Published: May 2nd 2007May 2nd 2007
OK so, im here for cricket, heres a rundown on my first fortnight of cricket.
DISCLAIMER: the rest of the blog is cricket dross, stop now or be bored if you dont want analysis of cricket in the UK.
Week 1, Matchday 1. League match V cant remember, but they werent that good.
With memories in my head still of my second consecutive penultimate week of the year - having had the opposition 6 for less than one hundred chasing a big target - and losing - fresh in my mind, i was very keen to get off to a flyer. Also being payed to be over here isnt bad so i would like to make some sort of contribution to the season.
We bat first and i find im batting at 8, not so bad, i can make a few score, not outs etc and work my way up.
I Go out to bat, "c'mon boys, lets get this big aussie out! etc..... ok, a welcome to the crease, thats cool, im good for a bit of verbal.
good ball, quicker than i expected, swings which i also didnt expect, smash on my toe and the umpire virtually appeals with them and my first proper innings on UK soil is a first baller. oops.
Thats ok im here to bowl.
Bowl well for a couple of overs, standard fare - they only score of knicks and mishits behind square. Come in for my fourth or fifth over and bowl too wide and get smoked for four. Next ball, better ball same result. and again next ball, and the last ball i stop and take a deep breath at my mark, picture the delivery, same result. I did exactly what i wanted to do, it would have hit the top 5 cm of off stump and he matthew hayden'ed me over mid on one bounce over the ropes. WOW. ok 16 off, walk towards fine leg and get the call from the skipper, that'll do for you oz. get to fine leg and can just imagine their coversation in the stands, another dud overseas.
Dejected i come back the next day for the cup match. I bowl better, but unluckily and still cant get myself a wicket. two weeks and 15 over into my UKcareer and i cant buy a wicket. THe bloke at the other end ot me has a magical day and gets 5 for and i didn't thik he bowled that much better than me! cricket Sux!
Hating life as we go into bat i wonder just how long an english summer could be, and how long it is possible to go without getting a wicket.... As i ponder this, their opening bowler and overseas player is having none of my problems. This team reportedly experience. He was certainly having no trouble with our top order and after being 0/26 i trot out to bat at 5 for 40 odd and with this bloke on four wickets and his tail up. This team reportedly pay out around 40,000 quida year in player payments, keighley pay NO player payments, only my airfare. This bloke along wiht one other ex county player must take the lions share of this money. It was dinusha fernando - brother or cousin (you know how they are over there...ha ha) of current sri lankan player dilhara fernando and he is supposed to also have international experience!!
Well, when you've been sitting relaxing and you go out to face someone like that you get woken u pretty quick. The first ball was hitting my bat (hard) up around my armpit before i'd even realised he'd released the ball!! He had a cracking slower ball, which together with his pace was a great combination. His action was also special, he only vcam ein at a fast jog but he got SO tall as he bowled and really banged it in at oy, and wasnt scared to bowl a bouncer!
His fatal mistake to me was not to have mid on (the only place i can hit) so i actually saw him off comfortably and me an LG at the other end kept our wickets in tact and helped the scoring along ok.
How do you celebrate when a quick bowler with international experience has bowled out his overs and your left to face only english bowlers to come (an english bowler is a naming thing i have developed for the vast majority of bowlers ive faced, thye are ugly, trot in lightly to bowl and try to swing it. they put hardly anything on the ball and dont bang it in to the pitch). Well i suggest not doing what i did and missing a straight one next ball and being bowled. seriously, why bother with the hard stiff if your not going to cash in on the mutes. this guy had played county before, but i dont think it was a serious bowler, and if it was, how exactly do you become english.....???
So i left the ground, slightly happier at my day, but still wicketless and not feeling great about the game. Thankfully no one at the club seemed to care that was the worst player to tour england since brendan julian. we had a good night sunday and nothing was said. My side was still really sore, and meant i could never actually try one hundred percent at the crease. It was definately hampering my game, and if i came back for a second spell i bowled terribly after i had warmed it up and cooled it down. It was a very sharp pain, and only hurt right at the effort point in my action (un-suprisingly.) It meant i never bowled of my full run and didnt really know what to do at the crease to get it down there, but not hurt myself, and meant i never really got into a rhythum. Two of our other fast bowlers were also injured which meant i was not really keen to go and ask for a day off!!
WEEK 2, matchday 3, v lightcliffe, perennial underacheivers.
Was feeling a bit better this we but was still a bit sore, hadnt bowled at training all week and was hoping it would pay off. We batted first again and i had been chatting to leggo through the week and he had made 220 runs in three hits and gave me a few ideas and stuff. so went i went out there after we had lost a few quick wickets i was very keen to run a lot of singles, as they set their fields way too deep here and always let the pressure off the new batsmen, rossco and i scored off the first 15 balls we were together for and when i was on 4 or 5 or somehting, i ws served up a lsow half volley and smoked it away. All of a sudden iwas feeling a bit more confident out there, comfortable in my surroudings. I managed 30 odd and put on nearly fity with ross which put us up near 200 after some lusty blows at the end - all addin up to a formidable target. I went out to their spiner (and o/seas), i went back expecting to pull a waist height ball, what i got was and ankle height shooter. i went thourgh with the shot anyway, which i shouldnt have and was caught by the bowler. I was pretty dissapointed to go out this way as i felt really good and though i could have got big score and put us over 200 and out of reach, but the others didnt have a lot of sympathy - thats the way the pitches play here and ill learn..... tough school.
I opened the bowling again and had the wind behind me for the first time and decided to give a a go, i went back on my full run and let loose first nut. It felt like i had ripped my side in half, a really sharp pain, but it went away stright away so i ignored it. I bowled much better this week, the ball was hiting the deck much harder and lifitng and carrying through like i was actualy a fast bowler.
THey are very keen to throw the bat at anything outside off here, and are very efficient at smashing half volleys to the boundary. so id gone for a couple of fours before this mute boring left hander went at one too wide and knicked it throught to the keeper, i was finally on the board!! the celebration was quiet, but i was very pleased to be bowling properly, without pain for the first time and to have the boys behind me. THey are a terrific bunch and good to be out there with, but today they were very vocal in supporting me when i was bowling better!
Their o/seas came out at number 3 and we talked about this being the key partnership to break. Rossco was fielding at mid off and he was getting into me on my way back to my mark, saying what a cheeky celebration he gave me when i was out...... I hit the crease perfectly and it just happened, i bowled the best yorker ever, and genuinely cartwheeled his middlestump. We went crazy, it was one of the great celebrations coupled with a couple of the boys giving him a send off ( what for im not sure). I managed to snaffle the other opening batsmen wiht anothe good yorker a couple of overs later, but not before he had smashed me for four through the covers few times!!
The rest of their batting line up were proper shit (thats how theyd say it over here, proper...) and when it was all said and done i had got 6. 5 of them bowled, 4 with yorkers that they decided not too hit. I had also bowled my fair share of crap and also been knicked for runs a lot and neded up going for over 50 out of thier total of 85!!! amazing game. But six for and i got a collection (they pass a hat around the crowd and i got the prcoeeds - which promptly went over the bar for a beer for all the boys!) i was very happy!
So im back on track. Have been enjoying crikcet from ball one, but can now bowl properly and start to try and regaine the rhythum i had before i left! We have another double header this wek and a change to the team so im hoping ot go up the order and make a few runs, but my aim again this week is yourkers and to see if al english batsmen are as bad as they were last week!!