U11 – 3 report in 1 !

After our excellent win against the North, we were next scheduled to take on the Metropolitan Miami Dolphins, how would we fair against the city slickers ?

The weather was a little unkind with heavy overnight rain, maybe the wet surface would help the “dolphins” ?

We played the game at Belhus CC and my thanks to them for putting us up for the day and also to Messrs Benson and Fairweather for their help in getting the ground ready for the start.

As for the game , overall we bowled pretty poorly with most of our bowlers bowling wides and no balls, however good fielding and a couple of excellent catches by Adam Sullivan we restricted the Dolphins to 114 … surely not enough?

Well we started ok, but a mix up and our first run out of the day broke our opening partnership. Strong words by yours truly at a drinks break to our batters to stay calm and not take any unnecessary risks was seemingly adhered to by Adam Sullivan and Kaden Threadgold who were both batting well but were both looking to run each other out! At 95 for 3, we were almost their but then our captain fell for a good thirty something and all panic set loose,104 for 5 and suddenly the fingernails were creeping up to the mouth … what then happened is fortunately history, all out 113 with 13 overs to spare … how did we lose that … after 44 years of playing this game it never ceases to amaze. But it also is still very hard to take.

We moved to Rankins to play West. My thanks to Big Brian Petitt for his help in organising the ground preparations.

Pre match chats by the organisers and West looked a useful outfit and so it was, they batted very well with two or three lads hitting the ball very well and hopefully they will have a Essex trial as we all thought they looked very powerful with good technique and a decent array of shots. In the end we were well beat (by 100 or so runs), however defeat here was in my opinion much easier to take, we bowled and fielded well but were beaten by a better side on the day. This game was easy to get over … last Monday is still a case of shaking our heads … how did we lose?….

So two defeats after our initial win, what can I/we do to turn things around, well….

I was given the wonderful opportunity to chat to Manuele Pellegrini and Jose Mourinho, what better way to pick the brains of two of the worlds top managers and hopefully get some winning tips.

The interview started off quite cordially, they both advocated “rotating the squad”, yep I can go with that, Pellegrini emphasised the use of teamwork and 100% commitment, yes absolutely I said. Mourinho liked a pacey attack and I agreed, George and Josh are quite pacey I said, Jose looked a little perplexed.  Then things started to go wrong, Pellegrini said the only way to play was with “one up top”, clearly something was lost in translation and I ignored the advice. Mourinho then leaned over and said the best advice he could give was  to “Not let the opposition have the ball”, now here I had to draw the line, I am all for gaining every advantage you can but this is not cricket. “you cannot do that, they will have us much of the ball as we do  I replied confidently”.

Mourinho looked flushed and rose to his feet “Who is the manager of this team ?” he said, “I am the chosen one” I sheepishly responded……..they stormed off!

Oh well, I cannot stand Chelsea.

Anyway , off to Brentwood to face Central, who had also been beaten by West but by a lot less then we had. Brentwood is a lovely ground but it was disappointing to see that we were put onto a made up pitch, off the square and with VERY short boundaries. We lose the toss and the opposition decide to bat. They start with a left and right hander and once again we do not bowl that well with too many wides and extras. At first drinks they are 46 for 2 (both wickets to Jaime Fairweather) but 21 of those runs are extras. Adam set good field positions and we were fielding well but the change happened when Josh Clarke and Josh Faires came onto bowl. Both lads are decent seam bowlers but if they are honest they had not bowled as well as they can in both the Dolphin and West games but today we saw them at their best. Josh C took 2 for 12 and bowled pacey and straight, Josh Clarke stole the show with 4 for 5 including a hat trick as Central were hustled out for 125 in 25 overs…..a good performance in the end as the outfield was quick and short .

Tea was taken, batting order was handed out…..boys just bat, runs will come.

Our openers were Aravind Ravi and David Jarrett and boy did they bat. David played some lovely drives and leg glances and scored a superb 72* including one six into the trees. Aravind scored 41* with cover and mid wicket drives and both boys ran, called and showed great maturity, skill and determination…….very well played boys.

P.S I have just spoken to Mourinho/Pellegrini and they said if you were not English they would be signing you up !

Onwards to two 20/20 matches next week.

PPS…..I still cannot believe we lost to the Dolphins !