At Graffham and Smithbrook 24th July 2010
Lodsworth CC 224 for 8 off 37 overs (G Braithwaite 84, Matt Hall 48, Nick Bellion 33; Rees 3 for 20).
Graffham and Smithbrooke 117 all out (McQueen 27: Graham Braithwaite 2 for 1, Matt Hall 2 for 10, Andy Long 2 for 31, Paul Phillips 3 for 43)
On a muggy day, Lodsworth CC were visitors to Graffham & Smithbrook CC. Fresh from scoring buckets of runs this year, Oliver King took to the crease with Lee Ayres and lasted all of 10 seconds before being caught at first slip with the first delivery of the innings. Rees (3 for 20) continued to bowl well dismissing both Harry Dimond (0) & Ayres (9) leaving Lodsworth stranded at 14 for 3. Graham Braithwaite & Nick Bellion unfazed by the sharp bowling built a platform to steady the innings. Braithwaite (84) showed a whole range of glorious shots and moved quickly to his 50 whilst Bellion (33) playing the anchor role, helped move the partnership to 100. Bellion was then bowled and this brought Matt Hall to the crease. Out of sorts for most of the season, Hall (48) set about the G & S bowling line up. Braithwaite was bowled 16 short of his century and Hall LBW 2 short of his half century. Both Johnno Thompson (10 Not Out) and Fergus Cruikshank (18 Not Out) added important runs to close the innings for a respectable 224 for 8 off 37 overs.
What followed next caused great despair to the Graffham and Smithbrooke batsmen. Swarms of Flying Ants descended in their thousands at each end of the wicket. This made it impossible for the batsman to concentrate whilst they were being bitten alive. Lodsworth gained two quick wickets, before the game was stopped and evasive action taken by the umpires turned pest controllers. Long (2 for 31) took the key wicket of McQueen (27) whilst Phillips (3 for 43) finished with a flurry. At 76 for 5, G & S looked like they would play for the draw with 14 overs left. But Hall (2 for 10), Bellion (1 for 7) and Braithwaite (2 for 1) wrapped up the innings with 4 overs to go. Graffham & Smithbrook finished 117 all out.
This was a very good result with many of the Graffham & Smithbrook team playing league standard in the Village Cup where they stand second in Division 2.
Man of the Match Graham Braithwaite
Scribe Matt Hall