Sunbury managed a winning draw against 2nd in table Normandy thanks to battling batting effort from Amar Virdi, Mees Hussain and Vishal Manro that keeps them on top of the league by just 2 points from Reigate Priory.
Batting first Normandy got off to a flyer when in particular opener Batchelor took a liking to Sunbury’s quicks, Kevin Smith and Ishy Sohi as he smashed 6 fours in the first three overs. Skipper John Maunders was forced to introduce Adam Stanier into the attack earlier than anticipated and he struck in his first over as Adam London took a neat catch behind the stumps. But that was a false dawn as Normandy skipper Grice joined Batchelor and the pair put on 108 for the second wicket before two fine catches by Sohi on the boundary saw the demise of firstly Grice (47) off Vishal Manro and then shortly afterwards the luckless Kevin Smith captured Batchelor for a fine 103 to reduce the visitors to 150-3.
Sunbury’s young spin twins Manro and Virdi put the breaks on the visitors charge towards a 300 plusl total as the pair bowled 41 overs in tandem to restricted Normandy to 272-7, with Manro taking 4-76 from 22 overs thanks to some fine all-round fielding and in particular 2 catches from Nath Gregory from shots that looked destined to produce maximums, the second of which a one handed diving catch on the line was probably the best seen at Kenton Court for many seasons.
On what looked a perfect batting wicket Sunbury needed to get off to the quickest of starts to stand any chance but John Maunders (16) and Adam London (14), Sunbury’s talismen both went with just 31 runs on the board in just the sixth over. The introduction into the attack of the dangerous Middlesex CCC off-spinner Nick Sowter made Sunbury’s task even more difficult and although Sam Burgess (37), Gregory (16) Rhythm Bedi (13) and Sohi (18) all got started Sunbury found themselves on 118-7 with 30 overs still to go. Newcomer Mees Hussain and Amar Virdi then put on 74 for the eighth wicket before Hussain fell to Sowter with a battling classy knock of 40 that included 7 fours. Virdi was then joined by Manro and the pair added the 39 needed to see Sunbury past the winning draw target from the penultimate ball with Virdi who had faced 89 balls finishing on 53* and Manro (15) being Sowter’s fifth victim off the last ball of the match.
Sunbury visit Sutton on Saturday hoping to maintain their place on top of the league.