Baking heat was the ideal platform for week 11 of the AJ Fordham Surrey Championship Premier Division programme.
Richard Spiller reviews the action.
Weybridge v Esher
A magnificent performance by Steve Reeves steered Weybridge to an exciting two-wicket victory over Esher.
First, the left-arm spinner claimed 5-94 in a marathon 25-over spell, Phil Mann’s 4-106 from 23.2 at the other end seeing the visitors dismissed for 243 in 66th and final over for 243. They had a fine 77 from left-hander David Brent to thank for reaching that stage, adding 71 for the sixth wicket with Andrew McCallum.
Weybridge’s reply was in terrible trouble at 61-6, Khurram Irshad bowling Nick Compton for a first-ball duck and later diverting a drive from Josh Van Heerden onto the stumps of non-striker Matt Laidman.
Reeves and Jack Winslade mixed caution with adventure to first put Weybridge in sight of the higher scoring draw score of 199 and then headed towards victory, aggression ensuring run rate was never going to be a problem in their 54 overs back.
Winslade finally departed for 85 after the pair had added 151, a deserved wicket for leg-spinner Freddie Harrison (3-93 from 16 overs), but Mann (16no) once more acted as the perfect foil so that Reeves’s unbeaten 90 guided his side to victory with 11 balls in hand.
It was a compelling advertisement for the longer ‘time’ format, played on an excellent pitch and with the crowd at The Green relishing their high summer entertainment.
Reigate Priory v Normandy
A valiant display from Richard Stevens was not enough to save Reigate Priory from a third successive defeat as Normandy fought back from a dramatic collapse.
Having chosen to bat, the visitors were in good shape at 106-2 but once Arya Khedekar (39) and Olly Batchelor (44) were split it all went rapidly downhill to 128 all out from 46 overs.
Stevens finished with 5-22 from his 15 overs yet had to strap his pads on rapidly and enter at 35-5 following a treble strike from Alex Grimshaw. That soon became 53-6 yet he found a handy partner in Jonny Flanders (17), adding 34. Off-spinner Chris Jones’s 4-23 proved decisive, Stevens last out for 37 at 105 to give Normandy victory by 23 runs.
It was Priory’s third successive defeat and at least they took three points – their first of the month – but stand in danger of being sucked into the relegation scramble, Normandy’s victory allaying their own concerns.
Sunbury v Banstead
An unbeaten second wicket partnership worth 222 took Banstead to a scintillating nine-wicket victory at Sunbury.
Centuries from Liam McKendry (106no) and Dan Newton (108no) ensured that the home side’s 221-8dec was hunted down with ease, keeping Banstead away from the foot of the table and closing the gap on the group above.
Both owed Arsalan Abbas thanks for making their job earlier, restraining Sunbury’s batsmen by claiming 5-54 from 17 overs.
Ashtead v Cranleigh
Cranleigh’s second win of the season wasn’t enough to take them off the bottom of the table but at least offered hope of escape.
Having been inserted, Ashtead were bowled out for 112 in the 45th over, paceman Ollie Sheen impressing again in claiming 5-25 from 12 overs. Opener Damian Shirazi’s 39 stood above the wreckage but Jake Martin’s 28 down the order was the next best.
Lewis Bedford dominated the response by making 67, Cranes sewing up 24 points in the 33rd over.
Wimbledon v East Molesey
A staunch response from Wimbledon slowed East Molesey’s rush towards another league title.
Having won nine out of 10 matches before their trip to Church Road, the defending champions chose to bat first and reached 310-9dec from 62 overs after Jake Kings (68), Himmat Singh (54) and Cole Campbell (44) had their efforts complemented by skipper Dominic Reed’s typically rumbustious 64no.
Having bowled 21 overs in the heat earlier, David Scott’s 72 led the reply – six fours and five sixes ensuring he didn’t have to overdo the running – with Billy Sewell (33no) and Tim Lloyd (22no) earning a draw for the hosts at 258-5 in their 58 overs back to take 10 points from the match.
Moles claimed 12 and had their lead at the top cut by one to still formidable 58.
Best of the rest
Sam Seadon’s buccaneering 142 led Sutton to a heavy victory which keeps them just a point off the top of Division One.
The opener crashed 13 fours and six sixes – dominating a first-wicket stand worth 146 with Luke Smith (52) – in guiding the hosts to 303-8 from 50 overs against Chipstead, Coulsdon & Walcountians. Although Nick Woods launched the response with 64, the visitors were bowled out for 194 to lose by 109 runs.
Malden Wanderers had to work harder to stay at the summit, beating Leatherhead by 48 runs. Zac Elkin (52) and Pete Young’s 48 ensured the leaders put 239-8 on the board, Joel Walker’s 41 the best of a reply which was terminated at 191 by three wickets apiece for Sam Hopkins and Alex Butler.
Spencer rediscovered their winning formula, following two defeats, in a 27-run victory over Beddington while Guildford remain fourth despite being sidelined by a positive Covid test which saw their trip to Stoke d’Abernon cancelled.
Camberley’s stay in Division One looks even more precarious after losing by 29 runs at Valley End, leaving them 63 points from safety.