Hampton Wick Royal – Lost by 67 runs

Hampton Wick even the score!

Match report away to Hampton Wick Royals CC 7th September 2014


So after what seems to have been an endless summer our last (possibly) fixture arrived down in lovely Hampton Wick nestling at the edge of Hampton Court Park. The morning clouds cleared as Gordie won the toss and opted to field (a decision possibly influenced by our recent batting first performances). Last season Regan had ripped through their top order before hitting a rapid 80 to win the game for us. The home team featured a 14 and 16 year old and I don’t want to calculate the combined ages of the two teams as there would be a serious discrepancy!


In Regan’s absence (and the late running Newton!) Mendis opened the attack and immediately bowled the young opener Jones. This raised hopes of a similar game to last year but the other opener Hirsch and the number 3 Miller showed some good skill as they steadily accumulated runs against Gordie , Mamun and Anosh. Grace’s seemed to be doing a lot of chasing on the big outfield as the total continued to rise with few, if any, chances being given.


The century partnership came and went before Gordie deceived Hirsch with a juicy full toss which was hit straight to Mendis at mid on for 68. So 120 for 1. After drinks Newton arrived and entered the attack, bowling well as usual. Anosh eventually snared Miller LBW for 49. This signaled a slight wobble as the number 4 Blanchard attempted a single and was run out by Newton for a duck. The home team were now 144 for 4. Some lusty blows took their total to 211 for 5 (Newton caught & bowling the number 5 the only further wicket)


Grace’s had bowled well on a track that had the odd ball keeping low, rarely allowing the batsmen to dominate  – the home side had showed us the way with good footwork coming down the track to spin. Niroshan typified the fielding attitude chasing everything – the boundaries were very long!


So tea was taken in the lovely club house before Gordie and Leo opened the batting for the visitors. Things didn’t go to plan as Gordie played early skying a catch to mid on for a single – when Leo was bowled for 7 Grace’s were 11 for 2 in the 4th over with some work to do. Scott went in at 3 and played diligently supporting Mendis who looked in good touch with some silky drives until looping a catch to point. Stuart ,at 5, played positively for a quick 14 before being LBW. 53 for 4 became 62 for 5 in the 18th over as Scott was LBW for a patient 13.


The batting seemed to follow a pattern as the middle order Grace’s batsmen looked set and then a misjudgement cost them their wicket. Niroshan was bowled for 9 and Simon mistimed a drive to mid on taking the score to 81 for 7 in the 23rd over. This brought Anosh together with Newton who was playing his usual attacking innings as he blasted his way to an entertaining 43 including the day’s only 6. He lost Anosh on the way – a good supporting role with lots of running! Jonners came in at 10 – 134 for 9 in the 35th over – Newton was eventually caught bringing Mamun in to share the last 4 overs – Grace’s were going down fighting as the last pair ran some cheeky runs taking the final score to 144 for 9. So a loss by 67 runs but a very enjoyable game against very hospitable and sporting hosts.


So if this was the final game it typified the season for Grace’s with a game played in good spirit against accommodating opposition on a lovely sunny afternoon!




Alleyn & Honor Oak CC – Lost by 3 wickets

Outstanding fielding display not enough!

A rearranged fixture saw Grace’s head south to leafy Herne Hill to play new opponents , Alleyn Adhoc CC. Alleyn’s school is a posh independent school and Adhoc CC (consisting of some old boys) hosted us at their plush sports ground. Although sunny there was an autumnal air to the day as this was our penultimate game of the season.


The toss was lost and we were invited to bat first on an interesting looking strip – green in the middle but very dusty at either end. Stuart and Leo resumed their opening partnership against an accurate medium attack of Twinn & Mansfield. Accumulation was the style of the day ,the normally free scoring Stuart being kept in check. When he was bowled in the 9th over the score was 26. Niroshan came in at 3 and was soon bowled by the first change bowler – Gray. Mendis, at number 4, steadied the ship with Leo until he was LBW to a ball that kept low – 44 for 3. A middle order crisis then followed with Simon and Chris both out for ducks – 50 for 5. Leo had been watching the carnage from the other end and continued to play really well until he mistimed a drive and was caught at mid-on for a battling 25.


