Away – Energy Exiles – tied!

A new team for us , the Energy Exiles play at Nursery Road  South Wimbledon – hope to see you there!

Match report 13th September 2018 v Energy Exiles – game tied!

A late organised fixture saw Graces travel to Merton to play new opponents the Energy Exiles. On arrival at the venue our hosts were present as were another team claiming to have booked the pitch too!

This third team were pretty hostile from the start with no negotiation possible – at one point two sets of stumps and boundary markers were put up!  A council parkie appeared and confirmed the double booking balls up – He was helpful telling us a nearby park had a pitch available which both teams travelled to.  

This was at a nice park in Dundonald Road – another match was in progress and these teams were probably surprised to see us roll up and put stumps up on a pretty much unmarked adjoining uncut pitch. It was a lovely sunny afternoon and the game was reduced to 30 overs. Mahender won the toss and we were soon in trouble at 3 for 3 – Jonners runout without facing! The hosts bowling was spot on with lots of late swing causing us problems. Dom dug in and was joined by Ari – they both played well rebuilding our innings until Dom was LBW in the 13th over (17 runs) with the score at 42. The very green pitch was playing pretty well.

Newton in at 6 scored a patient 12 until he was caught – 82 for 5 in the 18th over. Leo in next soon found his rhythm with some trademark hard hit drives eventually being well caught for 23 – Ari now stepped up a gear adding to the flurry of boundaries – he mistimed a shot and was caught for an entertaining 46 – just short of a maiden 50! The Exiles tight bowling was a bit ragged now and we were all out for 136 in the 29th over – Ronnie adding a few vital runs at the end. After our disastrous start this total had seemed a long way off. The Exiles skipper ,Andrew, finished with 3 wicket for only 5 runs off his 4 overs.

After tea Graces picked up the first wicket in the first over – Arshad taking a nice catch at midoff. Attacking shots took Exiles to 32 in the 6th over before Iqbal was stumped by Scotty. Their number 3 (Hodgson) was batting well and their innings was built around him as the hosts at one point looked to be well on their way to victory reaching 100 in the 20th over (for 6 wickets) – only 37 needed in 10 overs

However we were bowling well , Newton only going for 20 in his 6 overs , and brought the run rate down – consequently the Exiles took risks and wickets fell – Hodgson scored a fine 43. The final over arrived with our opponents needing 12 to win with 3 wickets left – surely a tall order especially as it was now murky. When Mamun took an outstanding catch on the boundary 12 were needed off 4 deliveries – surely too much to get. However Ahmed in at 9 hit an enormous 6 followed 2 balls later with a 4. So 2 needed – a scrambled single off the final ball and it was a tie!

So fine bowling and good fielding really helped our cause – the wickets were spread around. As ever we had a great turn out of supporters and thanks once more to our super scorer Colin

So an eventful afternoon, initially looking like we had no game ,turned out to be a thriller. The Exiles are fine hosts and we will hopefully play them next season.

Next week is probably our last game – hope you can make it along.



Home HSBC ground – Addington (1743) – won by 73 runs

HSBC sports ground  Lennard Rd, Beckenham BR3 1QW
Addington in the sun

Match report v Addington 1743   3/9/18

won by 73 runs

Last week our trip to the HSBC ground was thwarted by the deluge – this week ,however, saw absolutely perfect cricket conditions as the uninterrupted sunshine was accompanied by 22 degrees.

For most of Graces this was our first time visiting or playing at the HSBC ground in Beckenham (many thanks to Sam & Mahender for getting us there) and we definitely want to return as it’s a fab cricketing venue – we were on pitch 2 with our own cute pavilion (built 1913) in front of an immaculate outfield and perfect strip – we pushed the covers off before playing.

This was also our first time hosting Addington (reduced to only ten players), we have always previously visited their picturesque ground – Mahender calling the toss correctly deciding to have the first bat. Sam and Stuart duly opened – Sam unfortunately edged the very first ball to the keeper for a diamond duck – this is the second for Graces this season – difficult to recall any at all in previous seasons!

Mahender in at 3 continued with his attacking attitude and together with Stuart got the scoreboard ticking over nicely until Stuart was bowled by the ball unfortunately rebounding off him onto the stumps for 22 – 39 for 1 after 7 overs.

Mendis joined Mahender and these 2 added 97 for the third wicket in only 12 overs until the skipper was caught for an always entertaining 52 – he had been living dangerously having been dropped at least twice. 136 for 3 after 19 overs.

Mendis was next out with the score at 144 for another stylish 50  , Ari was soon bowled bringing Newton and Scott together – Addington were bowling better and when Newton was out for 29 we were 190 for 7 after 33 overs.  Manish contributed 14 and Arshed hit an unbeaten 23 taking us to 229 for 8 in our 40 overs. Would this be enough? After our last game there’s no room for complacency.

We had another great supporter turnout (it was good to see Youseef again) who all joined us in the main clubhouse for a civilised tea.

