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By Chris Marshall
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Cricket Diary: H Is Revealed

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Amazon sell a pack of three Red Smoke flares for £23.95. This is not a random fact I just happen to know, but the result of a morning researching distress flares having found myself, along with Jay, locked into Penkridge Cricket Club after the match on Sunday.

With the bar being shut we cracked open a couple of bottles from the cold box in the back of my car – with great age comes great wisdom – only to find that by the time we were ready to leave the gate had been padlocked. Apologies and thanks to Shevy for disrupting his Sunday evening to arrange for the gate to be opened and Jay and I to be released from a somewhat bizarre “lock in”.

I gather that the whole of the UK appears to have been somewhat disappointed with the revealing of H last night in Line of Duty, but I can exclusively reveal that this was a last minute change to the Line Up as earlier in the day the real H had definately been revealed – James Heaton, who seemed intent on helping the other side by trying to run me out, twice! Although upon reflection the way I am batting at the moment maybe it was more a case of putting me out of my misery.

Either way it was a double shot of Radox Sunday night after two games in two days.

Saturday 4s notched up another win with yet more excellent contributions from the ‘development’ part of the team, but once again we were indebted to Matt Jones for showing us how it is done. I think my own batting could well be described as ‘showing promise’ which would be good if it wasn’t for the fact that at 57 I am not meant to be in the ‘development’ part of the team. Once again I felt comfortable enough until it came to scoring runs. The frustrating thing is I have now got out 3 times playing leg side shots, which is not something that I do in the nets, but at the same time I am scoring most of my runs on the leg side.

The nature of a ‘development’ team is that you will always need two or three ‘old heads’ (with bodies that still work preferably) to add balance to the team and off set the inevitable limitations of some of us! It is really encouraging that all of the younger members are contributing well and enjoying their cricket, and I would like to say how impressed I was this weekend with both Old Wulfrunians Tettenhall CC (Saturday) and Alrewas CC (Sunday) for the spirit they played the game in and the understanding they showed towards the balance of the two development teams we selected.

I made my debut for the 2s on Sunday (yes they were short) and in pretty much a mirror image of the 10 I scored on the Saturday, contributed a ‘promising’ 11 before being caught on the boundary. Two games in two days, and the above mentioned running with Mr Heaton left me more than a tad stiff and sore, but it remains enjoyable and Sands can now at least say she has seen me play – until the rain and cold forced a speedy departure back home!

I don’t think it is too harsh to say that the 4s would benefit from practising our fielding, myself most certainly included. I have been spending time practicing my slip catching as slips/gully or short mid wicket/cover remain the best positions for me to contribute from, and I have ordered a Katchet Training Aid so can start to do some warm up drills before each game. I am getting better (honest) although I think to call my attempt at a catch on Saturday a dive was a tad generous Emma. It was more Johnny Vegas Poolside Bomb in Benidorm than Tom Daley off the high board, but the intent was there. Replacement shoes far more comfortable though, on the plus side!! Still got bruised toes and fingers and a rather interesting one on my inside thigh though.

No training tonight but from next Monday if any of the 4s want to join me for some fielding practise as well as nets you are more than welcome. Hopefully by then Richard Birch will have recovered from his momentary confusion which saw him think he was playing for his beloved Grimsby and attempt to head the ball rather than catch it. Never good to see blood on a cricket field and thankfully nothing worse than a bloody nose, but it did at least allow me to trot out the old classic when the substitute fielder provided by Alrewas (I told you they showed tremendous spirit) asked where to field and I was able to tell him “on that patch of blood over there”

The old ones are the best they say ….. if only that was true!!!

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