STONELEIGH 98 all out
TGCC 102 for 8

With Grafton teetering around the relegation zone, things got serious as captain Killian called some pre game fielding practice and a Churchillian team talk for the visit of Stoneleigh, in an epic battle of the bowlers.  Grafton welcomed back the self-professed sexiest man in cricket, the legendary DJ Jarret, for his first game of 2019.  Elsewhere, Farrow was back behind the stumps, but this was largely the same team that was comprehensively outplayed by Badsey the previous week.

Killian lost the toss, and Grafton were sent out to the field, determined to put on a show.  The in-form McAdam opened the bowling alongside veteran Pedley, with the Stoneleigh batsmen being offered very little to hit.  McAdam picked up two early wickets with some beautiful outswing bowling, whilst at the other end, an increasingly furious Pedley was beating the bat without getting the luck he deserved.

With the run rate at a crawl, Jarrett was introduced at first change, for his first bowl since 2018.  A few nerves were in evidence, but these were soon dispelled as dot after dot was followed by more dots.  We soon had the DJ we love back, with some eye popping celebrations and high fives that break bones after each wicket.  A superb spell was slightly tarnished as his final over went for 4, leaving him with fine figures of 2 for 11 off his 10 overs.

Harvey picked up a couple of wickets, before McAdam returned for another spell, finishing with 3 for 33, and even Pedley got in on the act with 1 for 15, maintaining his act of being the world’s grumpiest angriest petulant man, even when taking a wicket.  Adam Kirk came on to polish off the tail, and at the half way stage Grafton has the game by the balls, bowling out Stoneleigh for a miserly 98 runs.

Tea was another Noelle Harvey masterclass, including, to Killian’s delight, some actual bacon.

With 99 required for victory, of course Grafton fancied themselves for a 10 wicket win.  Maybe 9.  But things are never that simple around here.  Harvey first to go, played on to an in-ducker.  Killian nicked off.  Russell and Barry looked to be cruising during the game’s third highest partnership of 18, but from 41 for 3 Grafton fell to 63 for 8.  But surprisingly I never really doubted we would get over the line.  With the cool head of Harris driving the show from one end, and the ridiculously grumpy still, but determined to prove a point Pedley at the other, Grafton got over the line with no further drama.  Harris hobbling his way to an unbeaten 36 supported by Pedley’s 18.

Scorecard – https://templegrafton.play-cricket.com/website/results/3749222

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