BAYSHILL CC 148 for 6
TGCC 150 for 7
TGCC won by 3 wickets
Some fixture cock-up shenanigans had us pitted against a pleasant bunch from somewhere round Cheltenham who fielded a team with a considerably wider age distribution than the normal. Once the toss was done and a couple of foetus’s had been wrestled into cricket whites, out we went to bowl on a very warm afternoon.
Ashfield Junior and the ever green James were the obvious choice of opening bowlers. After that it was circus time. And bowl well they did for five overs each – no wickets but with a glacial scoring rate that, projecting forward, was likely to be 90-odd off 40. The mantle was then taken up by Harvey (8-2-20), who is actually quite a good bowler, and, yes, Russell (6-1-24) – who is also actually quite a good bowler. So you can see that it really was not going to be much of a game. Miserly beyond belief. So, circus time. Alcester Grammar’s Maths Department has spawned something that can only be described as the Indian Shane Warne – Viral Sindroja. A prodigious and precocious talent who can turn it yards, where every delivery is a piece of theatre – particularly those that land on the cut strip. Never in living memory has there been one fielder on the off side and eight in a ring 15 metres from the bat starting at short fine leg round to a wide mid-on. In a field where eight players could literally play pat-a-cake-pat-a-cake-baker’s-man with the chap next to them, the law of averages yielded two catches for the leg-spinning maestro from Rugby. When Sindroja was done, and at least there was now a score to chase down, it was left to Powell – that rakish book-keeper with an impossibly slow delivery – to shut up shop (with a return to the proper bowlers at the other end). 148 off 40 and, no doubt, a gentle coast to victory after a sumptuous James tea.
One tea later – and the vegetarian mini scotch eggs were a fine touch, savoured as they were at the limper end of the table – and out go Bilbrough and Mahoney for a stroll in the park. The moment Mahoney, that big strapping lad from Shottery Girl’s School, retired hurt with a cracked rib and a twisted bra strap for 14, everything disintegrated. Bilbrough 1, Powell 5, Atherton looked a million dollars until he played all round one for 23 and it was left to Wheeler and Harvey to steady the ship and see Grafton comfortably home. Alas on 36 Wheeler got so excited at his previous cut for four he repeated the shot to an entirely different ball and was caught at cover. Russell was bowled for 13, Ashfield (swish) 0, Young 0, and bugger me Grafton are 20-something short with Sindroja (yet to bat in a competitive match ever) and James (right down there at the bottom of a very deep and murky barrel) left in the hutch. Harvey saved the day. Turning down singles until the last ball of the over, he farmed the strike expertly – no stranger to that tactic I hear you say – until he had such confidence in Sindroja’s hugely effective crab-like defence that he was entrusted with two, and even three, deliveries. Victory came with a brace of fours and Harvey was chaired aloft to great fanfare. The last bit didn’t happen.