A Travellerspoint blog

Cricket, cricket, cricket

And a little bit of work

overcast 18 °C

I didn’t go to the surgery the following day – one day of work is enough for me – because I could exactly the same job from home. A professional crastinator would’ve been proud of my procrastination, however, and I didn’t get anything done work-wise. I did cook dinner and do the washing, though, and write a bit of the blog.

In the evening I was supposed to be playing with the MCC in Whitchurch, an internal six-a-side bash. But six-a-side doesn’t really work when you only have three people turn up, so we had a drink in the nearby pub instead.

I didn’t go to work on Wednesday, either, as I had – you guessed it – a cricket match! This was another match for the Glamorgan Nomads, and we were travelling across the border once again. Our opponents were the Wiltshire Queries, whose club badge is a question mark, and we were playing in the delightful little town of Corsham, about ten miles northeast of Bath.

It was a very warm day, with the mercury hitting 25 °C! (Those whingeing Poms were carrying on like they were being forced to play under a furnace.) We lost the toss and bowled, quickly getting on the front foot and having them 4/55.

Then the spinners came on, and everything went a little pear-shaped. I again bowled poorly, with five overs of complete dross to start my spell, not helped by the tiny square boundaries. I found my line eventually, taking one wicket in my eleven overs as the Queries got to 254.

All-rounder Brad, an extremely talented cricketer who plays for Bridgend and gets paid a bit for doing so, copped a lot of amusing and good-natured ribbing from our Penarth teammates. (“What do they pay you to bowl full tosses, Brad?”) But he put it behind him to score 91 at better than a run a ball, and a couple of other contributions got us home before Heselev was required at number eight. My first Nomads win!

With a few drinks at Corsham Cricket Club and then a stop at a picturesque Wiltshire pub, we didn’t get back until 11, and I left the gathering early!

I actually did do some work from home on Thursday, and when my evening cricket game with Maccabi was cancelled due to the weather I just had another relaxing night.

On Friday I joined the rush hour crowd and took the train into work, which was surprisingly OK. The public transport system is far more reliable than in Melbourne…

I came home feeling brain-dead from staring at a computer screen all day, so I spent the evening staring at a television screen instead.

But I got back to exercising on Saturday, firstly by lugging my cricket bag to the train station and eventually to St Fagans to join the seconds on the trip to Pontypridd. They’d provided us with the closest game of our season to date, and we were primed to go.

A rain delay shortened the match, but our openers came out firing for a 121-run partnership, helped by around eight dropped catches. We used this platform to get to 3/220 after 44 overs, and backed ourselves to defend it.

But our confidence was perhaps misplaced, as Ponty came out firing, or at least one of the openers did. Wickets kept falling at the other end, but we kept dropping the scoring batsman (three drops off me alone) to keep them alive.

When he fell on 98 (coincidentally the same score as our opener, who was also dropped a ridiculous number of times), the game was as good as over. My figures of 9-0-55-1 were perhaps, for once, a little harsh, for I bowled pretty well after the first few overs. But it was a satisfying and hard-fought win nonetheless.

Sunday morning brought heavy rain, and the game was called off. I cooked a couple of meals to warm up later in the week, and did some washing, writing and so on, but generally just lazed around.

Posted by sammyhez 00:28 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged cricket Comments (0)

Home alone

Plus more cricket

overcast 19 °C

On Saturday morning, Molly, Trace and Rich left for their summer holiday to Majorca, leaving me in charge of the house, a luxury/burden I haven’t had since Seenigama. But more on that later.

I got a lift with David to St Fagans (I’ve spending a lot of time in that car recently!) for the 2nds game against Abergavenny. Somehow I’d received a promotion from the 3rds, despite having a shocker against Newport, but I wasn’t going to complain.

After rolling the front and back wickets for an hour and a half, I joined the team warm up and then sat up in the scorers’ box as we started our innings. We were hoping to be pushing 250, at 2/123 at drinks. But a couple of soft dismissals set us back, and when I came in at nine, with five overs to come, the score was only in the 190s. With a lot of luck, a touch of skill, and a very good Gray-Nicolls bat, I compiled a quick 29* off 18 balls, to support the senior partner at the other end and see us to 7/237 at the completion of the fifty overs.

At 1/9 off ten overs, it was clear that Abergavenny had no intention of really pushing for the runs. One of the strange rules of the competition effectively promotes batting for a ‘losing draw’ if you feel you can’t chase down the runs. That Aber didn’t even give it a crack perhaps reflects poorly on their side/club, and it resulted in a fairly boring and mundane afternoon of cricket. They just clung on, finishing 100+ runs short, but crucially only losing nine wickets. I didn’t bowl that well, and failed to take any of those wickets, but did take a couple of catches and affect a run out, so it wasn’t all bad.

I returned home and cooked (well, more accurately, warmed up) my first ‘solo’ dinner for a while.

My fifth cricket match of the week was also at St Fagans. The mighty Sunday 2nd XI were up against valleys team Pen-y-darren, and were in a strong position early after winning the toss and batting. Team hero Chris Howe made a quick fire 80 off around 50 balls but his dismissal sparked a collapse and my 16 runs in the lower order only helped us to crawl to 207 off forty overs, well below what we could have scored.

Luckily, they didn’t have much batting, and they fell around sixty runs short. I took a wicket and a catch but my bowling (or accuracy, at least) seems to have gone downhill recently – I’ll have to work on that.

A simple tuna pasta was the order of the night.

After work on Monday I had my first match for my fourth Welsh cricket club. The Jewish community in Cardiff is pretty small, but still large enough to have its own cricket team, Cardiff Maccabi. A committee member at St Fagans is an occasional player, and he offered me a game or two before the end of the season.

