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— 23 January 2019

By Jordan Thompson

It was the battle between myself and Harry Brook in Sydney grade cricket at the weekend, and thankfully Mosman came out on top.

While we have been struggling this season and Brooky’s University of New South Wales have been going well at the top of the table, we managed to get the win in a two-day match by defending our opening day total of 338.

In terms of the personal performances, I’d say we were both pretty happy with how we went, although I was frustrated to fall cheaply with the bat. No excuses, I played a poor shot and was out for a duck.

Throughout the week, I’d been telling Brooky ‘I’m going to get you out. I’ll hit you on the front pad’. But he just laughed it off.

Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to get him as he top-scored with a patient 62 in the first innings and then, once we’d won by bowling them out for 188, he added a more aggressive 82 in their second innings with the game done.

I did manage to get 3-32 from 17 overs in the first innings to continue a decent winter bowling wise.

  • I’ve been disappointed with my batting, especially having come off a good season in England.

    I’ve batted quite low out here, whereas my runs in England for Yorkshire seconds came at four and five.

    I’ve been batting at eight out here.

    The way the team is, we have seven batters and then four bowlers, including me. That means it’s hard for me to push up the order because they won’t bat a genuine batter at eight.

    I’ve been strapped for a bit of time at the crease.

    Saturday was the perfect opportunity for me.

    I went in with about 15 overs left on day one, and we were going to declare at the close. It was about getting into my innings and then trying to score quickly. But I didn’t take the chance.

    I’m not too concerned about it, though, having had a positive summer back home.

    My bowling has definitely been a big improvement when I was expecting it to be with the bat that I’d return more performances.

    I’ve learnt a lot about being consistent and patient. I’ve averaged 24 for 20 wickets across all grades.

  • Before coming out here, I’d spoken about needing to improve my consistency if I am to push for that fourth or fifth seamer’s spot in the Championship.

    It’s about setting up the wickets for the guys at the other end, not being greedy and just making the batsmen play a lot. That’s what I’ve done out here, and it’s gone well.

    Brooky had been saying that their pitch had been playing low and slow all season, but they left quite a lot of grass on it at the weekend, and both teams didn’t really know what to do first and how it would play.

    It turned out that it moved sideways and spun all game even though it was still quite good for batting on.

    We were 115-5 before our number five and seven put on 220.

    They had 10 overs to bat before close and got through one down.

    They had the full second day to knock off 300, but we bowled pretty well. Apart from Brooky, the rest of them didn’t really offer anything.

    Brooky batted well to be fair.

    We had Greg West back from the Sixers, and he bowls decent pace. So my job, as I was saying earlier, was to hit my lines and lengths, be consistent and dry up the runs, which I felt I did quite nicely.

    The only disappointing thing was that I bowled three maidens in a row at Brooky before changing my field slightly and nearly getting the breakthrough. I threw one a bit wider, got the big drive and he nearly nicked it. The over after that, he took me for 12 before edging one off our left-arm spinner.

    There wasn’t much swing, especially with the balls we use. There was some sideways movement, so I was just trying to nip it both ways.

    That was my way of getting him out, bowling straight but not too full and hitting just above the knee roll. But he was walking at me to negate the movement.

  • It was quite funny in the game. There wasn’t much chat between us. Instead, we just kept looking at each other and laughing.

    Brooky lives right on the ground, and I stayed at his on Saturday night. And he was not out overnight, so I was winding him up. A few of the Mosman lads were then winding me up for staying at his and, according to them, whispering sweet nothings!

    We have three games left before we fly home, and away from cricket it’s about sticking to the fitness programme we’ve got from Yorkshire and making sure we’re ready for the start of the season.

    The appointment of Paul Grayson as our new batting coach is a very good one.

    We’ve been looking for someone for a while, so it’s good to have a new pair of eyes to look at what we’re doing.

    He comes with a lot of experience having worked at Essex and Durham Uni along with the Diamonds, added to his playing days.

    He has obviously been around the club with the Diamonds, but we haven’t had a great deal of contact with him before.

    He jumped in one fielding session either last year or the year before, I can’t remember exactly. When It was either the Academy or a second-team session, and he just helped with hitting a few balls and things like that. I’m looking forward to getting to know him much better from early March.

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