2s demolish league leaders Sunbury
Excellent all round bowling and fielding sees Ashtead skittle Sunbury for 148 in 38 overs and reach target for a loss of only 3 wickets.
The 2nd XI travelled to Sunbury expecting a hard fought tussle with top of the table Sunbury. After warm up one Ashtead bowler was heard to say he hoped we’d field first as there was no way we take ten wickets on that pitch, so a run chase would be preferable. As it happened Ashtead did win the toss and chose to field, but it is pleasing to say that they did also take 10 wickets. There was an incident almost immediately after the start of the game with a ball bouncing up awkwardly and catching batsman Sean Ventham in the throat. He seemed to crash to the ground like a sack of potatoes, but happily ten minutes and an icepack later he was back on his feet and insistent on carrying batting, if somewhat shakily. He was caught a few balls later by Scott Flewellen off the bowling of Henry Elburn for 6. Two more wickets followed soon after, caught by Gary Martin and Amir Akbarali, both off the bowling of the Nikhil Waugh. Sunbury were looking shaky on 36-3 after 10 overs. Rajan Soni and the Hughes brothers dug in and the score reached 99-5 by the 26th over, with another wicket for Elburn and Soni finally caught by Flewellen of Marcus Caprano-Wint.
Flewellen joined Marcus in the bowling attack and cleaned up the lower middle order for the addition of only 18 runs. After 31 overs Sunbury were poised on 117-9 and the end looked nigh, but numbers 10 and 11 showed som determination frustrating the Stags and adding more runs to the score. It took another 8 overs in which they put on a further 31 runs before the introduction of Amir Akbarali to get the last wicket. Sunbury were all out for 148in the 39th over. An excellent all round bowling display from all five bowlers, with the pick on the day being Flewellen with 3 wickets and 3 catches.
After tea, no doubt Ashtead captain Gary Martin instilled in his team that it was a small target and plenty of time (62 overs if really necessary) and to take their time and not do anything rash. Unfortunately he didn’t take his own instructions and was out early on chipping a ball to Ventham for just 7. The Stags were pleased to welcome back Sam Homes, escaped for the weekend from working up north, and he and Kamran Mirza sensibly and steadily added runs and nibbled away at the target, taking care with the awkward balls and putting away the bad ones. Sadly Mirza fell just short of his 50, stumped by Edward Hughes off the bowling of brother Alex Hughes for 48 with the score on 105 after 28 overs.
44 needed as Amirali Akbarali came to the crease to join Homes. They worked together and Homes reached his 50 (off 91 balls). Akbarali was out soon after, caught Robbie Hughes off Alex Hughes for 15 with the score on 137. Only 12 to win as Jordan Nichols took to the field and 8 balls later it was all over. Ashtead had won with 7 wickets in hand and secured a valuable victory, which keeps them in third place and within reach of the top of the table, knowing they have beaten both teams above them.