TGCC 247 for 7
BADSEY CC 117 all out
On arrival at Badsey, in-form Grafton, looking for their 3rd win on the bounce, were greeted with a sweet and sour sight. The sun was out, which never happens at Badsey, it is always cold, wet and blowing a gale. Sweet. But out of the opposition dressing room strode the cricketing behemoth that is Mike Powell, for his first game of the season. Champing at the bit to get his season under way, and we were on the menu. Sour.
Killian called correctly, and elected to bat. The next dilemma was the batting order. Johnston, having batted at 7 the previous week, had spent the entire week with his tongue as close to Killian’s bob hole as possible, in a slippery attempt to move himself up the order. With a difficult decision to make, Killian instructed Badger “no’s 5 and 6 to umpire, so get an umpires coat on”. Only when the hapless badger exited the clubhouse, umpires coat donned, 6 stones sourced, ready to do his 10 over stint, he was informed “oh, Johnners has already gone out”. And sure enough, there was the cheshire cat grinning Johnston, ready and waiting at the strikers end, eager to begin his stolen 10 over stint. When you pull a stunt like that, you’d better produce a score with the bat.
So the action got under way, and after a few balls there were early indications that extras might be Grafton’s friend, as both opening bowlers struggled to find the right wicket to bowl on. But Bolland in particular was able to find that precious commodity, swing. From the heady heights of 36 for 0, Grafton crashed to 56 for 4 and staring down the barrel of a score that an eager Powell alone would eat up within a dozen overs. However, a determined Johnston stepped out to bat a full 25 overs before most of his 2017 innings, and set about the rebuilding process in his own indomitable style. At the other end angry Onens was happy slapping his way to 12 runs courtesy of some ingenious dinks over the keepers head, but crucially the partnership was worth a vital 48 runs. At 104 for 5 Harvey joined Johnston, who was now in top gear and was soon crashing his way to his first 50 of the season from 56 balls. There is no scarier sight in village cricket than a determined Johnston in full flow. Every ball is there to be hit. And despite the well protected boundary, he bashed, smashed and heaved his way to a magnificent century, his second 50 from just 28 balls. Johnston and Harvey were both out in the last few overs trying to bat Badsey out the game, but the Grafton record 6th wicket partnership of 119 was just what was required, and from a perilous 104 for 5, Grafton ended on an impressive 247 from their 45 overs.
Tea was meat lovers affair, including hot dogs and more sausages than Grafton’s chief sausage muncher H Benjamin could ram into his slavering chops in one half hour stint. All consumed with the world’s chaviest wedding taking place in the background.
Howard, still picking sausage out of his teeth, opened the bowling for Grafton, with Pedders offering some left arm wheels from the other end. The equation for Grafton was simple. Get Powell before the 40 over and we win the game. Badger, having taken a catch from an aerial drive just the week previous, and banged on all week about how he never drops those, proceeded to drop the exact same catch off Howard’s 2nd over. There were two consequences of this drop, only one of which would become apparent in the immediate timeframe. The reprieved batsman was Powell, and the distraught Harvey now had to hope that he didn’t go on to do what only he was capable of doing, and win the game for Badsey. Thankfully for Grafton, and particularly Harvey, Pedders sent him packing the very next over. Consequence one averted. For poor Howard, however, this drop ultimately resulted in a four game long weekend cricket extravaganza ending wicketless. I can only apologise.
Pedders bowled with good pace and finished his spell with a further wicket to his name, meanwhile Harvey twirled away with increasing confidence in his 7-2 field, snaring two wickets in the process. However the bowling spotlight was stolen by the bulging eyes and thunderclap high fives of DJ, returning Grafton best figures of 5-22 from his 7 overs. And all this despite spending most of his spell trying to move his fielders around without the skipper noticing. The final stubborn partnership was broken by the returning Pedders, Badsey finishing on 117 off 32 overs, giving Grafton a maximum 24 points from the game.