Scott then joined Newton and was soon run out going for a risky single – 70 for 7. Grace’s were now in trouble. Jonners, in at 9, dropped anchor in support of Newton who continued to bat positively. This pair took the total to 91 before Jonners was LBW. Anosh and Gordie were soon out cheaply going for it with the final total at a distinctly low looking 102 in the 34th over. Newton finished with 22 not out. The home team bowled well and the wicket misbehaved a few times but Grace’s were also guilty of a lack of application in the batting – extras were second top scorer!


After a lovely tea Grace’s took to the field knowing we needed to bowl Alleyn’s out as 40 overs looked like plenty of time to knock off the runs. The tone was set when Newton bowled the home keeper, Peak, for a duck in the first over. Chris Sherwood also opened and both bowlers proceeded to emulate the home team with similar accuracy, making the batsmen really work for runs. With the score at 16 off 8 overs Gordie changed the bowling bringing Mendis on with himself. In the 13th over Gordie had Cullen, the other opener, LBW for 11. The score was now 28 for 2.  


This became 46 for 3 in the 22nd over when Anosh bowled Lily, the number 4, with a peach for 10. 2 balls later in the same over the number 5 was also bowled playing across the line for a 2 ball duck. 48 for 4 became 50 for 5 when Jonners caught Davies, the number 6, behind. This great spell for Grace’s continued when stupendous Stuart ran the stubborn number 3 out after he had a rush of blood looking for a single that wasn’t there. To then top this Stu then caught the number 8 with a wonder catch low down at silly mid on. Grace’s could sense a remarkable victory as Alleyn’s were now 56 for 7 and looking in big trouble.


This was over number 27. The home number 7, Gray, and the opening bowler Twinn, now showed their batting ability by first digging in and then playing positively frustrating Grace’s. With a few scares on the way this pair won the game for their team – our bowlers made them work for it – the winning runs didn’t come until the 36th over. Gray top scored with 37 not out. 25 more runs would have made the game very interesting. So a 3 wicket loss but an outstanding bowling and fielding performance. Anosh and Newton both picked up 2 wickets each.



After the game we joined the home team in the bar – we’d love to get this fixture again as they are a very hospitable team and play the game in a good spirit.        

Judd St Tigers – Lost by 7 wickets

Tigers do the double!

Here’s the match report courtesy of Judd Street Tigers;

The Tigers completed a season’s double over the Graces, replicating their seven wicket victory earlier in the year at Winchmore Hill. On that occasion Graces totalled 109 batting first; this time they could only manage 101, thanks to a much improved performance in the Tigers’ bowling and fielding, finishing the afternoon with an unbroken fourth-wicket stand of 66 between acting captain Matt Webster (41*) and Chris Wright (20*).


August Bank Holiday Sunday is a notoriously difficult time to get a side together, the Tigers being short of full muster yet again. Thankfully, Andy Burman from The Gents (without a fixture) very kindly recruited three young players to bolster the team and all performed well contributing to the victory.

Bowling first, the visitors put the buffet trolley and leg-side full toss theory back in the cupboard, concentrating instead on bowling a full length and aiming at the stumps on a competitive wicket. After a steady start of 22 Graces’ day fell apart in the course of a few balls, Webster first trapping Mendis lbw before first change Ian Daffern pinned Skyner with his first delivery, then bowled Anthony with his second. It was a shock from which the innings never really recovered, guest Pawan mesmerising the later batters with his leg spin (3-14) and the home team not helping their cause with two needless run outs. The bowling line faltered latterly with 17 wides (which proved to be Graces top scorer in the two games between the teams in 2014) but a total of 101 looked well short.

