11 June 2016 – The Grammar Grenades faced table toppers Inverurie at Kellands Park on Saturday. The team lined up M Barker (c), C Clelland (w), J Eagles, G Morrison, S Ismail, P McDonald, R Monnapillai, D Russell, G Stuart, J Waldron, K Whyte. Morrison a last minute addition in place of Garratt who bolstered the ranks of the 3rd XI at Turriff.
The weather was wet and miserable but with the wicket remaining firm, and the outfield not too soggy, both teams agreed to make a go of it.
Winning the toss, the Grenades chose to bowl first. Conditions were tough and the ball slippery but the team held firm and made Inverurie work for every run. Some fine fielding work from Waldron at cover caught the eye in particular.
Ismail had got lost on his way to an unfamiliar ground and turned up about ten minutes late. Fortunately his Captain’s comment about owing him a wicket clearly found its mark and Ismail struck in his first over, removing Strachan for 13.
Ably supported by the rest of the bowling troupe, Ismail built on his early wicket by hogging all of the dismissals for the rest of the innings, finishing on 6-31. Catches were taken by McDonald at backward point, Russell at backward square, Barker at mid wicket and Eagles at mid on. Ismail also clung on to an excellent C&B and clean bowled Johnston in the final over.
Inverurie batted all their overs and finished on 186-6, perhaps a little shy of the mark but a respectable score given the conditions. Hadden top-scored as usual with 86, supported by Murrison with 37.
Following the usual splendid spread in the clubhouse, Morrison and Clelland opened the batting for the Grenades. They made steady progress and added 80 for the first wicket before Clelland departed for 26. The top order then continued to contribute, Waldron making a stylish 22, Morrison departing for an excellent 59 and Barker adding a fairly agricultural 29.
With less than 30 required the inevitable happened, and the Grenades succumbed to their usual middle-order collapse. With the score on 176-7, the loss of wickets wasn’t such an issue but the resulting drop in run rate left the Grenades requiring 11 from the final 3 overs against Inverurie’s opening bowlers.
As the final over rolled around the requirement was 5. A swiftly taken run from the first ball of the over by Ismail gave Monnapillai the strike and the chance to win the game with a single shot. The next ball was a dot, the watching Grenades players on the boundary held their breath. Four from four required, could the young man put the game to bed? Yes he could, and in style, flaying a wideish ball past backward point and over the boundary for the win.
This was a brave batting performance by the Grenades which showed the value of steady accumulation at the top of the order. Hopefully this attitude can be replicated through to the end of the season.
MOM – Ismail for his 6 wickets and his 8 no at the death.
Champagne Moment – Monnapillai hitting the winning runs.