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Week 8: Gathering Stormclouds

Sunday 10th November

CameraphoneDespite being equipped with a state-of-the-art cameraphone, Jack has taken a total of four photographs over his two month journey and only two of those are of Australia (one when he accidentally took a picture getting it out of his pocket) **NB: This may not be completely true any more as some photographic evidence is slowly coming to light**

Wally and I must have looked a little worse for wear when we headed out for Geraldine’s birthday meal but I was at least in good spirits. Wally wasn’t quite as chipper and has described last night as ‘a horror story’.

We went to a nice hotel that allegedly did good steaks. I met a few more of the Wright’s family friends and was relieved to find that one, Sam, was in the same state as Wal and I. Everyone was very good to talk to and the steak wasn’t half bad.

The rest of the day we basically bummed around watching TV before picking up the leaflets. Then we lay around watching TV before bed. There’s a big difference.

 

Monday 11th November – Friday 15th November

This week has been very grey and we’ve had a storm every single day. I went to training on Tuesday this week as I wasn’t sure that the rain wouldn’t wipe Wednesday and Thursday off the schedule. It was a good choice, especially as it actually did hammer down on Thursday. The storms are a bit different here. When there’s going to be storm in England, you get a reasonable warning, what with the rolling black clouds and constant grey sky. Here you get 5 minutes. The sun just vanishes and suddenly you’re getting pelted. It’s difficult if you’re driving and then suddenly it rains so hard you can’t see no matter what you do with your windscreen wipers.

Brody has been away this week so Tim and I have had to come up with the sessions for coaching ourselves. Credit to Tim, he’s done it mostly himself. He seems to be a very good coach and is able to articulate the small technical things I pick up but can’t really explain. We’ve been doing a lot of batting with the kids and the improvements are showing. The bowling is not so good however. We’ll have to work a bit on that next week.

I was given a new route for leaflet delivery this week. It’s bigger, which means I get paid more for doing it and it’s nearer to home, so it’s a bit of a win-win. Might even be considered a promotion. With the storms around it’s been stupidly humid so I’ve been coming back looking like I’ve hiked though the Amazon! If I spend any time batting tomorrow I’ll need to dry my kit off for hours.

England’s latest tour game went well and was actually more exciting than the last two, mainly because of the headiness of a result. Day one saw England struggle a little bit as the Aussies batted well. Carters, one of the spare NSW keepers got about 90. They ended up on about 300 all out. England batted well in response, with Cook and Trott getting 85 each. There was an article about how they were both gutted to have missed out on 100’s. I like the way the England boys talk about how they have been coached to know that the job isn’t done at 50. They regularly talk about ‘daddy hundreds’ too, where they aim for scores of 150 plus. I’ve tried thinking like that, but I can’t seem to get past 30, let alone 50.

After Cook and Trott, Pietersen got 50 and Root batted brilliantly for 75. He does look class; I’m sure in a few years he’ll be the real deal. We got 400-odd and then bowled them out for 261. Finn and Rankin got 3 wickets each but I hope that doesn’t put them ahead of Tremlett. England then chased the runs down for 3 wickets. Carberry got 50, which means he’ll play the first test for sure. Bell and Trott were both about 40 not out. Not looking bad for the 21st.

 

Saturday 16th November

More Alan Border FieldThe elegant left hander batting in the middle is not Jack; you can tell because he has got past 40. And has a tan. (It's actually Nic Maddinson of NSW)

Today is my fantastic, hilarious and very pretty sister’s birthday and we decided that we’ll have a Skype talk tomorrow morning so I can talk to the whole family.

It was a very good day cricket-wise for the team, but another hugely frustrating one for me. Rev and I put on 96 for the first wicket, which included the torture of facing every single delivery of a twenty - yes twenty - ball over. The extra balls were all wides and I was just waiting for the inevitable jaffa in amongst the dross. I survived it in the end but still managed nothing more than another 30. I don’t know whether I have some mental block when I get there but I can’t seem to get past it. I still feel like I’m concentrating as hard as at the start of my innings but still I get out. Rev and I both got out in quick succession allowing Pyney and Rian Crowther to bat out the rest of the innings in awesome fashion. Cone got himself 100 and looked great. He brought up his ton with the last ball of the innings, scampering a three when he really had no right to. We ended up 2-276; my skills at watching from the side as other batters cash in have come on no end...

Our bowling was even better than our batting, although we were helped by some seriously ordinary shots. Nathan Freebody was on fire, taking 6-for. We bowled them out for 44 in 10.1 overs, and Nath finished it off with a hat trick. It was ridiculously easy in the end as our seamers demolished them - typical really as I was lined up for a bowl today.

We were finished by 1545 so we watched First Grade for an hour. They did well. Apparently the newest Kent recruit, to go with Brendan Nash, looked the part although he only got 7. Daniel Bell-Drummond, or DBD as he’s known, is the captain of England U19’s so he should do well out here.

We didn’t go out tonight because Wally is playing a 2 day game over the weekend. I wish all the games were played that way. He would have to be up early again tomorrow and I would too because I’m Skyping home so I guess it’s for the best. Especially as we’ll go watch the test somewhere next weekend. When the first test is on all of the local cricket is cancelled so that people can watch it. Nice idea but I really don’t want the weekend off. I’m determined I’m going to make a telling score soon.



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