Tigers got off to a poor start with Dave Rawlings holing out to mid-on in the second over, but Ian Porton blasted 26 of the first 29 runs in typical fashion before being caught behind, and when Ganesh was leg before at 36 the match was in the balance. But Matt Webster, using the captain’s prerogative to promote himself up the order, then took control of the game, his partner Wrighty content to play a supporting role in his spectacles. Matt’s unorthodox batting is hard to set a field to (the glance between his legs down to an unprotected fine leg being particularly productive) and he dominated the 14-over partnership of 66.

So, a good result in a fixture that did not look likely to be played a week earlier. Hopefully the team can settle down to better end to the summer as more players become available for the remaining matches.


Bridestowe – Lost by 38 runs

Grace's run out of steam

Match report Devon tour V Bridestowe 17th August 2014


So the tour moved onto the Sunday game at Bridestowe – the morning weather looked threatening but Grace’s were fortunate that the weather turned out to be fine for the game which had been delayed by an hour and reduced to 35 overs – although the supporters wished for another 5 degrees on the boundary!


So with the same line up Dom won the toss and put the home side in on a very green and drying pitch. The opening batsmen, Butler (agricultural but effective) and Bedford (more stylish) then put together a useful partnership of 70 in 12 overs. A few chances were put down from Newton and Sid’s bowling until Mendis finally trapped Bedford LBW for 29. Meanwhile Mr Butler continued with his lusty blows until newbie Tsering had him well caught on the boundary by Noddy for 43.


The score was then 102 for 2 off 17 overs and the home team looked well set as the youthful middle order carried on with the attacking strokes reaching the 26th over with the score at 145 for 4. The final total was 230 for 8 off 35 overs – Mendis picked up 4 wickets and Leo turning his arm with 4 overs picking up one – a good stumping by Scott who has settled well into his keeping role. Grace’s fielders seemed to have done a lot of chasing on the lush outfield but didn’t give up!


Georg had again excelled himself helping to put together another memorable tea which everyone enjoyed.


After the break Stuart opened with Mendis and they duly scored freely taking the total to 55 off only 8 overs before Stuart was caught by Bob The Builder (ask anyone at the game!) for 35 – a middle order wobble saw Jonners , Simon and Leo back in the pavilion for not much. This left Noddy to take the reins against accurate home bowling – Mendis had also been caught for 30 (84 – 5) Newton then teamed up with Noddy with an entertaining 6th wicket stand of 85 in 14 overs raising our hopes of a win.


Noddy in particular showed his class with some lovely shots to all parts of the ground before being well caught on the boundary for a fine 74 off only 67 deliveries. Grace’s were now looking to chase the game – Newton was soon bowled for an important 20 bringing Scott in who quickly hit 2 stylish drives before getting a bit carried away going down the wicket after an LBW shout and getting himself run out! Dom soon followed bringing Sid and Tsering together for the  9th wicket.They enjoyed their brief stay at the wicket – Sid continuing his batting from Saturday with 2 cracking fours , Tsering was delighted to hit one too!


However it was not enough and with the final score at 193 for 9 off 35 overs we were 38 runs short. So Bridestowe had revenge for last season and both teams retired to the pub.



So another great tour with 2 enjoyable games against really hospitable opponents with the weather being kinder to us. Bring on next season!     

Lustleigh – Won by 3 wickets

Grace's squeak home

After last year’s rain reduced fixture the elements were kinder to us allowing us to fully appreciate the really lovely setting of Lustleigh CC in deepest Devon for the first of our tour matches.


This game was such a joy I apologise if I can’t convey it in this report – I’ll try!


Dom called correctly and inserted the home team on a green and slightly damp looking strip. However any hopes of early inroads did not materialize as the openers Beauchamp and 12 year old Ollie (maturing into a fine young cricketer) first resisted Newton and Sid before going on the attack depositing the ball a few times into the brook on the boundary as anything short of a length was dispatched.


