Finally a result on the board. After a slow start to the 2019 campaign, Ashtead showed why they were third in the 2018 table with a convincing 5 wicket win against Sutton in Round 3 of the 2019 Surrey Championship Premier League.
Sutton won the toss and elected to bat, looking like a good decision with ground, pitch and conditions set fair for batting. Yet it would be the hosts who took the game away in the first eleven overs.
The destruction began in the second over, when skipper Luke Smith top edged a short Martin ball for 5. Not to be outdone, Singh was soon in the action, claiming the crucial scalp of Surrey star James Smith for 2, edging behind to keeper Hayden Storey. Overs 10 and 11 broke the back of the innings, however. Martin claimed two wickets, removing the set opener and the visitors’ overseas player with some unplayable balls. Singh completed the job in his next over, removing the dangerous Harry Allen for 2. 48-5.
Consolidation followed, and for a time, it looked as if a great start would be left to go begging once again. Wickets were lean in the middle 30 overs, but crucial strikes at important moments by Harri Aravinthan and Tom Deighton saw Sutton to 144-7 after 32 overs.
The lower order and tail combined effectively to stymie the bowlers, but the cracks began to show and with a double-wicket maiden for Deighton, Prince came back to finish the job. 182 all out with 11 overs to spare. Looking light on runs.
The classic slow-fast combination opened up for the Stags, with Amith Sarma looking to set a foundation and bat long into the innings, while Hayden Storey looked to swing hard from the off. And as planned, the partnership flourished. Boundaries rained hard during the opening 10 overs, which concluded with Ashtead on 51-0. It looks so simple when it’s going well.
Wickets began to peg the hosts back, but with the solid run-scoring at big hitting of David White holding his own, the target steadily came down. Quick-fire innings from Storey (41 from 41) and Conor Young (23 from 32, including a monstrous six that nearly cleared the houses at the Village End of the ground) ensured the run rate remained high.
The end was nigh despite a couple of late wickets, but White saw the sides home with a marvellous knock of 75 from as many balls. Ashtead won by 5 wickets with 11.2 overs remaining.
This result moves Ashtead to 5th in a highly congested league table, that sees Reigate Priory out in front with all the other 9 teams vying amongst themselves.
Next week sees the Stags travel to Weybridge for the final match of opening 50 over games. Weybridge, last year’s champions, have suffered two shock defeats in the last two weeks, including Sutton themselves. Last year’s fixture saw Weybridge win by 7 wickets.
On Monday we have Rounds 2 and 3 of the David Edwards Surrey T20 Cup. Ashtead will face Kempton in the first game at 10:30am, then Weybridge will play Horsley & Send in the 1:15pm fixture, followed by a final game starting at 4:20pm. Join us for both these days in the Ashtead CC calendar.