The 1st XI played their first league game on Cranleigh Common on Saturday and came away with a deserved victory. Winning a vital toss and bowling first on yet another rain threatened day gave Sunbury an edge which they never relinquished. The home side started cautiously on a slow wicket with little bounce and openers Waters and Scriven didn’t look in trouble until attempting a short single to cover, where Burgess swooped and a direct hit saw the dangerous Scriven run out. Waters anchored a rain interrupted innings being 4th out for 57 with the score on 123, but the accuracy of the Sunbury bowlers had ensured that the scoring rate rarely got above 3.5. After 2 rain breaks the innings petered out, the home side finishing on 172-6 from 42 overs. Once again Vishal Manro was the main wicket taker with 3-38 from 10 overs.
The DLS tables yielded a target of 193 for the Sunbury reply in their 42 overs, and the home sides depleted bowling attack was soon in trouble as Sunbury skipper Maunders attacked their youngster Ryder-Smith who went for 25 in 2 overs. The innings was off to a flier. Andersson, opening for the absent Shaw, was again dismissed cheaply, yorked by the excellent Rollings and when Maunders was unluckily given out caught down the leg side familiar doubts began to appear. But the watchers need not have worried. Rajan Soni joined Sam Burgess for a brisk 89 run partnership which took the game away from Cranleigh. Burgess (54 from 78 balls) always looks in a hurry and his use of feet enabled him to consistently put the fielding side under pressure. Soni (41 from 68 balls) looked elegant and composed and has surely earned his place in the 1st XI now.
There was the customary middle order wobble after both Burgess and Soni fell both caught behind, one day someone is definitely going to pay as Burgess goes on for a really big knock. Rhythm Bedi, Armaan Randhawa and Ishy Sohi all fell to extravagant shots when all that was required was singles to get the 4 an over. But that is the 1st XI way and it was left to a bright 22 from 20 balls from young keeper Conor Fulton to see Sunbury home, calmly aided by Vishal Manro.
Normandy now have what looks like a decisive lead at the top of the table as Reigate and Cranleigh both lost. The 1st XI remain 6th in a cluster of 5 teams separated by only 14 points, including Weybridge who they visit next Saturday.