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Result - Odiham & Greywell

Sat Sep 8th Grannies come nail-bitingly close in the gloaming

Match report

Odiham & Greywell 225-5
Grannies 217-6

A brilliant century by Billy Maisey was not quite enough to get the Grannies over the line against Odiham & Greywell as darkness fell over the Hampshire countryside.

In conditions reminiscent of England's narrow victory in the gloom against Pakistan in Karachi, the Grannies put up a fine show, falling just eight agonising runs short in this ThirtyFive35 match.

Billy's 109 was simply outstanding, with boundaries all round the wicket, including classical cover drives and a particularly handsome straight six over the hedge late on. If there has been a better Grannies hundred than that, it would be a surprise.

At the start of the Grannies' reply, Kapil Gupta and Richard Williams helped steady the ship after opener James Philpott had been dismissed by a beauty.

But Billy received most support from Matt Siebert, whose manful 42 provided vital ballast as the run-chase progressed relatively serenely.

But having kept up with the asking rate well, things faltered in the last few overs in the gloaming. The boundary became hard to find after Billy played on for 109, and even Stanners was not up to the task of conjuring 12 from the final over.

Earlier in the day, a hard-hitting 64 from teenage Odiham number 3 Zac Le Roux was the centrepiece of the home team's innings.

He was graciously called back by chairman Bob after the square leg umpire did not spot that the Dulwich Cat's glove had taken the bail in an otherwise masterly stumping.

There was some excellent seam bowling from the Grannies on a green surface, with Billy and Kapil both taking 1 for 20-odd from their seven overs.

Alex Stone took two good wickets with his gentle seamers and Will Siebert (Siebert junior) bowled his leg-spinners beautifully for one wicket. He also resisted Odiham's late charge, and on another day would have picked up three or four. So it goes.

Most of the Odiham batsmen chipped in, as they so often do. Skipper Phil Thomas hit a four from the final ball of the innings - his only ball of the match - to cap an imposing total which sage Grannies observers felt was 20 or so too many for the conditions. So it proved.

Mike Fernie's suggestion at tea that he be substituted for the run chase for Jonny Morris - who had turned up to lend moral support - was typically selfless. But it was decided that this perhaps stretched the game's etiquette into shapes for which it was not designed.

Odiham were their normal selves: tenacious, hard and sporting - and thoroughly delighted to win after several years of Grannies' victories.

In fact, the last two matches in this long-standing fixture have been ruined by the rain, so just to complete a game felt something of a triumph.

Match info

One of the Grannies' oldest fixtures, this is a rousing end-of-season game at a pretty ground, just a few miles off the M3 in north Hampshire. Rain has spoiled things in the last two years, which means we are due unbroken sunshine this time out. Welcoming oppo, good bar.

Also playing: Kapil Gupta

King Street,
RG29 1NF