Monday, 5 October 2009

Cricket season hurrah!!

And so after a gruelling pre-season of boozing and not much else it begins with the real stuff. My cricket season has begun with the ever present hopes and dreams of a clean sheet and the gratefulness of a shortened match to kick things off. My hammies and feet sure were thankful come the 40 over mark when we changed innings rather than having to don the gloves for another 40 behind the stumps. I am surely not getting any younger and the body siezes up given the first opportunity as I discovered when I stood up to bat with only a dozen runs needed for victory off 4 overs.
We started our chase of 193 very slowly and were only 50 off 20 at drinks with two youngsters at the crease occupying but not scoring. The captain took them aside to let them know that things were a smidge urgent and so it was that the next 10 overs produced 90 runs without loss!! They let fly after getting their eyes in and were 48 and 70 respectively when they headed towards the rooms and it was left to the oldies to get the rest done. I waddled towards the crease as stated with the scorer needing 12 more runs and my partner on fire however he scooped one to mid on an over later and my captain wandered out with 6 to get. At this stage it was 6.20pm on an overcast evening and my 35 year old eyes were having trouble with timing. My captain knocked the 2nd ball he faced for 4 and I guided one through gully for my first run. We needed 1 off the last over with yours truly facing. Things looked decidedly darker from the other end with dark clouds on the horizon. I clipped the first one to the left of mid on and immediately yelled "YES!!" My captain was backing up so it looked a done deal however from the instant the words left my mouth and the time he heard them he had stopped. I scampered through and watched the throw let fly and then heard the horrible rattle of a direct hit followed by the raucous cheering of a positive result. My first game with a new club abd I run my captain out!! The next ball was a rank waist high fuller that beat batsmen and keeper and raced to the boundary. WE WIN!!
I look forward to reporting on next weeks game as I surely carry the refreshments......
Yours in cricket and I hope your teams had a win.


  1. good one mate.
    yeah, i feel the same, have had NO motivation to write about cricket what with the 6-1 in pj's and now this idiotic tournament that means what again?

    but it is starting to feel like we are back onto the good gear now that the bloods had their first game too.

    this is my first season in creams in 22 years and the club has thrown a new team in the districts limited overs comp. while we are the clubs 5ths, due to all the games being one dayers, it is being used to give 1sts etc a game day when a player can't commit to 2 days. We had 2 firsts and the 2nds cap in the side on saturday and apparently the other teams all do much the same- certainly the side we played against had a couple of above average players.

    this year i planned to come back into the vets only as it is only 6 limited overs played every 2nd week; but the first game isn't until the end of the month so when i was asked to play i was pretty keen.

    you know how i went Nospmas, but for the others:
    we batted first and the upper order did ok-ish setting us up for 166 (not brilliant score with the very short boundaries!)from our 36 overs... i haven't included my score as i didn't trouble the scorers and so i won't trouble you with it. needless to say, when put in at 9 with the words, "no offense intended." a reply of none taken was supported by the result. what is the thing i've hammered into my boy while teaching him, "watch the ball onto the bat."which HE does; pretty hard to do when you close your eyes!

    so we have lunch, i'm a little disappointed, and am pretty sure the word amongst the blokes is, "what have we got here?" I really did look like my name in the score card should read- S.T. Ruggler.

    before going back out the cap says, "don't worry, i'll give you a roll around the 20th, but if you start going for big runs, i've gotta pull you out quick in this format." i respect his up front approach, and when asked if i had a preferance as to which end i tell im from the northern end so i can get more drift into the cross wind. he forgot i'm a leggie (we only met briefly for the first time after training and it was mentioned- not discussed) and looks a bit concerned. "the problem with my end choice is that the leg side boundries are really... I mean REALLY short, and he tells me he can't risk that; fair point. so with the wind over my right shoulder i'm informed i've got one over to land it on the spot.

    10 overs in and i get the nut as first change- pressure time! i think the plan changed just to see if i was going to be a liability or not.

    first ball and i haven't allowed for the breeze and the batsman get a full toss on his leg side; lucky to just be a 4!

    next ball finds the spot and turns hard... eyebrows raise!
    3rd ball and i give it a bit more rip, but deliberately bowl fuller and on the same line as the first ball; eyes go wide a swing to hit the half volley, the turn comes on a bit harder and the leg side trap is completed when the field at DSL doesn't move step to swallow it. i'm in the game.

    next over is a maiden, and in the two overs after that the wrong un twice goes through the batsman and the keeper.

    in my last over i drag down (but grass) a full stretch overhead return- bummer! and have the honour of the batsman say to the ump in my presence, "i had to get off strike!" the other thing i count as a win was no one leaving their crease!

    my 5 over spell ends with:5, 1, 1, 12. welcome back!

    we go on to win by 12 runs and i'm well lauded, but with no false modesty to you blokes, i felt i was only about 70% as effective as last years nets sessions; don't know if it was the wind, the reality, pressure or all of the above... i don't mind having room for improvement, as long as i'm not letting anyone else down.

    so, enough me, did anyone else play? Lango, Lefty, i'm looking at you two.

