Having turned up to our away game with Brook we were blown away. The lengths that they had gone to for tea were nothing short of miraculous. A large marquee, caterers, even a DJ, the whole shebang. Alas, some things are too good to be true; ‘’Are you with the bride or groom?’’ A well dressed gentleman asked a now heavily confused Rob Gregory. ‘’We have come to play cricket’’, boomed Gregory triumphantly in response. ‘’Not here you haven’t….’’, and that was that. A wedding had displaced the cricket for the day. Time was getting on, with 40 minutes until the start, luckily the match was actually taking place just down the road, in Dogmersfield. Pedal to the metal time!
En route to Dogmersfield the rain began, the delays meant the match was initially reduced to 82 overs in total, 41 per team. The toss was lost and Brook predictably decided to bowl first, on a green, damp wicket. This decision was vindicated early on as Ali Wheble was the victim of a delivery that misbehaved and stayed low. For the next 15 overs Baker and McBain settled into a rhythm, with a selection of strong cut shots from both. Both bowlers and batsmen were looking equally tidy during this period. The introduction of a spinner made the breakthrough as McBain was stumped whilst still in mid pirouette, having reached a solid 24. This brought Jackson to the crease who settled very quickly and looked in very little trouble from the outset. Baker fell a little later for a well made 20.
A rain delay took a further 4 overs from the match, which meant Brook would have 37 overs to chase an adjusted Grayshott total. After the delay Jackson carried on his form and was a joy to watch, especially driving and punching anything short of a length off the back foot. He made his way to 54 in relatively quick time and put Grayshott into a strong position, ably supported by Eeles scoring 32 himself. Grayshott’s batsmen kept the scoreboard ticking metronomically with Gregory the pick of the rest with a bludgeoned 34. 41 overs, 193 for 7 the score, very much something to bowl at. Brook would be chasing a total of 175 from their reduced 37 overs.
Tea comprised of the usual suspects in the sandwich lineup, sausage rolls, custard creams, some cake slices and a sprinkling of smartly decorated cupcakes. Gregory and Jackson were to open with the ball and both made early breakthroughs with two sharp catches, one at gully from Baker and the other at square leg from Brophy. Brook were 3 down shortly after and the match looked as if it was turning in Grayshott’s favour. Unfortunately Challinor and Hudson played themselves in and started about punishing any bad balls thrown at them. McBain and Lang were introduced into the attack with some very tidy bowling, asking questions of the Brook batting lineup. McBain broke the now healthy partnership, removing Challinor for 27. Hudson remained at the crease and continued to score quickly with some big straight maximums and an attempt at Brophy’s life with a full blooded pull shot aimed directly at the face, thankfully the Brophy’s passion for Salsa meant that he was just quick enough to shimmy out of the way like a coward. A rare mistimed shot from Hudson was just out of reach for Conway at point despite an acrobatic effort.
The momentum was now with Brook, however, Grayshott gathered themselves. A wicket from Lang, another from Patten, and a run out, put Brook to 7 wickets down securing at least 2 points for Grayshott. Regrettably Brook had maintained a run rate above that required and had enough in the tank to push through to the win with a handful of overs to spare. A Brook win by 3 wickets, 12 points to them, 2 points for Grayshott for taking 7 wickets, and a good day’s cricket. A cliche perhaps, but plenty of positives for Grayshott playing against one of the division’s strongest sides who are yet to drop any points.