Three of Merstham’s Saturday sides earned victories
last weekend, with only the fourth team falling short, by 23
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
If they continue like this they will rise in the
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
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
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
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