Fives (league) home – Broxbourne – won

Address; Broxbourne Sports Club Mill Lane Close Broxbourne Hertfordshire EN10 7BA

Graces take on Fives at Broxbourne 

For our first visit to Broxbourne which is our home base for this league, we encountered a bright day. We were allocated the second pitch so some distance past some of the many tennis courts from the clubhouse.  Manish had his team ready in good time but we were a few minutes late starting awaiting the opposition to full enough numbers. Their captain Suri won the toss but asked us to bat which Manish delighted in. 

Opening today was Mahender and Jeshant. Bowling against to start was Suri and Sid. Bowling was tight and fielding very focused so it was ball 10 before Jeshant launched a great cover drive off Sid to open our account.  The slower pace to start gave Jim chance to get to grips with the scoreboard, one with the digital style flaps to construct numbers that can be quite baffling close up and he kept the board maintained throughout the match despite the distance from score table at first as initially shade was sought and then as it cooled later we got closer chasing the sun.

Over 6 opened with Mahender facing Sid for the first time as both had mainly kept the score even and that was his undoing as he was Yorked and our first wicket gone at 23. Nadeem was in next and although he showed his power and timing, their recoveries made it difficult to score and he was caught behind in the 9th when Dinesh had just started his spell. Mendis in next and very much support as Jeshant settled with multiple boundaries. He was already on 43 when Mendis bowled by Dinesh in 15th but a useful 12 scored. Niroshan was the next to be in support and crucially Dinesh dropped a catch that Jeshant drove straight to him but now Jeshant piled a stupendous six over to the pond past deep mid wicket to get past his 50 in 46 balls and create the first of many balls lost for a period.

Our supporters and some players went off with a long pole and attached basket to trawl for the ball before it became waterlogged. This pond attracted a few balls that were boundaries as it tended to bounce over there unlike the tedious slowness that slowed a few to a trickle at deep fine leg and third man and eventually the basket broke from the pole. Jonners has put up pictures of the recovery.

The eighteenth over saw the first bowling from the two young cricketers aged 12 and 13, in this case Om, and the delivery was a no ball to start, he then got his line and Jeshant sent another one not quite to the pond and literally into the hands of Graham at the boundary who held on despite hurting his finger and Jeshant returned with his dynamic 55. 

Adam, a newer player who kept wicket at T20 and first part today, settled steadily and drove the second 6 of the innings. Soon after, Niroshan who would be keeper for the remainder, was bowled as soon as Suri returned for a new spell. Leo was now alongside and finding out how quick they were to stifle run opportunities and then Dinesh got his revenge for fluffing the catch earlier and bowled Adam for another useful 12. Time for Stuart who has not had the best batting to start the season and he came good including another 6 and several boundaries as he and Leo ground out a 47 partnership in 14 overs. Sid then returned as bowler and Leo was caught at Long On for a fine 24. Now it was Manish wanting to bump up the run tally to earn more batting points, knowing that Stuart would run too, so there were three rapid singles but Suri was back to finish his allocation and Manish was bowled. Scott had some success against Sujan including a well run three leaving him on strike for the 44th. The plan would be to declare at 45 overs so preserving 6 or possibly 8 batting points in any event of draw.  

The other young player, Amman, came into bowl his first over. Both of the boys had fielded well throughout saving many a boundary. He pitched the ball just so that Scott would drive for another 3 or 4 and it went straight to Mid on where with some juggling it was retained. Last man in now, Mamun, ready to maximise anything and got a single to start. Stuart had two dots then at the 5th ball he was LBW for a well earned 44 so innings closed at 181, A great over for the boy 

and we locked up the kit hut and trudged off for a welcome tea. 

Tea was a plentiful provision and the canteen lady assured me she would increase vegetarian options in coming weeks and it was soon time to return to pitch, reset the match clock and agree drinks to be just before the last hour of mandated play.

Nadeem and Manish opened bowling for us against Sid and Krishna. Tight bowling and responsive fielding kept the score down and Stuart had a trademark run in to mid on to catch Krishna in the 4th.  Dinesh was not able to make any score either and so he was LBW to Manish in the eighth. Jeshant now had a couple overs and was punished by Suri with Gary only there in support. Now the bowling switched to Mahender and Mamun and Manish took a low catch at deep midwicket to take away Suri who had added 48 out of the 57 score in 14 overs. They had a lot to do and increasingly looked short of fire power. I am sure at this point that I overheard them ask Ari, who had come along in support with Ralph, if he wanted to bat for them, on the basis of watching his action as he recovered a post boundary ball but he is still injured anyway and instead was a fine waterboy.

Mamun soon bowled Gary and now both youngsters faced the bat. Mahender bowled Amman and it was only fielding that had deprived the boy of runs as is stroke play was fine as was indeed that of Om who read the game well and stopped his opposite on more than one occasion from running away from strike and risking runout. Generally the youngest players often lack the power to get many boundaries on slower outfield but Om put it together well with some great placed boundaries amongst the dots and singles. Topi played down on his second ball and another scalp for Mahender. Suri offered the most resistance with each of his 20 coming from a boundary but he was neatly bowled by Manish. 7 wickets gone and they had not yet reached the 100. Mendis now bowled and Sujan was caught at extra cover by Mahender. It was mainly Nadeem now bowling with Mendis, searching for the wicket he deserved but not giving away much and finishing on 17 in 8 overs but it was Mahender again who undid Young Om  for 17 in the 40th with Nadeem taking the catch. Colin had parried and accumulating 5 but Graham came in and was a Golden Duck and so the inning closed at 118 and it was a comprehensive win in the 10th over of the last hour. 

Fives were held back and only scored 4 bowling points and we got the 20 maximum points putting us in a great position.  Everyone should be happy with their bowling figures as little conceded though facing this team today we might have hoped to wrap earlier. 

Nadeem was 17 off 8, Manish was 14 off 9 for three, Jeshant was 21, Mahender was 19 off 8.4 for four, Mamun was 22 off 7 for two and Mendis was 16 off 5 for one. 

After the majestic batting and all round contribution, Manish awarded Man of Match to Jeshant.

Next we play games this weekend in Corfu! We will have some supporters there but appreciated those who were with us today which included Simon, Jim, Ralph, Ari, Pat, David and Phil.