Temple Grafton v Wellesbourne Cricket Club CHL Saturday 2nd XI on Sat 07 May 2016 at 1.30pm
Wellesbourne Cricket Club Won by 8 Wickets

Match report Grafton welcomed Wellesbourne IIs for the opening game of their Cotswold Hills League Division 2 season on Saturday. The ground looking resplendent in the early summer sunshine with the gathered Graftonites very grateful to the groundsmen – Killian, Benjamin and Thompson – for their hard work over the last few months.

Grafton were missing former skipper and club stalwart Tommy ‘Cotswolds born and bred’ Benjamin, and gave young Kieran Williams his debut behind the stumps. With both teams operating under a new skipper, it was an opportunity for either side to put down a marker for the coming season. Wellesbourne won the toss and inserted Grafton on what looked to be a decent batting track. That decision proving a good one after an eventful first over from the Wellesbourne skipper Chris Evans. Ashfield and Harvey opened up with the Cricinfo style updates from Howard recorded, ‘0.1: four byes, 0.2: four runs Ashfield delightful cover drive, 0.3: WICKET – Ashfield caught at slip.’

This brought Johnston to the crease in the first over, precisely 8 months since the last time he’d picked up a bat. Overall the next 6 overs went – pretty much – as you’d expect a Harvey Johnston partnership to go. One bulldozing along at a run a ball; the other scratting around like a headless chicken. But after a winter of badger baiting, the worm had turned, and for once the jizzer was badger, and the jizzee was Johnston.

Quack quack
Quack quack
At 40-1 in the 7th over things were progressing serenely. Then Grafton were dealt two hammer blows in the space of 3 balls. First Johnston was cleaned up and put out of his misery for a very un-Johnners like 8 from 21 balls, and 2 balls later skipper Liam Killian was also on his way, LBW for 0. Wellesbourne skipper Evans doing the damage with a penetrating 5 over spell taking 3 wickets.

Adam Kirk joined Harvey and the rebuilding commenced. Adam batting with maturity beyond his years. The minimum benchmark target of 80 off 20 overs was reached in the 18th over, and things were looking up for the home team. However, just before drinks, Kirk was unluckily bowled off bat pad and boot – much to the high pitched yelping delight of the fortunate bowler.

Quack quack
Quack quack
Grafton’s middle order then had no answer to the Wellesbourne attack as a flurry of wickets fell including Harvey for a well-made 62. Grafton were reeling at 129 for 9 but were then indebted to at 10th wicket partnership between Howard Benjamin and Sachin James who lifted Grafton towards a target resembling respectability. However, after partnership worth 30 Benjamin was out lbw; Grafton all out for for a well below par 159 off 39 overs. The self-appointed ‘shot of the day’ went to the Milky on driven for four. Wellesbourne juniors Myatt (2 for 51) and Isted (2 for 21) deserve credit for bowling testing spells but Evans was the pick of the bowlers with 4 for 18 from 9 overs.

Tea was a Kirk chilli chicken fest of epic proportions with a much appreciated token salady side order for those of a more sustainable disposition. Great slabs of bread cut thicker than TT and Liam combined, with equally large slabs of cheese, were washed down with actual hot cups of tea. Cakes and tarts a plenty meant no man was left wanting. The only mystery was how a pork pie managed to find its way onto Harvey’s sustainable vegetarian plate.

Killian and James enjoying the rain break.
Killian and James enjoying the rain break.
The Wellesbourne reply started watchfully, especially against the tight lines of James, but Mole then began to punish anything wayward. With the storm clouds gathering Benjamin (1 for 47) trapped Jarrett plumb LBW with a beautiful swinging delivery before, a few overs later, the players went off for rain. After losing just over an hour, most of which time was spent trying to decipher the rain rules, play resumed with Wellesbourne requiring a reduced target of 129 off 36 overs. The only chink of light offered to Grafton following the break was Mole falling just short of his 50 to a sharp caught and bowled by Harvey (1 for 27). Green (40) and Andrews (16) then comfortably saw Wellesbourne home with 8 wickets in hand.

There were many positives to take from the Grafton performance but the zero practice for many players coming into the game (only one game prior to this was played and no indoor nets could be booked anywhere during the winter – ed) was pretty obvious. Hopefully Grafton we can improve on this performance next week and pick up their first league win of 2016 away at Warwick County Council.

Finally, I would like to add that having played some fractious affairs over previous seasons with our visitors, and despite coming out on the wrong end of a drubbing with the seemingly always contentious rain break, the game was played in the right spirits by both sides throughout. An absolute joy to be involved in (alright Matt calm down you soppy tw@t – ed). Good shots were applauded and good were balls acknowledged. Long may that continue.

Supplied by Temple Grafton.

Temple Grafton Batting
Player name RunsMB4s6sSR
for 10 wickets
159 (0.0 overs)

Wellesbourne Cricket Club CHL Saturday 2nd XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Chris Evans9.331844.501.89
Reece Myatt10.0151225.505.10
Jonathan Smith8.0131131.003.87
David Jarrett7.0218118.002.57
Myles Isted4.0021210.505.25

Wellesbourne Cricket Club CHL Saturday 2nd XI Batting
Player Name RMB4s6sSRCatchesStumpingsRun outs
for 2 wickets

(0.0 overs)
Darren Mole Caught  48
David Jarrett Lbw  13
Conor Green Not Out  40 1
Jack Andrews Not Out  16
Myles Isted  
Jonathan Smith  
James Wilson  
Reece Myatt  
Neil Abbott  
Chris Evans  
Alex Rea  

Temple Grafton Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
No records to display.