Outstanding fielding display not enough!
A rearranged fixture saw Grace’s head south to leafy Herne Hill to play new opponents , Alleyn Adhoc CC. Alleyn’s school is a posh independent school and Adhoc CC (consisting of some old boys) hosted us at their plush sports ground. Although sunny there was an autumnal air to the day as this was our penultimate game of the season.
The toss was lost and we were invited to bat first on an interesting looking strip – green in the middle but very dusty at either end. Stuart and Leo resumed their opening partnership against an accurate medium attack of Twinn & Mansfield. Accumulation was the style of the day ,the normally free scoring Stuart being kept in check. When he was bowled in the 9th over the score was 26. Niroshan came in at 3 and was soon bowled by the first change bowler – Gray. Mendis, at number 4, steadied the ship with Leo until he was LBW to a ball that kept low – 44 for 3. A middle order crisis then followed with Simon and Chris both out for ducks – 50 for 5. Leo had been watching the carnage from the other end and continued to play really well until he mistimed a drive and was caught at mid-on for a battling 25.
Scott then joined Newton and was soon run out going for a risky single – 70 for 7. Grace’s were now in trouble. Jonners, in at 9, dropped anchor in support of Newton who continued to bat positively. This pair took the total to 91 before Jonners was LBW. Anosh and Gordie were soon out cheaply going for it with the final total at a distinctly low looking 102 in the 34th over. Newton finished with 22 not out. The home team bowled well and the wicket misbehaved a few times but Grace’s were also guilty of a lack of application in the batting – extras were second top scorer!
After a lovely tea Grace’s took to the field knowing we needed to bowl Alleyn’s out as 40 overs looked like plenty of time to knock off the runs. The tone was set when Newton bowled the home keeper, Peak, for a duck in the first over. Chris Sherwood also opened and both bowlers proceeded to emulate the home team with similar accuracy, making the batsmen really work for runs. With the score at 16 off 8 overs Gordie changed the bowling bringing Mendis on with himself. In the 13th over Gordie had Cullen, the other opener, LBW for 11. The score was now 28 for 2.
This became 46 for 3 in the 22nd over when Anosh bowled Lily, the number 4, with a peach for 10. 2 balls later in the same over the number 5 was also bowled playing across the line for a 2 ball duck. 48 for 4 became 50 for 5 when Jonners caught Davies, the number 6, behind. This great spell for Grace’s continued when stupendous Stuart ran the stubborn number 3 out after he had a rush of blood looking for a single that wasn’t there. To then top this Stu then caught the number 8 with a wonder catch low down at silly mid on. Grace’s could sense a remarkable victory as Alleyn’s were now 56 for 7 and looking in big trouble.
This was over number 27. The home number 7, Gray, and the opening bowler Twinn, now showed their batting ability by first digging in and then playing positively frustrating Grace’s. With a few scares on the way this pair won the game for their team – our bowlers made them work for it – the winning runs didn’t come until the 36th over. Gray top scored with 37 not out. 25 more runs would have made the game very interesting. So a 3 wicket loss but an outstanding bowling and fielding performance. Anosh and Newton both picked up 2 wickets each.
After the game we joined the home team in the bar – we’d love to get this fixture again as they are a very hospitable team and play the game in a good spirit.