Like Nick Compton, I was stymied in my attempt to score 100 runs by the end of May – and in similar fashion, through a combination of the weather and a rash stroke. Well, needing but 8 runs, I rashly missed a straight one. Yes, I know NC narrowly missed out on 1000 runs, but I reckon that a club cricketer in his first season of batting left-handed and with a touch of the old Parkinson’s can count 100 runs in the same breath.
I’ve been working really hard in the nets, and like many this damp season, have found scoring runs extremely hard. But lo, what numbers through yonder scorebook break? Here are my innings to date:
40no – 2 – 3 – 5 – 16no – 20 – 6 – 0no
That’s 92 runs in 8 innings … dismissals: caught at square leg, ‘LBW’, caught at short extra, ‘caught behind’, and castled.
In the three previous seasons, my first seven innings aggregated 49, 32, and 23 respectively. Hey, I never said I was any good in the first place, but it does seems as if, well, I’m better left-handed … and considerably so.
It may be beginner’s luck, an ability to feast on the legside balls served up by confused bowlers, or maybe simply that I’m working far, far harder, both in the nets and in the middle. In the outfield, I’ve taken one catch, behind the timbers, I’ve dropped two tough chances, but have one run-out, two clean sheets, and three stumpings (in one innings) to my name.
Whatever it is, I’m definitely heading in the right direction. My sponsorship is up to £5 per run, plus extras for catches, stumpings and, currently, £11 extra for a 50. All good!
Now I need to acquire attacking shots other than the trusty pull/sweep. I have a passable cover drive, and a reasonable straight drive, but they currently lack the power to penetrate the field, especially with the outfields we’ve had this year … otherwise that fifty is going to stay elusive.
It’s time, I feel, for this lefty to go back into the nets with a proper coach … Langman calling Funnell, come in Funnell …