Merton – Lost by 71 runs

Yet another run chase!

The sunniest Sunday of the year so far saw Grace’s take the field against Merton CC at Greenford. Gordie lost the toss and we were invited to field – we have now chased in all the games so far!

Newton and Hemang opened the bowling , after an edge through slip to get of the mark the Merton opener Ahmed then proceeded to play his shots aggressively with the opposition skipper giving support. The first wicket didn’t fall until the 20th over with Newton taking a nice catch to dismiss the skipper. After a cautious start the Merton number 3 also started to play shots and with the opener accelerated the run rate to reach 143 in the 30th over until De Silva took a good catch to see him back to the pavilion for 87. This was the first of 2 good catches for him in the game.
Taking over from Ahmed the number 3 kept putting away anything lose over the fast outfield – Grace’s fielded well with Mamun getting a good run out. Their final score was 207 for 6.
Of some concern was the usually true wicket had displayed some variable bounce – some moisture must still have been present.
After the usual filling tea Gordie and Dom started the reply – Gordie was timing it well for 25 until mistiming a shot resulting in a catch to the keeper. The score was 44 so it was an encouraging start. Mendes came in at number 3 and Dom was soon run out attempting a 2nd run. After Mendes was bowled ,a solid partnership was needed to steady the ship. However Jonners and Abhi departed in quick succession leaving us in trouble at 70 for 5.
Anosh and Richard put together 30 before they were both out bowled – Richard by one that kept low. 
This brought Newton and De Silva together for the most entertaining partnership (52) of the day for Grace’s. De Silva proved his ability with the bat with some well timed drives for a not out 26. This restored our pride – the run rate proved too much and Merton bowled well to bowl us out for 156.
So Merton gained revenge for their home defeat 2 weeks previously – some positives to take from the game – a much improved fielding performance and some depth in our batting. 
Bizarre event of the day – the appearance of a large worm on a length!
Will we ever bat first this season!