The match report is courtesy of Ramesh
Teddington CC 131 all out – 28 overs – Grace’s CC 124 all out – 29 overs – lost by 7 runs
A slight drizzle delayed the start of the match and both sides agreed it will be a 35 over each fixture. For the second time in a row Grace’s lost the toss and quite surprisingly were asked to bowl first on a cloudy afternoon and on a battered wicket (the same pitch was being used for few matches in a row) with one side of the boundary being twice the length than the other side.
Hemang opened the bowling with a maiden in contrast Ramesh couldn’t repeat his last match’s performance with erratic length in which couple of beamers were served. He repeatedly bowled a few full tosses which luckily didn’t cross the boundary. Hemang stuck to the basics and was rewarded with a wicket in the first few overs. Manish Raj duly replaced Ramesh and took no time to serve up a yorker which uprooted the opener’s stumps. All this while they both kept a tight line and length, until one of the batsman decided to free his arms and swung Manish Raj for couple of sixes and a four in one over.
There was a double change in the bowling with Manish Modi and Mendis brought into attack. Mendis took no time to get into the groove by picking up the wicket of the danger man for 31 leaving Teddington 71/4. Mendis was warmly welcomed back to the club after a long absence. He bowled with wile and picked up another wicket which brought a talented colt who batted sensibly with his senior partner and started to build a partnership. Dominic turned to Richard B who was on a hat-trick from the last match and almost got one only for Abhishek to drop a dolly in the covers. After a few quiet overs the partnership was broken by Richard B to bring a new batsman along with Hemang who was sidelined rolling his ankle while trying to stop the ball on the boundary. He was hidden in the slips but only for the first ball to follow him and he gleefully accepted the offering. Abhishek and Manish Modi picked up a wicket each giving Richard B an opportunity to finish off the one man short opposition and he did it by picking up the last two wickets in two balls, exactly the way he finished the last match. So, Richard B still has one more chance to go for the glory.
The rain re-visited the fields briefly delaying Grace’s innings. Dominic and Abhishek started the chase of 132 with caution as the ball swung at an alarming rate. Abhishek’s innings was prematurely cut short by ECB approved home team umpire when he managed to hear a nick when the ball clearly hit his thigh pad. Jonathan was the next man in. He batted with the same determination from the last match and he hit couple of well timed boundaries. Dominic and Jonathan both got out in space of few deliveries that brought the classy Mendis to the crease. He started showing no signs of a man who is short of match practice with few delicate late cuts and drives while Kalyan tonked a couple of boundaries with authority. Mendis was adjudged LBW by the controversial home umpire and Mendis didn’t hide his displeasure. And from then on there was a procession of wickets which were mostly going down to leg befores adjudged by the same man.
Manish Modi and Richard B started to rebuild the innings by making sure the ball didn’t touch the pads even accidentally in order to survive. It was a case of survival against the umpire rather than against the bowlers. They both showed the purpose of guarding the wicket and treating a bad ball as it should be treated. When Richard B returned to the pavilion for once not because of LBW. Grace’s needed 15 runs in 7 overs with 3 wickets left. But the ever reliable tail didn’t last long as the last three batsmen perished to LBW leaving Grace’s 8 runs short of what would have been a hard fought victory.
Overall it was a helter skelter day with the rain intervening and the ECB approved umpire forgetting how many balls maketh an over and not knowing how a Leg Before Wicket should be defined. Umpiring aside unfortunately we seem to be getting back to our old habit of dropping catches which we must put an end or minimise so that we won’t be left wondering WHAT IF……..
Jonathan adds – after walking past deer on the way to the ground the game turned out to be just as strange. We watched as a procession of thunder storms somehow avoided us. Definitely a few controversial umpiring decisions went against us but we should have reached the modest target easily on a lovely flat track. Checking the website of our original opposition ,Washington, ironically their game was rained off! So we did really well to get a game in.