A first for Grace’s was the appearance of a Nepalese player, Tsering, who joined the tour at the last minute and did well bowling 4 overs against set batsmen. Beauchamp eventually retired on 50 bringing in Bromfield who was soon bowled by Noddy with the score at 99 off only 18 overs. A large total still looked on for the home team. However the number 3 was soon followed to the pavilion by Baker the number 4 who was caught by Simon off Jonners – maintaining his wicket taking record on this ground! 


Ollie was then LBW to Noddy for a great knock of 41. Lustleigh were now 139 for 3 off 26 overs with the game in the balance. The home skipper then came in and proceeded to hit anything lose in an entertaining rapid fire unbeaten innings of 53 – managing to frustratingly drop the ball into gaps – before retiring.


Thankfully the other Lustleigh batsmen were not so aggressive, Grace’s bowlers managing to keep them in check – Sid picking up his second wicket for the club after many fruitless overs of effort with Leo taking a good catch at point. The last 5 overs yielded only 23 runs as Newton (2 wickets) and Mendis bowled tightly. Our fielding has been better, (probably hampered by the previous night’s time at the bar!) with a few dropped catches – Stuart the exception getting Mendis’ wicket with a sharp one handed catch close in. Dom and Scott also picked up a catch each. Nine bowlers were used!


The final total was 235 for 7 off 40 overs.


Meanwhile the touring party supporters – including Khin and Yong – had been using the ground’s practice net urged on by Liam ,the cheeky young son of one of the home team – more of him to follow.


A sumptuous tea was taken by all before Leo and Stuart opened our innings. The first ball was driven imperiously to the boundary by Stuart – a statement of intent. There followed 19 entertaining overs of attacking shots to all points of the field before Stuart retired with 51 off only 52 balls. Dom came in at number 3 before being bowled by the accurate Ollie looking to push the score along. Simon was number 3 and after setting himself revealed some lovely drives in a double quick 29 before being stumped. Leo meanwhile had been bowled for a fine 49 taking the score to 157 for 3 after 29 overs.


So 78 was needed off 11 overs. When Mendis was outrageously caught on the boundary (that boy Ollie again) for 19 it looked like we had been pegged back. However Newton and Scott had other ideas taking up the attack. Noddy had resisted batting finally coming in when Newton was bowled for 21 in what turned out to be the match winning partnership of 67 in only 9 overs with Scott. The Kiwi depositing two big sixes into the brook on the way to a lovely 48 (off only 27 deliveries) before being LBW in the 38th over.


234 for 6 became 234 for 7 as Noddy was well caught on the boundary for a single. Sid then joined Jonners in the middle as the light became steadily murkier. The 38th over was a wicket maiden before Sid half volleyed the ball back over the bowler for a 4 to bring up the winning runs in what had been a great game played in the perfect spirit – a win by 3 wickets.


As Sid left the field he was harangued by Liam, who had trooped onto the field, for having the temerity to beat his team! So we couldn’t have wished for a better tour game with everyone being involved against lovely opposition. Drinks were then taken in the beautiful 15th century thatched pub next to the ground – the perfect end to a perfect day’s cricket.





Old Finchleians – Lost by 2 wickets

Grace's lose in nail biting finish!

The great summer continued as Grace’s ventured to north London to take on new opposition Old Finchleans – the home team featured 5 Depalas – cousins (they later told us a whole Depala team was possible!) Dom won the toss and chose to bat first on a lovely looking strip in a great little ground. Many thanks for Ahmed to take us to 11 on the day.


Dom opened with Mahender against the hosts’ medium pace attack. Careful accumulation followed until Mahender was caught behind for 7. 16 for 1 quickly became 16 for 2 as Niroshan was very unlucky to see the ball trickle onto the stumps after squeezing through his defence off his first ball! Mendis, in at 4, survived the hat trick ball and after getting his eye in took the attack to the home team with a range of sumptuous shots, including  24 off one over to reach a stylish 50 off 47 deliveries.


