Match report – away to Chingford Sunday 14th July
So after months of waiting for some cricket our season finally got underway at new opponents Chingford – this was due to be a league match originally.
Their ground is very well looked after with a lovely outfield and white picket fence around the boundary. Sadly there were no nets available so most of us had to take to the field without any practice since the only possible net session in March , way back before lockdown.
A big thank you first to our many supporters who had come along to watch in the lovely sunshine and enjoyed the fine setting.
We welcomed newbie Adam and his teenage son Louis – a father and son playing for the first time in a Graces team!
The format was a rarity for us – a timed game as the home team requested. Skipper Manish called correctly and chose to bat on what looked like a very true batting strip. Matt (who kindly drove down all the way from Northants) and Mahender opened for us.
Among the requirements for Covid were the non-striker standing away from the stumps and regular hand gel application!
Most of the Chingford team had had some practice the day before in an interclub game so they had an advantage over us – This showed in their bowling – Opening medium pacer Ross Simmonds bowled accurately and unusually a (veteran) spinner (David James) was the other opening bowler. Simmonds soon bowled Mahender bringing Dom in at 3. Matt took the attack to Chingford with a nicely constructed innings seeing off good deliveries and attacking anything loose with increasing power.
Dom supported well until he played on for Simmonds’ second wicket – 26 for 2 wickets in the 11th over. Mendis in at 4 was looking good until he was runout going for a second run. 54 for 3 after 16 overs.
Scott and Jonners fell quickly leaving us struggling at 56 for 5 in the 19th over. Rebuilding was necessary.
Ari in at 7 played with his usual aggression adding 41 with Matt until he was bowled for an entertaining 29. Meanwhile Matt had continued to play some lovely drives and pulls reaching a classy fifty. He was eventually well caught for 61 trying for a third boundary in an over.
Manish and Adam were now batting together , Adam showed he has a good eye with some nice cover drives scoring a rapid 14 before being stumped (125 for 8) We really needed to get 150 as a defendable target on this wicket but we were all out for 134 after 39.5 overs. Manish was not out 8. We had about 20 minutes of our time remaining unused
Chingford had bowled well but our rustiness hadn’t really helped
Normally I’d now say a fine tea was provided but of course unfortunately it was a bring your own with Graces players and supporters showing various degrees of sandwich making effort!
We really had to bowl well to get anything out of this game – Mahender and Ari opened for us , bowling well despite the lack of practice but without any wickets. Manish and newbie Louis were the first change bowlers – Louis getting his first wicket for us as Ari took a nice catch over his shoulder at deep point seeing the host’s experienced captain returning to the pavilion – 39 for one in the 10th over.
This was to be our only wicket!
The remaining opener , Mr Blake , then decided to up the run rate with number 3 , Noori. Manish rotated our bowlers (8 Graces getting a bowl) but runs were flowing on the fast outfield as the batsmen’s confidence grew. Despite our best endeavours the winning run came after only 24 overs. So a 9 wicket loss.
The good news was that the bar was open!
Our hosts were very welcoming and the game was played in a great spirit – hopefully we’ll be more competitive if we play them in a league game next season.
Next week we visit the fab Merton CC – hope to see you there.
Address – Chingford Cricket Club, Kimberley Way, London E4 6DE