Warlingham vs 2nd XI
Thames Ditton 2nd XI tripped up in their pursuit of promotion straight back into the Surrey Championship on Saturday, when they visited a Warlingham side languishing in the lower reaches of the league.
The Elmbridge team, knew they would have a game on their hands. The Warlingham side had beaten Thames Ditton earlier in the season and were ready to scrap for points. Natt won the toss and chose to bat.
The home side’s opening bowlers set to work and impressed in the early overs, encouraged by the new ball and a track tinged with green after a week of rain. Both Kalurathne and Ranawaka beat the bat on occasion and Pemberton and Rutter’s work was made harder by a lush outfield that made boundaries hard to come by.
With the score on 24 Pemberton succumbed to movement off the pitch and nicked through to the ‘keeper off Ranawaka for 12.
This brought the in-form Farley to the crease, who, together with Rutter edged the total upwards at a little over two an over. But having reached Pemberton’s tally, Farley drove over- ambitiously at Ranawaka’s slower ball when it would have been surely better to see out the opener’s final over and was caught at mid-off.
Still, 47 for two was no disaster particularly given that Warlingham’s league position appeared to be chiefly caused by a failure to chase totals.
However the Thames Ditton middle order was unable to capitalise on a sound if unspectacular start and the wickets started to tumble. The Warlingham change bowling must take much credit for this, V Patel and Rahul Patel both bowled well and kept the pressure on the batsmen with tight lines and nagging lengths.
Butt’s appearance at the fall of the fifth wicket briefly threatened to take the game away from the home club, as he smashed a couple of boundaries but he was stopped in his tracks by Ranawaka’s well-judged catch.
As the TD wickets fell around him, opener Rutter remained. Resolute, patient, playing immaculately straight and refusing to be drawn into risky shots. However after Butt’s dismissal he knew the task of setting a competitive total rested on his, not inconsiderable, shoulders. And rise to this challenge he did.
His powerful hitting, particularly to the mid-wicket boundary built momentum and took the total over three figures and beyond. When skipper was the last man out with the total on 120, Rutter remained undaunted and unbeaten on a magnificent 56 not out.
Now it was Thames Ditton’s turn to demonstrate what their bowling could offer on a wicket still providing assistance.
Butt and Kapoor opened with zip and swing and soon both Warlingham openers were back treading on the clubhouse’s patterned carpet courtesy of Hamza. Enter Ranawaka, TD’s nemesis with the ball, batting at 4. What could he deliver with the bat?
The fight was on, and for an over or two Hamza and Ranawaka tested each other out – the bowler giving nothing away and the batter straining to assert his authority. Something had to give, and it was the TD all-rounder who won the battle when Rutter took a smart catch at mid-off as Ranawaka’s patience snapped and he drove airily. That was 15/3 and TD looked odds-on favourites to take the points.
Time for another twist. Surrey batting legend Denham Earl was at the crease and he set about repairing the damage with Rahul Patel and the pair slowly started to pick up runs, nudging and deflecting, with little fuss. They had reached 47 when Morgan induced an error from Earl as he played on for 24.
Next a run out, thanks to a good throw from Kapoor in the deep. And then another wicket, bowled, for the consistently testing Morgan and five wickets were down. This became 73/6 when the stumps of danger man Tilakarathne were knocked back by Natt’s sharp legspin for 29.
Over half of the Warlingham batsmen had departed with nearly fifty runs still required – the game had swung back to TD. Surely Warlingham’s main batting threats had been despatched and TD could close in on the win?
Batting at eight and with seemingly less and less to lose, Ruwan Rathnayake came to the crease and immediately looked to take the fight to TD. He looked to attack from his first ball and launched a succession of leg-side shots to the boundary. But the shots were uppish and always risky and the Thames Ditton fielders knew that chances would come and if just one could be taken the game would be their’s.
The eighth wicket fell when Morgan trapped the quiet Punjabi’s in front to make it 93/8 and Thames Ditton were just two balls away from victory.
Natt further raised the stakes with the re-introduction of Butt, the pick of the bowlers, to force the result. This was all or nothing. Do or die.
And then the chances Rathnayake threatened, came. Two. And they should have been taken.
First a fizzing cut to backward point which Farley couldn’t hold. Next Kapoor at deep square leg could not cling on to a skied slog-sweep from the same batsman.
The hitter had escaped.
Meanwhile his new partner V Patel had joined the fray and was playing straight-bat solid. (The mystery of Warlingham’s low league position may be wrapped up in a batting order that seemed to make little sense; there are runs in the low order).
The game had swung again and this time decisively towards Warlingham. And when V Patel struck Butt for a marvellous six over long on, belying his number 10 status, the game was all but won for the home side.
Such a shame for TD. Although they had the chances to take the big twenty points.
