Veterans roll back the years
Old opponents but a new venue, a flat wicket and a fast outfield and on a glorious summer weekend the start was delayed by rain. With covers for the wicket the delay was brief and with Hardisty deputising for the injured skipper Scott winning the toss, Graces innings got underway with new boy Deepu opening with Shofiq showing aggressive intent from the start before being bowled for 11. Meanwhile Shofiq survived a miscued skier while Mendis came and went for 7. A stand of 56 between another debutant Anish and Shofiq steadied the ship before Anish was caught, then with the score on 118 Shofiq was bowled for 54 when looking set for a really big score. Patel scored breezy 25 while skipper Hardisty failed to trouble the scorer and with the score on 138 for 6 Graces were wobbling. Then came the best batting display of the match between Modi and Bielby who added 99 for the seventh wicket before Modi ran himself out for 46 going for an impossible run. Bielby now in imperious form went on to make 76 not out from 45 balls including 12 fours, the highest individual score for the season, with Graces finishing their 40 overs on 274 for 8.
Octopus got off to a bad start losing opener Reid for a duck bowled by Nihara and soon after Lamplaugh run out to a brilliant piece of fielding by Modi. Opener Smith was bowled by Tarun and Octopus were 40 for 3. Then came a stand of 45 between Murthy who made 26 and Hodge who went on to make 55. Useful contributions came from Gott 31 and Ogilvy 23 and although all the bowlers contributed well it was Mendis with 4 for 37 from his 8 overs that really put the game beyond Octopus, who were all out for 213.