East Molesey pick up vital points as Stags fall short
East Molesey clinched a vital 4-wicket victory at Woodfield Lane
Another dramatic game between two old rivals, but the visitors, who needed the points, came away with them. This was the story from Woodfield Lane, as East Molesey beat Ashtead by 4 wickets in Round 16 of the 2017 Surrey Championship Premier League.
Ashtead won the toss (again), and elected to bat first (again), on a pitch that looked true and good for batting, but with an outfield that would not reward good shots. The early going was steady, as Guy Harper and Lalit Bose looked to build a solid foundation. Despite losing Bose for 19 in the 8th over, Mike Sanderson continued the solid pace and the hosts cruised to 73-1 off 17 overs.
It was the loss of Harper, LBW for 35, that began to turn the tide back towards the visitors. However, it was the loss of star batsman Mahesh Rawat, caught behind after swinging at a wide one for just 16, that really began the turmoil.
98-2 became 115-6 as Dominic Reed and Andrew Westphal tore through the Stags’ middle order. Sanderson, Hayden Storey and Michael Cowdrey all fell during this period, and the odds of posting a representative total lengthened significantly.
A fighting rearguard action from the lower order and the tail ensured that the total would be respectable. Tom Homes and John Vaughan-Davies began the effort, but it would be Rafeh Jafri and Tom Deighton that maximised the use of the concluding overs. They added 48 between them, 35 in concert. Jafri eventually fell for 27 with 14 balls remaining, and Deighton then followed off the penultimate delivery. 190 all out with a ball to spare. Low, too low, but better than others in the division and an outside chance to win it.
Early wickets would be crucial, but only one was forthcoming in the opening overs, as Jafri enticed an edge from Jason Moore in the 5th over. The partnership of Angelo Perera and captain Sam Burge would always be dangerous, and they scored at a fast pace as the game began to slip away.
It would be the introduction of spin, via Homes (Deighton had left the field earlier in the innings, and would not return after breaking a finger), that would remove Perera for 35. Chances began to come, but the luck was not with the hosts, and 71 runs later, the game was all but over.
Or so we thought. The double strike, of Jafri to remove Dom Reed for 42, and then Mahesh Rawat’ twirlers bowling Burge, also for 42, gave the Stags a glimmer of hope.
But it wasn’t to be. Despite further wickets for Harshil Patel, and another for Rawat, the experienced hands of Paul Lawford saw the visitors to a 4 wicket win with nearly 8 overs still in the bank.
This defeat sees Ashtead slip to 5th in the table, while the result sees East Molesey almost to safety for 2018. Next week sees Ashtead travel to Wimbledon for another mid-table clash. Join us then.