Graces Under Pressure

Winchmore Hill CC    Sunday 26 May 2013

JUDD STREET TIGERS 202-9 beat GRACES CC 190-8 by 12 runs

The roaring Tigers continued on their winning start to the season with a narrow victory over the celebrated Graces Cricket Club. A good all-round team performance, allied to some thoughtful captaincy and tight fielding, restricted the visitors to less than the five an over they needed in the run chase. Earlier, half-centuries from Barnaby Pinfield (60) and Chris Wright (56) had put the home side in a strong position on the sunniest day of the season to date.

Tigers 2013 web
Sunday’s victorious team basking in Winchmore Hill sun

Invited to take first dig, the Tigers got off to a shaky start, with Mike Herlihy strangled down the leg side first ball and skipper Chris Dane missing a stright one when only 13, Pal taking both wickets with his left arm seam. But Pinfield got into his stride straight away with yet another classy innings. Mike Delanian is struggling for form, but kept Barnaby company to add 56 in 10 overs. The Marquis then dominated the fourth wicket stand of 43 with Chris Wright in the next ten overs, but when he was out lbw Wrighty took up the slack with some typically raunchy hitting over the infield (10 fours, 1 six).

A total of well over 200 looked possible with ten overs left, but when Chris was dismissed four wickets tumbled for just 2 runs in only a few balls to leave the Tigers 181-9, but some sensible batting from the last pair, Matt Webster and Steve Bignell, added an unbeaten 21 which was to prove significant in the overall context of the match. Shofiq’s spell of just 2-11 in his 8 overs was the best effort from Graces’ bowlers.

Although the result looked close, Graces were never really up with the required run rate, though it took 14 overs and 57 runs for the Tigers’ bowlers to make a breakthrough. Some sharp chances went down, but the return of Rowan Allerton in the field made a huge difference, the young tyro throwing out two batsmen with direct hits as the pressure built. Earlier, Shorrocks (41) had looked assured until slapping a Dave Scally full toss straight to Wright at mid-on. Dave then bagged the vital wicket of champion batter Mendis thanks to a brilliant one-handed catch above his head by Pinfield at point (with pin-point accuracy?). Scally was the pick of the bowlers with 2-25 in 7 overs, with the rest of the attack all putting in a strong shift. Shofiq (53) was the danger now, but with 13 runs an over needed, he miscued a skier back to bowler Craig Murray. A late flurry in the last few overs from Bielby (30*) brought the scores closer and with one more over Graces might have done it.

Overall, an excellent match played in a good spirit. After the game John Terry turned up in his full football kit (including shin pads and vaseline) to join in the victory celebrations.

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