Match report v Broxbourne XI 1st May 2022
Matt and Bena shine in the gloom
Due to bank holiday weekend commitments we returned to Broxbourne with only 8 players – our generous hosts provided us with two guest players who turned out to be mother and son – Vickie (captain of the Broxbourne women’s team) and talented 14 year old colt Luke.
Sadly no sunshine like last week as Graces fielded first. Ari was skip for the second time – due to a back injury he was unable to bowl. As ever our loyal band of supporters came along.
Broxbourne fielded a couple of colts from last week’s game but they definitely looked like a stronger unit. Honorary Grace Tim appeared again – he’s well overdue representing us! Ever energetic joker Matt had driven down from up north (of Watford!) to keep wicket for us with Noddy and Jonners representing the seniors – Bena flying the flag for our youth policy!
This was our last friendly before the league matches kick off next week so an important test. As ever the Broxbourne pitch looked lovely – it’s a joy to play on.
It was observed that while our hosts went through a vigorous warm up session we were content with a pasty and a nice lie down!
Our guest players actually opened the bowling – having a mother and son (playing and doing this) broke new ground for us. The opening batsmen showed patience as the score accumulated steadily until the 9th over when (champagne moment!) Mamun bowled number 1 Dissanayake with his very first ball of the season! 45 – 1.
This turned out to be our only success for some time as no. 3 White joined Robinson – these 2 then batted very sensibly taking advantage of the true strip and putting anything loose away – Graces were doing a lot of chasing. At the 20 over break it was 96 for 1. A bit of light rain didn’t help the bowlers as we tried to keep the ball dry.
A couple of chances were put down and when 30 overs were reached the total was 163 for only one wicket – 250 looked very likely. Mr Robinson reached his century and generously retired to applause. Our bowling attack now found its line and length as our host’s hopes of a big total were kept in check with some timely wickets – only 57 were added in the last ten overs. Manish and Bena were particularly parsimonious (look it up!)
Final total 212 for 4 in the allocated 40 overs.
After another BYO tea (a selection of chocolate and crisps! – Graces are looking forward to the return of proper teas) – Matt and Scotty opened our attack. We didn’t have the best of starts with Scotty and Noddy soon back in the pavilion with the score at 27 for 2. Skipper Ari added 15 before falling LBW (hopefully he’ll be back to 100% fitness soon) – 53 for 3 in the 14th over.
This brought anthropology studying Bena in at 5 to join Matt. We had not seen the sun all day and darker clouds resulted in the conditions becoming more gloomy as the afternoon progressed with a slight drizzle from time to time. However Matt and Bena didn’t seem to have much trouble seeing the ball (Bena pinged his 4th , 5th and 6th deliveries to the boundary) as the attack was taken to our host’s bowling.
This display of aggressive batting was thoroughly enjoyed by all the spectating Graces unlike Broxbourne who looked a bit stunned. The run rate accelerated in double quick time as the bowlers’ accuracy seemed to falter under this spectacular onslaught.
The bowlers were rotated (7 were used) but these two continued to punish the bowling with an abundance of well timed boundaries including some big sixes from Matt. Matt finally retired on a chanceless 103 with his last 17 deliveries faced going for 43 runs! Their partnership added 143. Bena finished with a rapid 60 not out and Graces romped home in only the 32nd over for a 6 wicket win.
So an encouraging performance that we can hopefully take into our league fixtures – our bowling responded really well to keep Broxbourne down to a chaseable total together with fine batting – a big thank you to Vickie and Luke for turning out for us and bowling really well – they’ll definitely have the bragging rights!
Sunday sees us back at Broxbourne once again for our first Chess Valley fixture – hope to see you there!