What a day.
As a squad we were all up today, with the Juniors vs QLD and then Seniors vs QLD White. And let me tell you what. I freaking love these kids. I don’t really know a lot of them personally or anything, half of them turned up to vigoro like last week or something (what’s vigoro?) but they’re great. Apparently they had a hell of a team talk last night, because from the moment they all walked out the door this morning they were switched on and pumped as hell. Without their coach for a day, they sorted themselves out, did their own warm up, had everything under control. All over it. I was particularly impressed with this aspect of their day, how mature and professional they were when left to their own devices, especially for such an inexperienced team.
And then they played! They did really well right off the bat to restrict QLD to 60 odd runs, and then they went out there and got a job done with the bat to actually take a slight first innings lead. It was a top performance from the whole team. I said the other day that they would do some damage to QLD, and they exceeded my expectations dramatically. The second innings was a harder slog out there in this oppressive, disgusting heat. Even so they still got QLD for 77, which is a very good effort against a QLD Juniors team that can do a lot of damage with the bat if they get away from you. Still, chasing 70-plus in the last innings is a big ask for a bunch of kids that only have two games under their belts. But they went out there and just blasted these runs off. It was spectacular batting right when it was required. And all in all it was just a superb team effort from all the kids for a brilliant victory. They will now have a playoff against QLD on Saturday for the titles, which should be a cracker of a game. After seeing them today, I reckon these kids can really pull this off. Way to go.
Then of course it was our turn. We tossed, and lo and behold we won! We still ended up batting, and unfortunately we had another wobbly one and posted the disappointing total of 40, which had us running uphill a bit the rest of the game. This happens far too many times when we play 1s, and we really need to find a way to eradicate it because all too often we never recover from that bad first innings. Luckily our bowling and fielding was on point and we only trailed by 9 at the halfway mark. And then…we had a bat. We were due for a good batting innings, and really we needed it or we’d have been in real danger here. So we had a bat, with a lot of good contributions and one outstanding knock. On a personal note I managed to finally stop batting like an asshole and did my job for the team, which was to hunker down and stay in there, so I was happy with that.
So we set a target of…Jesus I don’t even know, 80? 90? Something like that. A decent haul anyway, and plenty of runs to play with while we bowled them out. But naturally…we can’t do things too easily. Full credit to QLD they batted well here, and played some big shots which ate into our lead very quickly. We were steadily getting wickets, but the target was also looking more and more reachable. I’m sure it was a real nail biter to watch. Oddly enough it was one of those times when I am having so much God damn FUN being out on the field that I never felt the pressure or worried about losing. I knew we would win. I just didn’t know when. Notwithstanding a spectacularly botched run out attempt by myself, we finally knocked them off just in the nick of time. Apparently QLD were only four runs short. Yeesh. We like to do things the hard way sometimes. But still, it was a good, hard fought win.
So…what a day. The junior burgers had a massive win. We got ourselves home in a bit of a thriller. Australia just cleaned up India to reach the World Cup Final. It’s all happening today, big day. I need to crash now and recover for the next big day tomorrow.