Thursday, 26 October 2017

Batsmen of SEDCB region and how to get them out.

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Keval Suchak Hutton CC 4th XI (July 2018) 
(Hopefully I've got the right bloke in the photograph)? Suchak's innings was short and sweet see here From the outset he looked like a walking wicket with one shot - a big heave - playing across the line to the leg-side. Which, goes to explain why on the Play cricket website (Double click his name above his photo) he's recorded as being bowled more times than any other dismissal (38%). Coming close behind is caught with 36% dismissals.  
The field setting for him and the conditions are slightly different to Mike Astles with some tweaks for the fact that he has one primary shot from what we saw...
I didn't have a slip, he was moved to the deep mid-wicket position having seen the previous over where every ball was intended to be a four through the leg-side. I got him LBW with full-ish Leg-Break that didn't grip and he'd already played through the shot - again trying to hoik it over mid-wicket.

The field-setting above were the Captains (Lee Dutton). I only got to bowl 2 balls at him a dot ball and then out


John Hearn   Benfleet 3rd XI (June 2018).
His records on play cricket go back to 1995, so he's experienced. He played well in our game as you can see from his wagon wheel. He was able to manoeuvre the ball into the gaps with some really nice shots. The late cuts I thought were pretty clever.
At no point did he look like he was going to get himself out and as you can see he had a good cover-drive. Unfortunately I didn't write this up at the time and I've had to play catch up, so some of this may be a bit vague. As I recall he didn't move his feet that much, but played me with soft hands fending the ball off into the pitch if it looked threatening - he may have stepped or reached forwards to the ball. Anything loose and he had the ability to manuovre the ball into very precise gaps. Several of my balls went through the 3rd man zone via a nice little late cut that he has.

William Dale RHB 
Billericay 4th XI (June 2018)

William Dale has been moved to

Check him out there as well as a load of other blokes.

Geoff Davison RHB - Opening batsman for Hadleigh and Thundersley CC

Below - Davison's primary scoring area...
On the day we played, the strip that had been prepared was the one closest to the artificial wicket and therefore one of the shortest boundaries. I bowled from the Graveyard end, but could have asked for the Estate End? The only thing is, dependent on how long the grass is, or how wet it is, the opposite end provides a slope for the ball to run down, but on balance it may have been the better option?

Geoff Davision if you look him up on Play Cricket, you'll see that in the past he's been no slouch with the bat over his career and this year (2017) he was captain of the 4th XI and this game he was one of the openers. For us this was a season at our new Ground at Holy Cross in Basildon. Davison was out of for 23 trapped LBW to Ryan Davies who swings the ball. Perhaps one of his weaknesses is swing bowling?

In the first 12 overs, where he faced medium and medium/fast bowling the run-rate was 2 an over, all of the balls on or around the off-stump line seemed to cause him a problem - he erred towards caution with these. His strongest shots were leg-side, where had the advantage of a short boundary and most of his - if not all of his 4's were through that region... square-leg and through fine-leg (See illustration above). We were at a big disadvantage as we were at least a fielder down through-out their innings. 

Against me, despite bowling poorly because of an injury picked up in the first game of the season - he again, chose to play with a high level of caution looking to get off strike to allow the more aggressive John Newman (See below) to play his attacking role. On an extremely bad day for me he managed to score one run off of me in 3 overs looking to hand the strike to the other bloke who was looking to ruin me. Whether his approach is usual or not is speculation, maybe it was down to the fact that it was one of the earliest games in the season? But, the overall sense was that he massively favoured leg-side shots and appeared to be weak on the off-side - looking to leave the ball when possible. 

Historically he looks a good player - last year he scored 279 averaging 17.44 with a high score of 37. Looking at his data over the last 3 or 4 years it appears that as a batsman he is on the wane and progressively scored less runs year on year. The data on play cricket is as follows...

