This was a match that went all the way to the last over with the result in the balance, as Reigate Priory needed just 11 runs for victory with their last pair at the wicket, before Amar Virdi took a skier to seal a victory which sent the team and the big crowd into a delirious frenzy.
Batting first Sunbury again failed to mount a score of substance as against a moderate Reigate attack they managed just 218 which seemed to be well below a par score. John Maunders and Martin Andersson got the innings off to a good start but with 39 on the board Maunders (17) was run out. Sam Burgess joined Andersson and the pair looked comfortable enough as the in-form Burgess quickly got into his stride until with the score on 75 Andersson (30) was caught playing a loose shot into the covers and when another wicket fell almost immediately afterwards the Sunbury batting was again looking a little brittle. Rhythm Bedi joined Burgess and they shared a 50 run partnership before Burgess (56) was stumped and when Bedi (39) followed a few runs later and a sixth wicket fell almost immediately after, the innings had slumped to 159-6 and in need of another batting revival from the tail.
Ishy Sohi (38) batting at nine and following his match winning century two weeks previously stood firm and when he was last out, Sunbury had staggered to their well below par total of 218 at a run rate of below 4 an over.
Maunders took the gamble of opening the bowling with off-spinner Amar Virdi and with the Priory innings reduced to 84-4 the gamble looked to be paying off. But it was the introduction of left arm spinner Vishal Manro that was to swing the game in Sunbury’s favour as firstly he broke a stand of 60 between Andrew Delmont and Ben Shoare when the dangerous Shoare (42) was snapped up by Maunders, and then had Delmont who had looked in total command for 56.
With the score on 185-6 it still looked like the visitors game to lose and so it proved as Manro captured a further 3 wickets to leave Priory needing 11 runs from the last over with their last pair at the wicket. Virdi stepped up to continue his mammoth effort and first ball of his 27th consecutive over he took a caught and bowled as Ali Raja (28) the visitors last hope skied one that the young offie chased after to take the catch and to send both the team and their supporters feeling exhausted after the tense conclusion.
Manro returned Sunbury’s best bowling figures with 5-53 from 12 overs, but Virdi also needs great praise for his long stint in which he conceded just a fraction over 3 runs per over, as he plays his last game for the Club for a while as he now moves on to represent England in two U19 Test Matches against India U19’s.
This Saturday Sunbury entertain East Molesey looking for their fourth consecutive victory whilst East Molesey look to preserve their Premiership place in what could be another close encounter. The match starts at 11.00am.