Hampton Wick Royal – Lost by 59 runs

Grace's fall short in the sunshine!

Match report v Hampton Wick Royals 6th September 2015 – lost by 59 runs

 

Our last scheduled fixture in the last few seasons has been at the Hampton Wick Royals’ lovely ground adjoining the royal park. This year was no exception as Grace’s journeyed south west on a lovely sunny afternoon to take on the youthful Royals. Dom had injured himself with some ill advised DIY so Leo took up the skipper’s mantle winning the toss and opting to bowl on the flat looking track. 10 man Grace’s took to the field with Dean carrying on from last week with some accurate bowling in tandem with Newton pinning the openers down.

 

 In the 6th over Leo took a cracking low down slip catch off Newton to see the number 2 Maddox Brown (surely an RAF squadron leader!) back to the pavilion. This was shortly followed by a slow motion caught and bowled for Newton’s 2nd wicket to see off the other opener and when Dean bowled the number 3 for a duck Grace’s scented blood with the score at 21 for 3 in the 8th over.

 

However Jones (D) the number 3 – one of 3 brothers playing together! – together with Oliver (number 5) had other ideas and took the attack to us punishing anything loose with a fine partnership of 89. Noddy entered the fray and after a few overs of pace changed to spin – this paid dividends as he bowled Jones for a fine 39 – the score was now 110 for 4 in the 24th over and with young Oliver now past his fifty and hitting out a large total looked possible. Thankfully Dean bowled him for 75 and accurate bowling slowed down the charge with wickets falling regularly (a great running catch in the deep by Mahender a highlight) the Royals were eventually all out for 199 in the last over. Newton the pick of the bowlers with 4 wickets. Colin had come along to score – with good fore thought he’d packed his whites so he came on in the 20th over to bring us up to eleven.

 

A great tea followed (the same cost as at Greenford!) before Dean and Mahender opened our attack. Mahender was soon bowled for 5 and when Niroshan was caught for 6 we were 19 for 2 in the 8th over. Dean had meanwhile showed his class with some stylish drives and with Noddy in at 4 punishing anything wayward our innings gained impetus. Things were looking good until Dean unfortunately found the only fielder on the offside to be caught (one of the Jones boys!) for 16. Newton in at 5 was soon caught for 3 and the score was 60 for 4 in the 16th over and rebuilding was necessary. Meanwhile Colin had been continuing his lovely psychedelic scoring while various players attempted to master the new digital scoreboard’s remote control!

 

Someone needed to support Noddy and Leo was just the man playing a captain’s innings with a combination of straight batting the good deliveries and his trade mark driving of anything over pitched. This partnership looked promising until Noddy was smartly stumped for 55 playing a rare loose shot. We were now at 114 for 5 in the 28th over and still in with a chance. The hosts changed the bowling around continuously (resulting in 10 bowlers!) and no one was able to support Leo. When he was eventually caught going for it (for a tidy 29) Grace’s ran out of steam being all out for 139 in the 36th over.

 

 

Everyone retired to the bar after the match to watch the beautiful sunset over the ground. A great day for a fun match and a fitting end to an outstanding season. We look forward to returning in 2016 – we’re sure the Jones boys will be too!

Addington (1743) – Won by 6 wickets

Grace's made to work hard!

Match report away to Addington (1743) 30th August 2015 – won by 6 wickets

 

Curtley Ambrose, Viv Richards and Sir Garfield Sobers are all known to Addington (1743) CC,new opposition we visited on an overcast afternoon. This club has a lovely setting with a flat strip and nice outfield, and thankfully no West Indians guesting on this particular day! Grace’s turned up with a strong team and invited the hosts to bat in what turned out to be a day for the bowlers.

 

Addington’s openers were positive but accurate bowling from Newton and Dean kept the scoring down and despite some close LBW shouts the first wicket didn’t fall until the 19th over when Leo pulled off a great one handed diving catch at slip to see off the dogged skipper , Shafi, for 24. Recent rain and a slope resulted in the outfield slowing up anything hit onto it..

 

2 overs later the other opener was back in the pavilion after being trapped LBW by Mamun for 25. The score was now 69 for 2 in the 21st over. Addington’s 3 and 4 were keen to get the score moving but Mahender and Noddy didn’t let them have many loose balls keeping the pressure on eventually resulting in the number 3 Miah’s off stump cartwheeling away in a very satisfying manner as he played across the line to Noddy for 14. When Scotty took a sharp catch behind to see off the number 3 the score was 92 for 4 in the 31st over. This became 5 as the number 5 hit his first ball off Mahender into the deep where Stuart took a great catch – the number 6 saw off the hat-trick ball but there was to be no respite from pinpoint bowling as the hosts went from 92 for 3 after 31 overs to 101 all out in the 38th.with Noddy being particularly parsimonious off his 6.3 overs – 3 wickets with only 1 run conceded!

