Bats, pads and umbrellas were all essential equipment in the AJ Fordham Fuller’s Surrey Championship this weekend. Richard Spiller donned his wellies to review the action.
Overcoming the weather as well as the opposition was the challenge for clubs in Saturday’s fourth round.
Flexibility has been a major requirement throughout this pandemic-stricken related season and the playing conditions for matches – ostensibly 40 overs, starting at 1pm – also allowed for varied start times and match lengths.
So in an attempt to beat what seemed a likely washout – and there were a number of abandonments – group one neighbours Weybridge and Sunbury settled on a 20-over dash starting an hour early.
It was the hosts who came out on top, opener Nathan Tilley’s 61 – including three fours and four sixes – heading the way to 177-5, backed up by Matt Laidman (25), Henry Chapman (61) and Jack Winslade (25no).
Former Surrey staffman Winslade then struck with the ball, removing Kristian Baumgartner and Sean Ventham for ducks. His 3-26 was echoed by Harshil Patel while James Cunningham netted 3-30, Alex Hughes’s 67 at least giving Sunbury something to smile about as they were dismissed for 152 to lose by 25 runs. The rain arrived not long after.
Gambling on a full-length match paid off for Wimbledon, who made it three wins in a row to lead group one as they inflicted Reigate Priory’s first defeat of the season.
The visitors were limited to 128-9, opener Jack Scriven’s 26 the best of that, with seamer Kieran Bunting (3-24) setting the tone for the bowlers. Wimbledon were rocking at 8-2, Amartya Kaul hitting 28 and Oliver Swann’s 40 key to rounding off victory by six wickets with 6.2 overs in hand.
A trip to Bank of England proved highly profitable for Malden Wanderers in group eight, delivering victory by 92 runs.
Will Sabey’s 64 in 61 balls was mainly responsible for their total of 148 all out in the 36th over and Bank were in danger of failing to reach double-figures. They lost their first seven wickets for eight runs against Raleh Jafri (3-5) and Joe Lavender (4-7) but scrapped to 56 all out in the end.
Cranleigh made it three out of three to lead group 11, overcoming gloom and drizzle in smashing Farnham by nine wickets.
Oliver Sheen’s 3-15 was mostly responsible for the visitors languishing at 34-4, Tom Grimes (39no) and Russell Golding (35no) lifting them to 153-6 through an unbroken partnership of 85.
Yet once Ryan Anderson had smashed 76 in 54 balls, eight fours and three sixes distributed around the Common, skipper Jack Scriven (57no) piloted them to the target in a mere 22.4 overs.
Cranes can look forward to Saturday’s trip to Woodbridge Road, taking on a Guildford side who went down by seven runs in an exciting finish at Camberley.
Todd Hutcheson and James Crosthwaite (37 apiece) were largely responsible for the hosts making 181-5 in 40, spinners Olly Birts (1-20) and Shoaib Bashir (2-23) making progress difficult.
Guildford were in command while former Derbyshire and Leicestershire all-rounder Wayne White (51) and captain Tom Collins (21) were adding 70 for the second wicket. But they lost momentum against the medium pace of Paul Stephens (1-21) and Elliot Green’s wily leg-spin harvesting 3-27 so that even a brisk 21no from 15-year-old Tom Humphreys was unable to rescue the chase.
Chris Peploe’s explosive 101 in 54 balls – punctuated by nine fours and six sixes – dominated Valley End’s 184-5 in a match against Normandy shortened to 20 overs apiece, the reply fizzling out to 136-5.