THORNBURY Cricket Club, founded by the legendary WG Grace’s brother, added yet another name to its cricketing visitors – Bahrain’s own Awali Camels. On a perfect batting track the Camels bowlers prepared themselves for a hot fielding session in the sultry 30 degree heat. The spectators lining the boundary and cheering from the hospitality balconies settled down to the expected run feast at the ground which includes the famous WG Grace tree inside the boundary.
However, it was not to be. Miserly bowling by Dave Starkie and Haneel meant a yield of just 31runs in the first 9 overs, with Starkie claiming the wicket of ‘Tonker’ Mosses, comfortably pouched by Tom Wooding.
Number three batsman Sanat took a liking to Matt Rees’s away swing, punching four boundaries through the covers. Rees had the last laugh as a slower delivery saw the promising Gloucestershire junior star sky the ball to skipper Charles Forward at deep gully.
Dave Hilton, playing his first game of the tour, bothered every batsman with his unreadable ‘dollies’, picking up the wicket of opener Littlejohn before the big man could get going.
Enter Peter Banks. Now the Camels had a battle on their hands. Nine fours and a huge six off David Axtell in a score of 72 not out meant Thornbury were able to post a respectable target. It might have been more respectable, but three overs for 10 runs by Guy Parker, including the valuable wicket of guest star Fergus Shaw, a great catch by Mumtaz, and impeccable glove work from ’keeper Mason kept the total to 188 – a rate of just over six an over.
In reply, the Camels almost immediately lost Mumtaz, who received an unplayable ball bowled by Thornbury skipper Weakes. Fears of an early collapse were dispelled as Mason and Rees made hay, scoring at will and pushing the run rate up to seven an over. Mason departed for a fine 34, LBW to Sayed, but Rees continued his form of the day before, following his century with a match winning 75 not out.
Catching up with him fast was Haniel with a faultless unbeaten half century including the largest six of the day, clearing a neighbouring building.
The Camels romped home with eight overs to spare, Huw Caffrey elicited enthusiastic cheers from all around the ground with two extravagant fours the Grace brothers watching from on high would have been proud of.
The Camel train moves into Bristol where they face Bristol University in a T20 thrash.
Scores: Thornbury CC 187 for 7 in 30 overs lost to Awali Camels 190 for 3 in 22 overs