The Grinarmy Marches On
Buxted Park CC – 1st XI (204 all out) vs East Grinstead CC – 2nd XI (206-8)
On arrival the Buxted Park CC ground was as picturesque as they come with its surrounding open fields and country house. Matt Heppell (standing captain) was looking to win the toss and bat first after the run fest of the previous week. However, shortly after electing to bat this decision was proving to be a harder task than expected. The opening pair (Ryan Shortland and George Cave) were bombarded by an excellent opening spell by Buxted Parks overseas (Darren Colaco: 9 – 24 – 1) with the ball seaming and swinging away beautifully. After his best efforts Ryan Shortlands (11 runs) was dismissed and Ben Davies entered the crease. His innings opened up with an explosive two sixes in his frist three balls but this was short lived and he ended on a gritty 51. George Cave batted well for his 26, which involved a huge six over square leg but was undone by a similar short ball. East Grinsteads middle ordered of Archie Turner (0), Matt Heppell (16) and Lee Granger (1) struggled to contribute to the overall score but this bought to the crease Nik Trotter (46). This innings proved to be crucial to the result of the game with a great partnership with Joseph Sheridan (13) which frusted Buxted greatly. East Grinstead finished on 206-8.
After a well enjoyed tea both teams took back to the action for Buxted Parks run chase. The innings could not have started any better with Ben Davies (8 – 19 – 1) removing the opener early and putting the pressure on Buxted Park with great support from Lee Granger (8 – 32 – 0). East Grinstead were looking in control with a mislay spell from Alex Pearse (9 – 34 – 2) and a short barrage of short bowling from Joseph Sheridan (6 – 40 – 2). Nevertheless, Buxted fought back with some great middle order hitting which ended in a number of sixes sailing over the boundary rope. Now, with limited runs needed and 5 wickets left in the shed Buxted Park looked like making the runs easily, little did they know George Cave (4 wickets) would clean up their skipper (may I add that the stumps cartwheeled back) and spark panic in their dressing room. The game came down to 2 runs needed and Matt Heppell needing to find one over from somewhere. Heads turned when he threw the ball to Archie Turner (0.3 – 1 – 1), usually a wicket keeper, to dismiss their 10/11. Halfway through the over Archie tossed up a juicy half volley and the batsmen took the bait as Lee Granger leaped (literally like a salmon) to catch their number eleven. The feeling of ecstasy in the East Grinstead team as they ran to celebrate. A game that will be hard to replicate again and the reason why we love the game of cricket.
The return fixture will not be one to miss.