Runs Mean Funds: Early season optimism and getting used to a new bat

Off drive ... Raju plays out to the covers

I was ready and raring to go. After I committed myself to the Runs Mean Funds charity fundraiser for Maggie’s Centres I was itching to go.

Had I adopted the fundraising rules the previous year I would have raised about £100. I speculatively added a pull shot to my shot selection of nurdles, flicks and drives.

I had also successfully shown some noticeable aggression in practice sessions. Given those in the build up I boldly backed myself to improve by 50% – so that I would be donating £150 to the cause with friends/family/opposition raising the remaining £100. Bold but a fair target.

In the final practice I was showing everyone how I was hitting the ball with power and intent. I had finally become accustomed to the bat I had bought two years ago.

It understood me – when I wanted to block, it blocked. When I wanted placement, it placed. When I wanted power, it offered power. Until I broke it.

I borrowed a bat for the start of the season with my first game being for the Flying Ducksmen on 21st April. A little nervous on my first outing of the season I managed 1 before tossing up an easy catch for the bowler. That would not have happened with my old bat. I would have had a run for that.

28th April: King’s Road Intra Club Challenge Match
At the club curry night, I promised audacious sixes. Unfortunately I scored a single run (and took a wicket).

4th May: King’s Road vs Antares
With a new batting partner in the debuting Lomas, I tried to replicate the easy fours he was scoring. No luck. 2 runs and out LBW. Antares gratefully donated £10 to the cause.

11th May: King’s Road vs London Itinerants
One of my favourite opposition to face. Not on that day, having been bowled for 0 in the first over. Form was eluding me.

18th May: King’s Road vs OJ Wanderers
Filling in for the opposition, I was subject to a bit of banter during my short visit to the crease. Another mistimed drive, out for 0 this timed caught at mid on.

19th May: Locksbottom vs Flying Ducksmen
Planted in the order at 4 on what looked like a great batting pitch I witnessed a marvellous opening partnership of 179 (I think). Came to bat in the last over. Got 1 run. At least I wasn’t out.

At this point I had reached a total of 5 runs in 6 visits to the crease and personally raised £10. It was a slow start and I had fallen way behind the required rate. I needed form. I needed practice. I needed a new bat!