Published: 12th August, 2019
It was back to 50-over matches as the AJ Fordham Surrey Championship headed into the final five rounds of games. Richard Spiller takes a look at the Premier Division results.
Sutton v East Molesey
Leaders East Molesey maintained their three-point gap at the top but were made to fight hard for victory by struggling Sutton.
Dominic Reed’s men won by 14 runs in a match reduced to 42 overs per side by heavy overnight rain. Sent into bat, the visitors were led to 204-8 by opener Nick Stevens (52), backed up by Sam Burge (33) and Cole Campbell (31), their task made harder by veteran left-arm spinner Matt Cawood (4-39) and Rehan Ratnasapabathy (2-32).
Sutton suffered a blow early in their reply when Surrey opener Arun Harinath – currently on loan to Hampshire – was run out for 20, Reed claiming two top-order victims but youngster Josh Blake’s 37 giving them hope until departing at 111-5 in the 28th over.
Sam Woods (23) and Ratnasapabathy (22) kept the hosts in the hunt and Aman Shinwari’s urgent 17 gave his side a puncher’s chance but it was another left-arm spinner, Jonathan Fawcett, whose 4-49 proved decisive and was backed up by excellent catching.
Guildford v Reigate Priory
It would have been a major shock had Priory, desperate to regain the lead, been overcome by a Guildford side who had lost the previous six matches and are in dire straits at the bottom of the table.
Reigate won by 74 runs although Tom Collins’s men showed renewed fight which gives them hope of an escape, despite being 34 points from safety.
Priory captain Richie Oliver (51) and Sam Hall (64) threatened a huge score by putting on 129 in 23 overs for the first wicket against an attack lacking it’s leading three seamers. But 15-year-old off-spinner Shoaib Bashir made former Worcestershire left-hander Oliver his first Premier victim while fellow tweakers Jonny Charles (3-50) and Freddie Geffen (2-58) were instrumental in restricting the visitors to 278-8.
That was a formidable enough target for any side, never mind one which hadn’t managed to reach 100 in the previous three matches, yet Guildford at least earned themselves what could yet prove five handy bonus points thanks to Nathan Tilley (39) and Collins (41). Two wickets apiece for Michael Munday, Richard Stevens, Luke Beaven and Jake Lehmann snuffed out hope for Guildford but late hitting from tailenders James McMillan and Jonny Charles took them to 204-9.
Sunbury v Esher
A win by 115 runs raised Sunbury’s hopes of evading trouble but put Esher right back into the relegation mix.
South African all-rounder Matt McGillivray hammered an unbeaten 110 from 97 balls out of 282-4, adding 71 with Rajan Soni (51) for the third wicket and then another 161 for the fourth in tandem with Conor Fulton, whose 80 included seven fours and two sixes.
Esher’s chances were in tatters at 48-4, Matt Harpur claiming three of them, and although Archie Stroud’s 40 at the start was supplemented by Andrew McCallum’s 37 later on, Esher could only muster 167 all out, McGillivray finishing off a fine individual day by snapping up 3-28.
Weybridge v Banstead
Dan Newton came out on top in a match involving two centurions, his Banstead side winning by one run on DLS.
The visitors’ skipper cracked 109no from 106 balls – which included 11 fours and six sixes – in a match delayed by Weybridge’s soaked and battered outfield, the match starting 105 minutes late as a 40-over contest and having to be reduced further to 37.
Thanks to Newton, Banstead found their way to 225-6 – seamer Jack Winslade collecting 3-37 – and then saw their hosts have their target increased to 233. They were good bets to make it at 166-2 but Tom Lancefield snapped up New Zealand dangerman Tom Bruce for 20, following it up with the wickets of Phil Mann and then opener Andrew Curtis, who had made 106 from 112 balls, so Weybridge were restricted to 231-7.
Wimbledon v Ashtead
A comfortable seven-wicket success all but cemented Ashtead’s place in the Premier Division for next year.
It had all started so well for Wimbledon, Nick Welch hitting the first ball out of the ground, but they crumbled to 147 all out, Kiwi Cole McConchie (71) gaining precious little support against an attack in which Aaron Rose and Sam Homes claimed three wickets – the latter for just two runs in the space of 11 balls.
There was a sniff of a turnaround at 44-3 only for Ben Geddes, a centurion for Surrey under-17s in the week, to make 40no while Harri Aravinthan cracked an unbeaten 69. That achieved victory over the third-placed side with a healthy 62 balls spare.
Best of the rest
Normandy could secure their passage back to the Premier Division on Saturday after a 33-run win over Spencer.
Freddy Austin’s 80 at the top of the order was responsible for them making 203-8 and they went on to dismiss the Wandsworth side for 170, aided by three wickets for off-spinner Chris Jones plus four run outs.
Should Normandy win at Leatherhead on Saturday and third-placed Camberley lose at home to Beddington then their ambition to bounce straight back from relegation will be achieved.
Second-placed Cranleigh overcame Chessington by four wickets, Lewis Bedford hitting 50 in chasing 184, and Cranes have a busy weekend coming up. They head to Spencer on Saturday while on Sunday it’s the regional final of the Vitality Blast T20, Cornish side Penzance travelling all the way up for a 1.30pm start.