Two draws in a row as Ashtead gain more points
Ashtead gained a winning draw against Cranleigh with a strong performance on the road
Another win so close but yet so very far. Ashtead secured 12 points with a winning draw in Round 6 of the 2018 Surrey Championship Premier League, as Cranleigh were able to hold on under considerable pressure in the dying overs.
The Stags won another toss and elected to make first use of a wicket that looked difficult to bat on, and with an outfield that would not reward the efforts of the batting team.
And, just as they had done against Sunbury the week before, Ashtead started very well. Despite losing overseas professional David White for 24, Guy Harper and Lalit Bose piled on the runs through the early overs.
Spin was introduced early in the Cranleigh attack, and this would be a theme to run through the day. It would be spin that purchased the next wicket, not with a deadly ball or a sharp catch, but with a run out to remove Bose for 36. Ben Geddes would, together with Harper, take stock and see the side through to lunch – or so the Stags hoped. Unfortunately, the return of the opening pace bowler saw an edge into the slips. 155-3 at lunch with 30 overs still to bat.
The bat slowed more than a touch after the break, with wickets falling intermittently at one end while Harper continued his ascent at the other. He finally competed his century, off 141 balls, in the 53rd over, with the score at 225-5.
Harper would eventually depart stumped for 107, by which time the Stags were threatening to waste the good start they had worked so hard to produce. Enter Hayden Storey, who produced shots aplenty during his cameo 37 at the end of the innings to see Ashtead to 288-9 off the maximum 66 over allocation.
It would need to be a good chase from the hosts, and they got off to a woeful start when Bose found the edge of skipper Jack Scriven’s bat in the second over. 2-1. The start got better when Harshil Patel found another edge, and then trapped young Surrey batter Lewis Bedford LBW. 40-3.
The ship was steadied through to tea, while the Homes brothers toiled from both ends in search of a wicket. It would be after tea that the Stags found some momentum again, Sam Homes finding the first wicket in a 12 over stretch for the visitors that yielded 5 wickets. By drinks, with 18 overs left to play, Cranleigh were 110-8 and staring deafet in the face.
Yet they held on. It took 11 overs to get the 9th wicket, and then 8 overs of the final partnership to deny the win. The final 23 overs yielded 21 runs and 3 wickets, with the number 4 batsman Bruno Broughton carrying his bat for 58 runs off 155 balls. The number 11 batsman survived 25 balls himself, including a tremendous appeal for caught behind off the penultimate delivery.
The 12 points for Ashtead keep them in 9th position in the table, still without a win. Next week sees the Stags travel to Normandy for the next 120 over fixture. In the 2017 edition, not a ball was bowled. Last week saw Normandy hold out for a draw against Wimbledon. Hopefully Ashtead can find winning ways. Join us then.