Merton – Lost by 39 runs

Grace's short of runs!

A glorious afternoon saw Grace’s play against established opposition Merton CC on a rare trip to Boston Manor. Dom lost the toss and predictably Merton chose to bat on what was an unknown strip. Noddy was held up in traffic so Ian stepped in to field.

    The Merton openers ,Tahsin & Roy, (possible Las Vegas entertainers?) had a steady partnership against accurate bowling from Mendis and Sid. They took the total past 50 when Tahsin was LBW (one of an unprecedented 10 in the day!) quickly followed by Roy caught by Mahender. This signaled a clatter of 3 wickets – all LBW – leaving Merton rocking on on 72 for 5.

    Merton number 6, De Plessis , then steadied the ship before launching a counter attack with a range of nicely timed shots with sensible support from Nabel. This partnership added 60 in quick time and proved to be the decisive passage of the day’s play – A couple of catches were dropped ultimately to Grace’s cost. Noddy finally bowled the South African for 55 and more wickets quickly followed leaving Merton all out in the 40th over for 168. Anosh (Spinderella) Bana and Noddy both picked up 3 wickets in what was an all round credible bowling performance from Grace’s.

  A lovely tea kindly provided by Richard was munched in the sunshine. While choosing from the sandwich selection ,Grace’s batsmen stared ruefully at the strip which had kept very low at both ends – front foot!

  Gordon and Simon opened Grace’s innings , Gordon showing a range of attacking shots for a quickfire 28 before being bowled by a low ball – Simon meantime had fallen LBW quickly followed by Niroshan. Noddy came in at number 4 and was soon taking the game to Merton with his usual aggression and timing. At the other end skipper Dom suffered a first baller – LBW – (Grace’s 52 for 4) bringing Mendis in. A partnership was needed but Mendis was bowled for 10. Newton coming in at 7 batted sensibly in support of Noddy taking the total to 117 before Noddy was bowled for  61. Newton soon followed after batting for 44 minutes before being , surprise surprise , LBW for 6!  

    117 for 6 soon became 129 all out in the 29th over as Grace’s tail did not wag! To their credit Merton’s bowlers performed.We will not be rushing to use Boston Manor again as the wicket gave absolutely no confidence. 10 LBWs must be a record but dropped catches also proved costly for us. We will be out for revenge when we visit Merton in a few weeks!