Grace's win in thrilling finish
Grace’s CC 172 for 9 in 40 overs; Bridestowe CC 171 all out in 39.3 overs.
Match report courtesy of Pat
Graces Cricket Club enjoyed a very successful tour to Devon despite a rather wet Saturday. The party of 13 players was matched by a similar number of supporters. Arriving during Friday and Saturday morning the whole group made their way via what must be one of the most attractive approaches to any cricket ground. Lustleigh is situated in the heart of the Dartmoor National Park in a steep wooded valley with a picturesque 15th century pub alongside the ground and wild orchids growing in the margins. Between the showers the two skippers agreed that the best chance of achieving a meaningful game was to play a T20 game followed by tea and then take a further rain check. Following the two limited over games and a pleasant hour or two at the pub the group made their way to various locations for an evening meal and no doubt an early night in preparation for the big match against Bridestowe the following day. Sunday saw a change in the weather for the better, when, after a brief shower the sun appeared to be followed by a lovely day. The group gathered for a morning coffee at Little Bidlake Farm to clear a few heads and gird their loins for the game ahead. All agreed that it would make a wonderful base from which to tour for next season.
The game with Bridestowe, at an equally delightful setting began with Graces batting first but all did not go according to plan, with Graces losing Dominic and Stuart for 2 apiece and Abhi for a belligerent if all too brief 28. With Graces on 33 for 3 Mendis and Nadeem set about restoring the situation only for the former to fall lbw for 9 with the score on 57. Mahender took eleven balls to get off the mark but did so impressively with a 4 followed by a 6 only to be bowled next ball. Anosh failed to trouble the scorer and hopes were high that Gordon would continue his form of the previous day; sadly he flattered to deceive, pulling a ball from Joplin to mid-wicket for 9. Leo looked in good form only to be unfortunately run out for 5 having taken part in the best stand of the innings of 44 with Nadeem who was by now in full flow, startling the tea ladies with a six that landed on the roof of the pavilion. Joined by Richard the pair added a further 43 with Richard being run out of the last ball of the innings for 14 leaving Nadeem not out on 80 and a total of 172 for 9. Jonathan being the unfortunate team member not to get a bat.
Mention here must be made of the tea with Devon Pasties and Cornish Pasties (do you know the difference?) sandwiches, cream teas and a selection of home-made cakes to die for, the latter for which a very special thank you to Georg.
Bridestowe’s innings began badly for the home team with Mendis picking up the wickets of both openers cheaply. Then came some determined resistance from the middle order with P Ewen, J Ewen, F Batstone and P Hatton all got starts and Graces score began to look rather inadequate, despite the steady bowling of Anosh who took one wicket and Leo who accounted for three of the opposition. Still Bridestowe inched towards their target. Nadeem returned to the attack and slowed their progress with a maiden but 9 off an over from Anosh made things very tight but in Nadeem’s penultimate over he bowled Hatton for 33. However 9 off the next over from Richard brought Bridestowe within one run of Graces score with two wickets standing and one over to go. The first ball was a dot, the second bowled Joplin. Enter last man, our own Mamun villain or hero but the next ball from Nadeem trapped him lbw and Graces had won by one run. A truly memorable game.
Afterwards the local hostelry laid on a sausage and chip supper which was much appreciated as was the local brew. A number of the party had to make their way home as the evening drew to a close, but a number of stragglers could be heard singing their hearts out until well into the early hours.