Bowled - 28.8%

Caught 40.76%
LBW - 14.13%
Stumped 1.63%
Not out 7.6%

This is his all-time data and takes into account his good years 2004 and 2005. Other info of interest is that in 75% of his games he scores 0-9 runs and the last time he had a good innings was 2015 where he scored 78 against Belhus cc. 

I have to reiterate that he almost exclusively scored his runs in our game through the regions as illustrated, clipping the ball off his legs. As with most batsmen at this level, you're going to starve him of runs if you can keep the ball off the leg-side and pads. Anything leg-side for this bloke is obviously playing to his strength. 

Cautious approach - plan #1

Players 1 and 8 - make sure these are on the boundary at the start and use your players who are going to be quick off the mark and willing to put in the dive to save a boundary. Keep these blokes there until you're sure you're bowling a half decent line - look to bowl as I and our openers did - on or outside of the off-stump. I don't recall the ball being in the air much for his leg-side shots, but the stats would suggest otherwise (40% of his dismissals historically being down to catches) so have your blokes on the leg-side agile, with the ability to take catches. 

For Davison look to try and get him to hit the ball through the area 'Zone A' and have your fielders ready for the catches (40% of his dismissals are from catches). When I bowled at him he was happy to not play the ball, just watch it and see if it turned. At the start of the season I was already injured and was bowling poorly and slowly, so he had plenty of time to see what the ball was doing. If you are bowling well, after your first over, bring up 1 and 8 onto the edge of the ring and mid off (9) close in as well. Given that he goes for so high a percentage to catches, it kind of indicates that he doesn't time the ball that well, so variations in speed might be a tactic along with bowling with more over-spin intermittently. In this instance he was happy to sit back and watch the ball, so a straighter ball (Top-spinner if bowled sparingly) may have been a good ball, as would a surprise straight ball like a Flipper or if you've got one a Googly. 

If the ball is turning as it was on this occasion, another approach would be to bowl at him from a position close to the wickets stump to stump with your stock ball, especially if he's sitting back watching it turn away from the off-stump. Remember though he's looking for the loose ball to put away down the leg-side, so try and bowl consistently - vary these deliveries in speed, but keep them spinning and turning away, then come wider on the crease and then try pitch one angled across the stumps that might then straighten up and get him LBW or bowled. 

Jonathan Newman.
Looking at the data on Play Cricket he's been playing since 2005 and plays across all the teams from 1st XI up to the 4th XI where I've had to bowl against him. In the game I came up against him in, he scored 54, eventually bowled by Sam Good and caught by younger sonJoe. In 2017 he was ranked the 10th highest batsmen in the club. He averaged 31.56 in 2017. His all time average in 19.75.

Historically he's usually bowled - 47.83% of his dismissals.
Caught 37.2%
Stumped 0.48%
LBW 2.9%

Caught 70%
Bowled 20%
Not out 10%

In our game back in May he opened along with Geoff Davison (See above) and struggled with the bowling of my Younger son Joe and Tim Edmonds. Both bowlers bowling a good line just on or outside of the off-stump. In the first 10 overs the run rate was kept very low at 2.3 and over. The fours as I recall were all off of loose leg-side balls and like Davison, Newman didn't seem to have any shots through the off-side and looked to be struggling against both of the openers in that region. Again, as with Davison, the balls on the leg-side were put away for four easily.

Admittedly when I came on the I got off to a poor start - bowling leg-side and was hit through the on-side for a 4 and a six by Newman in my first over (See diagram below). 

I don't recall any decent off-side shots and where I went for dots against him these were balls outside of the off-stump.

The image above shows Newnham's primary scoring areas. The 4's and 6's against me were all hit on-side in the zone indicated - between mid-wicket and mid-on.

Newnham was dismissed on 54 by Sam Good, Sam's a good bowler - seam bowler, accurate and pacy and Newham got under the ball and lofted it straight to my son Joe at Mid-on half-way. Possibly a slightly slower ball being his un-doing.

Goes well against poor leg-spin (Very poor leg-spin in this instance!) I reckon on a different day I'd have had him, Any balls on and around the off-stump are going to cause this bloke problems. He seemed to be very reluctant to play any shots on the offside and left anything that was not threatening the stumps.

