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Grantham CC enjoy league and cup double wins

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Grantham CC first XI enjoyed double league and cup delight at the weekend with victories over Market Deeping on Saturday and a spectacular National Knockout win over Wollaton CC the following day, despite the Gorse Lane outfit looking dead and buried.

Grantham made first use of another belting home batting track but produced what looked like an insufficient total of 174.

Aqib Afsaal and Zia-Ur-Rehman were the only Grantham batsman to reach 30 and Deeping must have felt they were in with a good shout of recording their first league win of the season.

Zane Abbas batting for Grantham against Market Deeping on Saturday. Photo: Toby Roberts (56598428)
Zane Abbas batting for Grantham against Market Deeping on Saturday. Photo: Toby Roberts (56598428)

Left arm spin duo Bilal Hussain and Glenton Williams had different ideas, however, as they pinned the visitors back, taking six wickets between them. Williams, now adapted to the local climatic conditions having arrived from Antigua 10 days earlier, produced a man of the match performance with three wickets for 22 off his 10 overs.

Next door on pitch two, Ancaster posted a formidable 236-6 against Grantham third XI.

Grantham opener Jake Ellis was in great form, batting almost 40 overs for an excellent score of 128.

Michael Ackerman produced a ruthless spell with the ball, removing the Grantham top order in his first three overs.

The hosts looked likely to fall well short of three figures before Stephen Boyd helped take the score to 145 all out with an unbeaten 67.

At Market Deeping, the Grantham second XI batting line-up put in an excellent all round show with four of the top seven registering scores in the 20s and 30s, whilst D’ahri Hughes-Francis fell two runs short of his first half century for the club.

Grantham Cricket Club Antiguans D'ahri Hughes-Francis (left) and Glenton Williams.
Grantham Cricket Club Antiguans D'ahri Hughes-Francis (left) and Glenton Williams.

Deeping replied with 166 all out, chasing 223, Jared Hackney enjoying his best spell so far this season with 3-40.

Sunday`s thriller against Wollaton is unlikely to be matched in entertainment value for some time.

Grantham again posted a score in the 170s and the Nottinghamshire outfit were in cruise control at 157-4.

Williams once again stole the show by removing Tariq Stanikzai, who was well set on 40 and looked intent on ending the contest early.

The visitors then imploded in rather spectacular fashion, bowled out for 171, only six runs short of their target. Grantham coach Usman Afsaal said: “The spirit I want to build here is that we never give up and it was great to see this side lead by example on that front.”

Finally, another Antiguan produced a memorable moment for himself as D`ahri Hughes-Francis scored his first ton on English turf.

He was unbeaten on 131 as Grantham Sunday XI claimed maximum points against the Afghan Strikers at Harlaxton in a game that featured five of Grantham`s junior section.

Fixtures: Saturday – GCC 1st XI v Nettleham CC, 11.30am; Moulton Harrox CC v GCC 2nd XI, 1pm; GCC 3rd v Moulton Harrox CC, 1pm. Sunday – Ticknall CC v GCC 1st XI, 1pm (National Knockout), Houghton-on-the-Hill CC v GCC Sunday XI, 1pm.

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