Raghuvanshi Charitable Trust Centre
Match report – Graces v Crick 11 21st May 2023
Graces come mighty close!
Graces trekked up to Headstone Lane to play new oppo Crick 11 for our second league fixture. On arriving at the ground (a new venue for us) we realised how spoiled we are at fabulous Broxbourne.
Really spartan facilities with absolutely no club house available had us grumbling but at least we were able to sit under a generous sized gazebo. This backed onto the main line out of Euston so train lover Jonners was happy!
First a big shout out to our loyal supporters including Jim , Arthur , Pat , Martin and Cliff for coming along.
After losing the toss Graces were a bit surprised to be fielding as the wicket looked very green with some possible unpredictable bounce.
Mahender and Bena opened the bowling and after hitting a six opener Amit Patel tried again but only succeeded in finding Stuart (who else!) in the deep who doesn’t miss many – so 6 for 1 wicket after the very first over.
The other opener was soon back in the gazebo as Bena hung on to a nice caught and bowled. 15 for 2 after 4 overs. Prabhav in at 3 showed some good technique as he was a bit more circumspect after their poor start. Number 4 J Patel hung around scoring 14 before finding Jesant in the deep. 49 for 3 after 12 overs.
20 more runs were added before Prabhav played his first rash shot to be LBW to Jesant for a classy 27. 69 for 4 after 12 overs and Graces were happy with the way things were going. Veteran home skipper Sidharth in at 5 played very sensibly (unfortunately!) – Mehul R in at 6 tried to clear the long on boundary only to find Mr Reliable Stuart running around to take a great running catch and was out for 6 – 85 for 5 after 21 overs and we were happy with proceedings especially as soon after number 7 Dipak was bowled by Jesant for a duck. 91 for 6 after 22 overs.
We were bowling and fielding well and were looking to finish the hosts off – however Mehul A in at 8 had apparently been playing for the same team as host skipper Sidharth for 30 years – these 2 then showed aggression as well as defence as the score then started to rattle along.
We had to wait until the 34th over for the next wicket – Siddharth attempted to clear Jesant in the deep only for him to take a smart catch – out for 59. Bizarrely when Jonners informed the host team that their skipper had reached his 50 he was told that they only applaud him when he’s out!
So 159 for 7 in the 34th over. Thankfully the tail were not able to hang around and support Mehul as Crick 11 were all out for 176 (in the 40th over) – he finished not out on 43.
So a strong fielding performance with accurate bowling – Bena took 3 for 14 , Mahender 2 for 31 , Jesant also picking up 2 and Matt getting 2 for 5!
The wicket had shown some uneven bounce and playing back was at the batter’s peril!
A BYO tea was taken in the gazebo as the trains thundered past.
Matt and Michael opened the batting for us and things were looking good as the runs flowed until in the 5th over Michael was bowled – 33 after 5 overs. 7 runs later Matt tried to clear the infield only to be caught – 40 for 2 in the 7th over. Jesant and Mendis were soon back in the gazebo – Mendis to an outrageous one handed catch at point. When Leo was caught we were in trouble at 58 for 5 in over number 9.
Adam tried to steady the ship with Stuart until he edged onto the keeper’s pads only for the slip to hang on to the rebound! 70 for 6 in the 18th over. Mahender showed some patience as the score advanced – a mishit saw him caught – 97 for 7 after 22 overs.
We still had plenty of overs ,it was just the regular fall of wickets that was the issue. Our hosts were bowling well.
Bena in at 9 then showed what a great all rounder he is as together with Stuart he took the attack to Crick11. This partnership ended when Stuart was bowled for a fine captain’s innings of 31 including some cracking back foot drives. (117 for 8)
When Mark was out bringing Noddy in , our hosts surely felt the game was over and were very chirpy. 119 for 9. Veteran Noddy then showed he can still bat, keeping the good balls out and putting the loose deliveries away (including a big 6)
The score started to advance and Crick11 went very quiet as they realised we weren’t going down without a fight. The boundaries started to flow and skipper Sidharth brought his opening bowlers on.The watching Graces could hardly believe it as an unlikely victory appeared to be possible as Bana and Noddy showed great skill as the score mounted.
However with only 11 runs needed Bana edged to the keeper and very sportingly walked – this really showed the spirit that we play the game in. Despite the disappointment it was a very enjoyable game – ironically very similar to last week’s when our oppo did something very similar.
Our hosts were very sporting (apart from a few unnecessary Mankad attempts!)
Next week we have our next league match at Broxbourne – hopefully we can get some points on the board!