TGCC 301 for 3
CATHERINE DE BARNES 126 all out
Grafton took a massive step towards safety in their fight from relegation with a resounding win against bottom of the table Catherine de Barnes.
With Fridays predicted biblical downpour coming to fruition, and only partially offset by the sheet being down, Catney took one look at the sweaty damp wicket and had no hesitation in bowling first after winning the toss. The pre-match team talk focussed on not taking the game lightly. Catney had beaten high flying Leamington and Wellesbourne in recent weeks and were clearly a dangerous team on their day.
Killian and Harvey opened up for Grafton, and looked to be positive where possible. Killian was undone by the pace of Green, caught behind, Harris failed to keep out a yorker, and Kirk was undone by a magic ball that turned a wide delivery into one that pegged back his off stump.
With Grafton reeling on 35 after 8 overs, Farrow joined Harvey to begin the rebuilding. The first target was to negotiate the opening bowlers, which was done without alarm, both Harvey and Farrow looking solid in defence. By the 20th over the score had progressed to 73 for 3, which was now starting to look more respectable for Grafton. Gradually Farrow and Harvey were able to release the handbrake. Harvey reached a fine 50 in the 27th over as the awkward Princes’ 6th and final over went for 14. Farrow was not far behind, creaming Solanki back over his head for 4, to bring up his own 50 in the 33rd over.
With 139 on the board and 15 overs left, Harvey and Farrow in particular went ballistic. Harvey punished anything over pitched, while Farrow was karting anything remotely short over mid wicket. 83 off the next 10 overs moved the score to 222 with 5 overs to go, and with it, Harvey brought up his second Grafton ton to rapturous applause. The final 5 overs were now all Farrow. And it really was quite remarkable. An absolute masterclass in clean hitting. Farrow’s last 24 balls contained 2 dot balls, 13 boundaries and 68 runs. The unfortunate Turner came on to bowl the 43rd over. The first ball to Harvey was pushed out to the boundary for a single. The remaining 5 balls went as follows: 4 through cover, 6 over mid wicket, no ball dispatched for 6 over mid wicket to bring up Farrow’s maiden Grafton ton, dot (smashed back at the bowler with such ferocity that he had no chance to get out of the way), finishing off with 2 and another 6 over midwicket. 26 off the over and a sore chest to boot, to go with his duck later on. A total of 79 runs were bludgeoned off the last 5 overs to take Grafton to an imposing 301 for 3 off their 45 overs. The unbroken 4th wicket partnership of 266 smashing the previous Grafton record partnership by 25 runs. Farrow finishing on a majestic 138 not out, Harvey 121 not out.
Tea was a Harris debut, and what a tea it was. Every base covered, including some amazing homemade cookies. Veggies and meat eaters alike were now waddling out for the second half.
In reply Catney needed to get off to a good start to have any chance of getting close to Grafton’s mammoth total. Benjamin and Barry opened for Grafton. Barry’s first over ended any hope of a surprise when he had the dangerous looking Green caught behind and Jheetra caught by Hawker at midwicket 3 balls later. In between Harvey ran out Patel with a good pick up and throw, to leave Catney struggling on 11 for 3. Things went from bad to worse for Catney next over, as Benjamin had Solanki caught at point by Harvey. Khan and Prince began a mini revival, taking the score to 40 after 8 overs before Benjamin struck twice in an over, finishing with figures of 3 for 55.
This brought Malik to the crease who decided to tee off right from the get go. He hit 5 6’s in a quick fire 50, but wickets continued to tumble at the other end, Harris picking up 3 for 13. James tried his luck but it was Adam Kirk who came on to polish off the Catney innings following a superb catch from James (4 words you don’t hear very often) to pick up Malik for 62, ending Catney’s innings on 126.
A spectacular performance from Grafton, making it 3 wins from 3, takes us closer to safety, and hopefully division 2 cricket next season.