Ward Rescues Dorking in Superb Finish..
Last ball nerves at the Lane...
There was a lot of anticipation around Pixham Lane as Dorking entertained local rivals Epsom in a crucial Surrey Championship encounter on Saturday 1st July. Epsom won the toss and elected to field first on what looked a very green and dry wicket. Rob Chave and Ben Rogers took to the crease and both start well with Buck hitting the ball to the boundary with relative ease. The score had reached 53 by the time Ben (33) fell LBW to the impressive Stevens. Cam fell cheaply off Stevens and Chave (36) fell just before drinks with a soft dismissal. The game was evenly poised! Jason Swift and Henry put a partnership together before Henry departed nicking through to the keeper Hudson to fall for 6. Epsom were chipping away at Dorking and with the score at 119 the game was firmly in the balance. Kelsey strode to the crease full of confidence and was soon into his stride punching the ball superbly to the extra cover boundary. Alongside Swift, the pair picked up the run rate and DCC were firmly placed at 137 before Swift tried one shot to many and fell for 40. Captain Blood came to the middle to join Kelsey and quickly the score moved to 160 before unfortunately both fell to the impressive Epsom spinners. In true Dorking style, this could have been disaster for the side and 160-7 could have easily become 170 all out. However, Miller had other ideas. A superb counter attacking innings coupled with solid defence. Ward also crunched two fours in the last over as Dorking reached 204-9 from their 50 overs before a brave declaration from the skipper.
With the pitch spinning, Dorking opened with Charlie Edwards and Miller. It was a bold move and credit to Epsom they managed to see the new ball off well in moving to 48-0 before Kelsey took two quick wickets to leave the game firmly in the balance. Stevens was still at the crease for Epsom and Dorking knew his wicket was going to be crucial. Alongside Somerford (36), Stevens (57) built an impressive partnership and with the home crowd worried Blood turned back to his fast bowler to make the breakthrough. It worked wonders for DCC as Somerford nicked behind to depart just past the 100 mark. The game could have gone either way at this point and the crucial moment came when Charlie Kenway ran out star man Stevens with a direct hit from short fine leg. Celebrations clearly showed how important that moment was. The game was not over yet however, Epsom were digging in nicely and building a foundation to attack in the later overs. Skipper Edwards was batting nicely with Essa starting to open his shoulders. With 10 overs left Epsom needed 75. That soon became 30 off 5 and Dorking were worried. Chris Ward was thrown the ball and what he did next was nothing short of sensational. 2 quick wickets including a superb stumping and a run out from that man himself left Epsom needing 5 from the last over. Ward (3-28) bowled a superb over to ensure Dorking left with a vital draw in the context. Epsom take 8, with Dorking taking 9. Half way mark in the league, plenty to play for.