  2. Can I just say, and this is not an advertisement but Rebel Sport is having a HUGE clearance on Woodworm bats. I picked up a Woodworm Silver Hard Drive bat (RRP $550) for $200!! Superb piece of willow. I can't wait to knock it in.

  3. Great stories lads, wonderful to hear.

    Nospmas you are 35 not 85 – I don’t want to hear anymore about tired eyes and so forth!

    We had labour day weekend in SA so cricket starts this weekend. Our club, the Mighty Mt Lofty Redcaps play in the Hills Cricket Association on hard wickets. This year we have A’s, B’s and C’s. Last year we fielded 4 teams (D grade as well) and the C’s and D’s both won the flag! Ours is a very young club and inconsistency reigns supreme. By far our club’s biggest problem is making too few runs; too many blokes don’t value their wicket enough and become inpatient against good bowling.

    I played B grade for the season last year but had slim pickings; 100 runs for the season in 9 innings – you do the math. I’ll say that 3 dismissals were unwarranted with 3 lbws – two of which I hit – but as we all know that’s the nature of the game. I had no luck until the last game where I got dropped and went on to make 29. Thank god for that last game as I was feeling like I was all at sea and down on confidence. I didn’t really get a bowl which was disappointing but I’ve said that there were only 4 occasions where I would have put myself on bowling outswingers on a length. Over the winter I’ve been trying off spin with some success but untried in a game.

    I hope to start this season in C grade which is all 40 over one day stuff (A and B grade are 2 day 70 over games over consecutive weekends) with my plan to be getting some results and putting pressure on the guys in B grade. My aim is to once again play A grade cricket but under very different circumstances. To provide some history; I started playing cricket at the age of 21 (I’m 30 now) with one year of cricket in primary school my only experience. Our club has never been all that competitive since I’ve been there and I was thrust into A grade in my third season but barely bowled (I did get a nice 3 fa though!) and batted at 9. As I was just making up the numbers I thought it was a terrible way to ‘bleed’ a young player and I’ve had few opportunities to rectify in the time since – with 2 years in North Qld with little cricket and then 18 months more recently in Northern SA.

    So, with so much work at practice last season and practice in the off-season I’m determined to make this season count. My issue with selection at this club has been that there is no pressure on spots so I want to put my hand up and get some runs and wickets in C grade to push for a B grade spot. I’ll keep you posted and can’t wait to hear about others’ exploits in the Sport of the Gods. This is going to awesome guys.

  4. Nice to hear about others exploits and good luck to all this year.
    With a 2 y.o. , another on the way and a new business I have no time for proper cricket but am in the middle of my first season of indoor. only 2 overs to bowl each week and a quick flog with the bat, but it still feeds the demon within especially when a couple of legitimate wickets happen, even if the runs don't flow (never was a batsmans arsehole).
    Having fun sending down leggies and have an average of around 3 which isn't too bad....but its about the same as my batting average....BOO

  5. what position do you guys bat at?
    Sledge, you too. do you open up to get the team under way, pad out the middle, or save the day in the last partnership?

    Lefty, would you want to move up or down the list if you went up a team?

    Nospmas, i bet you wouldn't want to open! or would it save you from seizing up?

  6. As what would be customary with our club I’d move down the order if I went up a grade. Our president has issues with this in the sense you pick someone to do a job and so give it to them or don’t pick them. I mostly agree with this sentiment but in my experience with the young fellas (17-19); if they have batted 1, 2, 3 or 4 in a lower grade they benefit from coming in at 7 in a higher grade – initially. Bowling is the real issue for me as if you bat someone at 11 and only give them a few overs (when that’s what they’re there for) it’s a waste and insulting. You might as well leave them down a grade where they’ll bowl some decent overs.

    I had a chat with our B grade captain last night about who would likely be in which team and he scoffed at the idea of me going down to C grade. While this certainly has something to do with 2 players exiting our A grade and 2 exiting B grade (from last year), he did pay me some nice compliments and believes I do belong in B grade. My cheeks swelled (yes I said it) at this and I’m hopeful of opening the batting as I did in the last game of last season – both innings (we were sent back in – never a good sign). I’ve always liked the challenge of taking on the new ball so we’ll see where we go. The problem for me is that I’m unlikely to bowl which I dearly miss. There’s 9 rounds of 2 day 70 over cricket which means I may only get 9 bats; compare with 18 rounds of one day C grade. My whole principle was to get some scores in C grade and go up with runs under my belt but that idea seems to have gone out the window.

