DORRIDGE 3rds 150 a/o
TGCC 151 for 8
Temple Grafton win by 2 wickets
Grafton’s first home game of 2018 saw them entertain Dorridge and Hockley Heath, who arrived with an impressive unbeaten record stretching back to 2016. Dorridge won the toss and elected to bat. Despite losing both openers, caught slapping a Benjamin full toss down a fielders throat, the scoring rate continued to climb due to the aggressive hitting of Rafaquat Ali and Imran Khan. After 10 overs the score had raced to 60 for 2, and Grafton were looking down the barrel of a 220+ target chase. At this point Killian opted to replace Ivor with the twirling, whirling, doosra infested array of pies slung down by Badger. First to fall to the English Bryce McGain was Rafaquat, deceived by the arm ball, feathering an outside edge into Kirky’s gloves via a ricochet off his chin. Imran was equally as unlucky, caught and bowled by a juggling Badger, snaffled at the 14th attempt. Baker and Rizwan both undone with some exquisite flight, found their stumps uprooted. 69 for 2 became 86 for 6, and the middle order all back in the hutch. Dorridge tried to re-build their innings, but the introduction of Jarrett and Killian saw any fightback snuffed out, as they mopped up the tail picking up 2 wickets apiece. The fielding in the main was excellent, with only a tough diving slip chance put down by Onens, and Johnston refusing to attempt a lobbed catch, keen to keep hold of his none from none 0% dropped catch record in 2018.
Tea was a Tommy Special. He was livid, as it was £2.50 over budget, but oh how we reveled in the luxury. Ham, cheese, pies, pizza and yet another virtually untouched salad. Basically the 97% vegetarian tea we’ve come to expect from Grafton’s favourite flexitarian.
The Grafton reply began badly, a bye first up saw Kirky get down to the non strikers end, where he watched as next ball Cross missed a straight one and found his stumps destroyed. 3 balls later, Killian hit a lofted drive straight to mid off. So it was down to Kirky to get the chase back on track, and with Johnners these two put on an excellent 100 partnership. Kirky was watchful at first, but soon got into his stride with some glorious drives. Johnners, as usual, rode his luck, with a couple of chances put down, but ultimately batted with the authority that always comes with his finest knocks. With these two at the crease, the leg side boundary took a peppering, but who cares, the partnership ultimately proved to be a match winning one. However, as is Grafton’s way, we tried our hardest to throw it all away. At 102 for 2 we lost Johnners for a fine 44, and then the good old collapse threatened to put our romp to victory in jeopardy. When Kirky was finally out for a magnificent 52, 102 for 2 had become 127 for 8, and suddenly the target of 151 was looking a long way off. Dorridge had their tails up, Howard, as last man in, was regretting the tea time Estrella, but Onens and Ivor held their nerve to calmly take Grafton to their target with no further drama.
This was a superb team performance from Grafton to end the Dorridge unbeaten run.
Play Cricket Scorecard – http://templegrafton.play-cricket.com/website/results/3529391
MOM – Simon Kirk