 

Mamun picked up 3 and both Mahender and Newton getting 2 in a fine bowling and fielding effort. After a filling and tasty tea (cheaper then our own!) Dean and Dom opened our reply aware of the nature of the pitch. Addington’s openers were pacy and accurate making us work for runs – things progressed slowly until the 11th over with the score on 17 when attempting a second run Dom was run out for the 4th time in 5 innings!

 

Stuart then joined Dean in a patient partnership against continuing good bowling taking the score to 63 in the 21st over when he was LBW for 22 bringing in Noddy at 4. If Grace’s were waiting for a part-time bowler to appear they were disappointed as each bowling change produced yet another useful bowler! Dean provided the backbone of the innings with a well judged 35.

 

We subbed a fielder when one host had to leave early and then sportingly provided a second when an injury occurred. Runs were being eaked out exemplified by Noddy taking 47 balls to score his not out 5! Things were tense as Grace’s crawled their way to the total finally getting there for 4 wickets down with only 8 balls to spare (Niroshan after a good fielding display hitting the winning runs) – full credit to Addington who made us work really hard and were sporting hosts. Once again thanks to supporters and Colin’s multi-coloured scoring. We would love to return next season!  

 

Here is Colin’s


Maybe we will find 1664 soon but this village pitch club certainly claims a long and recently notorious history. That did not matter as the task in hand was a friendly game in gloomy conditions and a slow outfield that had inclines slowing the ball further. Still with houses built much closer in recent years you wonder how safe their windows are if the ball would bounce and lift in summery conditions.

This fairly young group of players were most welcoming and batted first. It was a bowlers wicket throughout the match and with Newton and Dean opening the bowling with tight figures, the run rate stayed very low. Mamun now relieved Newton and took several overs before getting the first glint in over 19 by inducing Captain Rafeel Shafi to lob into the range of Leo who did the job. Only 25 scored and two overs later the second was LBW for 24. Mahender had now joined the attack but three Miah and four were doggedly holding out at a slow rate  even with Leo now sending full tosses to disrupt rhythm. and then in over 31 Mahender turned them over with no 4 being caught well behind by Scott and then no 5 Chris, playing his first innings in a couple years playing his first shot sky high to the ever capable hands of Scott.  Noddy had just started his spell with the odd bye but soon delivered two wicket maidens to send fear into the team who were now 95 for 6 after being bowled cleanly. Newton now returned for a spell and in one over took Asif Ali for a wooden sounding LBW and bowled the other. This left Noddy the simple task of Bowling The last for a rapid collapse and 101 scored.

The Village ladies are famed for their tea provision and this was certainly a delight with Coronation Chicken or Crayfish sandwiches, loads of lovely fresh fruit and many cakes on offer. Maybe the tactic was to stuff us before a bat was lifted. All part of the delightful day.

Dominic opened the batting with Dean and found Asif Ali and Miah to be a restrictive bowling team with it being so hard to get score going. In fact this match in run rate would so often match the opposition with just one key difference, but you can wait more for that. There are no prizes for guessing how Dom departed in the 11th over opening the way for Stuart to keep Dean company and it was again the 21st over when second wicket fell with Stuart being LBW. This was a useful 22 however. The run rate now dried up, just like they had and suddenly in the 31st over all changed as it had for them as Dean was bowled for his 35 by spinner Amjad. Sadly this bowler would retire hurt later on and we offered Mahender up to substitute field. By this stage we had also at first given Jonners too, then replaced with Stuart and each of them operated with usual instinct and it was quite likely that we would be recording them being instrumental in our own losses.  Noddy had replaced Stuart and for a man who can score mightily this was a long drawn out innings before his partner Newton went relatively swiftly, bowled  for 7.  And still the over rate was slow and two an over seemed a tall order. Surely they would not complete their allotment and leave us wanting? Niroshan had other ideas and though boundary class shots, like many others, the inclines and pitch frustrated the accumulation but he did get the vital last runs to take us past the mark with a mere 8 balls to spare.

The fielding team deserved their ovation as they had restricted our talent so well. Time to clear up, socialise and celebrate a match most interesting and we definitely will look for a fixture next season. The rain held off though light was certainly soon to be a problem if the match had gone much longer and we all left before the showers started.

