October 20, 2016
I had only managed to turn up training today, given that I had to prepare for a job interview, which was yesterday on Tuesday night. After warming up my body, I immediately headed for catching practice that was run by the coach Mick Delaney. I always had been hot and cold when it comes to high ball catching. As usual, I struggled initially, which is when Mick intervened by suggesting that I try to get to the direction of the high ball first and steady myself to take the catch rather than trying to taking the catch on the run. As it turned out, it proved to be useful advice, and my catching gradually improved. It’s all about getting in the right position, which is why it’s better to settle underneath the catch, having done the hard work in getting to it. This is something I will have to remember moving forward.
I continued my bowling progress from last week. I couldn’t force many edges, but at least I forced mishits which would have been caught at cover and midwicket at least. The batting wasn’t too bad, but I kind of felt I missed a few opportunities to pull, but I still managed to play shots at the fuller deliveries.
The session finished up with more fielding. This time we were fielding on the edge of the boundary trying to work in pairs in saving a boundary or even taking the high-ball catch. One has to call to make the catch or do the fielding with the other person backing up and returning the ball to the keeper. It was terrific fun and helped us to be mentally prepared whenever we have to field on the boundary during matches, particularly in the last few overs of a one-day innings.
Leading up to the game, we had about eight or nine people, which is worse than last week. I learned it might rain, and hence I was initially hoping rain could save us.
October 22, 2016
When we arrived on the ground, we had only eight players present. The pitch was the same as we were playing last weekend, but this time, the grass was evenly cut, which meant that you don’t have to hit the ball too hard to score boundaries. The boundaries were quite short, according to Duncan Gammage, who showed Dominic Ross and me that he played a Colts game on the same ground where the boundaries were a lot further.
As it turned out, that didn’t really matter. We still had eight players when Joe elected to field upon winning the toss. Thankfully the wind was blowing straight down the pitch rather than sideways, which meant more assistance for my conventional out-swing. Duncan struck on his second ball when Whelan popped a catch to Adam O’Connor at mid-off who took a diving catch. We managed to gain three more players: Michael Galen-Mules and Michael and Thomas Ison, which gave us a full team for once. It was Thomas who took a good catch to get rid of Hammond of Duncan’s bowling, and they were 2 for 12. At the other end, I was getting good vertical bounce and out-swing and had induced plays and misses, edges through the slips, and a dropped catch by Dominic Ross with the gloves that to be fair, the edge came slowly to him and died down. My first six overs went for 13 runs with no wickets.
Thankfully Joe kept me on because I soon took two wickets in consecutive overs. The captain A Wilson edged a steeping out-swinger to Dominic Ross and then JA Wilson smartly caught by Michael Galen-Mules at backward-square. In between that, Adam chipped in with a wicket courtesy of the pitch, which he got a ball to climb and took a leading edge, which was snuffled by Joe at short mid-off. Then, Thomas had Stephenson caught behind, and we had Tuggeranong 6 for 30 at drinks. We knocked them over shortly after drinks for 40 thanks to Duncan Gammage, who finished with 5/6 in 6.5 overs. I finished with 2/14 off nine straight overs with three maidens. Without a doubt, it had been the best performance I had put in with the ball since moving to Canberra.
So we needed a matter of 41 runs to get, but by then, it started to drizzle, and then it got heavier two balls into our innings. As we bowled Tuggeranong out early, we only had to wait till 6pm or so to continue our innings until sunset. Thankfully we were out on the field sooner than that. There was some panic as we lost 3 wickets in two overs. Dominic Tran padded up to one that didn’t swing and bounce and was out LBW. Then Michael Galen-Mules and Sandeep Kumar fell to catches in the same over. Their captain was heard saying, “They certainly don’t want to lose this one.” Thankfully it wasn’t the case courtesy of Michael Ison who put away filth and smashed the ball whenever he was given width. It was his effort that we managed to chase the runs down inside 10 overs as he finished with 35 not out. Once again, we sang the club song as we went two from two.
By the time the game finished, it rained pretty heavily, and I decided to seek refuge in the nearby gym and do my post-match workout which was an idea I plucked out from reading Jock Campbell’s article on Recovery Techniques in a copy of the UK cricket magazine SPIN which I bought in 2007 as part of my overseas trip post year 11 exams.
Since the cricket season had started, I lost further two-three kilos to be at 78 kg. I always strive to keep eliminating body fat so I can be at my best.