If you're accurate and you can target that area you're going to offer a threat it would seem? It may be that as the season goes on he gets better? If, you've got a couple of variations, it may only take a change of pace and you're going to be in the game. Other options to consider would be to subtly move around the wicket, especially with your stock ball, bowl from close in to the stumps, so that the ball goes away from him and load up your field on the off-side. Then creep wider still turning the ball, just don't get it on his legs. A top-spinner if you've got it will be useful, especially if he's still looking to be aggressive and starts to get to the ball, just put a load of top-spin on one of your small leg-breaks or bowl a one with just over-spin and he should be a candidate for one that'll just go straight-up, If you do this move you field so you've got a deep mid off and on. Needless to say a Wrong-un, is going to be an asset if bowled sparingly.

 If I meet him again I'll be looking at using a field along the lines of the illustration below...

I'd start with this field pitching it on a length to induce the drive,  He didn't seem comfortable with driving on the off-side or have any shots for the off-side especially for the quicks. With me, even though I was bowling really badly he waited for the balls on the legs and wide of the legs and these were dealt with aggressively. Towards the end of my 3 over spell he was dancing down the wicket hitting 4's and a 6. I'd already surrendered at this point and was happy to be taken out of the attack.

If he was timing the ball well and coming down the wicket and I wasn't injured, I'd go for the top-spinner and an over-spun leg-break and put 8 and 7 in the deep at mid-on and mid-off.

Please note you set these fields at your own risk, the owner of the blog is in no way responsible for you getting carted around the park for 4's and sixes. Seek professional guidance if in doubt.

PicturePaul Howlett - Orsett & Thurrock cc 
I've faced this bloke before and Dutton our captain has too and we knew that he was half decent. If you check him out on Playcricket the data for last year is as follows...

In 12 innings he scored 326, his high score was 104 and he had two innings of 50+.
It seems that there's a collective sense amongst their team that Wrist-spin is their nemesis? This info came about from having a conversation with one of their players.

The analysis here is somewhat flawed in that we only had 8 players, so he was able to play with a degree of freedom and scored 74 not out on what was a pretty good wicket. The observations that I made (See the illustration below) was that he had two dominant scoring areas. Primarily leg-side between mid-wicket and mid-on, so this is where you want your fastest and most agile fielders, The shots in this area were either along the ground for 4 or big 6's.

The other shot that I saw was really nice late cut, not hit aggressively, but deftly between point and slips, so a man in at Gully would negate this shot. The key thing though is that he doesn't have a good off-side shot to any bowling - spin or pace given the evidence I saw in our first match of the season against Orsett and Thurrock, with only one strong shot being played through that region that I cut off and kept to a single fielding at Mid-off about 1/2 way out.

Update August 2017.

See match report here

This time around thing were more weighted on our side, we had a full team and a helpful wicket and one that was offering some turn off the wicket if you spun it enough. Unlike J.Hart especially who batted well Howlett was in a rush, as mentioned before he's quite aggressive and is looking to go big leg-side. In this game almost every shot was legside in the region indicated. No sixes were scored - the ball falling just short of the boundary. I nearly had him caught at conventional square leg (Covered up in this diagram) in my first over with a ball that didn't turn much and cramped him up and looped up in the air, but the ball was put down. The ball that got him was on the off stump line and he was looking to get it over the leg-side as usual. The ball was easily taken by one of our younger players Josh Debond. 

Plan A I'd set the field as below. (Bowler is No.1). The observations that I've made this season would indicate that he sees himself as an aggressive player that looks to get on with it - especially against spin. He sees his strength as being able to go big on the leg side through the zone indicated by the darker shade in the diagram (A). So a key point for me or anyone bowling at him is to starve him of these leg-side shots, try and get him to play through the off-side, which he seems to be reluctant to do. As in the game on the 19th, he'll then try and sit back in the crease, see where the ball is spinning and attempt to hit it through the leg-side - playing it late.