One regular game left this season unless a late friendly away is arranged. Good to see many supporters here today including a transatlantic visitor who of course chose just the wrong moment to go visit the bathroom and missed the end of the match. Someone should have warned that anything can happen at any time!!  Noddy had by far the strongest bowling figures, with only one batted run against him but everyone was diligent today and all deserve credit.

Southall Dragons – Lost by 91 runs

Scratch team battle through!

25 overs match against Southall Dragons at Greenford.

Surprisingly Dom opened the match today. As Bowler and straightaway got a maiden. Kept good figures on the whole and when being punished in one over, got the No 2 with a great delivery. At the other end Mamun had not got the password but more of him later. Matthew then bowled always in line but apart from a good first over yielded more than he was happy with and now it was Leo and Stuart with the ball in hand. Stuart soon tempted the No. 3 to lob high toward the boundary and guest Robin Warner made a good catch even if ended resting in crook of arm. Leo also played some accurate shots dismissing their man on unambiguous LBW. Robin also had a good efficiency and bowled their No 5 at the right time as he was on 49. Mamun returned into the attack and induced their No. 1 to make a lob towards point where Stuart was ready as ever with his hands earning praise from members of the Dragons. Mamun now scented Blood and had the next player caught immediately. Could he get the hat trick? Surprisingly close and did in fact get another wicket bowling their man just before the end. Overall not bad fielding, catches not blatantly dropped and there was no overthrow and needless runs but 191 was a challenge indeed.
Today it was Stuart and Niroshan to open and we found they were a good fielding side. If we threatened the boundary, their man was always in play to restrict and our rate was  turgid. Stuart went for LBW and although at crease much longer Niroshan was well bowled. Dominic blocked a lot of shots in his half hour but found wooden legs at the other end and was run out. Leo was slow to get going whereas Robin was immediately chasing singles before lobbing a really high ball that was not fumbled on the catch. Just before drinks, Scott went out to join Leo who was now acquiring singles and the odd 2. These two finally found the rope, or flag markers, and got our precious four fours in a partnership of 49 only broken when Scott was LBW against their 10th bowler in the final over. Matthew strode in at 99 with one firm challenge, we needed a 100 for pride and he did the job. Meanwhile Leo had the fine score of 47 and maybe one more over would have seen the 50 but it was not to be. So that was it, no batting or even padding up for the lowest order though we appreciated our other guest Asif in the field and your correspondent sees a very different perspective from mid off or fine leg compared to the table. 
These were friendly visitors and the match was played in good spirit under skies that improved. Who knows when we will get another match like this but it was good to be a part of it.

Rottingdean (tour) – Lost by 21 runs

Pipped by able youngsters!

Our Tour match location was a delightful old club established 1758 just outside Rottingdean though most of our opponents were quite young as you will have seen in photos. It was a very wide pitch with some long boundaries and quite a steep incline to climb to reach long on away from pavilion. We elected to bowl first with Newton and Dean and it was only 4th over when Niroshan took a fine catch off Dean and scuppered the opener with Newton bowling his partner in the next over. This pair then took Stansfield the no.3 with a fine catch in the 8th, Newton catching at extra cover off Dean. Mamun and Mendis were the next bowling pair and despite lingering at crease a good while, no.4 only at 6 on the board when caught and bowled with quick response by Mamun.  Mendis meanwhile sustained a nasty blow to his foot when stopping  a ground shot but recovered to continue in play. Overs passed by at a low strike rate and then
Niroshan again took a fine catch off Matthew in his first over. 69 for 5. In Matthew’s next over he took their captain clean bowled and struck again to bowl no.7 with the score still only at 87 in the 26th over. Matthew yielded after 7 and Leo tried his arm along with Mamun and then a concerted spell from Newton and Mendis but these late players were dogged and played the innings out with scores of 28 and 26 and innings total of 147 so we had every prospect ahead.
Tea was a convivial event and it was time to put on pads and rise to the occasion. Dominic and Dean have scored almost 147 between them in the past but definitely not this time.  Dean was bowled in the 4th with only two on the count and rued the missed chance. Dominic tried to bed in but by the 11th he was taken off with only 7. This was fine return by Rottingdean and Dom thrust himself toward the crease to beat the ball to no avail and as he literally grounded his helmet dislodged and smacked the bridge of his nose. This was a downer and we were grateful that Harry drove him over to hospital as he took a hard blow and concussion was a worrying concern.  Niroshan came in but was caught too soon with no score. 34 for 3. Jonners now came in and started to build partnership with Stuart who was caught and bowled with a valuable 33. After many good calls to save run outs, Jonners was also caught and bowled soon after drinks with only 10 but the stability was there as Newton opened up. Leo was also bowled as Elliott’s third scalp with little score but at 85 for 6 the score is still well matched. Mendis did not settle today and was run out while still only on 4. Scott now strode in and provided the bedrock for Newton to keep scoring and a good partnership of 34 before caught behind off a new bowler. Mamun unfortunately went scoreless in a carbon copy delivery also caught behind in the same over and it was now 125 for 9. We were not beaten yet as Matthew could easily have partnered Newton on a last wicket stand but a sudden misjudgement had Newton run out on a fine 43 and Matthew only just scored. So 21 runs short overall but the game was always alive. 
In Newton’s stand there was one scare. A shot racing to boundary was neatly caught by Cox at Long On but Niroshan as Umpire called No Ball as the bowler had broken the wicket in the delivery stride. 
Before we indulged in further hospitality, there was photos and award of the tour pennant and we were told how much our visit was appreciated.   There is every chance we will seek a return next season.
As there was some light rain during play, scorer retreated for cover and with help of Daniel so enjoyed the scorekeeper  box and electronic  scoreboard. Don’t get that at Greenford!
Matthew had by far the best bowling figures at 3 for 19 off 7 so should be man of the match this time around, though Newton ran him close as all rounder.

