A superb maiden half century from opener Patel was not enough to see Grace’s home against Washington at Greenford.
Stand-in skipper Hardisty won the toss and elected to bowl on a flat track. Washington reached three figures for the loss of only one wicket, and with little movement for the bowlers and a short boundary at one end, the visitors looked likely to post a high score. But the dismissal of Turner (42) and Smith (41), the latter to an extraordinary stumping by Hardisty, prompted a collapse. Bielby returned best ever figures of 5-32, but also conceded several sixes over the short straight boundary, as Washington chanced their arm towards the end of the innings.
In reply, Grace’s were unable to offer support to Patel who carried his bat for an unbeaten 65 including 7 fours and 2 sixes. A nagging seam attack and tenacious fielding made life difficult and wickets fell at regular intervals. As the innings went on, Washington’s fielders gradually retreated to the boundary until eventually the entire team (minus bowler and wicket-keeper) were on the rope.
Overall, a decent effort by Grace’s given the strength of the opposition. And many congratulations to Abhi for a great knock!