The Grades team took the opportunity afforded by the SPCU walkover v Rossie Priory to play their game against Methlick at our home ground. After negotiating the roadworks, both teams duly arrived and after winning the toss, the captain broke with Grades tradition and elected to follow the successful formula of the previous 2 weeks by batting first.
Tariq and Martin opened and Tariq soon fell to an excellent catch by Brian Anderson. Mike joined Martin and, having been given the instruction by the captain to “just bat”, they proceeded to do so for the next 35 overs.
Neither had batted for any significant length of time this season and it was good to see both putting bat to ball and showing why they usually play higher level cricket. Both made centuries, Michael 115 and Martin 100, putting on 201 together before both fell to Colin Addison. Alan and Farhad hit a few at the end to take the score to 255-3.
After tea, the Taylors opened the bowling and the older, wider and marginally hairier struck first, courtesy of a neat catch by Tariq. Rory, by definition, younger, slimmer and less hairy, then took the next 3 wickets assisted by a stumping from Tariq and two fine catches from Noor.
The captain won another LBW decision and with 15 overs gone, Methlick were 50-5. However, Steve Murphy, regular winner of the Grade 2 batting trophy was still there and assisted firstly by Colin Addison and then Brian Anderson pushed the score along.
Farhad and Jack took wickets and both Euan and Fraser bowled good spells against good players but Liam Maxfield and Steve Murphy in an aggressive partnership put Methlick right back into the game. Steve passed his century and Methlick entered the last over needing 22. Fortunately, neither batsman could emulate Carlos Brathwaite and Rory, thanks to 2 slower balls (which he must have learned from watching his brother trying to bowl quick) ended up with 5 wickets with Methlick still 14 runs short.
An enjoyable game played in a good spirit and another excellent team performance with everyone contributing.
Methlick MoM: Steve Murphy for his unbeaten century, which was the best of the three centuries on the day.
Grades MoM: A joint MoM as there is nothing to separate Martin and Michael – their batting was a joy to watch.
Highlight of the Match: Mike getting his first ton for SDCC.