Addington opened with Shafi (a centurion against us 2 seasons ago) and young Miah who had also opened the bowling. Newton and Mamun opened our bowling – Miah was bowled by Newton in the 9th over with the score at 21. Our bowling was accurate and at 20 over drinks our visitors had only reached 67. Ari and Arshad didn’t bowl many bad deliveries and Manish was his usual niggling line and length. A highlight was a great one handed catch in the covers by our skipper.

Addington must have resigned themselves very early on that they were not going to reach 229 as Mr Shafi batted like it was a test match – he  was coming down the wicket to the slow bowlers but seemed unable to accelerate the score as the run rate climbed – he wasn’t prepared to take any risks and after 30 overs Addington were on 105 for 3 , well behind. None of the visiting batsmen really got going and fours were a rarity as their final score was 156 for 7. Mahender had the luxury of being able to use 9 bowlers all of whom bowled well – Stuart had an over (despite his ban after Portugal!) and managed to pick up a wicket with what was the only straight delivery!

So another enjoyable game against sporting opponents  – let’s hope we can get more games at this fab venue.

Away – Roehampton CC – lost by 4 wickets

Due to a team dropping out last minute the T20 has been cancelled – Graces however are now playing Roehampton instead.
They play on Telegraph Road on the corner of Wildcroft Road PutneySW15 3TU

Match report away to Roehampton CC 27th August 2018

After the T20 tournament was cancelled we thankfully managed to get a game on the bank holiday Monday against Roehampton CC (not the bats!) at their ground where we played our 2 day test match. They are actually new opposition for us.

The weather was very different to that occasion , overcast and cool as we were invited to bat by our hosts on a very green strip – Jess was playing her second game for us and newbie Jesant was making his debut. Mahender and Neil opened – both of whom attacked the bowling with some big hits taking the score rapidly to 72 in only the 10th over before Neil was caught for 21. Mendis in a 3 continued the attack as the hosts bowlers lacked consistent accuracy.

Mahender was enjoying himself with some crunching hits and when Mendis was caught for 27 in the 19th over we were on 143 for 2 and in a great position for a defendable score. Newbie Jesant batted well for a stylish 36 and Stuart chipped in with 13. In the meantime Mahender had reached an entertaining unbeaten century (15 fours and a six) and retired.

Newton scored a quick 23 and Jess a nice cameo 6 before we reached tea at 258 for 8. Roehampton’s bowlers kept going but were unable to keep Graces in check. A lovely tea was then taken in their cute clubhouse.

So our hosts needed 6.45 per over – a challenging target. The openers were both very youthful (teenagers) and when Newton’s very first ball of the innings was crunched through the covers for a boundary by Saqib Graces realised they shouldn’t be overconfident.

This opening partnership then kept the score up with the run rate as young Gerlach played a perfect supporting role to Saqib who Graces quickly noticed was a talented and attacking bat. The 10th over arrived with the total at 54 and. Mr Saqib then decided to accelerate the run rate as anything remotely wide or short was despatched to the boundary – Graces were wondering how to stem the runs as the bowling was rotated to no avail. A couple of catching chances were given but we couldn’t hold on to them until Stuart finally caught Mr Gerlach for a patient 44. 129 for one in only the 22nd over , slightly behind the run rate required.

The Roehampton number 3 Hattea (25 runs) continued the attack until Mahender took a  smart catch in the covers. 169 for 2 after 27 overs. 2 more wickets fell including Jess’s first for Graces leaving the score at 197 for 5 after 32 overs. If we could see the back of Mr Saqib we could still take the game and when Mahender caught him off Jess for a very entertaining 105 we thought it was the turning point.

However stocky Saleem in at 6 had other ideas as he quickly hit 41 in no time at all – the ball was sailing over the boundary in his murderous onslaught. He took a liking to all our bowlers as previously tidy figures were readjusted!  This took the wind out of our sails as Roehampton scored the winning runs in the 38th over with 6 wickets down.

So a great match against very welcoming and sporting hosts – we’d love to return next season. We had a great turnout of supporters and plenty of positives to take away from this match – Jess was player of the match with 3 wickets (including their centurion) bowling extremely well under pressure and Jesant will hopefully like to be involved with Graces in the future – thanks to Alban for scoring.

Next week we make our debut at the HSBC ground – weather permitting!

Podington away – won by 63 runs

Our first trip to play Podington – they invited us to visit as they spotted us as a result of the Rainbow Laces campaign

Hinwick Road  Podington, nr Wellingborough  NN29 7HU


Match report away to Podington CC 12th August 2018

This game was the last of the fixtures which resulted from invitations from the 3 teams who spotted us on Sky Sports last summer.

The weather looking iffy resulted in a game off/on scenario as we travelled north – thankfully the consensus was to go for it and play a shortened game if the weather was unkind. In the end we needn’t have worried as although we never saw the sun we never saw rain either!

Podington have a very cute ground on the edge of the village with tons of character. After meeting our hosts who were comprised of some Podington players plus guests from local clubs – One of the guests was Johnny Groome who brought his boyfriend Grant (it was great to meet them) the coin was flipped. Mahender won the toss and elected to bat on a slightly damp surface with himself and Scott opening.