    Batted well last night at the first outdoor training (we have had a few Sunday sessions at Adelaide Oval indoor nets) where I didn’t get out but am finding I’m slow to come fully forward early on. This is a big problem as you’re opening the gate a bit to full and straight balls and I wasn’t getting much bat on those for several balls. Once I settle my feet move better and my head is more over the ball but it’s that first ten minutes of an innings that will count a lot. Any tips on starting your innings?

    On the bowling front my mediums are coming out well and staying on target with nice outswing but my lack of pace will always count against me! It seems the work on the rowing machine isn’t paying dividends just yet.

    Go boys!

  7. asking for batting tips from me is like asking for advice on vegetarian cooking from Idi Amin!

    i knew i was losing my pace and wondered where it would lead me until at a xmas party Sledgey put it to me to just bowl leggies as some (not many) were coming out alright!

    i did, and i don't think i've looked back; as hard as it is.
    will post about last nights training soon, gotta call Sledgey back about filling in for his indoor team. the opposition will freak facing to wrist spinners!

  8. that was meant to be, " 2 wrist spinners."

  9. Well Stoph I do prefer to open the batting which I have done throughout my time in cricket quite well. As I am at a new club I don't really know where I will bat. I was at 7 this game but having just torn my iliopsoas muscle in my hip I will be out for a while....bummer!! Screw indoor soccer. I did let the captain know that I am an opener to which he said "Now you tell me" so that might be encouraging. In my experience in lower grades captains have traditionally struggled to get people to open. I love it because you aren't waiting around thinking about your innings for who knows how long. New cherry comes off nicely and the field is up so anything loose goes over the top for a boundary. I once made 35 in about 3 overs slashing at wide ones outside off that flew over the slips for 4. One of the opposition remarked "Thats the only shot he's got" to which I replied "Thats the only fucking ball he's got, if he keeps bowling them there, I'll keep despatching them"
    I can honestly see no point in elevating an opener and then not opening with them. Opening is an art, new ball batting is different so you want someone there who knows how to do it. Number 3 is the same but after that it all becomes much of a muchness.
    To your question Lefty about starting your innings. My rule is play the arc between mid off and mid on to anything decent until you're settled. Leave the short stuff unless it's way outside off or leg. Nothing worse than skying a short on early. GET YOUR FEET MOVING EARLY. Watch Ponting early, he nearly does the splits leaving.

  10. i was only suggesting not wanting to open because you don't get much of a rest in the field. props to you mate for taking it on... i don't have the concentration!

  11. Thanks Nospmas, looks like I will open for B grade this game - we'll have to wait and see how the toss goes obviously being two day games. The ground is quite lush, long and wet so it will be an important toss to win. Whoever bowls will have their ball get quite wet but ironically even if the oval is cut between weekends it will likely still be quite wet but should be quicker next Saturday.

    I batted quite well last night with the captain following me in the net and remarking as such. Always a confidence builder when you kiss your bat rather than throw it into your bag! I think people have worked out I like to come forward and drive through the off and were putting it a bit shorter. I started to pull and heard one of the guys say 'that wasn't even that short'.

    With age comes patience and I feel so much more relaxed at the crease. Hopefully the hard work pays off!

    Stoph, you're right in a way about lack of rest and when you bowl first ideally you're batting the same day so top order batsmen have to really concentrate for the last session. I suppose in that way I shouldn't be too concerned about getting a bowl!

    Good luck to all for this weekend's exploits and good news on the international front where it sounds like we should get a full strength West Indies out here. We have the weekend off for the Adelaide test so I'll be heading along.

    Jesus I love cricket.

  12. Lango made his comeback as a club secretary. All three grades in winning positions and much positivism for a club which has seen better days and has fallen on the trap of finding bad in everything.
    Suggestions have been made that I might again don the white armour and even I had started to believe but a quickly developing cataract has put paid to that. At 53 and my last serious cricket 16 years ago, warm memories are more attractive than hot Saturdays.
    Pride also plays it's part.
    So I'll take photos and write the club newsletter and scribble notes at meetings and pass on pearls disguised as wisdom and let others stand in glory whilst I peep from the shadows.

  13. good stuff with your teams mate.
    it is amazing the destructive nature of bad attitudes -our new coach has ruffled a few feathers and the follow on effect...

    bummer about the cataract, at least something can be done when it gets to 'that stage'.

    do you have a veterans comp locally? that was my intention, but the lure of this new one day comp our club has entered into has tickled my competitive side. both saturdays have been sunny and about 23c, so we'll see how enthused i am on the first 40c day!