Ashtead’s defeat and the 1st XI’s comfortable win at relegated Valley End meant that they are now clear second with home games against Guildford and Ashtead to come. the 1st XI are undefeated since 10 June and after the poor start to the season this would be a great achievement – what might have been!
Saturday’s game at Valley End had a definite ‘end of term’ feeling as winning the toss and batting first skipper Maunders decided to open with Sam Burgess and debutante Ed Hughes. Hughes nicked one after Burgess got off to his usual belligerent start and 18-1 quickly became 24-2 with Burgess caught behind. The bowling attack was unthreatening on a wicket which has not produced big scores over the season. The innings progressed in a reasonable if unspectacular manner with Andersson looking untroubled and support from Conor Fulton (11) and faltered slightly when both Fulton and Andersson (51) were dismissed at 124-5 with plenty of overs to go. Rhythm Bedi (82*) was joined by Maunders (67) in a 115 run partnership which was to prove decisive, the innings closing on 263 with 7 down.
The home side’s reply never really got going with token contributions from Kinsgnorth, William-Sales and skipper Nevin. But there was an inevitability about the dismissals as Valley End were all out for 126 in just 30 overs. Kevin Smith once again led the way with 4-22 and the batsmen really had no answer to the spin of Amor Virdi (3-23) and Ajit Sambhi (2-38). With is 4th wicket Kevin Smith reached 50 for the season so far!