. Another observation they made that I hadn't noticed in Franks bowling is that he keeps his head dead still and focused on his target which apparently is a good thing and it's something I also do in my own bowling.
Joe and Ben's inter-club match
This went okay, both Ben and Joe had fairly good matches. Joe bowled Frank out when he was batting - hitting the stumps, unfortunately I hadn't started video-ing at that point and missed it. Later Frank got his revenge getting Joe bowled and caught. Ben took a wicket off his 2 overs bowling George Barclay. Personally I'd like to see both Joe and Ben put a little more effort into their batting, so I was pleased to see that Ben was paired up with his mate Kieran who he socialises with. This pairing is potentially a good thing because it injects a level of competition which is perceived as being achievable and desirable and therefore creates an intrinsic desire to improve if only to beat your mate. Kieran is ridiculously competitive, so when he turns up at our house, I've only got to hint at getting the nets up in the paddock and having a practice and it induces a reaction not unsimilar to Pavlov's dog. This then means whereas Ben would normally turn down the offer of a practice he joins in as Kieran could potentially move forward with both his batting and his bowling!
Ben is the Captain of his Year 7 team at school (Brentwood County High School) and this additional cricket is helping to engage him with a number of aspects that might of readily passed him by otherwise - batting orders, fielding and the need to get quick runs and to not run each other out. So it appeared today that he and Kieran had discussed their approach to running between the stumps and that they had a plan before they went out and it appeared to work. For a start it looked like they were definitely working as a pair with neither of them looking to stay on strike, so at every opportunity on byes, leg byes, wides, no-balls and mis-fields they were taking singles and two's so this meant that they were rotating the strike. The also looked as though they were looking to hit the ball as well as Ben hit 2 fours and 2 or 3 balls that were fielded on the boundary and Kieran almost did the same. I think by the end of their 4 overs as a pair they had acumulated 19 runs, but they had also suffered a run out and Ben had also been bowled. But overall a promising start to a potential batting partnership.
U13's B&PCC v Pegasus CC
Meanwhile in the match that Ben missed out on this was happening...........
Match report by Dave Ayres.....
The setting for the latest fixture for the U13 boys was the picturesque Pegasus & Corringham ground, a beautiful backdrop for what would turn out to be a beautiful day for the boys.
Skipper Mitchell McLeod lost the toss, and so Basildon & Pitsea were sent in to bat first. With the run rate skipping along at a healthy 6 an over, Sonny Downes was the first to walk the stairs with 25 in his back pocket and raptuous applause from the visiting crowd. The rate slowed a little in the middle overs, as some tighter bowling was faced, however not to be held back for too long Regan Mead got up to 26, and in doing so took his 6th retirement of the season; a remarkable achievement. McLeod skied one and was caught for 6, and Jack Green was just a yard short for a run out for 6, however runs from Harrison Morris who finished 20 not out and Nathan Hubble, who did not score left B&P on 112/2 off 20 overs.
After tea, B&P set about the Pegasus batting, and a perverbial lamb was slaughtered, as wicket after wicket tumbled in fairly regular fashion. Harrison Birch opened the bowling, and his second ball got the first wicket, Mead taking a catch near the boundary and the opener was back in the clubhouse on 0. The next ball put the number 3 sitting next to the no 1 back in the clubhouse, the stumps shattered for 0. At the other end in the next over, Harrison Morris trapped the no 2 LBW for 0, and the last ball of the over saw the no 4 take the walk bowled, and the score was 2/4.
The next over Pegasus showed some fight, however in the 4th Harrison Morris struck again, the no6 bat LBW, and the score 14/5. A change of bowling saw Ryan Davies get into the act also; his first over saw the no5 hit it straight to Birch for 10 and the fight was all but over. A Maiden followed for Morris, and then Davies struck again; same result caught Birch and the no8 was off for 0.
Everyone wanted a bowl now (including the manager, coaches and the President on the boundary) however Green was given the ball for the next over, and the same result; the no9 LBW and just 5 scored. In the 9th over, Harry Davie bagged a wicket maiden; the no7 who had so far avoided facing a ball suddenly spooned one up and Tom Hardy gratefully recieved for 0. All that was left was for the skipper to bowl the 10th, and Tom Hardy to take the catch off the last ball of the over to send the no10 back for 3, and the innings over for 25.
In short, not since the Romans invaded has there been such carnage in Corringham; a display of bowling and fielding which those that wear the badge have witnessed since who knows when. Unless results conspire against the team, there will be the small matter of a game or two late August for the boys.....
Wednesday, July 06, 2011
Tuesday, July 05, 2011
Unfortunately, Joe had gone with Ben and they didn't get back till 7.30 and by the time they had their dinner it had gone 8pm and the rain had started.
Monday, July 04, 2011
You have to realise that extracting this info out of a 12 year old isn't that easy. Ben hit 9 runs off his innings and then stepped back on his stumps and I thought that was about it and then he remembered. Spoken with absolute derision for spin bowlers he then recalled..........
"Aaaah you should have seen me bat - they brought on their spinner (Said with total contempt) and they had all their fielders in close at silly positions, 2 slips and a gully - hardly anyone out of the circle - they were giving it the right biggun and then this spinner (Again with utter contempt) walks up and throws this grenade ball through the air and it sits up in front of me so I spanked it out of the park for 4 and then he does it again and this time I smacked it back over his head for another four". The next ball the kid got his hand to it and Ben got his single to make 9. The first ball of the next over he then stood on his stumps.
The opposition I think were Galleywood which is a school in the Chelmsford area. But it's good to see him playing and deriving some enjoyment out of his batting as he bats way down the order with B&P and rarely gets a chance to bat, not that he wants to he leads me to believe at that level. But it's good that he's the captain and he's winning matches and getting wickets. This game was in his year group (Year 7), but he's got another game tomorrow with the year 8's, so that'll be more interesting and hopefully I might get over there and perhaps see it?