Rain made an early attempt to disrupt the first of nine rounds of time matches but, as Richard Spiller reports, once the action got started it was a busy week for AJ Sports Surrey Championship clubs as the Premier Division takes shape.
Wimbledon v Normandy
An alliance worth 158 between Ryan Patel and Nick Welch saw Wimbledon bounce back from their first defeat of the season – and stay joint top of the table.
Normandy, entering the game on a brace of victories, never escaped the stranglehold of the home attack as they were bowled out for 190 in the 61st over, Ollie Pike’s 3-26 leading the way. Joel Foster (39), Chris Jones (35) and Chris Booth (36) all flourished briefly.
Although Australian all-rounder Foster removed skipper Jonathan Webb for 11, Leicestershire-contracted stroke-maker Welch hammered six fours and seven sixes in his 88 while Patel, in prolific form for Surrey in the LV County Championship this season, scored his 75 even more quickly, stroking eight fours and three sixes. Both departed just before the end but victory was achieved by seven wickets in just 35 overs.
That gave Wimbledon their fourth success in five outings, Normandy’s third reverse leaving them sixth.
Ashtead v East Molesey
Champions East Molesey added to Ashtead’s woes with a 98-run hammering at Woodfield Lane. The visitors were reduced to 118-6 after being inserted when play started an hour late, Sussex-contracted seamer Sean Hunt dismissing both Jake Kings (35) and Mac Wright (31) among his 4-54. Sam Burge (38) and Matt Tigg (21no) dragged up the Moles to 174 all out, Tom Homes’s pleasure at finishing with 3-32 being tempered by departing to the second ball of the reply.
He was the first victim for Andy Westphal, who cut through the top order as Ashtead slumped to 48-6, left-arm spinner Tigg ensuring there was no escape in wrapping up the visitors for 76. Westphal finished with 5-43, Tigg taking 5-12 in his 10 overs.
That fourth win in five kept Moles just two points off the top, Ashtead sitting just nine points off the bottom.
Malden Wanderers v Sutton
They might be in the basement but Sutton showed the sort of fight they will need to survive by taking the lion’s share of the points from a draw at Malden Wanderers.
A battle of the two promoted sides saw Wanderers reach 209-7dec in 59 overs, their progress held back by 5-71 from 25 overs for left-arm spinner Aneesh Jhalla. A graduate of the county youth system, his victims included Surrey’s Cameron Steel who was trapped LBW for 12. Alex Redmayne (45) and Aamir Raza (32no) inflated the total.
Still missing key all-rounder Fabian Cowdrey, Sutton slipped to 43-3 and were grateful once again to Josh Blake (51) for avoiding a collapse, Dan Edwards making 34 and Sutton taking the winning draw – for higher run rate – by finishing at 188-8. James Rimmer’s 3-45 was the best of the home attack.
Sunbury v Reigate Priory
It was a superb knock from Reigate’s Richie Oliver as Sunbury were blitzed by nine wickets, despite having run up 305-8dec.
The elegant left-hander cracked an unbeaten 167 from 152 balls, hitting 20 fours and five sixes to secure a crushing victory for his side and keep them level at the top with Wimbledon.
A major run chase looked unlikely when Sunbury were 87-3, following the loss of Surrey’s Nico Reifer for 22, but Liam Scott and Colby Dyer transformed the picture in a fourth wicket partnership worth 117, Australian Scott’s 109 including 12 fours and three sixes.
Dyer, a South African now resident in UK, punished the Priory bowlers even more severely as his 106 came off 88 deliveries, with six fours and eight sixes. Both became victims of leg-spinner Michael Munday (4-100).
Luke Haughton (46) helped Oliver launch the reply with 73, then Alex Ross hit 88no, the Sunbury attack – still missing suspended skipper Kev Smith – being punished so severely that only Surrey off-spinner Amar Virdi kept much control. It was their third defeat in five games and they lie fifth, 31 points off the top four.
Weybridge v Esher
Weybridge were not going to give the weather a chance to mess up their plans, demolishing Esher by eight wickets in double time.
The visitors were routed for 63, being bowled out in just 31.1 overs by Harshil Patel (6-35) and Ben Ladd Gibson (3-14). Nicholas Smit’s 26 was the highest score and showed just how badly they will miss the services of Justin Broad. The all-rounder had suffered a serious hand injury, breaking and dislocating a finger, while taking a catch while playing for Surrey’s second team five days earlier.
Esher removed South African Test opener Sarel Erwee for two, Ryan Sclanders (22) being run out with four needed for victory, but Nathan Tilley (39no) secured the 24 points which keep Weybridge just two off the top.
Best of the rest
Just one team possess a 100% record in Division One, Cranleigh retaining it with ease by brushing off Chipstead, Coulsdon & Walcountians.
Angelo Jayasinghe (50) and Leigh Padfield (36) held on for longest while the visitors battled to 186 all out, off-spinner Tommy Ealham – fresh from a week playing for Surrey’s second team – proving the most successful bowler in finishing with 3-26.
Brad Scriven (66no), Clyde Fortuin (55) and George Ealham (57no) knocked off the runs in 34.1 overs so that Surrey all-rounder Tom Lawes didn’t even get a bat.
Spencer’s winning run was ended by a narrow reverse at Old Wimbledonians, slumping to 103 all out against Clint McCabe (5-23) and Ewan Parker (4-49) but fighting back sufficiently hard enough to reduce the margin of defeat to four wickets.
That gave Guildford the opportunity to move into second place, 13 points off the top, after beating Dulwich by six wickets. The visitors were propelled to 217 all out from the final ball of their 62nd and final over by James Schofield (68) and Chris Purshouse (56), Surrey Academy off-spinner Shoaib Bashir’s 3-45 rewarding him for an excellent spell of 14 overs. Gus Lovell’s 85 and an adventurous 67 from Jacques Sharam (67) ensured the chase was completed with comfort.