This caused the home skipper to change his attack to spin. It immediately resulted in a wicket – Mendis edging to the keeper for 50 exactly. The score was now 93 for 3 and Grace’s hoped to reach at least 200 with 17 overs left.


However the bowling remained accurate and with wickets falling regularly no batsmen was able to dominate like Mendis. Anosh hitting a quick 14 was one of only 3 batsman to reach double figures. Skipper Dom was the third – after digging in in support of Mendis he showed some great attacking shots to reach his fifty.


Grace’s total was 163 for 9 off 40 overs – tea was taken with the visitors thinking if this was a competitive total.


The sunshine continued as Grace’s opened with a spin/pace attack with Newton and Anosh keeping the score down backed up with some good fielding. 23 for 1 became 40 for 4 when the number 5,Pusara, decided to attack with good support from JR taking the score to 96 for 5 when he was out for 40 caught by Mendis. Sam then seemed to surprise himself by taking a good catch at backward square leg to remove Ben, the number 7, for a duck. The score was then 96 for 6 and Grace’s sniffed blood. When JR departed for 35 it was 120 for 7 and the game was very evenly poised.


So after some tense cricket the last over arrived with Old Finchleans requiring 4 more runs. KP, at number 8, had chanced his arm for 26 crucial runs before Mahender took a steepling catch to see him back in the pavilion. This took the score to 161 for 8 and with the fielders crowding the bat the winning runs were squeezed away to leave Grace’s ruing what might have been with a few more runs losing by 2 wickets.The pick of the bowlers was Anosh who picked up 4 wickets.


So a narrow defeat , but a very enjoyable game against sporting and friendly hosts – hopefully we can repeat the fixture next season


Pacific – Lost by 5 wickets

Grace’s batting comes unstuck!

Match report 27th July 2014 V Pacific CC at Greenford

After winning the toss on another lovely afternoon at Greenford skipper Dom had no hesitation batting first on the back of our winning run. Our visitors, Pacific, are one of our oldest regular opponents and are always a handful.

Today was no exception as their opening bowlers , Gleadow & Bridgett, proceeded to give an exhibition of both line , length and also prodigious swing. Grace’s opening batsmen Dom & Leo found the going tough with Leo being caught behind in the second over for a single. Sam then joined Dom – the bowling was relentless with loose balls sadly lacking. This pair took the score to 8 off 11 overs (the watching Grace’s showing restrain in their patience!) before Sam was caught for 2. It all happened in the 13th over with 3 wickets falling, first Niroshan being bowled for 3 Mahender caught behind and then Newton bowled off the next ball to leave Grace’s in all kinds of trouble at 12 for 5!

Jonners then joined Dom , managing to survive the hat trick ball. Reaching 40 overs seemed a long way off with the heart ripped out of the batting. Sticking around is one thing Dom & Jonners can do and so they set about trying to salvage the innings. With survival being key, few risks were taken with the opening bowlers finally being seen off in the 16th over with the score at only 17.

The change bowlers, although not as dangerous as the openers, kept the pressure on – Dom was finally out stumped for 14 in the 24th over with the score at 35. Scott then came in and after getting his eye in took the attack to the bowlers with some nicely timed leg side shots including 2 sweetly struck sixes. This partnership added 45 for the 6th wicket , Jonners finally bowled for 16 trying to push the score along – 80 for 7 in the 35th over.

Anosh came in and played his usual attacking style for a quick 17. Mamun was stumped leaving Sid to score his first ever run for Grace’s before Scott skied one to midwicket for a fine 38. So 101 all out in the 40th over. A total that looked at least 50 short of being defendable. After being 12 for 5 it was at least something to bowl at. The strip showed some worrying signs of inconsistency with both excessive bounce and shooters at the same end – certainly less true than previous seasons.

