Graces under pressure

Winchmore Hill CC Sunday 25 May 2014

JUDD STREET TIGERS 110-3 beat GRACES CC 109 all out by 7 wickets

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A great bowling performance against a strong Graces batting side saw the Tigers to their fourth win in 5 games. Steve Bignell achieved his first ‘five-for’ bowling analysis for 19 years with 5-33 and in reply, Chris Dane’s excellent 49 not out – the only batsman to pass 20 on a sluggish pitch where timing the ball proved awkward – was good enough to see the Tigers to a comfortable victory.

In a brief interlude of sunshine between the interminable cold showers preceding and following this fixture, it was somewhat fortunate that the game was allowed to go ahead, skipper Richard Burgess correctly inserting the opposition in the slightly damp conditions. Batting was difficult on the slow pitch, with the opening burst from Chrises Wright and Boden restricting Graces to just eighteen runs from the first ten overs, during which Boden took a return catch to dismiss Scott and Regan unluckily played on the Wrighty. It was a brave decision to bring Steve on first change, but it paid off immediately as he bowled Mahender in his first over and induced a return catch from Skyner in his second.

He then broke the back of the innings, assisted by a frugal spell from the other end by Chris Dane (9 runs from 5 overs) which frustrated the batsmen, having the dangerous Anthony safely caught in the deep by Mike Herlihy, bowling Mendis and inducing Newton to miscue to a fine diving catch by ‘keeper Barnaby Pinfield. All the batsmen got in but none could do much to progress the innings. There was some resistance from the tail, which lifted the total from 66-7 to 109, but it was ultimately cleaned up by Stewart Taylor (2-27) and Boden (2-11).

110 looked an easy target, but it was never going to straightforward against a lively field and bowling attack. There followed a bizarre passage of play, totally out of context with the rest of the match, when Regan unleashed a barrage of bouncers at Mike Delanian, who was struck a glancing blow on the head. Suitably softened up, he was bowled next ball! Barnaby was caught behind chasing a wide delivery, and when Mike Herlihy was needlessly run out the innings was in the balance at 40-3. Thankfully, Daney was on hand to regain control, together with the steady Burgess (17*), to add the 70 runs needed to win in 17 overs without further alarms.

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