A good performance with bat and ball inspired Belmont & Edgware to a 29-run victory over Graces CC.
Belmont lost the toss and were asked to bat on a damp and slightly green deck. Beginning the innings in heavy drizzle, the two Mayers, Elliot and Phil, played themselves in before becoming increasingly expansive.
Indeed, the partnership began to look highly promising after Elliot took advantage of the short boundaries to hoist a full toss for a six.
However, a delay, caused by the ball becoming lost in dense vegetation surrounding the pitch, may have affected Elliot’s concentration and he was bowled shortly after play resumed, for a fine 32. Regardless, a strong platform had been laid.
No. 3 Michael Blasebalk was dismissed caught behind shortly after coming in, but the next batsman, Adam Jacobs, continued the good work with Phil Mayer. By the time Phil was out, for a well-crafted, 31, Belmont had reached 90-2 and were set for a sizeable total.
Things began to look more ominous for Grace’s when Simon Taylor strode in and immediately spanked two fours on the off side. It didn’t quite go to plan after this, however as Graces held their best bowlers back until the end of the innings, and bowled tightly at the death.
Belmont lost wickets as they attempted to accelerate, Jacobs sliced a widish delivery to point and Taylor was caught attempting to hit over the top. However, Nick McLeod did well to stablise the innings, playing one particularly brutal straight drive down the ground and Belmont closed with a very defendable 135.
The weather improved significantly after the tea break and Graces began their chase positively. David Kaplan was quickly introduced into the attack in order to break a stubborn opening partnership and duly obliged by bowling a miserly spell whilst picking up three wickets.
He was ably supported by Simon Taylor at the other end, with Taylor claiming two wickets, and he was well supported by some top-quality catching.
After Graces had been reduced to 60-4, Jacobs increased the pressure on Graces by snaffling two further wickets. However, this merely set the stage for yet another member of the Mayer brood, Greg, to make a telling contribution.
The youngster bowled with great discipline and was rewarded by removing the remaining three batsmen. This included Graces hard-hitting Aussie no. 10, who was clearly batting well below his proper position and who was superbly caught in the deep by Kaplan at cow corner as Graces were dismissed for 106.
A BECC spokesman told JC Sport: "This victory was particularly pleasing because of the strong contributions throughout the team. Both batsmen and bowlers were disciplined and our energy was good in the field.
"Hopefully this can continue throughout the season."