Address – The Paulin Ground, Ford’s Grove, London N21 3DN
Match report – home v I Don’t Like Cricket CC – won by 106 runs
Our first home fixture saw us host new opponents on a perfect day for cricket – warm and sunny without a cloud. An unexpected bonus saw us play on the lovely main pitch at Winchmore Hill for the first time. The grumpy groundsman added to the day!
Toss won skipper Stuart chose to bat with Niroshan and Ari opening against a visiting team whose average age must have been around 25! A good start ensued before Niroshan mistimed a drive to mid-off who took the catch.18 for 1 in the 4th over.
Mahender in at 3 immediately played his usual aggressive style which the flat and true strip allowed. Together with Ari the runs flowed with a range of cuts and drives. After ten overs we were on 78 for 1 and the visitors were doing a lot of chasing on a very fast outfield. 300 looked a possibility. IDLC CC play the game in a great spirit with lots of teasing of each other – their heads never went down as the runs mounted. The bowling was rotated to no effect.
Ari was eventually caught for a thoroughly entertaining 71 off only 49 deliveries – 159 for 2 after 19 overs. A slight stutter saw Sanjeev and Stuart out cheaply (Stuart was stumped off a wide!) – meanwhile Mahender continued to punish anything loose including a big six into the tennis courts!
Dom in at 6 started to enjoy the flat track with some trade mark cuts. Mahender reached his century and retired. The run rate understandably couldn’t be maintained and the visitors must have been relieved when our innings closed on 268 for 6 with Dom 32 unbeaten.
After a fine tea (including ice lollies!) Sanjeev and Jeshant opened our attack. IDLC didn’t have the best start when Sanjeev bowled their opener in the first over. Credit to the visitors as the 2nd wicket partnership put on 55 before Stuart took an amazing running and tumbling catch in the deep to see off the big hitting Rob Legg for 24. With a lot of runs in the bag Stuart was able to mix the bowling up with 8 Graces having a go in their innings.
The visitors didn’t give up as the run rate mounted with some entertaining hitting from the middle order. However some controlled bowling and some excellent catching saw Graces always in control.
We eventually bowled them out for 162 in the 34th over, Mamun picking up 3 wickets and Ari and Sam 2 each. Some highlights of their innings were a caught and bowled by Sam unfortunately off a no-ball plus bowler Ari running out the non-striker by deflecting the ball onto the stumps with his boot!
As ever Graces had a great turn out of supporters and partners who enjoyed the game. After the game our visitors joined us in the bar for some post match chatting. It turns out this is their first full season. Hopefully we will be able to play them next summer.