By Jordan Thompson

There is just one day of cricket left in Sydney for myself, Harry Brook and Matthew Waite before we head home to prepare for the new season.

We all play the second day of our latest grade fixtures on Saturday and then fly on Tuesday.

It has been a very productive and memorable winter.

We have all had success at stages and will return to Yorkshire really excited about what’s to come. This summer gives us all a massive opportunity.

For me personally, it has been a great experience, not just cricket wise but in a lifestyle way as well.

I’m 22-years-old and see myself as quite mature, but there are still things which are new.

I’ve had to stand completely on my own two feet with a number of things from cooking, something I hadn’t previously done a lot of, to working out things with your game without a coach on hand all the time.

I’ve also had to deal with the medical side of things given I am diabetic. I haven’t been signed up to an Australian doctor, so it’s not quite as easy to just pop down to the hospital if anything was to go wrong.

Budgeting has also been something which comes into focus a bit more with things being more expensive out here than back in the UK.

I’m not getting paid at Mosman. I’m still getting paid by Yorkshire, and from that I have been paying for my own food and other bits of things.

Deals with clubs can differ from one player to the next. Some do get paid, some don’t.

I was quite happy to come out here and have my accommodation and car paid for.

I could have played at a lower grade and been paid, but the whole purpose of coming out here was to improve my cricket, so I needed to be playing the best possible standard.

In terms of the cricket played, after a slow start at Mosman we have picked up some good results of late to the extent we are now level on points with Brooky’s University of New South Wales side, who were top of the table before Christmas but have slipped a bit since.

We are ninth and tenth and outside the top six places, who will all go on to play in the finals.

We’ve spoken as a team, and we know the position we find ourselves in at the moment is more realistic, and we should even perhaps be higher than we are given the near misses we had earlier in the season.

It’s quite a new group of players, and it’s a gelling process. It’s a decent mix with a few players with state experience and a few other youngsters on the verge of it.

I’m sure in the next few years, as long as the team stays together, we’ll have the chance to win the Championship.

Maybe I’ll come back in a couple of years and hopefully help them achieve that.

We beat Blacktown in our last game on a helpful pitch for the bowlers, and I took one wicket in the first innings and four in the second.

We’d had a bit of rain on the Thursday and Friday and got to the ground on the Saturday morning with the pitch still unmarked.

We managed to win the toss and stuck them in.

By the end of day one, we were 70-4 in reply. We then lost a fifth wicket at around 100 before myself and our number three, Pat Pisel, put on just short of 50.

I felt as comfortable at the crease as I have all winter, leaving the ball well on a pitch still doing a bit and with it swinging as well, which was a bit of a surprise.

But, having got to 18, I nicked a slower ball to slip before Pat fell next over. We were 149-7 and still some way short of a first-innings victory.

Thankfully our number nine, Luke Shelton, finished 40 not out and was helped by Greg West, our fast bowler who has played a bit in the Big Bash for Sydney Sixers but is number eleven. They had to get 17 with us nine down to win. After that they slogged a few, got us a lead of around 20 and we then bowled them out for 100 second time around.

That left us chasing 87 in 14 overs for the outright win, which we managed to achieve. Outright wins are rare in two-day grade cricket, so it was a big one for us.

In the ongoing game, we will be chasing 294 in 96 overs to beat Penrith on Sunday. The pitch played better as the first day went on last Saturday, and we hope for more of the same this weekend, although you never quite know with a week in between. If we can win that, we could still reach the finals with two or three rounds left.
I’ve finished the season with 26 wickets at 23, which I’m very happy with.

Waitey has also been happier with his bowling of late over at Bankstown.

We’d spoken earlier in the winter in this diary about him not bowling as much as he’d like, but his workloads have increased.

He’s been opening the bowling recently. He took two wickets in 19 overs in their last completed game and two more in eleven on Saturday. That’s great news for him ahead of the summer.

Brooky’s side have slipped. They had a bit of a nightmare on Saturday, conceding 410 in 96 overs against Sydney, with Middlesex’s Stevie Eskinazi getting 170 not out. Brooky was one of their better bowlers, only conceding 36 runs in 17 overs and only three runs in nine at one stage.

It seems as if they have been relying quite heavily on him, their captain and Matthew Gilkes, the Sydney Thunder player, for runs.

As much as I’ve enjoyed this winter, I’m looking forward to getting home to see friends and family and the lads at Yorkshire.

I was asked by one of the Mosman lads, ‘Do I enjoy the cold weather?’ And I don’t mind it. I’ve grown up in it and love being home.

We have the rest of the week off next and will then be back in at Emerald Headingley.

It’s looking likely that the first week to week and a half will be more fitness based for the three of us, with Andrew Gale saying he’d quite like us to take our minds off the cricket side of things to freshen up.

We then go to Loughborough for a mini camp before we go to Potchefstroom for 12 days in early March.

I’d just like to finish by thanking Mosman as a club. They’ve been brilliant with me, and I’d love to return in the future.

See you all soon!

An image of Lauren Winfield-Hill and Adil Rashid, with the Yorkshire logo and Northern Diamonds logo in the middle

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