Tropical weather marked week 10 of the AJ Sports Surrey Championship campaign, with the Premier Division battle warming up nicely too. Richard Spiller donned his sunhat to sample the action.
Malden Wanderers v Wimbledon
Tim Lloyd was Wimbledon’s man of the moment as he spearheaded a remarkable fightback to earn Wimbledon a last-over victory, putting them just two points off the top.
They were in big trouble at 118-6 after the hosts had posted 270-8 in their maximum 66 overs. That was built around prolific South African opener Zac Elkin’s 106, which keeps him firmly on course to overtake the 1,037 league runs he made last season.
Alex Butler’s breezy 56 bulked up the total, Surrey’s Cameron Steel having made 21 earlier, and it might have been a more daunting chase for the visitors but for Jonathan Dewes collecting 5-76 from 16 overs.
Joe Lavender removed both openers to make it 9-2 and soon added Jack Boyle (23). But Surrey Academy player Lloyd, who is 18 and has played for Wimbledon all his life, rescued them, hammering 111 from 104 as he added 99 for the seventh wicket with Aristides Karvelas, who went on to finish unbeaten on 59. Benjamin Twine (29no) helped him secure victory by three wickets with five balls to spare.
East Molesey v Normandy
Centuries from Mac Wright and Cole Campbell were not enough to guarantee victory for East Molesey, who have seen their lead at the top cut to two points.
Aiming to bounce back from defeat by Esher, the defending champions amassed 314-4dec from 58 overs, Tasmanian Wright – who had suffered a golden duck a week earlier – and Campbell both made 100. It was the latter’s first league century since 2016 as the pair put on 221 for the third wicket. Prahlad Odedra’s 3-74 came from 14 overs.
Normandy had started the day in fifth place and were quickly in strife at 19-3 but a fourth wicket alliance worth 141 between Liam McKendry (92) and Sam Holland (61) halted Molesey’s advance, enabling the visitors to bat out time in the 62 overs back at 205-7. Moles collected 13 points to just stay top while their opponents took three, slipping to sixth.
Esher v Reigate Priory
Collecting the scalps of title challengers has moved Esher up to fourth place.
Just a week after overcoming defending champions East Molesey, they dented Reigate’s hopes in a 98-run trouncing.
Surrey Academy batsman Krish Patel’s 99 from 109 balls led the Esher charge to 269-9dec from 60 overs, handy contributions coming from Nicholas Smit (35) and Charlie Winder (36). Angus Dahl and Tom Massey finished with three wickets apiece.
Priory’s batting has been prone to misfire without major contributions from Richie Oliver and he fell for 20, which left Australian Alex Ross (49) to head the chase. Both he and Dahl (28) were among leg-spinner Freddie Harrison’s four victims for 45 in 13 overs, spirited hitting from the tail adding 50 for the final two wickets but only putting off the inevitable as Reigate were bowled out for 171 in the 39th over.
Ashtead v Weybridge
Weybridge’s title aspirations received a major dent as they crashed to a 190-run defeat at Ashtead.
The hosts took advantage of being sent in by amassing 289-5 from the maximum 66 overs, built around Matthew Breetzke (104) and Ragu Aravinthan (88), Conor Young’s 43 taking advantage of a tiring attack.
Weybridge’s decision to insert looked even worse when they crashed to 51-4 on a pitch offering increasing turn, slumping to 99 all out with Nathan Tilley’s 20 the modest best. Doing the damage were Ben Sidwell (4-35), Sam Hunt (2-36) and Tom Homes (3-14).
Sutton v Sunbury
It’s looking increasingly serious for Sutton at the bottom after a spectacular collapse saw them sink to a 104-run defeat at the hands of Sunbury.
The basement side had thrown away what seemed a winning position against Normandy seven days earlier but this time they never threatened to get close.
Sunbury – whose slide down the table in recent weeks left them urgently needing a win – were bowled out for 211 in the 50th over, acting captain Sam Burgess’s 76 the outstanding contribution and good work from the lower order lifting the visitors from 132-6. West Indian left-arm spinner Dane Currency’s 24 overs in the heat earned him 6-79.
Sutton had been delighted to welcome back Fabian Cowdrey from a thumb injury which put him out for nine weeks but were soon in desperate straits at 32-4. The former Kent all-rounder, who surprisingly was not called upon to bowl, made 30 and put on 35 for the sixth wicket with Ansh Bansal (29), but their separation began a desperate slide which saw the final five wickets melt away for just two runs.
Taking advantage were Australian seamer Liam Scott (4-12) and left-arm spinner Vishal Manro (3-39), that win taking Sunbury 28 points clear of the relegation zone and leaves Sutton – adrift of Malden Wanderers by the same margin – looking as if they will soon need snookers to survive.
Best of the rest
Leaders Cranleigh suffered a shock first defeat at the hands of lowly Stoke d’Abernon in Division One.
Going into the match 24 points clear on the back of winning eight out of nine games, Cranes were reeling at 135-8 – George Kemkers claiming 5-28 – and only an aggressive 60 from Tommy Ealham lifted them to 224 all. The off-spinner, who had spent much of the week playing for Surrey’s second team against Sussex, hammered six fours and three sixes to give the bowlers some ammunition.
Stoke, having won just twice in the opening half of the programme, were given a sound platform of 76 by openers Max Subba Row (43) and James Corbishley (65) before Luke Patterson (40), Junaid Allie (32no) and Alistair Curran (30) took over to win by six wickets.
That enabled Guildford to close up at the top on the back of a six-wicket success at Banstead. Skipper Olly Birts (6-65) and fellow spinner Shoaib Bashir (4-52) relished a tinder dry pitch in dismissing their hosts for 157, the main resistance coming from Neil Baker (35) and acting captain Arsalan Abbas (40). Freddie Geffen’s compact 59no saw Guildford to victory.
Spencer stayed in the hunt courtesy of a seven-wicket win at Beddington, where Hugo Darby made 86no chasing down 174.