Bowl over the stumps using your stock delivery. If you playing against him at home, the wicket is good for spinners with variable bounce and it turns if you're putting revs on the ball. I'd start wide on the crease angling it in at the off-stump, varying the amount of over-spin with side-spin. I'd then move across the crease bowling in from a position tighter to the stumps, so that the ball turns away from the bat more and the straighter variation threatens the stumps. This should then frustrate him if you're drying up the runs and he might then go looking for his leg-side shots. With this off-side line he then struggles and the ball starts to get hit in the air all over the place and anyone close in on the bat has a chance.

Warne would take this a step further and would leave the bloke at deep mid-wicket (9) out of the equation leaving a gaping great hole on the leg-side - begging him to have a go. It's definitely an idea if you're able to bowl a tight off-side line, because he really struggles with fetching it from outside of off and getting it away - massive potential for miss-hitting it. Other factors that play into your hands are the state of the game - if he walks out needing to get runs, he'll try and go big, he doesn't seem to be the kind of bloke that's ready and willing to build an innings - he's looking to make a big impact quick.

My preferred option though would be to get him driving and get him edged to the keeper or slips.

Currently working on these blokes...

Horndon on the Hill Batsmen

Lee Kooyman – Primarily their opener. Experienced player been around since 1999, played for Orsett previously. At the time of writing had played 141 games and had 2249 runs to his name and an average of 24.18. His high score is 90 and has accrued 11 x 50’s. Aggressive player with 49 fours recorded.
Dismissals - 9% bowled, 60% caught, LBW 6%, Stumped 1%, Run-out 5% and 16% Not outs.

His weakness looking at this is that he is primarily dismissed being caught, this might be in part down to the fact that he looks to be aggressive with a lot of 50's to his credit. Looks as though he may be a solid player against spin and isn't easily drawn out of his wicket for a stumping?
Keith Hawkes
Another one of those players that they spread around the teams, sometimes plays 2nd XI, so is obviously considered a half decent player. But in comparison to Kooyman nowhere near the same calibre. Hawkes has played 40 games and accrued 550 runs. Has only ever scored 50 runs twice and has an average of 16.67. The records indicate that he's a more cautious player as he has never hit a 6 and has only ever hit 1 four in his career which spans only 4 seasons.
Dismissals - 16% bowled, 66% caught, LBW 5%, Stumped 2% and 8% not outs.

Keith Klein - Batsman Hadleigh and Thundersley cc 4th XI

Our game with Hadleigh and Thundersley was a miserable affair and was abandoned because of the rain. But off the back of it and digging around looking at the players on Play Cricket it's highlighted an obvious reason for it being so bloody miserable!

 Because the game was abandoned, the only real positive to come out of it was the research into the batsman who totally dominated the game. 

Anyway the bloke this week was good...

 Keith Klein
Keith Klein Hadleigh and Thundersley 4th XI batsman

Arrived at the game in humid sunshine with the promise of rain later via the internet weather reports. Looking around at the team with the exception of Jai and Tony we had no seam bowlers and definitely no-one of the kind of speed that Joe bowls at (This was written the first week that Joe moved up from the 4th XI to the 3rd XI). I was optimistic initially. The toss was had and we fielded first, which was a relief because of not having a lot in the bowling dept. we also had very little in the way of batting.

It didn’t go that well, 30 overs in and with the score at 190 for 5. The rain saved us and the match was abandoned. The only thing useful to come out of it was that we all got to see what their man Keith Klein could do with the bat. Initially, he looked a bit susceptible to being weak on the leg-side and that might be worth exploring when he first gets to the crease, but a couple of overs in and Klein having had a look and with me bowling, he moved up 3 gears. Looking at the diagram below - off of my bowling (this was generally true of everyone), he hit down the ground mostly on the on-side. Nothing massive – he didn’t seem to be looking to hit sixes, just nice tidy fours, hit hard and mostly along the ground – straight drives. With the other bowlers, he seemed to hit them through the 7% area (Covers) where I fielded later in the game and we were able to slow his progress by spreading the field out and allowing the single and getting him off-strike.

