Prince Alfred Old Collegians vs Brahma Lodge at Park 15, October 12 2019

October 10, 2019

Today was a good session, as I have felt that I am at reasonable space skills-wise. For once, my bowling improved in consistency, occasionally straying in line or length. Not only was my run-up smoother, but I was also able to land a ball on a length bowling wicket to wicket and sometimes getting the ball to swing away from the right-handers. This was the line of attack I attempted with some success last week. But today, I was making life hard for a few batters by either hitting their edge or beating it. In particular, I gave Patty Sadlier, the C2 grade/4th XI captain, a tough work over. I suppose that might be one way to get selected.

The only downside was the surface that we were training on due to the school holidays. The outfield, in particular, was very sandy, which I noticed while I was warming up by throwing at a single stump. While it wasn’t affecting my run-up, the sandy surface didn’t allow me to accelerate my run-up. Moreover, it was tricky running on the sand during catching practice after having a hit with the bat. Catching, in particular of the high-ball kind, was tricky, but some advice, particularly from the higher grade players, allowed me to finish my fielding stint on a high note. The information I got was to set up a stable base by attempting to sprint to where the ball could possibly land. It was the same advice that Mick Delaney gave me at the time while I was in Ginninderra. But it seems the lesson had been forgotten.

So as I said, it was a good day, but it remains to be seen where I’ll be playing this weekend.

October 11, 2019

As it turned out, my spell to Patty Sadlier did my selection no harm as I was picked to play in his side in C2s. I found out through a Facebook post made by the club, which indicated that four people were making their debuts for the club. Surprisingly I wasn’t one of them. Thereby, I politely commented that it was my first game as well. They probably overlooked it, but you cannot blame them for thinking that they felt I was around for a lot longer than since the preseason. Nevertheless, the overall mutual feeling between myself and the club is pretty awesome, ensuring that the decision to switch to this club was extremely justifiable.

October 12, 2019

We were bowling first today against Brahma Lodge, and I was scheduled to come on as a change bowler behind Dan Mosey and Andy Heitmann. Before we step out to the field, we had to sign a ‘contract’ to ensure that we will uphold the spirit of cricket this season. To further add to that, the “Captain Serious” initiative was brought in whenever we show dissent as the intent is to make sure we respect the umpire’s decision. As it was wrapped, we don’t know what it was, but from the way it was described, it doesn’t sound that great at all. Might as well; just accept the umpire’s decision and move on.

Andy ensured we got off a good start by rattling Clark’s stumps off the fourth ball on the innings. But he should have a second wicket within his initial four-over spell when our appeal for caught behind against Dodds was turned down. I came on after Dan completed a wicketless five-over spell for nine runs (including three wides before he bowled his first-ever legal delivery). I tried to bring the ball back into the left-handed Craig Fry, which turned out to be a half-tracker, but…. it didn’t rise striking him in front of middle and off when he tried to pull. So I appealed, and he was given out. As people say, “Shit takes wickets.” It cannot be any more accurate.

As it turned out, it was to be my only success for the day, but I should have at least finished better than figures of 1/13 off my four overs courtesy of some misfields. Nevertheless, Patty was pretty happy with my spell. Eddie Thomas had Ryan bowled off an inside edge, which prompted early drinks to break. We were then slightly frustrated in spite of keeping the run rate in check, but from 3/56, Brahma Lodge collapsed to 7/65.

Cam Fry tried to chance his arm at Don Kieu by hitting into the mid-on region where I was lurking at wide mid-on. So it went to me, and I took it after an initial juggle. I, at least, remembered to steady myself to take the chance, making sure all the efforts on Thursday paid off. I have taken both a wicket and a catch on my debut, which was precisely the same sequence in my (then) appearance for Adelaide University last season.

Eddie then outshone me with his own catch. Dodds had tried to loft Andy down the ground, but it wasn’t well-timed. The ball was coming in Eddie’s direction, but as it couldn’t get two hands, he tried with taking it with one, his left, and it stuck, much to everyone’s surprise.

Don then trapped McCappin LBW before Andy cleaned up Manton.  Both finished with 2/19 off 8 overs and 3/11 off 9 overs, respectively. It was then left for Jack Emmett to clean up the tail and ensure that Brahma Lodge failed to bat their 40 overs. The last three wickets of Blight, O’Loughlin, and New were all bowled to help Jack finish with figures of 3/13 off 7.5 overs.

Now we had to chase 102 to start on a winning note. Eddie and Connor Craigie got us to a steady start by resisting for 10 overs and accumulating 29 runs before Connor slashed at one that popped up in the air for a catch. Charlie Austin came and went when he tried to take a quick single when Eddie clipped one straight to short fine-leg and was run out. When Will Farminer was bowled trying to drive, we were wobbling at 3/40, but slowly, surely, we were regaining control of the chase.

Eddie continued to accumulate until he clipped a catch to Square leg after making 23, which turned out to be our top score. With the assistance of ‘wides,’ Lincoln Halton and Patty guided us over the finish line with a 40 run stand to ensure that we chase the runs down with at least 12 overs remaining. This ensured that Lincoln and I made a winning start at the club.

I enjoyed my first game. Thinking about it know I could not only improve my wrist position, which might help at least try to recreate the results from Thursday, I could also perhaps ditch the knee pads I’ve been wearing as a prevention measure against knee injuries which could at least improve my acceleration in my run-up. Considering I’ll be running on grass in training and in matches, I don’t think I’ll have any issues.

It seems to me that having performed well in the game, I might be around in C2 for some time, particularly with two-day cricket about to get started next weekend. I would like to be involved in that since my recent form within this format has been impressive for Ginninderra. I just have to wait and see, but I should continue to train, especially with my bowling.

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