Friday, 8 July 2011

HHCC vs Ballinger

An ex-Chairman writes...

Ballinger is always a challenge and engenders a fair degree of rivalry. The Heath have been on the winning side for the last few years but Ballinger have more resources to call on and had a strong team. Hyde Heath didn’t have the strongest fielding side either with a positive rush to field at slip for the first over, bowled by us fielding first again. Despite some good bowling their opener, Humphreys, made 81 perhaps with a bit of luck here and there, while the rest of the side made enough runs to reach a total 205 for 8 - increased by a crucial 10 off the last over before tea which seemed to be infringing on overtime!! Perhaps we need a bigger clock! The score was inflated by the fastest outfield we’ve had for some years so it was “gettable”.

An excellent tea as ever from Mrs Cousins and Mrs Barnsley received with thanks by 22 players and 2 dogs.

Our innings started brightly on a tricky pitch with Henry and Dominic putting on 50 before Dominic gave some catching practice. Henry and James looked very composed, with Henry hitting some glorious straight drives. James was a trifle unlucky to be out LBW but Henry kept on going, reaching 81.

Cue a collapse against some fairly ordinary leg-spin bowling. Does it remind you of anything? In spite of suggestions of Warne-like turn (there wasn’t) the next 6 wickets fell for 20 runs, mostly by batsman who should be making appointments at Spec-Savers. From looking like winning, we looked like losing again, until Jeremy and Alastair came together with 9 wickets down. They batted beautifully together and scored 39 runs between them and almost sneaked a win, being exactly 10 runs short! Honour saved. Hyde Heath always enjoy the “third” result and, by 9.00 in the Plough, it was heralded as a definite “Winning Draw”.

One little plea from me about umpiring and it’s not about LBW decisions. I do think it’s very difficult to ask youngsters to officiate and it might be better if they don’t get subjected to pressure from their own or the opposition players, but the decision causing the most irritation is regarding wide balls. It seems youngsters and some older players call a wide for a ball that could be hit “by a normal cricket shot”, presumably because they only watch 20/20 cricket. Bowlers have a rough time as it is and wides irritate! Even worse, it makes retaliation inevitable, “They gave them, therefore I will”. Obviously, be honest in all your decisions but 2 inches outside leg isn’t a wide, even Charlie Samuels can hit those, depending on the definition of “normal”.

Editor's note: Here, here! If people start widing anything down the leg side, my overs will never end!

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