Merstham 168 Battersea 146
Surrey Championship Division Five
Merstham’s first team signed off the season with a victory against second bottom side Battersea on Saturday, to finish a comfortable mid-table sixth in their first season in the Surrey Championship.
Now discussions will take place about who will take on the first team captaincy, after a number of players have chipped in following the mid-season resignation of Nav Saeed.
This week it was Ben Baker who marshalled the side to a 22-run victory.
Electing to bat, Merstham scored 168 in 46 overs, but bowled out their opponents for 146.
A soft pitch made batting tricky, with the Magics reduced to 54-3 after 13 overs and 56-4. Opener Laurie Nicholson scored 32 and Baker 30 in the top order, while Assad Naeem batted well at No 8 to notch 45 as they recovered to 152-7 at 42 overs.
The score proved enough. Battersea didn’t find batting easy either, especially when player-of-the-year Noman Javed took an early wicket on his way to a very tight 1-14 from 10 overs.
Asim Jafferi took 3-30 in 10 overs, and Razi Khan 3-39 in his 10, with Imran Khan and Sunny Bowry both taking a wicket (Bowry also took a catch), with Will Preston claiming the last wicket, a run out.
The second team were set a target of 198 to win by Sinjuns, but fell short on 165.
The third XI won by eight wickets, having bowled out Woodmansterne for 119 at The Ring after 35.1 overs.
Teenager Joe Rees-Davies decimating the top order, taking four wickets with Woods only having 13 runs on the board.
David Edwards (17) steadied things with Martin Corbett (who went on to make 46) before completing Rees-Davies’ five-fer (5-26 in 9) which remarkably featured no maidens.
Student Syed Bary bagged 2-18 off 7, while Anthony Maplesden (2-21 off 4) kept up the challenge from the youth section with another fine bowling display.
Skipper Neil Maplesden sent Mohsin Ali and Finn Harris in to bat, who both returned to the clubhouse without scoring, each bowled by Joseph Dawson as Merstham’s innings began in similar fashion to Woodmansterne’s.
But after being reduced to 11-2 Ashar Syed, with a fine 80, and Rob Harris, who struck 42, steered the hosts over the line in 17 overs as they reached 123.
The fourth team, who are the only team to beat divisional winners Sutton this season, found themselves up against a much tougher team in the return match and lost by seven wickets.
Some of the bowling from the hosts was unplayable and, having chosen to bat, Gopa Nair found his side all out for 76.
No 3 bat Nair scored 11, but the next batsman to breach double figures was player-of-the-year Afsar Khan, batting at eight, who also notched 11 before being caught and bowled.
He did put on a fine partnership of 30 for the ninth wicket with Jamie Harrison, a fellow youngster also full of promise, who top scored with 20 batting at No 9. Another junior, Matt Lehain, was six not out at the end.
Sutton knocked off the runs in nine overs, but not before Merstham had made inroads into the batting, Tony Rickards taking a wicket, along with youngster Matt Greaves, who took two in one over.
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