Sussex CCC Staff team (tour) – Won

Grace’s emerge on top!

Back in January we emailed Sussex CCC to get some help in finding opposition for our cricket tour in August. We could never have anticipated it would turn into a season highlight! As the day approached with Faye’s hard work at Sussex it became bigger and bigger until eventually there were 6 other teams from the local LGBT community taking part at the county ground in Hove – the first time Grace’s have appeared at a first class ground

Grace’s had two teams taking part in the quick cricket format (6 a side) and after the group matches and semi-finals it was an all Grace’s final! Highlights of which included sixes galore and lots of teasing. Both the chairman and CEO of Sussex came along and took part in what was a wonderful day with excellent organization. Its success means it should become an annual fixture.

Beddington – Drawn

Flying bats and a draw!

Match report away versus Beddington 2nd August 2015 – drawn

With players away and injured Grace’s had to work hard to get 11 for this regular fixture in south London. Newbie Stu made his debut and Anosh kindly made the trek from the east – Beddington generously lent us a player too. The weather was the complete opposite to last weekend’s washout with glorious sunshine greeting us.

Dom lost the toss and unsurprisingly we were fielding in our only time game of the season. Newton soon got the opener to play on without a run scored and when Mamun caught the number 3,again off Newton, the hosts were in trouble at 4 for 2. Floyd the number 4 then dug in with Sturt the number 2 to compile a useful partnership of 46 until the latter was caught off Anosh for 11 in the 11th over.

Some positive batting and a very fast outfield saw the score accumulating despite regular wickets falling (number 4 Floyd making a nice 43) and with the score at 112 for 8 in the 32nd over ,Grace’s were expecting the innings to be wrapped up. However Beddington’s number 10,Horkon, had other ideas signaling his intent by swatting his first ball for a boundary. With good support from the tail he then proceeded to hit out at anything not on target and the game was starting to get away from us. A highlight of his innings was Newton appealing for a caught behind and when the finger was not raised then appealing to the square leg umpire – doubly disappointed!

Our catching was patchy allowing the stocky number 10 a couple of lives and when he was finally bowled by Mendis for an entertaining 38 in the 42nd over the total had reached 167. The wickets were shared around – With bowlers unrestricted Mendis had 13 overs with 2 for 39 , Anosh picking up 3 and Newton and Mamun 2 each.

After a welcome tea Dom opened with Leo – in the 4th over Leo was bowled for 2 by one that kept low. Mendis in at 3 made the cardinal error of running out the skipper for 7 – the normally stoical Dom did not take kindly to this and after a flying bat incident went on a solo navigation of the boundary! Meanwhile Newton in at 4 played his usual attacking game until getting bowled for 16 bringing in Stu who looked settled until mistiming to be caught and bowled. When Mendis was bowled soon after this we were in trouble at 48 for 5 in the 15th over.

This brought our guest player Rick and Naroshan to the wicket and they proceeded to thwart the host’s bowling attack, keeping everything out for the next 19 overs taking advantage of the time format.

