Away v Totteridge Millhillians CC – friendly – lost by 5 wickets

Totteridge Green, London N20 8PB

https://www.cricket.totteridgemillhillians.com/

Deja Vu for Graces!

Away to Totteridge & Millhillians – 9th August 2020 

Lost by 5 wickets – 35 over match

Another glorious Sunday (30+ degrees!) saw us travel north to leafy N20. The Totteridge ground nestles nicely among some seriously expensive looking homes – the club’s car park reflected this featuring some posh cars including a Bentley and Porsche. Graces thinks this may have been our first match at this venue unless anyone knows otherwise!

We first played our hosts when they were Southlands CC quite a few seasons ago and chatting to their veteran skipper Clive discovered that they merged with Totteridge as Sundays were not utilised at this really cosy ground and they were struggling for numbers.

As ever we had a great turnout of supporters with Colin enjoying his scoring role. Chris Sherwood and blast from the past Aussie Jason Groves turned out as we have some injuries including Dom and Adam (who kindly came along to umpire again) Mendes played despite injuring his bowling hand playing for Old Wimbledonians the day before.

Thankfully unlike last week the home team had a wide age range with some seniors playing too!

A sigh of relief as Manish won the toss and we batted , Ari and Scotty immediately played positively on the flat surface against seam and spin. The total was 47 in the 11th over when Scotty mis-timed and was caught for an aggressive 21. Mahender came in at 3 – Ari perished LBW the very next ball trying a sweep (scoring 19) bringing Mendis in at 4. The hat-trick ball was survived. However the score had only moved on to 52 when Mendis swung at a wide one getting an edge that was well caught by a diving leg slip.

Drama as Stuart in at 5 was not happy with his batting helmet and took it off. Two balls later he promptly edged the ball onto his lower lip and retired hurt with an ice pack! Graces seem to remember him getting clobbered a few seasons ago in similar circumstances!

Jason Groves was in at 6 and hit a fine 4 before getting bowled. This brought newbie Adam Bray in at 7 – he went on the attack with some fine drives adding 56 with Mahender who continued his great form with some crunching shots. Adam was eventually stumped for an important 25. Our total was now 134 with ten overs left – Stuart had recovered sufficiently to return to bat – however he was soon LBW for a duck! (135 for 6) 

Jonners at 8 hung around with Mahender who brought up yet another entertaining 50 in quick time. Jonners was LBW in the 27th over bringing our skipper in at number 9. Could we last the 35 overs? Last week we didn’t and paid for it! 

30 was added before another LBW saw Manish return to the pavilion (actually a gazebo!) scoring 12. Chris Sherwood strode in at 10 and proceeded to ping it around with some lovely drives adding 30 in quick time. Mahender was stumped for a fab 74 in the penultimate over –  Mamun and Chris (20 not out) took our total to 215 as our overs were completed.

As the BYO tea was consumed Graces noted that like last week the outfield was super fast – anything wide of a fielder was 4 runs.

Chris and Ari opened our bowling against youngsters Umarr and Chaim. We experienced deja-vu as after 5 overs the hosts had raced to 54 , 19 year old Umarr taking a liking to the pace attack with a range of classy drives and cuts. Our skipper changed to spin and the run fest thankfully stopped with the batsmen having to work for their runs. Our first wicket came with the score at 72 in the 9th over. The batsmen had been a bit complacent with their running until Jason Groves hit the stumps with a fantastic direct hit from mid-off to run out Chaim for 21. Umarr had scored 48.

Number 3 , Tom , never looked comfortable until he was bowled by Mahender for a duck. Chad at 4 was also bowled by Mahender for 2 – 3 wickets down for 79 after 11 overs and Graces thought they were back in contention. Simon at 5 soon showed his talent with some classy drives taking the total to 122 in the 21st over before falling LBW for a nice 26. Umarr at the other end meanwhile had slowed down his run rate dramatically as our spinners bowled accurately.

Young Sharma came in at 6 took up the attack with Umarr and kept up with the run rate as Graces fielded well – Umarr reached a fine century and surely wanted to bring the hosts home until he played over a straight ball from Ari and was bowled for a classy 103.   

The score was now 194 for 5 after 31 overs – we were still in with a chance. However number 7, Norman , had different ideas with a big 6 into the sight screen helping to win the game with only 3 balls remaining!

Despite a narrow loss we had plenty of positives with some fine fielding and accurate bowling 

Thankfully the bar was open and after a hot afternoon fielding a cold (alcoholic!) drink with the opposition was overdue

Next week we’re at Broxbourne sadly without our contingent of tennis players who are at a tournament in Zurich!

