Chris Taylor back with a bangChris Taylor |
I am eventually back playing cricket again after three months on the sidelines with a bad hamstring and calf injury. With no 2nd XI cricket or practice I was selected for the Yorkshire Twenty/20 side to play against Leicestershire at Grace Road. They batted first and posted 154 for 3 from their 20 overs. I was particularly nervous as the openers walked out to bat for Yorkshire, my first competitive game for over a year. We hit problems early on as we fell for 20 for 2 and Andy Gale had been carried off with a twisted ankle leaving us really 20 for 3.
What followed was a magnificent century stand between Anthony McGrath and Jacques Rudolph. Unfortunately both were out in the same over and it left myself and Tim Bresnan needing 18 from three overs with the light deteriorating and us both new at the crease. The Leicestershire bowlers bowled consistent yorkers and we managed to get it down to three required from the final ball. I was facing Jim Allenby needing three to win. Thoughts were racing through my mind, I’d been out of cricket for a year, I was feeling out of nick, he had just bowled two perfect yorkers.
I managed to clear my mind and knew if I hit straight, we should get a minimum of two runs to tie the game out to long off or long on. There was also the chance of a straight four with no fielders directly behind the bowler and if I connected well it could even go for six runs. ‘Think positive’ I kept saying to myself and I visualised hitting a four over the bowler’s head. The crowd of 3000 or so were really loud chanting ‘Leicestershire la la la’ as Allenby ran in. I knew it was going to be another attempted yorker so I stepped back into my crease just as the bowler got into his delivery stride so as to turn the yorker into a half volley. I swung hard but made sure I kept a straight bat and my shape. The ball came right out of the middle of the bat and sailed well over long on into the stand and six runs! I began punching the air and was mobbed by my fellow batsman Tim Bresnan.
It was one of the greatest feelings I’ve had in the game and returned to the changing rooms to be hugged and high fived by all the Yorkshire lads and coaching team. Another excellent victory for an in-form Yorkshire team.
As I write this we have now won four out of six games in the Twenty/20 Cup with only two more wins from four games needed to qualify for the Quarter Finals. If we do that we will be just two wins away from the Champions League and a chance to win $5 million!!
Away from cricket the coaching business www.procricketcoachingacademy.com is going really well. With a little bit of time off in between games Andy and myself are working hard on marketing the courses and Academies. We are still on the lookout for any cricket related websites to link to our website (URL above) and are still searching for a website sponsor (who will also get their logo on all the children’s kit for this coming winter). If anyone is interested please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org . If anyone would like more information on the coaching courses and Academies in the UK, or would like to book themselves or their child on a course, please call this number 07766024635.