January 11, 2018
I had learned that we were going to get a couple of cricketers from Hong Kong for the rest of the season. One of them was Nadeem Ahmed, who famously spun them to victory in a World T20 match against the hosts, Bangladesh, back in 2014. As far as I know, he already had slotted nicely into 1st Grade with a disciplined 3/54 off 31 overs. I believe it couldn’t have come for our top side, which probably lacked a specialist spinner.
So I was hoping at training I would at least observe them from close quarters, but they didn’t come today. It was bloody hot, and as usual, I didn’t bowl as well as I liked, but I later realized at the end of the session that my arm upon load up was too high for my action. I had remembered from my previous footage that I was able to get movement if my wrist was at the shoulder level. At the end of the session, I was able to rediscover the movement with a few deliveries, but given as I was tired, I had stopped bowling.
Earlier on, I had tried on the new Techshot Batting Trainer that I recently purchased with the hope that it would iron out any technical issues with my technique and also allow me to watch the ball and play it late. While it appeared to be very tight on me, I was able to remember the bent front elbow and fixed up my stance so that the bat will come down from the direction of the first slip rather than dead straight.
January 13, 2018
It was game day, and we had a bit of rain at about 11am, but thankfully, it dried out, and we were able to start on time. Adam won the toss and decided to field. I would have thought that any moisture from the early morning rain could have dictated the toss. I opened the bowling with Thomas Ison. Thomas bowled a reasonably tidy spell upfront while I struggled.
Although I was able to generate some movement, I basically struggled while bowling into the wind, and Ian Chattin took me apart for a couple of sixes. After four overs, I was rightly taken off, but it was hinted that I would return given we only had five bowling options.
Sidu Macal came on and bowled his full quota and removing both Chattin (bowled off an inside edge) and Kerum Koralage courtesy of a chest mark like catch from Caleb Stevens. Thanks to him, we fought back to have them about 3/89 after drinks, but they motored along to 133 with 15 overs to go. At that point, I had got a fingertip to a drive from Marty Boland off Thomas’ bowling and had switched places with Caleb in Thomas’ next over. However, we all pulled it back, and they only managed 9/188 after their 45 overs. So we inflicted a collapse of 6/55 to ensure that we didn’t have to chase over 200.
Thankfully I managed to play my part during the day as my second four-over spell was much better. I had come back on the 37th over after Adam bowled through his full quota, and I managed to bowl reasonably well in the ‘death’ overs. I managed to land a couple of yorkers, but I was trusting my own slower balls to slow the scoring down and possibly take a couple of wickets. Which I managed to do as Sudheer Bandara holed out to Sidu at deep mid-wicket, and Harvey chipped a slower ball to Michael Ison on the ring at Cover. I finished with 2/36 off my 8 overs, which was a reasonable comeback for me.
We had to chase 189, but Adam believed it can be done since the wicket wasn’t doing much, then it was at the start of the match. Although Sidu and Michael Galen-Mules got us to a good steady start, we were in trouble at 4/49. However, we still tried to fight our way back into the contest courtesy of Michael Ison (who made 42). He put on 37 with Justin Murray, but then the run rate began to rise sharply, so we had to tee off immediately.
When I came in to bat at no. 11, we needed about 34 off 17 balls. I managed to get off the mark off my third delivery, but Thomas couldn’t pierce the gaps. So that left us 33 off the last two overs. I managed to get off strike for the first ball of the over, but after two dots, Thomas went for a drive and was snaffled at slip. Eastlake had beaten us by 32 runs, and I finished with 2 not out.