Three from four teams win: Saturday round-up

  • June 3, 2019
  • Ian Lamont

Three of Merstham’s Saturday sides earned victories last weekend, with only the fourth team falling short, by 23 runs.

Merstham’s first team began Saturday eager to follow up from their first win of the season against Hampton Hill the previous Saturday. Horsley & Send were the opposition on a sweltering afternoon at Quality Street.

Despite losing the toss, Merstham got off to the perfect start when the abrasive Asim Jaffry (7 overs 41-2) claimed two wickets in his first two overs.

The arrival of the Horsley & Send overseas Daniel O’Shea at number four put an abrupt halt to Merstham’s early progress however, and the bowlers took some punishment as he eased to 50.

After 17 overs, a much needed drinks break allowed The Magics to regroup, and the spin of Humayoon Nasir (10 overs 1-63) in tandem with the seam of Lithon Tarofder (10 overs 1-28) managed to regain a degree of control. Albeit at this stage Horsley & Send had recovered from 3-2 to 112-2, and were building a solid platform for an onslaught towards the end of their innings.

Mohsin Ali (6 overs 2-24) continued his impressive start in first XI cricket and a steady flow of wickets meant that Merstham had a chance to restrict the opposition to what was expected to be a total around the 250 mark.

The removal of the their rivals’ overseas for 94 left the visitors at 181-6, still with plenty of overs remaining. What followed proved to be a pivotal spell, with Ammar Tahir (9 overs 4-37) bowling accurately to wipe up the tail. Horsley had collapsed to 195 all out.

The fielding effort was a large part of this, with last week’s century maker, wicketkeeper Ed Dawson, taking two sharp catches standing up to the stumps, and Ben Baker and Will Preston both taking equally impressive catches in the deep.

Merstham were understandably pleased with their efforts, and felt confident that 196 was obtainable, especially on a surface which seemed to be playing well.

The reply didn’t start in the greatest fashion however, with Dawson smashing the ball to the square leg fielder in the third over. This was quickly followed by the wickets of both James Coggins and Mohsin Ali leaving the Magics struggling at 23-3.

This brought to the crease both Simon Rivers (66) and Ben Baker (33). They batted fluently, and Rivers at one stage looked destined for his first ton since returning to Quality Street at the start of the season.

Just as the win started to looked inevitable with Merstham at 118-3, Horsley took three wickets in quick succession, providing some hope for the visiting team. However, captain Laurie Nicholson (45 not out) and the uncharacteristically restrained Tarofder (17 not out) saw the Magics home with four overs to spare.

It was a good all-round performance form the first XI, which saw them holding their nerve at a number of important moments while batting, bowling and fielding. With two wins on the bounce they look forward to a visit to Kempton next week with a chance to continue their move up the table.

The second team took the short trip to Ripley to try get their form back on track. After the returning captain Richard Feist lost the toss MCC were inserted on a dry and interesting looking track.

The track played OK, just some tennis ball bounces making it hard work. After a strong start, MCC slowed down after losing the first wicket of George Chellis (17) on 30-1 off 10.

The next 11 overs saw some strong bowling, slowing the run rate right down. After 21 overs we had reached 47 soon after losing Nav Saeed for 11.

Arham Ali played some nice shots until being done by the turn of Nad Rashid who had bowled tightly with N McGowan to keep the runs down.

Jason Drewett and Manish Patel started to up the run rate with some great shots and putting pressure on the fielders to take the score from 68-3 in 26 overs to 154-4 in 41.

Merstham pushed on with good running and pressure in the field finishing with 218 all out off 49.5 (one day the second team will bat the 50 overs they have to play!).

Ben Hatton and Asim Ashraf chipped in with 12 each.

After tea, Merstham took to the field and with a chat that ended about not losing like Spurs, set up a good start.

Fergus Carrick (0-22 three maidens off 10) bowled with no luck. He could have bowled Ripley’s opener a piano and he would have struggled to play it. Carrick was well supported by Bobby Sharp (3-30, one made from seven) and Ashraf (4-25 with two maidens off nine). Both were fired up by shouts from the crowd telling them that they were under pressure by batsman after being hit for early boundaries.

Not only did this fire the bowlers up but made the MCC boys more fired up to gain the 20 points.

In the field Drewett, Hatton and the never ageing Patel made great stops on an outfield that made ground fielding difficult.  Feist behind the stumps, after returning from injury, enjoyed the ball being at ankle height then around head next ball but managed to only concede six byes.

Imran Aslam replaced Carrick and returned to the wickets finishing with 4-47, one maiden, off 10.

This was a great show from all on board and Feist was relieved that this time he didn’t have any accidents en route and all 11 players could arrive and play for the second away game of the season.

If they continue like this they will rise in the league soon.

Next week they look forward to hosting Kempton and hope to have a barbecue to celebrate the end of Ramadan and fasting for many players.

The third team took a straightforward victory at Mitcham, who chose to bat and were bowled out for 166.

Young opener Anthony Maplesden took an early caught and bowled (1-23 off four), as did his partner Zeeshan Murtaza on his way to 3-26 off eight.

The hosts found themselves 42-3 when Sunny Bowry had one caught by Struan Clark. Mitcham made 32 for the next wicket before Bowry completed his 2-37 before the hosts made 46 for the fifth wicket before George Corrie accounted for their top scorer, caught by Ben Snelling.

Corrie snaffled 3-20 and Murtaza returned to help wrap up the tail as the innings was copmleted in 42 overs.

In reply, Jack Letts swished four fours in his opening 27 before, at 48-3, departing to allow Haseeb Quershi (56) and Clark (32 not out) to put on 80 to set James Lowe’s side on to a comfortable victory.

From there, Sunny Bowry (25 not out) helped Clark put on the extra 39 to get over the line four wickets down in the 38th over.

The fourth XI made a great start having been put in the field by Trinity Mid-Whitgiftians, Omer Shuja removing one opener in the first over and Asif Akhtar doing the same in the next, taking the scalp of former Crystal Palace footballer Steve Kember.

The hosts had their opponents scoring just 71 off 20 overs, having had Trinity 60-4 with Callum Letts bowling tightly for 1-23. However, it was another 68 runs before Tony Rickards snaffled the fifth wicket, caught behind by Rob Wood. Eventually skipper Ian Roberts was removed, Alex Reeves having him caught at slip by Dilhan Jayamanne for 71.

Akhtar and Shuja returned to finish with three apiece but Trinity amassed 195 in their 40 overs.

In reply, The run rate wasn’t the problem early on, falling wickets were - Merstham were 32-5 - until Wood and Shuja put on 36 for the sixth wicket to steady the rot. Then Harrish Joseph made his league debut with an attacking 74 partnership with Shuja, before putting on another 21 with Letts as the team finished on 172-8.