Bit of warmth,
Lots of fresh air,
It can really make you feel so much better.
Played cricket again tonight :-) This time it was an away game at a ground I've not been to before. It's out in the country, so no red buildings to lose sight of the ball in. There was also a clubhouse, that's rarer than you think and almost unheard of at urban grounds because the vandals burn them down. This was happily out of their range though.
To be honest, I didn't enjoy the first two games of this season. It was so cold that my muscles never warmed up, so I was a Petecicle out in the field. Could barely move. And for someone who's used to being Zebedee on the field, that's incredibly frustrating.
Tonight was far better. I was able to keep legging it around, poaching some fielding from other players on the team. That kind of thing can work out well for you, the batsmen stopped thinking about runs when the ball was in my fielding arc. They were believing the "he looks fast, maybe he's actually does some good, let's not take him on".
It helped us keep the scoring tight, although the ground helped more there. The wicket was awkward to score on plus I'm sure that at least once, a hand reached up from under the grass and went "Ball ? you're going nowhere". Lots of shots were stopping short of the fence.
How'd I do tonight ?
I really enjoyed it. I dropped one definite catch (need new glasses) but took another catch. I technically had a chance for another catch but it would have been Catch Of The Season material. It was hit powerfully and was in my reach down to my left. If I'd got a paw there, I'd have been fingertips in the grass while catching the ball. But ... it was in my reach so I consider it a chance, even if County standard cricketers (who practice) would have thought themselves lucky to catch it.
I'm quite self criticizing in the field. If the ball is in my reach, I think I should be stopping it despite being a lot slower than I was even just a couple of years ago. I think I should be taking all the catching chances too. I need new glasses for definite there, as depth perception is at about 95%. That's pretty good but the 5% is the difference between thinking a ball is going to knock your teeth out and that ball actually coming to you much more gently.
We won tonight :-)
I didn't need to bat, which I'm quite happy about. If the side wins without me slowing them down, that's a win for the team. I get my kicks nowadays from pinning my ears back and running
I've mostly survived unscathed, with tonight's damage being :
Calf muscles to monitor (because they were tending towards cramp)
Very sore thumb (hyperextended from a dropped catch)
The usual skin issues (my cricket jumper damaged one of the patches that's healing slower than the rest)
And there were a few things from the fielding that I need to improve - getting to the ball is one thing, you actually have to get a good release on it too to save runs. I got one threatening release away, which may have got a run out, but that was messed up by our keeper. Ho hum.
But yeah - that's another game played in a period where just 2 months ago, I'd pretty much given up on having the chance.