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Match report 13th August 2023 – away v Botany Bay – friendly
A rare sunny afternoon saw Graces return to Botany Bay CC for a friendly. It’s hard to believe that BBCC are just on the outskirts of north London as all you can see from their fine ground is rolling countryside. This Sunday saw Graces able to field 2 sides – a situation made possible mainly by members of the Say It Loud Club who have in a few short weeks become a big part of Graces with their infectious enthusiasm and cricketing abilities. It’s looking really promising for our future squad strength and development.
BBCC’s lovely home ground is unusual in having a wishing well on the boundary – however no Graces were observed depositing any loose change!
Skipper Adam won the toss and elected to bat on a true looking strip. He and Leo opened. Our hosts were composed of quite a few colts with apparently some first teamers – 2 of their colts opened the bowling and took a while to find their line – Leo putting anything loose away – Adam was soon bowled (12 for one) – The in form Mark at 3 unfortunately soon followed him back to the pavilion (also bowled) and we were 27 for 2 and in need of rebuilding.
Graces then enjoyed watching Dom (in at 4) and Leo batting aggressively taking the attack to our hosts – Leo enjoyed the true bounce with many of his trademark crunching half-volleys. BBCC rotated their bowlers using a total of 8 in the innings. Fearless youngster Charlie White stood out as he got a lot of spin – a great prospect.
The total reached 107 before Leo was caught by the keeper for a thoroughly entertaining 60 including 12 fours – who needs to run?
Debutante Freddie provided good support for Dom before 3 quick wickets (Zain entertained with a cracking 4!) brought the one and only Tim Pedlar to the crease. He and Dom took the score to 197 before Dom was bowled for a fine 46 – we totalled 204 for 9 with Tim providing 31 swashbuckling runs (not out)
BBCC also have a petanque strip and a number of the players made their way over to join us in the pavilion as their games finished. They produced a large number of bottles of wine which sadly were not offered to us!
We then had our BYO tea in the sunshine looking out over the pastures.
We didn’t have the strongest bowling attack and Adam needed to think about how to juggle our bowlers to best effect.
Tim and Dom continued their partnership this time with the ball as they opened our bowling against 2 talented young BBCC batters.
These two didn’t look in much trouble as the score mounted – the outfield seemed to be larger for us! We didn’t give up though, making them work for their runs. Imran bowled well – despite this their score had reached 113 before Mark bowled Keiran their opener for 68. Mark then picked up two more wickets including a catch by Adam (maybe a Graces first as they are partners!)
BBCC’s number 2 Michael had meanwhile continued his stylish hitting and as the target was approaching seemed to realise that he could reach his century as long as he scored the last 15 runs.
This necessitated his partner not scoring anything and also no extras!
This provided a very entertaining end to the match as the winning total approached as did his century and they tried to juggle it around. The home supporters enjoyed the spectacle.
He didn’t quite make it and ended up on 99 not out! – a fine piece of fielding by Zain running his partner out.
Graces then enjoyed the reasonable bar prices as we sat outside the pavilion in the evening sunshine.
So we lost by 7 wickets but it was a thoroughly enjoyable game with opportunities for everyone to make a contribution. Botany Bay are warm hosts and we look forward to playing them next summer.