With my slow leg-spin he was coming  down the wicket and hitting me through the 90% area – he hit me for at least five fours through those areas. Needless to say, I was taken off after 3 overs having gone for 10 an over, but in the last over, my 4th ball was one of my off-spinning Flippers and I almost got him, the ball clipping the inside edge of his bat I think and almost hitting the off-stump. The bloke looked up and acknowledged it… “Good ball” he conceded.

I came on again later for the last over - just as the rain came when Klein was still there with another bloke K.Jenkinson, who’d seemingly gone up the order. Again, this bloke Jenkinson played with real intent looking to come after me, not quite as adept as Klein, but still looking to score runs and get on top of me.

Coming away from this and reflecting on it, the ball that made the difference was that off-spinning delivery which I’d pretty much given up on in recent games, partly because it doesn’t often turn that much, but on this occasion, it was spot on and it’s a delivery that I bowl a little faster. I’ve been looking at which deliveries to work on aside from the leg-break and this may be worth looking at along with a more top-spinning leg-break?
Post Match Trauma

To be honest I was feeling really down about this game and the fact that I was so ineffective and went for so many runs off of this one bloke. But, I’ve been able to console myself with the fact that this bloke is pretty good… Up until recently he’s generally played 2nd XI cricket, last year he played 5 or 6 games and at least half of those were 2nd and 3rd XI games. He’s got records that go back to 1988, so he’s got experience. Furthermore, in his recorded games he’s scored 7 x 100’s and 19 x 50’s. His all-time average is 32.02 and historically he’s contributed to 16% of the teams runs. His high score of 162 was in the 2nd XI. One of the things I noticed was that he was very low risk player – his fours were all pretty much played late and along the ground and this is further evidenced in that in his career, despite scoring almost 4000 runs the Play Cricket records suggest that he’s only ever hit three sixes, whereas he’s recorded as having scored 95 x 4’s. So I feel a lot better now in that he’s a really good batsman and I nearly had him with my off-spinning Flipper!

I kept digging further to see how good he was in comparison to our blokes. Our best batsman as far as I can make out is Paul Singleton AKA Elvis, he’s not played as long as this bloke, but Paul’s records go back to 1999, but Klein still runs rings round Paul so this bloke is really good, you kind of have to ask why the hell is he playing in the 4th XI? Our match was so miserable – no-one enjoyed it, because the bloke was so obviously playing on a different planet than us, strikes me as one of the easiest ways of losing kids from the game and adults too?

Anyway a bit of a plan if I ever face the nightmare that is Keith Klein...
Defensive plan for Keith Klein (Bowler is '1').

The key is variation. I was bowling stock leg-breaks and they were turning a little, he seemed to prefer playing off the front foot and he was prepared to come out of the crease to a lot of my balls and hit me through the area indicated by the diagram above. Having now seen how good he is I would be cautious about trying to attack via a wide ball outside of leg. Admittedly I bowl very slow, so if you bowl in the 40-45mph speed range and get the ball to turn you could use the Shane Warne approach where you try different lines of attack and move around the crease for your release point.

He's probably of a level where he watches the ball for the direction of spin and may be able to pick your variation from the hand. For this field bowl on the stumps - kind of middle and leg - force him to play. Don't show your hand early with your variation, save it for about the 3rd over in and then try it, because he is watchful and he admitted that I nearly got him because he wasn't concentrating and watching the ball.

The field above is primarily defensive, the idea being that you absorb the favoured shot through the 90% area allowing the single as we did eventually and then look to keep him off strike.

Attacking plan for Keith Klein (Theoretically).

