My preparations for the coming weekend were extremely hampered. On Monday, as I was finishing my usual weight-training session at the gym, I felt a little dizzy. Furthermore, I had been waking up a bit tired in the recent past. Then on Tuesday, I thought I had a bit of a fever and decided to ditch training.
I managed to see the doctor, and he diagnosed me to have a viral infection and put me on medication. It got so bad on Thursday that I couldn’t attend work nor training, but I assured JP that I will be able to play on the weekend. With assistance from taking antibiotics, I was able to take the field this weekend as we strived to start the season with a hat-trick of victories.
When I saw the pitch, it was a crumbling wicket, which I thought would be suitable for bowling, but most of the players from both sides reckon it was a good batting wicket. It was no wonder why Joe was a little disappointed not to win and toss and bat. I managed to start off with a maiden by getting some deliveries to move away, but then I made a mess of a catch running from short fine-leg. As a result, the openers put on at least a 50 run partnership despite me beating the bat from time to time. I bowled out with nine wicketless overs for 32 runs. I didn’t think I bowled really well in comparison to last week.
We managed to fight back briefly to have Norths on 3/82 at drinks. Joe took a wicket as a third change. Thomas Ison took a wicket after coming on after me. Then we got a direct hit. When Sam Anavatti took the fourth wicket soon after, we were right back into the contest. Or so we thought. Stephen “Clarrie’ Grimmett, who I knew from the Last Man Stands cricket came in at number six and rode his luck on his way to an unbeaten 75. He used his feet well to Sam and also hit straight to score his runs. Thanks to him, Norths finished with 9/224 in their 45 overs, so we failed to bowl a team out for once. We fielded really poorly although we were handicapped with ten players at the start and then nine in the last 15 overs since Sam had to go somewhere. It was about 30-40 runs too many, according to Joe.
All we had to do was to see out the new ball and then cash in as it was an excellent batting wicket. But we didn’t get off to the best of starts as we were in trouble at 4 for 27. Sammy Gautam was caught at point of a thick edge. Michael Ison and Umesh Patel were adjudged LBW, and Dominic Ross played a terrible slog across the line, trying to score another boundary. That start effectively killed our run chase as we had to settle in batting out our overs. Blake Nitschke made 32 at number 4. Adam O’Connor batted well for 29 at number 6 before getting a rough LBW decision with the ball was pitched outside leg. Then Sam Anavatti and Thomas Ison were not out with 21 and 12, respectively. Sam even took a blow on the helmet courtesy of a beamer from Josh Barmby, which would have shaken Sam, but he seemed a little unfazed. We finished with 7 for 144, which meant we fell short by 80 runs.
During the innings, Joe had already locked down his three, four and five in the batting order for the games ahead which were Michael Ison, Blake and Sam and he reckon that we will make good progress while he believes Norths won’t make much progress by the time we meet again later in the season.
Although I was a little disappointed in my bowling performance, some of the Norths’ players thought I bowled really well. My mate at work Vishnu Chari thought I also bowled well and was relatively tidy, given that the overall scoring rate was about five runs per over while I conceded under four runs per over.