TEMPLE GRAFTON CC 233 for 7
A deluge at tea, denied Grafton the victory they needed to ensure Division two status for 2019, after a strong batting performance which brought maximum batting points.
With rain forecast, Grafton were unsurprisingly put into bat after losing the toss. Regular opener Kirk was joined by makeshift opener Wheeler – filling in for last weeks match winner DJ
The first over was a mixed bag of eight wides and six decent deliveries, but eventually Kirk and Wheeler got themselves off the mark and were beginning to look more comfortable using the pace on the ball. Kirk hit a couple of nice straight drives for four, and Wheeler hit a six over point. With 40 runs on the board, pace off the ball brought the breakthrough for Moreton, with Wheeler (16) attempting to cut Mercer from around the wicket and getting clean bowled. Kirk (19) soon followed, clean bowled by Hazeldine.
Farrow and Killian then went about re-building the innings. Farrow was looking solid again in the number three role and Killian was back looking like his old self with some powerful boundaries all around the wicket. Moreton were clearly familiar with Killian as they packed fielders on the boundary early on. This was no problem for Killian, as a combination of some clean hitting and a short boundary ensured the runs flowed. Farrow was happy to cede the strike and play second fiddle. After a composed innings of 22 and a partnership of 70, it came as a surprise when Farrow was bowled by Williams. Johnston followed in the next over, LBW to Hurrell attempting to slog sweep to leg.
With half the innings still remaining and Grafton now four wickets down, Thorpe joined Killian at the crease, with the field spread both batsmen were able to rotate the strike during a partnership of 51. Killian (75) looked odds on for a century when he was deceived by a well disguised slower ball from Williams. For the third time in the innings two wickets fell in quick succession when Thorpe (16) was caught off the bowling of Mercer.
For the third time in the innings some rebuilding was needed and the experienced pair of Harvey and Onens went about the job. With Killian scoring at a great rate earlier in the innings, run rate wasn’t really an issue. The pair gradually accelerated the run rate – aided by Harvey twice being dropped – and took the score past 200. The fielders finally accepted a chance from Harvey (29) late in the innings, leaving the returning Russell a chance for the last couple of overs. Russell hit a beautiful cover drive in the last over to finish on not out off 4 balls and Onens ended on 24 not out, thanks to some good running between the wickets. Grafton came off for tea on a decent total of 233 for seven.
Whilst the players were enjoying a nice tea in the pavilion the rain began to fall. It briefly looked like it might stop and play might resume, but this never materialised. Grafton took 10 points from the fixtures and with two of the three remaining fixtures again the bottom two of the division, their fate remains in their own hands.