Resounding victory for Ashtead
96 not out for David White as Ashtead defeat Sunbury by 9 wickets
Another hot day saw Ashtead travel to Sunbury. The pitch looked parched but glassy smooth. The visitors won the toss and elected to field preferring the option of a run chase. From the start the Sunbury batsmen looked uncomfortable with the bowling of Harshil Patel and Damian Shirazi. It was Patel who took the first wicket of Armaan Randhawa, lbw for 4 in the third over and in the ninth he claimed the scalps of both Sam Burgess and Martin Andersson, leaving Sunbury reeling on 35-3. At this point it was up to Conor Fulton and Rhythm Bedi to dig in and steady the ship. Sam Homes and Aaron Rose took over the bowling attack, tidy bowling but no breakthrough as the batters took their opportunities, aided in Rose’s first over by five penalty runs as the keeper deflected the ball onto a helmet.
Fulton and Bedi amassed a 102 run partnership before Fulton finally fell to a catch by Ben Geddes off Rose for 50 with the score on 137 in the 28th. Bedi went in the next over, lbw to Tom Homes for 39, followed by Alex Hughes caught Rose, bowled Tom Homes in the 31st. A bizarre mix up then saw both batsmen at one end, a somewhat wayward throw in from Guy Harper to keeper Hayden Storey who was half way down the wicket and proceeded to race the batsman back to the crease to remove the stumps and Amar Virdi was run out for a duck, leaving Sunbury on 145-7.
Patel returned to the bowling and together with Tom Homes saw off the remaining three batsmen for the addition of another 34 runs and the hosts were all out for 179 in the 43rd over with Patel and Homes finishing with four wickets each.
Ashtead must have gone in to tea feeling pretty pleased with their all round bowling and fielding performance. An easily achievable target on a crisp smooth field, but you can never be sure with cricket. However on this occasion the Stags made it look easy. Openers Michael Sanderson and David White got to business immediately with some lovely stroke play including a good number of carefully placed boundaries. There were times when they seemed intent on trying to race too quickly to the target, but sense prevailed as they took their time and opportunities. White was the first to reach his 50, off 47 balls in the 20th over and Sanderson followed suit a few overs later, off 70 balls with 7 fours.
Sunbury’s bowlers failed to make any impression although they must have rued a missed opportunity as White was dropped near the boundary. The first breakthrough came as Sanderson was caught and bowled by Ajit Singh Sambi for 59 in the 26th over with Ashtead’s score on 134. 46 runs required and White on 70 as Ben Geddes joined him at the crease. Any attempt to dislodge the new bat proved futile as Ashtead steadily approached the target. With the score on 171, 9 runs needed and White needing 12 for his century, Geddes did what he could to leave White with the strike but it was not to be. White finished the game off with a well struck four leaving himself on an impressive 96 (off 85 balls with 14 fours and a six) and Ashtead on 181.
Ashtead had resoundingly defeated Sunbury by 9 wickets, gained a valuable 20 points and moved themselves up to fifth in the table with just four games to go.