3 in a row as Normandy fall short
Ashtead win by 101 runs as they finish their 2018 home games at the Lane
8 unbeaten and 3 wins in a row. This was the story as Ashtead claimed a thumping 101 run over Normandy in Round16 of the 2018 Surrey Championship Premier Division.
Ashtead lost the toss (for the first time in 6 matches) and were inserted by the visitors on a flat track that would be good to bat on throughout the day. The opening partnership of Michael Sanderson and David White, fresh off a pair of century opening partnerships, settled in well to the early conditions – especially when Normandy conceded 13 extras off the first over.
Both Sanderson and White traded in boundaries throughout the opening spells, and with the 50 partnership up in the 8th over, hopes were high of another gifted performance. The introduction of the spinners slowed the rate a little, but with no success for the wicket column, and the 100 partnership was duly seen in the 20th over.
When Sanderson was eventually removed, stumped for 56, Ashtead were sitting on 134-1 in the 29th over. With batsmen to come, and White on a round 50, the projected total could have been huge. Guy Harper and Conor Young came and went, each making a contribution, but it was White that began to sparkle, with boundaries flowing again.
188-3. 11 overs left. White and Sam Homes at the crease. The next 9 overs would add 72 runs – and it would be White who would go ballistic. He headed for the 90s mostly in singles, but then started to find the boundaries – mostly by clearing them with consummate ease. His century came off 115 balls (so seeing 47 balls for his second half-century), but he didn’t slow at that stage.
The final three overs saw 5 Stags fall, as they all eyed the boundary to maximise the total. White was one of those victims, out for 133 off 127 balls. Despite a final over that conceded just 4 runs, with 3 wickets falling, Ashtead rose to the final figure of 276-8 off their 50. A stiff test for the current title holders.
The innings started well for the visitors, with Ollie Batchelor providing some early fireworks. While he departed early, for 27, the Normandy overseas, Tim Ward, would be the crucial wicket.
After the introduction of Rafeh Jafri and Tom Homes into the attack, wickets began to fall with alarming regularity for the chasers. It would be the loss of Ward for 34, leaving the total at 97-4, that would precipitate a dramatic collapse. The wickets were speared around as the middle and lower order capitulated. 97-3 had become 105-8.
The tail would prove stubborn, however, and when Tom Deighton snatched the 9th wicket with the total on 116 and 17 overs remaining, everyone predicted an early finish. Yet the visitors were not to be ignored and put together a startling 59 partnership for the final wicket. A taste of what might have been, perhaps. A run-out in the final over put paid to a fully completed innings as Normandy were dispatched for 175.
That win sees Ashtead to third place in the Championship table, with two games remaining. Next week sees Ashtead on the road again, as they travel to Banstead. The first meeting of two sides this year ended in a surprising draw, as both sides scored the same runs off almost the same overs. Banstead lie fourth in the table, and the upcoming match will be akin to a play-off for the bronze medal this year. Let’s see if Ashtead can extend the win streak to 4. Join us then.