Published: 9th July, 2018
We’re into the second half of the Travelbag Surrey Championship now, with the teams having to deal with increasingly parched grounds as the heatwave continues.
Richard Spiller takes a look at the action in week 20 of the campaign.
Sutton v Normandy
Jamie Smith hit form to deny champions Normandy a much-needed victory.
Back from making his debut for Surrey in the Vitality Blast at Lord’s and staying in the side against Kent – where he was one of Joe Denly’s hat-trick victims – the 17-year-old cracked 69 in 63 balls to give Sutton an outside chance of winning in the Cheam Road clash.
Australlian Tim Ward (88), Oscar Kolk (52) and Chris Jones (51) had taken the visitors to 254-7dec in 63.4 overs, Arun Harinath marking his first appearance for Sutton this season by claiming 3-79 from 17.5 overs in the heat.
The opener enjoyed less fortune with the bat, removed for nine, Smith adding 59 for the fourth wicket with former Northants batsman David Murphy (50).
When Smith departed at 180-6, it was left Luke Smith (14) to partner skipper Dan Edwards (38) and although the latter became a victim of Viggy Venkateswaran (3-93), Sutton’s last pair hung on a winning draw – decided on higher scoring rate – at 238-9.
Failure to win since mid-May means Normandy remain in the relegation zone, 18 points off safety, although they took 10 home from this match.
Weybridge v Sunbury
Finish of the day came at Weybridge, who were out to make up for defeat by Reigate a week earlier and with the extra incentive of a derby clash against Sunbury.
They won by just five runs, with four balls to spare, Phil Mann trapping fellow off-spinner Amar Virdi leg-before to the first delivery he faced.
Surrey Academy graduate Matt Laidman (62) and Sammy Managei (51) had been responsible for Weybridge reaching 281-6 from their maximum 66 overs, Ishy Sohi and Virdi finishing with two wickets apiece.
Sunbury’s middle-order also did much of the heavy lifting in the 54 overs they got back, young wicketkeeper Conor Fulton’s 65 getting support from Chris Green (33) and Alex Hughes (42).
With six overs left they still had much to do at 227-6 but Fulton and Ajot Singh Sambhi (16no) reduced that to 19 from 12 balls. Fulton became wicketkeeper Laidman’s second stumping victim of the day in the penultimate over, bowled by Frankie Vainker (4-89), and when Sambhi lost the strike in the final over, Mann (4-101) was able to knock over Virdi.
Reigate Priory v Cranleigh
Leaders Reigate Priory show no signs of slackening the pace, making is eight out of 10 with a stroll against Cranleigh.
Once again it was their spin pair who did the damage, dismissing Cranes for 218 to set up a win by seven wickets.
Slow-left-armer Luke Beaven took out the top three in his marathon spell of 4-83 in 26.4 overs while leggie Michael Munday worked through the lower order for 4-72 in 21. Offering most resistance over the 64.3 overs were Bruno Broughton (53) and Callum Kent (45).
Richie Oliver’s gusting 26 from 12 balls set up opening partner Andy Delmont (86no) and skipper Chris Murtagh (82) for a breezy second-wicket stand of 255, the runs being knocked off in 39.3 overs.
Banstead v Wimbledon
Temperatures around 30 Celcius made Sri Lankan all-rounder Sanjaya Arachige feel at home.
His 5-70 from 19.2 overs ensured Banstead were dismissed for 208 in 57.2 overs, tailender Arsalan Abbas’s 38 the highest score. Seamer Kieran Bunting claimed 2-58.
Wimbledon’s powerful batting line-up were never likely to find that much of a strain and so it proved, in-form openers Nick Welch (101) and James Johnston (85) putting on 176 as the visitors cantered to victory in the 40th over, their side going third in the table.
East Molesey v Ashtead
Harshil Patel’s 5-58 nipped East Molesey’s hopes of a revival in the bud to strengthen the survival hopes of Ashtead.
Victory over Sutton a week earlier had encouraged the basement boys that their awful start to the season was behind them and they had Jonathan Fawcett’s 5-55 to thank for dismissing the visitors for 213 in the 58th over, opener David White having got the innings rolling by making 57.
Matthew Tigg’s 3-30 backed up Fawcett in his spell of 18.5 overs.
But East Molesey were soon reeling at 17-3, seamer Patel removing four of the top five before he returned to dismiss Simon Barrett (57) and then Fawcett near the end. Left-arm spinner Tom Homes (3-42) did much of the rest, the visitors being finished off for 179 to lose by 34 runs.
Best of the rest
Esher remain on course for their second promotion in successive seasons, seeing off strugglers Chipstead, Coulsdon & Walcountians by seven wickets in Division One.
Left-arm spinner Nick Winder’s 4-15 in 10.2 overs sank the hosts for 161, Will Edwards (77no) and Ali Birkby (51no) picking up Esher from potential trouble at 55-3.
Leatherhead have taken over in second, thanks to a 155-run mauling of Valley End, Mike Nicol’s 115no pushing them up to 306-8 in 66 overs. Left-arm spinner Adam Dyson took over to finish with 4-64 in 18 overs, dismissing Valley End for 151.
If Guildford fail to bounce back first time into the Premier Division they can blame their habit of slipping up against sides in bottom three after Beddington hammered them by 151 runs.
Tom Bevan made 61 out of 233 in 64.2 overs – off-spinner Jonny Charles claiming a league best of 6-65 – and then snatched 3-30 as Guildford slumped to 12-3. Former Northants and Leicestershire seamer Ryan Cummins (3-31) ensured there was no let-off for the visitors, who only reached 131 all out on the back of last pair Fred McMillan (52) and Charles (10no) adding 51.