This final game of the season was switched to Boston Manor after Gunnersbury Park was declared unfit due to the week’s heavy rain.
Dom continued his fine 100% toss winning record and opted to bowl on a damp and muddy wicket – the square had certainly deteriorated since our last visit to this ground a couple of seasons ago.
The start was delayed due to a brief shower – Ploughman’s opening pair then batted very diligently, defending when necessary and punishing any loose deliveries. The pitch unexpectedly behaved itself and by the 20th over the score was almost 100. A big total looked on the cards. After drinks however the opening pair departed soon after each other , the first wicket falling at 93.
Dom had opted for spin and suddenly the runs dried up and wickets began to fall regularly – Manish and Anosh took 3 wickets between them and Abhi took 3 wickets with his accurate slow/medium pace. It was a completely different game with Ploughman’s reaching 160 for 8 after 40 overs , the last 20 overs yielding only 50 odd runs.
After tea Grace’s were soon in trouble after Ploughman’s opted for opening with a spinner (having noted how this had previously dramatically brought the run rate down) He soon bowled Ragbir trying to half volley a well pitched up delivery. Abhi then scored a quick 20 before being tempted to sweep the spinner and being bowled. He was the only batsman to reach double figures apart from extras! When Mendis was out second ball LBW to the spinner we were 28/3 and in trouble.
We simply did not learn from our mistakes as batsman after batsman fell to poor shots – the pitch belatedly started to misbehave but it can’t be blamed for all our woes!
To their credit Ploughman’s bowled well and simply let us play into their hands – we were finally all out for 59 – losing by 101 runs.
It was a bit of a damp quib end to the season but something we have to learn from when we encounter a similar pitch in future.