 Some of the other bowlers including one of our younger players (No.5)  did a lot better than me (No.3) with really inconsistent bowling, especially outside the off-stump. Incidentally bowler No.2 was Tony Keep who bowls at the stumps - medium pace, varying the speed and length and uses swing and movement off the seam. He did really well.
So, it may be that you might fair better hiding the ball outside of off - as a 'Bob each way' approach. If you bowl consistently it might be a different story, so varying what you do could be key to any success, as I mentioned earlier I nearly got him with my variation.

Clive Franklin - Hutton cc has now been moved to the new blog...

Double click on the image below for the analysis of this bloke - Taylor Wood - Harlow Town CC

Looking for Clive Franklins analysis? Double click on Clive's image below...
Looking for Joe Owen of Benfleet cc - click on the picture below...

Looking for

Pragash Ganeshalingham - Eastwood cc click on the picture below.

Thanks to everyone that is viewing this post and blog, the amount of views it's getting is pretty impressive. 


  1. Hi Dave, like the new blog

  2. Yes! The comments work! Cheers SLA for doing that, I'll probably delete the comment as it seems there's a limit to 5 comments, still need to check all the settings - I may be able to increase the comment capacity. There's a lot of work though to do on the blog, transferring it all over. I'm also noticing that the links are often dead - not doubt people with websites that get fed-up with paying for them. So a lot to do over the coming weeks and months.

  3. This is great analysis Dave and far more advanced that the kind of stuff people usually dribble on about on BC.

    My suggestion to you now would be to try to generalise your findings. Its impractical to have a dossier on every batsman in Essex - it would be more helpful to you if you were able to identify that when you see batsman of type "X", then you need to use strategy "Y".

    So you might be in a game, and before you come on to bowl, you might think "oh this bloke bats a bit like Paul Howlett, therefore when I come on I need to make sure I try to get him driving" or something like that.

    So you might eventually come up with a list of different "types" of batsmen and develop a different plan for each: The nurdler. The prodder. The leg side slogger, the bloke who hangs on the back foot. The bloke who charges up the wicket. The bloke who backs away to leg and smears everything through point. The bloke who looks like he has never batted before in his life. The bloke who watched a youtube video on playing spin and now tries to sweep 3 balls an over. The super "correct" batsman with the classic technique high elbow. The "star" batsman who expects to score a ton every game.

  4. Cheers SLA, I'll definitely consider that over the coming season and it sounds a lot more practical than identifying every single batsman, a lot less time-consuming. I reckon it's a skill that you develop though from playing the game lots. Your 'Star' batsman for instance I wouldn't be sure what I'd be looking for in him other than he'd take his time, be fairly risk adverse, but ready to put away the bad ball, perhaps have 4 good shots that he seemed to be able to target gaps with... That kind of thing?

  5. Aye, if he is clearly just waiting for bad balls, then simply don't bowl any bad balls, and you will bowl maiden after maiden and win the game for your team that way.

    Your skipper should be able to tell you if the oppo have one really good bat who scores all their runs. I think more likely this type of bat will want to impose himself on the game by hitting lots of boundaries so that he can get his ton before he runs out of overs. Best tactic is to try to keep him off strike! Put men back saving two, give him a single off the first ball of the over, and then bowl dots at the bloke at the other end. They'll soon start bickering with each other. With any luck, he'll get frustrated at the slow sacoring rate and try to hit a 6 and end up giving a catch on the boundary.

  6. Yeah our regular skipper plays he usually knows who's going to score runs, there's usually a couple of them. Yeah we usually deploy the tactic of letting the better bat have the single so that we can target the lesser batsman. It's rare that I'm able to bowl dot ball after dot ball and being 4th XI and usually one of the weakest teams in the league, we just haven't got blokes that are that quick and agile enough in the field to restrict the bats to dot balls. Most of us including me to be honest would count ourselves as being lucky if we were to cling onto a ball on the boundary that was intended to be a six! I have so many balls hit in the air that are not caught, fumbled, dropped or just not got to because the players have knackered knees and have no agility or burst speed - they're all ex footballers who've never done warm ups in their lives so are shot to pieces. You have to be pretty philosophical in our team, otherwise you'd get really disappointed.