Sunbury duly beat lowly Beddington at Kenton Court Meadow on Saturday but it was not an entirely convincing performance. Results elsewhere ensured that, at the season half-way point, they head the table with Reigate. The away side chose to bat first and started well thanks to some ragged bowling from Sunbury openers Kevin Smith and Ishy Sohi, the latter bowling far too short. Two dropped catches in the first over off the unfortunate Smith foreshadowed a sloppy fielding performance with overthrows, misfields and poor returns to the keeper the norm.
The dropped catches turned out not to matter too much as Bajwa was soon caught behind of Sohi and Owen fell to a typically athletic caught and bowled by Smith, 35-2. Then it rained, of course, players off, covers on and an early lunch. On the resumption of what had become a 96 over game captain John Maunders continued with Sohi and Smith, and Beddington’s Butler and skipper Bevan immediately transformed the innings taking advantage of more loose bowling.
Finally Maunders decided to take the pace off the ball with Amar Virdi and Adam Stanier and the Beddington innings just fell apart, 87-2 quickly became 88-5 and slowly crept to 125 all out with Stanier again the main destroyer finishing with 5-20. The conditions this year really have suited him but how well he has bowled to exploit those conditions. Virdi, as usual spinning it lots, finished with 3-24.
When the Sunbury chase started spectators were surprised to see Smith walking out with Maunders, presumably in an attempt to get the innings off to a flier. But they reckoned without the excellent Ryan Cummings. From just his 5 paces he bowled with extraordinary control and no little menace and Smith’s heave across the line and dismissal was just reward, 5-1. Beddington were motivated and sharp in the field and Maunders and Adam London made slow progress, at times making it look like mere survival was the order of the day.
Maunders run of lowish scores continued as he fell for 31 to Cummings, and when London was out similarly the score was 55-3 and the home support beginning to wonder, Cummings had 3 for 9. Rhythm Bedi quickly followed to a sharp slip catch by Bevan. Sam Burgess was joined by Nath Gregory and the Sunbury ship was steadied after some anxious moments and the score at tea was 81-4.
This partnership of 48 proved to be the match turning one although both Burgess and Gregory fell before the end. They simply came out and batted sensibly after tea hitting 27 from 23 balls until Gregory lobbed a catch to cover. But they had done enough and Alex Hughes was able to win the game with a flourish hitting a 6 off the otherwise economical Moolman.
Once again the bowling did the business with the outstanding Stanier again starring, the Sunbury batting looked fragile and the fearless Burgess showed the way with his 39. Sunbury must sharpen up in the field and travel to Ashtead next week with the league title again there for the taking.