Gabby's Blog Down Under - Weeks 2-3
Firstly, the $9 investment in tubigrip has been well worth it, the skin on my elbows is back!
The second week in Melbourne started with securing coaching work at a company called TopLine Cricket, who have a fantastic reputation around the local community with delivering quality coaching. They have recently invested in Pitch Vision equipment and technology for the centre, which is a video analysis and pitch map tracking system; something a cricket geek like myself is very excited to work with! My housemate Caity also took me to see some sights in the week; Redwood Forest and Seven Acre Rock which were perfect for that getting those touristy Instagram posts!
In my second game for Launching Place Men's X1 vs Hoddles Creek, it was thrown upon me that I would be opening the bowling. Yes, bowling. It turned out to be a great shout from the captain after I sent down a low full toss first ball that got chipped straight back to me. You know how the saying goes... I finished with figures of 7-2-1-15, a decent little spell for my first bowl in men's cricket here. I wasn't needed to bat and we ended up 8 runs short of the total, a massive improvement from the team overall after the previous weeks result.
Our second Ringwood fixture was at home (The Rock) vs Melton. Skipper Maddie won the toss again and elected to bat. As before myself and Maddie opened up and when I got off the mark with a 6 which set the tone for the powerplay overs with another quick start. I bought up my first 50 in Aus in around the 10th over, with the score on 72. We went on to break the record 1st wicket partnership for the Women's Premier side, getting 108; something that we will definitely be looking to further in the season! I got out on 64 off 51 balls and after a good all batting performance from the team, we ended on 260. Melton never looked like threatening the total and we bowled them out for 132. Another valuable lesson learnt was to not leave your helmet out to dry when you go on the field; to say I was bit shocked when 2 of the opposition players decided to wear it (and adjust it off the perfect fit setting) is an understatement. Note to self, always return kit to the bag.
The third week selection dinner on Thursday night saw the start of our "fines". If you are given a fine, you have to throw a dart at the dartboard and complete the consequence of the number thrown. As fully expected, I had a dart first up for "sharing all the Facebook posts about myself", the argument of letting the fans back in the UK wasn't enough to overturn the decision. My dart saw me get "Write a poem about the Rams and recite it at the next selection dinner". If anyone has any tips on writing poems let me know, I don't think I have wrote a poem since primary school.
The next game for Launching Place was against Mount Evelyn, a team many had told me had some particularly quick bowlers. And they weren't wrong. We bowled first, and again I opened up. Unfortunately the low full toss didn't pay off this time round. I ended up with 4-1-0-12 which I again, I was reasonably happy with considering this team were a strong A Grade side. They ended on 208-7. For us, being 0-3 was not the start we wanted, the quick bowlers ripped through the top order and for us it was more of a case to try and bat out the overs. I came in at 6 and faced up to the 6ft 8 left armer. 4 balls later, I got an absolute ripper and tucked my bat under my arm to start the long walk back to pavilion. Accepted and moved on!
The third game for Ringwood was against Carlton Brunswick, team we knew would be much stronger and had my old uni housemate Laura Crofts in! From UWIC to playing against each other in Melbourne, small world! Weather conditions were particularly Welsh; overcast, cold and the occasional rain shower. For the first time, we lost first and were asked to bowl; it became apparent then that this would be our toughest opponents yet and they had some solid batters. The rain came down particularly heavy during our innings which wasn't easy when bowling or fielding; however I felt like I was back in the Welsh Valleys on a standard summers day! During the rain I put in a particularly big dive, and felt like I'd just taken off on a slip and slide. I proceeded to then land on the ball giving myself a dead leg! I didn't get the name Gadrama for nothing! They posted 235 off 45 overs, but we felt confident chasing the total after our last batting performances. Again, myself and Maddie started well, until I got out on the score at 71. After a few wickets and a good bowling and fielding performance from the opposition, we struggled to build up any big partnerships but felt with 7 overs to go, we were still in with a chance if we got up to the rate. In attempts to score big, wickets fell quickly at the end and we were bowled out for 182.
We now have 2 byes in a row, giving us a good chance for us to train hard as a team on the few things we need to work on to make sure we get that win for the next fixture on the 12th November.
Best get writing my poem!