Match report v Watford Town CC 7th August 2022
Krishan bamboozles and Michael’s form continues to no avail!
Another glorious Sunday of the never ending summer of 2022 saw us travel up north (a bit) to Watford for a league game against new opponents. The ground is a bit of a bugger to get to without a car and is nicely situated within trees and an old high red brick wall.
A big shout out to supporter Cliff who made the journey complete with his Asian themed tasty home made tea which he generously shared.
As with every other ground this dry summer the outfield was brown and parched – thankfully it wasn’t as hot as previous Sundays , which we appreciated , as we lost the toss (again!) and were , of course, invited to take to the field. During the week we learnt that Watford had scored 467 against Alexandra Palace a few weeks ago and were obviously slightly concerned about how much chasing across the generously sized outfield we’d need to do.
Our double Sri Lankan attack of Newton and Mendis opened for us and despite a few lusty blows from Watford’s openers kept the runs down to something respectable. Then starting in the 9th over things began to go our way. The pitch had looked a bit suspect, keeping low and then bouncing up , batters needed to be careful – Both openers fell by the 11th over (48 for 2) . Numbers three and four failed to trouble the scorers and wickets seemed to fall in no time at all. Hossain and Ali in at 6 and 7 realised the best policy was to attack on the unpredictable strip with some big sixes , scoring 15 and 19 respectively – we wrapped up the innings for 121 in the 33rd over.
We couldn’t quite believe it as we had our BYO tea – some really disciplined bowling backed up with almost faultless fielding (2 catches each for Chris and Mendis) had put us in this really strong position. Newton picked up 3 wickets and Chris got 2. The outstanding performance , however ,came from our new signing Krishan who bamboozled our hosts with ten straight overs of spin claiming 5 wickets for only 27 runs.
Having seen how uncertain the wicket had been we needed to bat with patience especially as it was a 45 over match with tons of time.
Unfortunately we had a disastrous start losing 2 wickets in the first over – Michael had watched the carnage from the other end and continued his top form with a really diligent innings joined by Leo, in at 4. These 2 navigated us through to the 7th over until Leo was stumped for a quick fire 21 – Mahender hit a nice 4 and then was caught – another double wicket over – 49 for 4.
Scotty joined Michael and these 2 steadied the Graces ship adding another 23 valuable runs before Scotty was caught – 72 for 5 in the 14th over. The game was certainly in the balance.
Krishan (in at 7) then joined Michael and demonstrated his all round cricketing skills with a range of scoring shots taking the attack to our hosts. Michael eventually fell for a fine 41 (78 for 6) with Newton joining Krishan. The watching Graces relaxed a bit after the traumas as these 2 played freely and would surely take us home.
However a sharp catch at leg slip saw Krishan out for 13 bringing skipper Stuart in. We were now 101 for 7 after 17 overs needing another 21 to win. The score reached 114 when Newton was bowled for 17 – this was Patel’s first delivery – Graces watched aghast as he then cleaned up the last 2 wickets in the next 2 deliveries claiming an incredible hat-trick to win the game for Watford who were understandably vocal in their delight. Stuart could only watch from the other end.
So a loss by 7 runs in a quite remarkable match , one which the author isn’t going to forget in a hurry – credit to Watford who held their nerve with some accurate bowling. On another day we may have sneaked a couple more boundaries and won , but it wasn’t to be.
We had apres match (very reasonably priced!) drinks with our friendly hosts in a bit of a state of shock – including Krishan’s jug for 5 wickets.
We can take some positives despite the loss – we showed what a really strong bowling and fielding performance can achieve – we certainly need more discipline in our batting.
Next week another league game at home to Harrow