 

 

Away v Sutton CC – friendly – lost by 6 wickets

Gander Green Ln, Sutton SM1 2EG

Graces go south / It all goes south for Graces! – lost by 6 wickets

A rearranged fixture saw us go south of the river to visit Sutton CC for the first time – our chairman was very happy with this geographical choice! This club was formed in 1857 so have a bit of a head start on us! As you’d expect with such a well established club they have first rate facilities with a large clubhouse and a beautifully kept square and outfield.

Sutton player , Sam Schofield , was involved with arranging the game – he’s part of the LGBTQ+ community and has been aware of us for a number of years. He even arranged a gazebo for us decorated with a rainbow flag!

As ever we were accompanied by our large contingent of supporters and not forgetting our faithful scorer Colin. Adam had come along to watch and kindly umpired all the match! The weather conditions were perfect , about 23 degrees with some clouds.

As we prepared for the game we couldn’t help but notice that few of our opponents looked older than 20 – always a bad sign! Manish won the toss and decided to bat on the flat looking track – Unusually he opened himself with Jesant against the young seam bowling attack. 

Things were going well until the third over when Jesant was caught and bowled for 5 bringing Mahender in at 3. The bowling was accurate but responsible batting took our score to 43 in the 10th over when the skipper was LBW for 12 including a classic straight drive for 4. 

Dom sportingly walked after gloving to the athletic keeper Joe (more of him to come) – Jonners in at 5 then hung around with Mahender scoring 12 including a rare 5 after an overthrow reached the boundary.

As our innings progressed we became very aware of the super fast outfield – anything that passed a fielder raced away. The youthful home team were unsurprisingly full of beans and chased everything. Jonners fell when the score was 85 bringing in chairman Leo in the 17th over

Mahender meanwhile was taking advantage of the very true strip patiently seeing off the good balls and putting the loose balls away. This was to be our best partnership and our supporters enjoyed Leo’s crunching drives and Mahender’s cuts. Our score was rapidly progressing and we were looking good until Leo was runout going for a second run – it was an unbelievable direct hit from the deep.

A disbelieving Leo had to depart for a rapid 31 with our total now at 157 for 5 wickets off 26 0vers. Mahender had advanced to a swashbuckling 72. The match was now poised – we had 14 overs and 5 wickets left to compile a defendable total.  Mahender was however soon bowled for a great 80 unable to stop the deflected ball rolling agonisingly back onto his stumps. At this point Sam Schofield came on and showed everyone how to do it as then he ran through the remaining Graces batsmen with a horribly accurate spell. 

Only Stuart reached double figures (19) as we were all out for exactly 200 in the 34th over – we committed the cardinal sin of not using all our overs. Would this be enough?

After a BYO tea we took to the field with Sanjeev and Ari opening our bowling – the first over went to plan but after the second over we were in a state of shock. Joe Lunn the young wicket keeper, was number 2 and he proceeded to take 17 off this second over. This ,unfortunately for us, set the tone as he took the attack to us showing a wide range of shots most of which sped over the now huge seeming outfield. In what seemed no time at all he reached his 50 in only the 7th over – his opening partner had scored 6!

Manish rotated our bowling to find an answer to this attack but nothing worked as Joe just punished the loose balls as his score mounted in double quick time. At this stage we were wondering how we were going to avoid a 10 wicket loss. In the 13th over we thankfully finally claimed our first wicket (not Joe!) seeing his opening partner (Griffin) LBW for 28 – their score was exactly 100 in only the 13th over.

The number 3 batsman (Neal-Smith) also liked to hit the ball and shared a rapid 50 run partnership before keeper Scotty caught him off Jesant for 27 – the total was 150 after only 20 overs. To huge cheers from the watching home supporters Joe then reached his century. He had only given 2 very difficult catching chances and it was a hugely entertaining innings to watch even though we had a lot of chasing to do. It turned out that this was his first ever century.

Mahender finally caught him off Jesant for 104 – any hopes we had of turning the game around then faded as the next batsmen showed their ability – Stuart took a nice catch and the winning runs were hit in only the 26th over for the loss of 4 wickets.

Joe treated everyone to champagne in the clubhouse as Graces mingled with the very hospitable home players and supporters. We were thankful we batted first as we could have been chasing 300! We’d certainly like to return next season (as long as they include some seniors!)

 

 

Away v Merton CC – Friendly – John Innes Ground – won by one wicket!

 

The John Innes Recreation Ground

Cannon Hill Lane

Merton Park

London

SW20 9ES

Away v Chingford – Friendly – lost by 9 wickets

Address – Chingford Cricket Club, Kimberley Way, London E4 6DE
https://chingford.cricketclubwebsite.co.uk/default.aspx

Cricket returns!

So finally recreational cricket has been given the go-ahead. The plan is to keep our friendly fixtures as planned and perhaps to play our league games as friendlies. We’ll also look at playing on Saturdays too. Watch this space!

Our first game is against Chingford CC Sunday 12th July – visitors welcome!