Grant graces Police Credit Union PSUK National Cricket Final
Dyfed-Powys beat the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) in what was one of the most one sided National Finals seen for some time.
A result which was in no small part down to Richard Grant of Dyfed-Powys who contributed with 105 runs and then claimed four for 22, making him the clear choice for man of the match.
The final was blessed yet again by fine dry weather, a seventh straight year without an over being missed, and Leicestershire's Grace Road looked in excellent condition. The thanks of PSUK Cricket thanks must go to all at Leicestershire CCC for the warmth and hospitality everyone at the club extended to PSUK Cricket, the players of both sides, supporters and our sponsors from Police Credit Union.
Dyfed-Powys won the toss and elected to bat on a hard dry track and wasted no time amassing runs through the opening partnership of Grant and Huw Evans. Evans was the first to fall with the score on 66 having scored 31.
Grant continued to score at a steady solid rate reaching his fifty just shy of 20 overs. His scoring was somewhat curtailed by the steady flow of cheap wickets meaning he was unable to build another solid partnership.
The bowling of PSNI was friendly with only Graeme Moore, their skipper, taking three for 54, with his three wickets coming in four balls, taking any credit.
However, as is often the case in police sport finals, PSNI were without two or three regular players. That said what PSNI may have lacked on the field they more than made up for it in their vocal and sociable off-field support.
As Dyfed-Powys' innings moved into the latter stages, Richard Grant continued his impressive form having scored a century in the semi-final against Staffordshire, by completing his century making him the first player to hundreds in two national finals.
Richard Grant finally went for 105 to a deceptively slow leg stump full toss!
With some impressive late hitting from Gareth Grant, bringing up his 50 in the final over, Dyfed-Powys finished on 269 for six from their 45 overs.
What appeared to be a sporting target very quickly became insurmountable as PSNI lost three early wickets with the score barely in double figures. This was the unfortunate pattern of PSNI's innings which never got going until they were all out for 88 in only 27.3 overs.
Dyfed-Powys bowled extremely well, something they have become known for. Without electric pace in their side they use their combination of right and left-arm orthodox spin of Richard Grant and Mark Davies respectively and then Gareth Grant's leg-spin to great economical effect.
Richard Grant finished the day with four for 22 from nine overs and Gareth three for 23 from five overs.
It was left to the umpires Dan Pedley and Ray Knowles to select the obvious man of the match, a decision which typified their day, one of no drama or fuss.
At the end of what was a one-sided but still no less enjoyable day, the players, umpires and scorers (Sandra from PSNI & Stuart from Dyfed-Powys) received their trophies from Peter Evans, the Chief Executive of Police Credit Union.
On behalf of everyone involved with PSUK Cricket we would like to extend our gratitude to Peter and the Police Credit Union for their support and we were delighted to hear that Police Credit Union will be sponsoring the PSUK Cricket National Knockout competition in 2016.
The final was concluded by the traditional dinner to which our thanks to Simon Cole, Chief Constable of Leicestershire and PSUK Cricket Vice Chairman, Liam Kelly PSNI and Mark Davies Dyfed for some entertaining speeches.
Probably the best performance of the day came just prior to the speeches when both sides were enjoying each other's banter, the room was a wash of laughter and you would've been hard pressed to identify who'd actually won. Surely that's what it's all about?
So congratulations to both Dyfed-Powys and Police Service of Northern Ireland for how you conducted yourselves both day and night.