But we live to fight on and with two games left – two victories may still be enough to secure promotion.
It was a very, very good game of cricket played in a great spirit between two sides fighting to win.
Leatherhead vs 3rd XI
ANOTHER SATURDAY, ANOTHER LOSS
TD 189-6 45 Overs Leatherhead 192-5 (Slightly less overs)
Have you ever suffered from the wind – we did. A very strong sou’wester blew over the Headley ground on Saturday, we were asked to bat in the vain hope that the game may be finished inside 2 hours based on a range of recent batting collapses. But with two Monks in the side, Jai finding form and Wes coming back after a couple of weeks understanding “Whatever happened to Orania” no collapse this time. Matt Monk and Wes set out at a “right lively pace and make no mishtake” taking the score to 29 our highest opening partnership of the season before Monk repeated his bad habit (geddit) of offering a catch up which was duly taken. Cassie with his syrup being keep in place against the wind by his helmet, briefly hit heartly but fell to a catch in the gulley for 18. What a waste. Dryden soon followed and Wes who had increased his runs per hundred balls from under 1 to about 22 went soon after and it was 114-5 when One shot perished for another duck. Batting right handed is the future Steve and don’t put yourself down for anymore batting coaching thats what we all say.
Enter Jai Patel and Jules Monk. Using the aforementioned wind and all of the edges of their bats intermingled with some lusty blows from both blades they moved the score onto 185 with Jules rolling back the years with a six in his 27 and Jai not only getting a 50 but reaching his highest TD score of 77 not out. So at 189-6 at tea we felt in with more than a fighting chance. Great sadness that “Mr Cricket” Packington failed to get a bat and was later denied a bowl – shame.
Leatherhead came to the wicket with skipper El Higgs, a Spanish international (the is complete fiction – name really Lewis Higgs but there is a joke in there somewhere) depositing the ball over various boundaries to make a very quick 50. Tom Coulson- Smith and Sam Muller both took a bit of stick. Change of bowling reaped rewards and with Wes bowling into the wind he picked up 3 quick wickets and soon it was 91-5. Game on and with a bit of local knowledge from Sam and Sam that the next bat was “very slow scoring and not that great” we were in. Well how wrong can you be – Matthew Evans hit a fine 50 not our supported by Oli Cross with a similar figure, game over. Unlike the previous week, the ball simply avoided the fieldsmen and the interesting and desperate sight near the end of 5 players standing between keeper and cover just in case the batsman was going to hit it through there again was unquestionably a response to Jai’s light reading of “101 Great Fields of the 20th Century”. Needless to say the ball went leg side and game over.
Spirited effort and I am sure that next win is just around the corner. That corner may be 2017 however, now thats one hell of a corner.
Sunday XI vs Teddington Town
The Sunday team played Teddington Town looking to avenge a terrible Saturday that had seen all three teams lose.
Jonners lost the toss and much to everyone’s shock we were bowling. B. Park was summoned as a last minute replacement for a no show, and Martin deprived of two hours of frolicking in the sun wgile TD batted opened from his eponymous end.
He soon claimed an lbw, followed by another to take his 350th wicket from the club. Had he joined the club aged 18 who knows how many thousands he might have taken. Hamza bowled well at the other end but Teddington batted sensibly and continued to pile on the runs. Nach and Amrik bowled well, before the batsmen started to cash in on some indifferent bowling and poor fielding.
Credit in particular must go to Teddington’s number 5 who fresh from flying in from Paris (relax Jai this was only a friendly) made a composed 92 which held the innings together. Hamza finally got rid of him right at the end, and Teddington ended up on 205 – a tough task for the Sunday side on that wicket.
Rigby and B.Park opened up, and while their speeds running between the wickets were somewhat mismatched they both did an excellent job of getting the team going. B.Park channelling Pietersen against Mitchell Johnson was bowled trying a flamingo legside flick for 13, before Rigby went for an excellent 22. An innings which had the crowd on their feet wondering if the Rigby of c.2011 had returned.
Big John and Greg continued their good work, but when they fell around the 30th over TD were in a strong position if behind the rate with 9 an over needed. A special mention must go to John – knowing that we were getting behind the rate and he was unable to raise the tempo he walked past a delivery and made no effort to get back. Such noble self sacrifice out of the school of Captain Oates is rarely seen – may we commend him for his selflessness.
The captain, fresh from another wedding and missing his umpteenth Saturday game of the season, immediately upped the tempo and flayed the bowlers all around the wicket. Crucially together with O.Park he ran aggressively and soon the rate dropped to a manageable level. While Park fell for a quick 18, Jonners clearly not trusting Amrik, dispatched the rest of the runs required (c.25) without letting him face a ball.
A great win for the Sunday side and thanks to Teddington Town for a closely fought game.