Match report away to Merton CC – 7th June 2015
After the previous week’s drizzle Grace’s were delighted to have a glorious afternoon for the visit to our established opposition in south London. The toss lost ,we were invited to bat on what looked like a flat track.
Dom and Mahender duly took up the opening duties – While Dom was initially more circumspect, Mahender immediately took a liking to the host captain’s bowling with attacking shots to all parts of the ground. – despite the other youthful opener (Kidd) bowling well the score rattled along to the delight of the rest of the team and supporters.
The hundred was brought up in only the 16th over and Mahender finally skied a well taken catch for an entertaining 56 off only 45 deliveries. Stuart came in at 3 and carried on the attack. Dom, in the meantime, had got his eye in with some stylish drives. In the 24th over Stuart fell LBW for a quick fire 28 – 148 for 2
Mendis joined his skipper at the crease and soon took full advantage of the true bounce with some stylish cuts and drives. In the 32nd over Dom was finally bowled dancing down the track for a well judged 56 including 10 fours (199 for 3). Newton came in at 5 and the Sri Lankan duo kept the score moving along , Merton were doing a lot of chasing on a very fast outfield but never gave up with spinner Gunn being the pick of the bowlers with 2 for 26 off his 8 overs.
Our innings finished on 280 for 4, Mendis unbeaten on 78 off only 51 deliveries – Merton lacked the bowling depth from previous matches but we had batted very well and set a competitive total. A very nice tea was then enjoyed.
The sun continued to shine as Newton and Mamun opened the bowling attack for Grace’s. Merton’s openers needed to be positive chasing a good total and took the score to 32 before Jonners took a sharp catch off Mamun to send Ackerman back to the pavilion. This brought the youngster Gunn (son of the parsimonious bowler) in at 3. After setting himself he then took the attack to Grace’s with a range of entertaining strokes. Thankfully his partners weren’t able to hang around long enough and wickets fell regularly, 2 for 62 (Stuart taking a nice running catch) Keeper Jonathan then caught the dangerous Beckford off Mendis to bring the score to 101 for 3.
Manish ,back after a long absence, was the pick of our bowlers pinning down one end and picking up 3 wickets – meanwhile Gunn had taken a liking to Mahender’s bowling until Mamun took a fine juggling catch on the boundary off a very wide delivery for a lovely 76. Dean then picked up 2 quick wickets including a painful looking caught and bowled which saw him briefly leave the field for an ice pack After Gunn’s departure Merton didn’t give up but wickets fell regularly and Sid took the last wicket ( Jonners 3rd caught behind after stopping one with his cheek!) to see our hosts all out for 203.
So a fine all round performance (3 fifties in an innings is a rarity) against very welcoming hosts who are at Greenford later in the season. The very sporting air to the game was typified by Stuart , who’d looked to have taken a great catch , indicating he’d actually grounded it.