Hello again from an even hotter Brisbane. November has been a month of thunderstorms, with some very heavy rain. I hope everyone had an enjoyable evening at the club dinner.
My first game since my last diary was against Redlands Tigers on Saturday and Sunday (28th and 29th Oct). On Saturday I unfortunately was bowled for 0, however on Sunday I redeemed myself by getting 73. However our academy lost the Sunday game by 3 wickets against Redlands after we only posted 216 of 50.
Club training on Wednesday night involved a session with brand new white balls on the artificial nets under floodlights. We had the first grade bowlers steaming in against us and though I was batting well I got hit on the head for the first time in Australia!! Our next game on Saturday was called off due to heavy rain. Sunday's game against Harvey Bay CC looked to be in doubt but we travelled there on Saturday evening. It was a three and a half hour trip with it raining all the way. When we arrived at Harvey Bay we discovered that they had no rain so the game was played in 30 degrees heat, very strange country!!!
On Wednesday the ASG Academy took on the Wanderers (Australia's MCC Equivalent). We posted 190 thus winning by 10 runs. We had a different batting order this game and this saw me scoring 16 at number 9 in the last few overs. I took 1 wicket in my bowling spell. An unusual day which saw kangaroos walking across the outfield at one stage!!
Monday saw ASG take on ICC East Asia and Pacific Men's Team in a one day game at the Allan Border Stadium. In this game ICC EAP side scored 296 for 4 in their 50. I bowled first change still inside the first 15 overs and ended up bowling 7 overs straight for 29 runs. I then opened the batting with Simon Smith in 30 degrees heat scoring 70 putting on a 160 partnership with Richard Berrington who scored 98. A great partnership which set up a great run chase which had both of us receiving treatment for cramp. When I got out I had to go back onto the field to be a runner for Richie and this was a very tough ask!!!! We ended on 291 for 4 in our 50 overs, an amazing game of cricket on a top class ground. The Tuesday before the first test saw us given an amazing opportunity to go to both the England and Australia net session. We watched their training sessions and were able to analyse their batsmen. We were asked to be net bowlers for some of the players and then were given an opportunity to meet and talk with the players. It was a great experience to be involved in a session with these players.
On Thursday Darren, Richie and myself were given seats by our club Beenleigh in their corporate box for all five days of the first test. This was great to get to watch the most anticipated series for a long time in great comfort!!!! A great buzz around Brisbane especially with the BARMY ARMY in great voice. Even though all cricket in Brisbane was cancelled during the test we had to report to the academy in the evenings for training. The last few weeks have seen the coaching concentrating more on special areas, hitting straight over the bowler, sweeping and coming down the wicket to spinners. I have found it difficult to get consistency with my batting. I have had good innings of 73 and 69 but have also had two ducks. The standard of bowling is high and this is a contributing factor. My bowling has improved thus making me more reliable at any time of an innings. I look forward to this weeks training, next Saturday's club 20/20 championships and my 20th birthday on Tuesday 12th!!! I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone at Carrick CC a very enjoyable and peaceful Christmas and a Happy New 2007. PS - Christmas out here just isn't right with this sunshine, prefer the snowy Christmas!! Andrew Cowden