HARVEY & JAMES AVERT WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN

LEAMINGTON 4THS 273 for 9
TGCC 97 a/o

A game of two distinct halves – neither, alas, owned by Grafton.  The second so conclusively so that it took James, of all number elevens, to bring a microscopic shred of respectability to what was an otherwise absolute drubbing of the first order.  In a so very parallel universe at Wembley, Manchester City were putting their sixth goal past hapless Watford at about the time we were all out.

In the field and with a limited set of cards to play, Killian did all that could be expected of him to rotate what he had.  At a steady clip of five plus an over, Leamington’s score was always going to be in the high 200s and, frankly, could have been so much worse.  I’d like to think that Grafton bowled with a lack of intensity that comes from the self-assurance that, come what may, they’ll chase it down.  Actually, we just bowled.  James, Harvey and Harris all bowled very good balls, but enough balls that got dispatched such that they shared near identical figures of 10-1-50something.  Ben Ashfield showed real promise and if he could pitch every ball up he would be a serious handful.  As it was his 3 wickets for 43 was very respectable.  Killian’s figures of 9-3-69 illustrate perfectly the selection of clever, unplayably pitched rippers mixed with a fine medley of flans, pastries and delicious tortes – all available on the trolley.  30 overs yielded one or more boundaries.  We dropped five catches.  We held on to two.  273 for 9.

A robust tea with just about everything on display piled high, like a kind of sub-Saharan famine relief food drop, meant a hearty binge to fortify for what was to come.

To think that 45 minutes after the last mini-Battenberg was going down James would be padding up, gives some idea of the immediate post-tea carnage.  Young 2, Kirk 2 (both caught behind, same bowler), Wheeler 6 and 21 for 3.  A brief pause while Killian heaved a huge six and then the wheels really came off.  Killian (18), Harris, Russell, Bilbrough, Selby, Ashfield made decent bowling look extraordinary and 42 for 9.  By the time Ashfield was coming in at ten at least there was something worthy of a gallows-chuckle.  Harvey, in that avuncular fashion of his, took young Ben Ashfield – noted for his history of slogging his first delivery for four – aside and passed on his wisdom – ‘I’ve heard your reputation son.  You don’t have to……..’  Absolutely the right words but whether Ashfield was just in his own zone or was thinking ‘who the f***’s this creepy tw*t giving me advice’ we will never know.  Swish…….  And James trudges out to face the music as the fat lady cleared her throat for one last warble.  It took an hour for an increasingly frustrated Leamington to administer the coup-de-grace as Harvey (30 n.o.) and James (22) resolutely played out a phenomenally boring and yet deeply satisfying passage of play, adding 55.  This was probably a day best deleted from the must-tell-grandkids mental database.

Scorecard – https://templegrafton.play-cricket.com/website/results/3749182

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