This at least gave us some hope after tea as Dom mixed things up with Anosh and Newton opening the bowling. This paid dividends as Pacific were soon 4 for 2 with a wicket each for the bowlers. When Mahender took a quite astonishing one handed diving catch to dismiss Steve Lay, the number 3, Grace’s tails were up. However the visitors’ skipper,Toby, immediately showed his intent to be positive with some attacking shots. Ably supported by Keiron Mullins, the number 5, Toby continued his aggression with 50 coming up in the 14th over. Mamun continued his outstanding bowling this season with 2 quick wickets but it was too late as the skipper finished with 64 not out bringing up the winning runs in the 24th over.

So a defeat by 5 wickets. After the game drinks were shared with the ever friendly Pacific in the bar – We’ll have revenge next season!

Belmont & Edgware – Won by 6 wickets

Another win!

Here’s the match report for this game courtesy of the home team;


After losing the toss, BECC were, not unsurprisingly, inserted into bat on a hot and humid day at Old Lyonians. Resuming their opening partnership, Elliott and Phil Mayer, fresh from a batting lesson at the Oval, started sensibly before the latter frustratingly succumbed to familiar demons and was bowled attempting to hit over mid on. Blasebalk, the next batsman in, safely navigated Graces’ skilful new ball bowlers, only to perish to the first change spinner’s first ball having been encouraged to hit over the top by some savvy field placings. That brought stand-in skipper Jacobs to the crease. Despite some wily bowling, particularly from the dangerous Manood, he and Elliott enjoyed a brisk partnership, with both running hard between the wickets whilst collecting the occasional boundary. Within around 10 overs, they had put on 50 together, but just as Belmont looked to be building a head of steam, Jacobs was bowled on 26 attempting to defend a ball that kept low. A further blow to BECC’s momentum occurred shortly afterwards, when Elliott was out for a fine 31, top-edging a sweep off Ahmed with the score at 94-4. Nonetheless, next batsmen Matt Wetton and Ellis Tuhrim did their best to keep the run-rate up. Wetton struck two boundaries before being bowled by Mannarj for 13, after which David Kay, coming in at 7, played some lovely shots in a cameo innings of 10. He was run out pushing for a two off the penultimate ball of the innings before Ben Tilley finished off proceedings with a single. Although Belmont hadn’t fully capitalised on the platform laid by Mayer and Jacobs, a score of 130-6 was competitive on a difficult Old Lyonians pitch.

In reply, Saleh, opening up, was a handful to Graces’ openers. Bowling fast and accurately, he was unlucky to go wicketless in his initial 4 over burst after inducing a number of edges which didn’t quite find the 3 man slip cordon. Meanwhile, plugging away from the other end was slow bowler David Kay, who bowled extremely economically and had two chances shelled from his bowling (including a relatively easy one at point from yours truly). After Jacobs brought himself on for Saleh, he continued the squeeze and at drinks at 17 overs, Graces’ were only 42-0, with BECC quietly confident of victory, despite the lack of wickets. 

Following the break, the skipper, initially with some trepidation, handed the ball to Braham to bowl his first ever deliveries for the club. Oh ye of little faith…Braham’s first over was a maiden and his second brought a wicket for the cost of 1 run! However, the best was yet to come. Trundling in during his fourth over, Braham comprehensively bowled the no 3 batsman, before repeating the trick the very next ball. Sensing blood and increasingly euphoric about this unexpected turn of events, a baying Belmont team surrounded the bat for the hat-trick ball, which was nervously patted back to the bowler as if he were Shane Warne. Braham finished with figures of 3-44, a magnificent effort!

Unfortunately, from the 20th-27th over, Graces hauled themselves back into the game as the extras count mounted up. Tilley comprehensively bowled the dangerous looking opening batsman to recover some momentum but in a desperate attempt to arrest the run-rate, Jacobs brought himself and Saleh back on. This had the desired effect, but it was simply too little and too late and Graces hit the winning runs in the 33rd over.

Although a disappointing loss, this was hard-fought and exciting game. A strong all round team performance will surely soon come on the evidence displayed.