Dorking 1st XI welcomed second placed Oxted & Limpsfield to Pixham Lane for a crucial Surrey Championship Division 2 encounter. Dorking were positioned 10 points above the drop zone heading into this vital clash. Skipper Toby Blood won the toss and chose to bat on what looked a flat looking wicket at the lane. Rob Chave and Ben Rogers opened up and both looked steady early doors with Rogers (16) looking fluent through the leg side. The score was on 39 when Rogers was bowled by Brookes and that soon become 52-2 when overseas player Henry Cameron hit Simon Jackson to Ross Powell at point. That left the game in the balance but Rob Chave now joined by Jason Swift took the score without worry to 106-2 at drinks. Refreshed from a glass of orange squash, the batsman started to put the Oxted bowlers all around the ground with Rob looking very good down the ground and off his legs. This was a superb innings from the opener, with the old adage of class is permanent….form is temporary springing to mind. Unfortunately for Rob (67), he fell one run short of the hundred partnership caught at mid-wicket from the impressive Cutmore. A cluster of wickets fell leaving Dorking on 174 for the loss of 5 wickets but Jason Swift was still at crease and going well. Joined by Andrew Miller, Jason looked to go on the offensive striking the ball cleanly on every occasion and taking a particular liking to the Oxted spinners. Alongside Miller, who nurdled and worked the wall very effectively, Dorking reached their fourth batting point of 225 when Miller fell caught at long on for 15. Jason was still there and was now joined by skipper Blood who ensured Swift received the majority of the strike at every opportunity. Jason reached a superb 100 in the 48th hundred which included 12 fours and 2 sixes. It was an innings of pure class, patience and aggression. Jason fell to the wily Cutmore soon after, who finished with 4 impressive wickets but Dorking finished with a flourish with skipper Toby Blood and Chris Ward striking the ball to the boundary. Dorking finished on 260-9 from their 50 overs and the game had been set up perfectly.
Updated 08:53 - 10 May 2018 by Toby Blood
In response, Oxted started patiently with Miller bowling very tightly as ever. The tall fast bowler who has picked up 30 league wickets this season to reach 150 for the club in just 4 seasons, kept his line impeccably and had the batsman in all sorts of trouble. At the other Ward, was charging in full of heart and aggression meaning Oxted batsman were struggling to keep up with the required rate. 59 was on the board when the impressive Ward picked up Fletcher LBW and that brought a cluster of wickets with the Oxted skipper being run out by that man Rob Chave and Ben Fullard being caught first ball by Blood from the bowling of Ward. Suddenly it was 62-3 and Dorking sensed their opportunity. This was Dorking’s time to turn the screw, but Oxted remained calm and defiant. With Lloyd and young Cleaver at the crease 100 runs was added to score and the game was once again in the balance. The game could go either way at both sides were confident the win would be theirs. Next came a passage of play that turned the game. Cleaver was caught for (39) on the mid-wicket boundary, Jack Lloyd (57) was run out by that man Ward and Cutmore was dismissed by that man Jason Swift. Oxted were suddenly 175-6 and Dorking were right on top. Dorking soon rapped up the tail with Miller returning to claim two wickets towards the end. The game was finished with a run out from skipper Toby Blood and Dorking had won by 40 runs. It was a superb performance by Dorking who are now 29 points clear of the relegation zone. There is lots to play for but that win could prove crucial.