Rick in particular enjoyed playing against his team even refusing to be tempted by their skipper’s loopy deliveries. The partnership was enjoyed by the watching players and supporters – Rick was eventually caught off the penultimate ball leaving the score at 85 for 5 – Naroshan finished on 19 not out to complete a good game (he had a great stumping earlier)

After the game both teams took advantage of the nice bar facilities to talk over the afternoon.

Merton – Won by 40 runs

Double jug avoidance!

Home V Merton CC July 19th July 2015 – a 40 run win

 

Established opponents Merton are currently the only team we play home and away and on a lovely afternoon in Greenford we were looking to do the double over them this season.

 

On winning the toss Dom had no hesitation in batting, opening with himself and new partner Dean. The youthful opening bowlers took up the attack but with no success as Dom kept them out while Dean showed some lovely drives to keep the score going along nicely – reaching 39 in the 10th over. Dean took a liking to the first change bowler, Fodor – perhaps the first Hungarian to play against Grace’s – who was to prove expensive. The other change bowler, spinner Young, was treated with more respect with a good line and length.

 

The 100 came up in the 21st over with serene progress (apart from 2 costly drops) and Merton were doing a lot of chasing across the fast outfield. Growing in confidence Dom was showing a nice range of strokes and looked set for a second 50 against Merton in 2015 but was unfortunately run out on 49! Mendis, in at 3, immediately took up the attack with a quick fire 24 before being caught off a skier.  Stuart who had been chomping at the bit while watching then strode out only to be LBW first ball!

 

Naroshan, in at 5, then joined Dean and kept up the pressure on the visiting bowlers with some nice shots. His partner meanwhile had continued to dominate the bowling punishing anything wayward until on 97 a rare mistimed shot resulted in a catch in the covers – so double jug avoidance! In future please let him know he’s close!

 

When our innings closed we had reached a defendable score of 232 for 5.

 

After the usual Greenford tea Dom opened with a spin/pace combination – Newton & Anosh. Good line and length kept the score down until Anosh bowled the number 2 soon followed by the number 1 also bowled, this time by Mamun. So 26 for 2 in the 11th over and a good start for the hosts. It wasn’t until the 22nd over that the next wicket was to fall – Naroshan with a nice throw to run out Suggitt , the number 3 (77 for 3) Wickets fell regularly as Merton chased the game and Grace’s looked in control until their wicket keeper, Govindarajack, came in at 8 and then showed a tremendous eye with some high quality strokes – He reached 40 in no time until Dean bowled him much to the relief of the fielding side. After he had fallen the tail was mopped up with the visitors finally being all out for 192 in the 37th over.

 

So a win by 40 runs against sporting opposition. A good all round performance with both bat and ball – Anosh was the pick of the bowlers picking up 3 wickets for 28.  It’s Pacific next week and we haven’t beaten them for a while!

 

 

 

Woking & Horsell – Won by 9 wickets

Dean bowls them over!

Match report – home to Woking & Horsell CC   – 12th July 2015

A very murky morning thankfully did not result in a rain affected game but the sun was not seen at all through the low dark clouds. WHCC were welcomed back to Greenford and after winning the toss decided to bat. This was a decision that Dave, their skipper, probably regretted as Dean, for once without any injuries, opened the bowling with a very hostile display of skiddy pace bowling. This soon resulted in the top 3 batsman being comprehensively bowled – Dean was on a hat-trick and in the same over bowled a third visitor but it was a no ball!

The score was then 23 for 3 in the eight over. I’d like to think that Grace’s would try to consolidate the innings after such a poor start but the Woking batsmen surprisingly then pretty much committed suicide with a range of ambitious and injudicious shots resulting in them being all out for only 51 in the 18th over. In order to try to make a game of it skipper Dom had rotated the bowlers but this only resulted in the same poor shot selection. Only the number 4, Robbings, got to double figures. The innings was summed up by the last batsman managing to flatten his stumps playing a back foot shot.

Not surprisingly there were some outstanding bowling figures; Dean 3 wickets for 10 runs in 4 overs, Mamun 3 for 23 and Anosh with an even better 4 for 7! Too early for tea so Stuart and Simon opened for us with Stuart in no mood to hang around. When Simon was stumped for 11 in the 7th over the score was already 47. Stuart hit the winning runs in the 10th over to finish on an entertaining unbeaten 41. A 9 wicket win in what was a quite bizarre match against a very friendly visiting team.

Playing a beer match was then agreed where the Woking batsman were keen to make amends and won a fun game with everyone turning their arms over.

 

Thanks again for the supporters who made it along as usual. Let’s hope Dean can remain fit for the coming games – It’s Greenford again next week and visitors Merton are sure to show more application in their batting.