Week 7: Early Starts & Hangovers

Sunday 3rd November

SouthbankTurns out that the Southbank in Brisbane in November is remarkably similar to the one in London in November

Turns out Southbank is very nice! It’s an artificial beach/arty area of Brisbane and when the sun’s out it looks awesome. We had a quick wander round and then lunch in a decent pub before mooching around a few other likely locations for a couple of ‘schooners’. It was baking hot so staying outside for any length of time was a struggle and walking was worse. 

After we got home, Nelma and I went to collect the leaflets I would have to deliver over the next few days. It’s probably not ideal for them, having to ferry me about, but I don’t have a car and no buses go to that part of town. I am grateful to them though.

England’s game was just as batsman friendly for most of the day but England came back a bit at the end and I think Broad did well. Chris Lynn got another 50 fairly quickly so I’m sure he’ll get picked for Queensland next week. 

I’m not looking forward to delivering these leaflets, I’m sure it’s going to be very hot.


Monday 4th November

It was hot. Humid too. So I decided that I would fold all the leaflets that I’d need today and then deliver them tomorrow. 

Tim turned up at about 1430 to get us to coaching. It was another competitive net for the older boys today. They were a lot better than last week and looked like they had remembered how to leave the ball alone. They didn’t play many shots though, so it was the complete opposite of last week - patting back half volleys and full tosses. Hopefully next week they go full circle and bat properly!

Tomorrow could be tiring; up at 0530 to coach and then a day of delivering leaflets…


Tuesday 5th November

I have decided that early mornings don’t really agree with me. I feel fine until about mid-morning and then I crash a bit. When you’re delivering leaflets mid-crash, life isn’t a walk in the park. It’s a tiring walk round Brisbane’s suburbs in fact.

Coaching followed a fairly standard routine. Tim runs a warm up, we do fielding drills and then batting drills. The kids start to look better in the nets the more drills we run with them, so that’s encouraging. Wally works until 1800 on a Tuesday so we don’t get to go to training. On one hand it’s a shame as I love any opportunity to practice, but on the other, I think I would have collapsed halfway through. Lie-in tomorrow I think!


Wednesday 6th November – Friday 8th November

Wednesday saw me play another game for The Wanderers. I’m not dedicating too much writing time to it because I didn’t much enjoy it! I got 7 and batted like bit of a mug. Just a silly shot. I bowled OK and got 3 wickets, although I wasn’t stunning. Wally batted well and got 50. The only real highlight was the fact I played alongside Fabian Cowdrey, emerging batsman for Kent and grandson of Colin. He was very interesting and we got along well, aided by the fact that he took two catches off my bowling.

England had another warm up game down in Hobart and day one went extremely well. Cook and Carberry batted the whole day and both got 150. I am still not convinced by Carberry. The way he bats make me think he is going to make a habit of getting out caught at slip or gully. Fair play to the guy though, he has been through a lot to get to where he is and probably deserves at least a chance. A 150 off the back of another 70-odd is quite compelling but I'm not sure there is much alternative. Compton showed he wasn’t really up to it and the coach obviously still reckons Root is a bit fragile up the top of the order. I personally would have gone with Root opening and Taylor at 6. Maybe that’s why I’m not a selector. 

The next two days were washed out completely, which is a shame seeing as England were in a pretty good position to win.

Tomorrow should be good, seeing as we are guaranteed to bat at some point. Hopefully I can get a few.


Saturday 9th November

More SouthbankOne of the true wonders of Southbank is their sloping fountain. NB: This image may be cider-assisted

I had to get to Norths early again because Wally was slashed up into First Grade. Before the game starts you can ‘slash’ people in and out of teams. If person A can play the first week but is away for the second week you slash them with person B. Wal was person B.

Eventually we got round to 1210 and they still hadn’t actually declared. Just as we were resigned to fielding they decided they would finally let us know we were batting. I was opening with a guy called Scott Devine. I think that’s a great name seeing as he’s religious, which is why he also gets called Rev. He’s also a genuinely lovely guy. We seem to get on fairly well and we ran a quick single first ball of the innings. That’s a good sign. I only seem to run quick singles with guys I bat well with. I always used to run well with Dad, because we didn’t need to call for a quick single. We’d both just look up and nod.

Rev got out in the second over so I spent a while batting with Braden Richardson. He looks a good player and got some nice shots away before I even got off the mark. When I did get away I started to bat pretty well. We seemed to run more threes in that partnership then I did in all of last season, so I was starting to get a bit tired.

I was telling myself to bat like Alistair Cook. I love the way he bats; I admire the way he keeps his technique so tight and his concentration is unreal. I was trying to keep everything compact and not overhit the ball. I think I got not trying to hit the ball too hard mixed up with playing half shots because I got to 25 and managed to chip one to midwicket. I was absolutely spewing. I can’t believe I keep doing that, getting a start and throwing it away.

We lost wickets fairly regularly and collapsed to 170-9 before two of our bowlers, Nathan Freebody and Sam Hele got together and showed the batters up by putting on a remarkable 120 for the last wicket. There were some wild hacks as you would expect from bowlers and Nathan was dropped at least once, but that aside, both absolutely looked the part. It ended in the worst possible way when Nathan, on 93 and the team only around 30 short of a First Innings win, was hit on the hip. Barely anybody went up but the umpire decided he would gun him anyway. We couldn’t believe it. The worst bit was the Umpire admitted he was wrong later on! 

To add insult to injury we had to bowl 7 overs before the end of the day. I bowled one over and bowled well, nearly taking a wicket. Braden was directing some chat the Umpires way, but the guy never picked up on it. The best one was ‘come on Nath, hit him on the pads…or the thigh pad, or the chest…anywhere really, he’ll give em!’. The other umpire was laughing at square leg when Mitch Witt, the captain, and I appealed for everything and anything.

After the game, Pyney, Wally and I went out. It seemed like we went everywhere and then back again. Wally went home with some girl and left me with the Cone. He decided he’d take me to the casino. I didn’t do any gambling, mainly because I don’t know how, but also because I’ve always been warned off it by Dad. It was very late, or early, when I got in, but I was still back before Wal!

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