BRETFORTON 190 all out
TGCC 121 all out
Bretforton win by 69 runs
Unbeaten league leaders and champions in waiting Bretforton visited the GCG, went big, got out, got rattled and ultimately got the result as Grafton capitulated once more in the face of slow bowling.
Having won the toss and elected to bat, Bret took advantage of some erratic bowling from Howard Benjamin to rack up the runs as Ashley Icke got going. At the other end however, it was not all going their way. Now free of disciplinary issues, Rich Pedley started well bowling both Lamb and Edghill. Despite these two wickets, Icke was picking up the rate; Ben Joyce (in for his customary appearance of the season), started well but stiffened up and Alex Hopkins (in full on Party Winna mode) took a few overs to loosen up.
Opting for spin from both ends for the first time all season, captain Killian brought himself on from the Bill End and immediately bowled visiting skipper Richardson before tempting Wood to put one straight into the massive spammy hands of Joyce at midwicket. The leaders were four down with runs on the board and, oh look. Here comes Paul Jones. In case you were unaware, Jones hit 144 against Grafton earlier in the season including eight consecutive sixes. Great stuff. So, Jones and Icke carried on blarting. Pedley dropped Jones off Winna on the long on boundary, by this time however Icke had reached his hundred, a ton out of approximately 140 inside 20 overs. The evening was spent pondering what could have been had Winna caught him off 12 and the subsequent butterfly effect.
Soon after something odd happened. Pedders held on to one in the deep and Icke was dismissed for 105. Bret 184 for 5. When Jones hit the returning Pedley straight to cover Bret collapsed to a 190 all out off 31 overs. Tea was taken and Grafton debated the best approach to chase 191 off 58 overs. As this stage the speculation was rife? Could Grafton pull off an upset?
When Kirk and Killian took 74 runs off the opening eight overs, it looked like a comfortable victory was forthcoming. The canny old heads in the Grafton crowd still fancied that they could cock this up some how and indeed the introduction of Alex Evans saw the return of that age old classic, a TGCC collapse. Killer bowled, Kirky ct & bowled, Tommy out lbw, Johnners walked over one to be stumped. The visitors were getting themselves pumped up and before you know it 74-0 became 121 all out. Evans had claimed 7-15 and the home side were dismissed within 22 overs to mark the end of a truly bizarre afternoon’s cricket.