Moles Continue Good Championship Start - Kia Oval Skip to main content

Just as on the opening week, rain made incursions into this weekend’s AJ Fordham Surrey Championship programme.

This left eaving some teams marooned in the dressing room while got to the middle long enough to make a game of it by using the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) system.

Richard Spiller reviews the action.

Normandy v Reigate Priory

Accustomed to mixing it at the top, Reigate are in the unfamiliar position of occupying the basement after failing to take a point in two games.

They fell victims to promoted Normandy, who had seamer Russell Withey’s triple breakthrough to thank for reducing Priory to 18-3, which soon became 21-4. A desperate struggle for runs amid interruptions saw a continued decline to 59-8 before Richard Stevens (29no) and Luke Beaven lift the visitors to 97-8 when the weather intervened again in the 29th over.

Normandy found things little easier as they chased 80 from 24 overs, Surrey paceman James Taylor making two early strikes, until Chris Jones (19no) offered staunch support to Middlesex’s Nathan Sowter, whose assault transformed the game. His unbeaten 46 from 36 deliveries included five fours and two sixes, securing the points in the 18th over by seven wickets.

East Molesey v Wimbledon

Champions East Molesey are already 15 points clear at the top, the only team to win two out of two so far.

Having already despatched Weybridge, they saw off Wimbledon by 33 runs between the showers. Sent in by the visitors, Moles had an explosive innings from Himmat Singh, their Indian first-class player, who crashed 94 from 69 balls. Singh’s 10 fours and three sixes dominated the usually frugal Wimbledon attack, his knock building on 46 from opener Marcus Campopiano and supported at the end by Cole Campbell’s rapid 41no to reach 226-5 in 35 overs. Kieran Bunting claimed 3-48.

A revised DLS target of 194 from 25 overs was followed by crucial early breakthrough to remove Surrey’s Ryan Patel (7), making it 28-2, and another major bonus came for the hosts when Leicestershire strokemaker Nick Welch was run out for three.

Jonathon Webb’s 51 formed the main resistance but Wimbledon fell short at 160-9 with wickets for Andy Westphal (3), Dominic Reed (2) and Matthew Tigg (2).

Cranleigh v Ashtead

It’s proving a testing return to the Premier Division for Cranleigh.

Overcome at Wimbledon on week one, they suffering an eight-wicket trouncing at the hands of Ashtead on the Common.

Cranes were quickly in trouble at 22-3, losing two of them to former Leicestershire all-rounder Wayne White, and stumbled to 109 all out in the 33rd over. Most of that was down to 24 from George Ealham – grandson of former Kent skipper Alan and son of ex-England all-rounder Mark – and former Hampshire all-rounder James Hamblin weighing in with 30. Ben Sidwell finished with 3-20.

Needing a DLS-revised 102 from 33 overs, Ashtead were given a perfect platform of 74 by White (29) and skipper Ben Geddes, the Surrey-contracted strokemaker hitting 40 as the total was hunted down with five overs in hand.

Banstead v Sunbury

An aggressive 46 from Sam Burgess was not enough to save Sunbury from being thwarted by the weather.

They sent in and then bowled out Banstead for 144, left-arm spinner Vishal Manro’s 3-16 in 10 mean overs supported by two wickets each from Kevin Smith and Burgess, opener James Culff’s 48 gaining little support other than Neil Baker’s 31.

Rain meant the visitors were chasing an adjusted 140 from 44 overs, Burgess cracking seven fours and a six in his 37-ball knock. They sailed along to 73-1 after 12 overs only for the rain to return but another eight were required for the result to become official.

Banstead’s trip to Ashtead had been abandoned without a ball bowled seven days earlier, so they will hope their luck changes quickly.

Esher v Weybridge

Rain had the final word on the Elmbridge derby.

In-form Justin Broad, fresh from success against Reigate Priory, hit 76 and Alex Martin’s 52 guided Esher to 204-8 from their eventual 44 overs, slowed mainly by Harshil Patel’s 3-43.

There should have been time for 44 overs back, Weybridge’s target trimmed by just one run as their reward for taking eight wickets, but torrential rain and thunder arrived to end the contest in the 11th over with the visitors having reached 39-1.

Best of the rest

Just two matches in Division One beat the downpours, one of them allowing Guildford to get off the mark as they bid to bounce back to the Premier Division, thanks to a comfortable victory over Stoke d’Abernon at Woodbridge Road.

Despite two interruptions which reduced their innings from 50 to 38 overs, the hosts skated to 252-6 as former Hampshire opener Oli Soames’s 94 was built on by a maiden league century from 19-year-old Freddie Geffen. The left-hander spent much of the winter working on his game in Adelaide – which included two weeks quarantine required by Australian authorities – and had missed Guildford’s trip to Beddington a week earlier because of a Covid alert.

His 96-ball innings put the hosts in a formidable position, Stoke’s target being upgraded to 266 on DLS. More rain saw that amended to 190 from 23 overs but their reply was in tatters at 12-4. Guildford skipper Olly Birts was chiefly responsible, claiming 3-11 from five overs, and he chose to rush through the overs to ensure the minimum 20 were bowled.

Opposite number Tom Frost took advantage, smashing six sixes – two of them over the road – in his buccaneering 82 from 56 balls but Stoke finished well short at 135-6.

Spencer were the only other side to get through, dismissing Beddington for 157 – led by Hugo Trotter’s 3-34 – and then hunting down victory by four wickets through Will Harris’s 73no.

Luke Fisher was Oxted & Limpsfield’s hero in Division Two after his 9-32 destroyed Old Wimbledonians. He ran out of overs eventually – bowling all 10 off the reel – and it was Ned Lack who claimed the 10th wicket, O&L knocking off the runs in 12.1 overs to win by 10 wickets.

Soaking Sunday

Several Surrey Championship teams were due to embark on their bids to reach the ECB National Club Championships but for most it was another day watching the rain fall.

Sunbury’s short trip to Bushy Park for a clash with Teddington did get finished – and ensured their frustrations from Saturday became even greater.

Rajan Soni (26) and Colby Dyer (24) ensured the visitors reached 136-9 from 25 overs in an innings which suffered a long delay. That was reflected in Teddington’s target being upgraded to 153 from 25 yet they appeared certain winners while Harry Evans (49) and Pieter Daneel were adding 69 for the second wicket before Sam Burgess removed both in a spell of 5-16 from five overs. The hosts were in severe trouble plunged to 109-7 only for Sunbury old boy Rhythm Bedi (19no) and Alasdair Pollock (26no) to knock off the rest of the runs with five balls to spare in stygian gloom and drizzle.

Most of the other matches are likely to be played during the coming weekend but details are available through play-cricket.com.