It’s a pretty low standard of cricket, and rarely does the side have eleven players, but it’s all in good fun – the definition of social cricket.

We bowled first, and I bowled particularly poorly with a large number of wides. (They called them for every ball down the leg side, which is ridiculous given the standard of the game. No wonder they can only play eighteen overs.

Our opponents made 150, far too many for us given that we only had three batsmen. I compiled a quick fifty, scoring a high number of twos when they set the field back, but it wasn’t nearly enough and we scraped to exactly 100. It was enough for me to be named the unofficial Maccabi man of the match, but unfortunately, that wasn’t saying much.

Posted by sammyhez 00:24 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged cricket Comments (0)

More cricket

See previous post

sunny 22 °C

I had work on Wednesday, going through the computer system and identifying patients who may have had asthma. But I left fairly early to get back for a midweek St Fagans game.

The average age of our team was around 30 years lower than that of our opponents, the Mitres, and we pressed home this advantage with a solid performance in the field, restricting them to 91 in twenty overs, with 33 of those coming in the last three as we bowled our part-timers to make a game of it.

From a comfortable position we made a hash of the chase, thanks to fading light and some extremely dubious umpiring decisions. I was pushed down to eleven to give the ‘young blokes’ a go, and fortunately wasn’t required as we passed them eight down.

On Thursday I had my third cricket match in three days, for the Glamorgan Nomads, a hodgepodge of players from around South Wales who come together for a few midweek fixtures each summer.

Most of our side were from Bridgend, between Cardiff and Swansea, and so it was a fair drive for them up to Brockhampton, rural Herefordshire, for our game against the Herefordshire Gentleman. Brockhampton is a tiny village, but the cricket set up is very impressive: there’s a small, tasteful bar with cricket memorabilia along the walls, a marquee tent for outdoor seating, a scorers’ box, and a building with large change rooms and a tea room overlooking the ground.

Brockhapmton_CC.jpgPhotos very kindly provided by David Harris

Photos very kindly provided by David Harris

And then there’s the ground itself, which has a slope steeper than Lord’s, a good wicket and a very quick outfield. After losing the toss, the Gentleman showed us just how fast the outfield was, racing to 0/98 off the first ten. We fought back quite well after the initial setback, taking all ten wickets for 252, with Heselev picking up two cheap scalps at the end.

Perhaps the tea had an adverse effect on us, though, as we lost two wickets in the first over and were later 4/11, effectively game over. A few partnerships here and there took us to 130-odd all out, and to show how much we struggled, I was the top scorer amongst the St Fagans players with 13.

After a quick drink and a chat we set off back to Cardiff.

Had a relaxing day on Friday. I skyped the family in the morning, did some cleaning in the afternoon in preparation for Molly, Trace and Rich going away, and then walked down to the pub in the evening, avoiding some angry-looking cows on the way home.

Posted by sammyhez 00:05 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged cricket Comments (0)

Cricket's back!

With the departure of my family comes the return of cricket, but sadly, not my form. Usual warnings apply (no pictures, lots of boring cricket talk etc.)

semi-overcast 18 °C

After Mum’s departure I had my first league game for weeks, in the thirds, up at Newport. With a very young side, we lost the toss and bowled first, getting off to a fairly strong start, but the thorn in our side was the thirteen year-old opener, who looked very good and kept hitting runs despite his stature.

I later learned that he is the U13 captain of Wales, so it’s not totally surprising that he did well. It certainly made me feel better, anyway, after he smashed me all over the shop. The last over came, and he was on strike, on 99. Clever bowling gave us three dots, as he looked nervous and twitchy. He pushed the fourth ball to point, and set off for the single. What he should have known was that he’d picked out our best fielder, who proceeded to knock out middle stump. Run out for 99. We’re so mean.

I opened the batting to start our reply, and after starting solidly enough, left a ball that cut back in and was bowled. Oops. Thankfully the rest of the line-up batted well, and we managed to get to the target with an over to spare and two wickets in hand. A good game all round, but not from me!

Luckily I had a better day on Sunday. Our opponents were Ystrad Fellte, and they chose to bat on a sticky wicket. We bowled quite well, keeping them to 130-odd, and I finished with 1/20 off 8 on a pitch that suited.

We kept losing wickets, though, and would have been in big trouble had it not been for Chris. With the score on 57, he brought up his 50, and he ended up on 115 off fewer than a hundred balls, out of a total of 7/134. Impressive. A bit embarrassing for the rest of the line-up, though.

Nothing exciting to report on Monday, just back to work with the gang, but with Tracey’s day off on Tuesday combining with a rare sunny day (I daresay it was even warm), we went for a drive to see another part of the country. Picking up Molly on the way, we drove eastwards, and had a walk along the sea wall between Cardiff and Newport, overlooking the Bristol Channel.

We stopped off at a friend’s farm on the way back, and patted their horses and kittens while trying to keep Benson from going berserk.

I had a game in the evening for the MCC, against Dinas Powys, who looked to be fielding a very young side. We batted first and scored an imposing 130-odd, with Heselev not even required. Early wickets put them on the back foot, and they never really seemed to go for their shots until it was too late. I was a beneficiary of this, and I kept tossing it up to try to buy a few wickets once they started slogging. I finished with useful figures of 3/19. Our first proper win for the season!

What I’ll remember this game for, though, was a dive on the boundary. In an attempt to save a four, I slid along the lush grass in the deep. The problem was that I kept sliding, all the way into a nettle bush growing on the side of the ground. It hurt for a nearly a week afterwards, all down my arm. Stupid plants. I didn’t even stop the four.

Posted by sammyhez 00:03 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged cricket Comments (1)

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