Stuart then promptly fell first ball of the innings as he mistimed his shot being well caught behind – apparently this is a diamond duck! Mahender then marched in and proceeded to attack the youthful bowling attack with his usual aggression entertaining the watching Graces , including supporter Pat. Scott joined in as runs flowed.

Johnny Groome took an astonishing one handed catch to send Mahender back to the pavilion for an entertaining quickfire 20 – 36 for 2 in the 7th over. It’s great to see Noddy back and he was next in at 4. Together with Scotty he continued the positive batting – Podington rotated their bowlers but with a makeshift attack , wickets were hard to come by.

A couple of chances were dropped as Scott reached his fifty and retired. Mendis next in lacked such luck achieving a golden duck as he mistimed his first ball resulting in a high catch to Johnny G. Newton, in sooner than he thought, joined Noddy and the batting attack continued. Noddy also reached his 50 before retiring allowing Dom to come in and play an excellent cameo of 21 not out. Arshad came in at 8 when Newton was caught for a rapid 48. He was soon caught by Johnny G for a single boundary and when Leo sacrificed his wicket (apparently the 7th ball of the final over!) Graces had scored 212 in the agreed 30 overs – a defendable total.  

Our innings was conducted in a great atmosphere as Podington continually teased each other with lots of banter. The teas was a spread to behold , Carol ,mother of Simon our match arranger , put it together single handed!

The Podington innings commenced in the continuing overcast conditions – the sun was not seen at all. Arshad and Newton set the tone with some tight bowling against the youthful openers keeping the score down until the first wicket went down – 27 for 1 in the 8th over.

This set the tone as Podington were unable to stay with the run rate required but their batsmen enjoyed themselves with some big hits and continuing banter.  Our big total allowed Mahender to use 9 bowlers with Dom , Leo and Jonners each picking up a wicket!

Our hosts were finally all out in the 29th over for 191 with Luke top scoring with 36 so they weren’t too far off the target.

This is a fixture we definitely want to repeat next season as it was a thoroughly enjoyable game against magnificent hosts who went out of their way with hospitality at a lovely ground.

Next week we play at Old Wimbledonians captained by ex-Graces Dean – This will be a much sterner test!

Stuart shy as ever!
Podington’s quality setting spread!
Noddy looks on!
Podington have a pulpit!


Hampton Wick away – won by 5 wickets

Hampton Wick Royal Cricket Club
Bushy Park
Hampton Wick
Kingston Upon Thames

Hampton Wick supporters!

Match report away to Hampton Wick Royals 5th August 2018 – won by 5 wickets


This match was notable for Jess making her debut – a momentous day for Graces as in all our history we’ve unbelievably never had a female player represent us! Jess and her father Alban had come to watch us earlier in the season and Graces are delighted to welcome them into the club. We hope that Jess heralds a new chapter in the club’s history and she plays many more games.

Graces seem to have fabulous weather whenever we venture south to leafy Hampton Wick and this Sunday was no exception as the heat wave continued. For quite a few of us this match is a season favourite as it’s a lovely setting with fab hosts and a cracking tea! We hadn’t beaten them for a few seasons and Graces were keen to maintain their good run. In Colin’s absence Alban kindly scored (very neatly) for us.

The toss lost , unsurprisingly HW opted to bat in the baking sunshine – they usually field some promising colts and today at least 5 talented youngsters played against us. Captain Stuart chose a mixed bowling attack with Newton and Manish opening for us. Hampton Wick were soon in trouble at 14 for 2 after 9 overs. Alex edging to keeper Scott (a great catch) and young Will bamboozled by Manish’s turn. The third wicket partnership steadied the ship taking the score to 52 before Imran edged to Scott off promising newcomer Ari. Jess bowled her first overs for us tidily especially as this was her first match playing against adults. She coped really well under this pressure.

Number 3 Dipesh after initially being cautious started to play his shots , the bone dry outfield leading to the ball racing away to the boundary. Graces continued to bowl well with Mendis and Arshad (a late arrival after some team selection confusion) the third change. No one was able to stay for long with Dipesh as he continued to entertain the spectators with his new bat. Hampton Wick were eventually all out for 161 in the 37th over with Dipesh being last out for 69. Newton , Manish and Arshad picking up 3 wickets each.

After a welcome tea (including a fine selection of sandwiches) Dom opened with Newton against Hampton Wick’s youthful bowling attack. Good shot selection took the score to 49 before Dom was caught behind for 11. Newton soon followed mistiming and being caught for 30. After this slight wobble Leo and Mendis kept the scoring rate up before Leo was stumped for 14.

Jonners in at 5 played a supporting role until Mendis was caught behind for 29 – 107 for 4 after 26 overs. Ari (who apparently hadn’t played for many years – hopefully we can make him a regular)) in at 6 took some time to find his batting feet then helped Graces towards the target with an entertaining 30 before being stumped. Jonners hadn’t quite found his timing but was still there as Stuart came in taking us to the winning runs in the 37th over.

So a 5 wicket win and Graces retired to the cozy clubhouse for a well earned drink with our hosts. Once again our supporters turned out in force finding shady spots to watch the action.