Grant Bowls Second Team To Unlikely Win
By James Wheeler
Following rain in the week and showers on the morning of the game this was a sub standard batting pitch at Kidmore End demonstrated by the fall of 20 wickets for just 160 runs.
Kidmore End were set the very small target of 86 for victory but were thwarted by Nick Grant (pictured) with 6 for 23 and Paul Orton with 3 for 29 who exploited the conditions to full advantage.
Grant found swing in the fourth over to dismiss Guy Ashby LBW for his first League wicket in England. Orton swung the first ball of the next over to bowl Tom Sheldon. Abid Ul Wahib lofted Orton to be caught by Ed Pike and at 18 for 3 in the seventh over there was the thought of an unlikely victory for Tring Park.
The fifth wicket went down as Robbie Grout took the best of the six catches on the deep mid wicket boundary. The most pivotal moment came in the twelfth over as Grant struck again to reduce the score to 39-7 as he had Oscar Fountain caught by Jake Seagrave and then bowled Dan Simmons.
When Peter Healy turned Grant into Ant McCormack’s hands fielding short on the leg side the score was 49 for 9 and the game seemed all but over. But captain James Frost and number 11 James Walker had other ideas and realising they still had 32 overs to score 37 runs that nothing extravagant was required. They batted out four maiden overs and the score plodded along as 26 were scored in 15 overs and with eleven runs needed they were well on the way to seeing their side home. But then Frost chipped Seagrave for Grant to have the last word as he safely pouched the catch at cover.
After losing the toss and being put in, Tring Park certainly had the worst of the batting conditions as they had to deal with very uncertain bounce and the ball popping unexpectedly. By the end of the eighth over with 12 scored the top three were all back in the pavilion. There was a distinct contrast of styles in how to try to resolve this position. Chris Curry decided that playing shots was the answer as he scored 15 at nearly a run a ball but succumbed as he was caught at mid off.
But Ant McCormack adopted a very different approach with a gutsy seven from 49 balls. Although only single figures, 56 were scored while he was at the crease and it’s doubtful if victory would have been achieved without his dogged resilience. He eventually perished when he thought there was a quick single, but Orton didn’t and he found himself stranded half way down the pitch. After coming in at 49 for 7, Orton was responsible for guiding the lower order through to the final total of 85 with 17 from 52 balls.