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4th Grade vs Manly - Round 8 - 2015/16

It’s been a tough season to date for our 4th Grade side, with the team experiencing many changes including three Captains, before Round 5.

All three leaders have done their best, considering the circumstances, including Nick McMurray who led the side brilliantly during the washout against Blacktown!

Kleem chases down the imposing Manly target 

We faced a tough prospect though against competition leaders Manly, who had a talented and highly spirited young side. This has been the case against many of the teams we’ve come up against. Anyone who thinks this grade is a walk in the park, needs a reality check.

I’m unsure who won the toss, but Manly batted first and it wasn’t long before Nick Prell made an early breakthrough with his left arm seamers. Nick has so far impressed us all with his no nonsense attitude towards his cricket. 

He grew up on a property between Goulburn and Crookwell and has been exposed to the harsh realities of drought that once gripped the district. He is a great addition to the Gordon Cricket Club.

Nick was well supported by Sam Watts who snagged 4/40

Manly eventually posted a sizable total of 9/293. 

A couple of observations, as a batsman who likes to get on with it, there is nothing worse than facing a bowler on a nagging line and length. That means no half volleys and nothing short where the batsman can free their arms.

It means hitting the top of off stump, where the batsman is unsure whether to come forward or back. The idea is to get him off balance and wait for the mistake.

With the right fields in place, pressure quickly builds and wickets follow. Sometimes though, you can be too attacking at Killara. 

Mitch Kleem opens the shoulders in the shot - and takes aim at a few people in this report 

Many of the lower graders need to hit boundaries. Take this away and their day out in the park, quickly changes to an endless grind. 

To the batting and the new opening partnership of Matt Coffey and Mitchell Kleem started well adding 40 or 50 with the first wicket, before the departure of Matt who made a handy 18.

Kleem followed with 57. Clearly the dominate contributor to the initial partnership.

Saahil Turki who’s been making consistent contributions over the past few weeks, tucked the ball around and scored 40. Pity he can’t contribute off the field by submitting his reports on time. [Editor's note: Or even at all]

Meanwhile Andrew Crosland was back to his best with a very aggressive 67 that featured some hefty blows to the boundary.

We were left with a hundred to get off the last 10 overs, and this proved to be too much and were bowled out for 260 or 270.

In summary I believe our side needs to get to get back to the basics. 

In a stellar weekend, Sam Watts takes 4 against Manly and other 4 against Penrith in PGs 

Preparation for the next game starts on Monday, with Sunday a ‘hangover’ day. That means getting an understanding of where you’re at mentally and physically. 

Ask the question what do I have to do this week, to be in tip top condition for Saturday? That could include weights sessions, going for a few runs, laying off the junk food or being more cricket specific.

Personally I don’t think those 10 minute sessions in the nets are enough, if you’re someone who likes to play their shots, you need to be hitting balls all the time.

Read books about cricketers and learn to visualise yourself performing well.

Speak to our coach Trevor Chappell, his brother Greg is an expert in this side of the game.

To end on a positive note I met a young local bat maker on Tuesday who had one of the standout exhibits at the Bowral Twilight Christmas markets.

Vandal Bats - Mitch Kleem rates the product. You can find out more by following the link below. 

15 year old Billy Barge who plays for the East Bowral Blues has sourced his willow from former Test Cricketer Ian Callen who has a property in the Yarra Valley in Victoria.

People can check out his his products at this link.

Also our local cricket enthusiast Rodney Cavalier is organising a bus tour during the Bradman Festival in January that will take people to all the places around the Highlands that played a special part in the life of "The Don" and his family.

Shephards Station, one of the stops on the tour 

Mr. Cavalier had terrific feedback from a tour he conducted back in January, where he spent time with Directors of the Marylebone Cricket Club and journalists from India.

Yours, as always,

Mitch Kleem

 

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