Marvellous Innings That Richie
An unbeaten 141 from Richie Oliver and a Priory career best of 78 from Oli Hairs led Reigate to a 91-run victory over a strong visiting side from Guildford
Paul Bridge writes...
An unbeaten 141 from Richie Oliver
and a Priory career best of 78 from Oli Hairs
led Reigate to a 91-run victory over a strong visiting side from Guildford on Saturday, thereby putting the Llamas in joint first place in the Premier Division.
The Priory made 300-6 before declaring after 57 overs, leaving Beaven (4-55), Stevens (3-32) and Dahl (2-52) just enough time to bowl out the visitors for 209 from 56.1 overs.
Priory won the toss, went in to bat and then wished they hadn’t, as first Bradley Scriven
was caught at slip by Tom Collins off Bradley Erasmus on the eighth ball of the innings and then two balls later Andy Delmont
was given out leg before also off Erasmus to leave the Priory stumbling at 8-2.
Fortunately for Reigate, Ben Shoare
and Richie Oliver
kept any further damage at bay as they put on 54 runs together in 12 overs before Shoare was bowled by Erasmus for 17 at 62-3.
Then followed the defining partnership of the game as Oliver and Oli Hairs
put on 124 runs together at a run a ball.
While both batsmen are fast scorers, Hairs is the faster, and while he didn’t hit his first 6 until his 50 came up, he nevertheless outpaced Oliver by almost two runs to one. Hairs had been dropped for the Cranleigh game and possibly because of this he decided to play a bit more conservatively, settling for 4’s rather than 6’s. No matter, his 50 came up in 34 balls (a strike rate of 147). Possibly Hairs outpaced Oliver because the Shropshire lad was beginning to tire after two hours in the sun before the lunch break
When the partnership was broken, shortly after lunch, it was Hairs who departed, caught by Will Jacks off Oliver Birts. Despite hitting only one 6, his overall strike rate was still 118. Oliver at this juncture was 83 not out from 103 balls, his 50 coming up in 48 balls.
and Oliver put on 46 together before Dahl was caught off paceman Duncan Selmes for 27. Ali Raja
came and went, leg before to Jacks for 1, before Oliver and Richard Stevens
put on 53 runs for the last wicket in eight-and-a-half overs.
Oliver, by now, was into a second wind and back to hitting the ball all over the ground. After reaching his century in 124 balls, his last 40 runs came in just 25 balls.
Perhaps it was the sight of Selmes coming back for his second spell that brought him back to his destructive best. He had taken 20 runs off Selmes’s sixth and last over in his first spell and now he took a further two 4’s off his 11th over while also carting the bowling of Jacks and Jamie Odell to various parts of the Park Lane ground.
A competitive man, perhaps Oliver was trying to beat his highest score for the Priory of 143 against Sutton in 141 balls in May 2014. When Beaven declared at 300-6 after 57 overs (he could have batted for nine more overs), Oliver was unbeaten on 141 from 149 balls, just missing his best score but his innings was a treat nevertheless for the appreciative crowd.
Guildford opened up in reply with Will Jacks and Jack Cunningham. Jacks, a schoolboy, plays for the Surrey Academy and last winter scored runs for the England Under-19 side in India. Cunningham is well known to Priory bowlers having scored 69 runs the last time these two sides met at Guildford last July.
The Priory started well with Stevens and Will Hodson
restricting the pair to just 29 runs after eight overs. But then Cunningham opened up with a huge 6 causing the ball to be lost in a property next door to the Blue Anchor pub.
The 50 came up in the 10th over and just as this opening pair was looking settled in their task, Hodson bowled Cunningham for 27 at 52-1.
Jacks followed in the next over being caught behind by Raja from Beaven’s second over at 54-2.
This brought in James Burke to partner Lachy Holmes, an Australian grade cricketer. Burke was signed by Surrey from Somerset in 2015 and earlier this year he went on loan to Leicestershire. Illness brought him back to Surrey, however, and this was his first innings on the comeback trail.
Holmes and Burke put on 60 together before Stevens in a second spell, pounding in now from the Blue Anchor End, tore the heart out of the Guildford batting. In four overs he had Holmes leg before for 27 at 114-3, Burke also leg before for 31 at 127-5 and number five batsman Erasmus bowled for 9 at 130-5.
Thereafter, the spinners, left-arm Beaven from the Blue Anchor End and leg-spinner Dahl from the Pavilion End, proceeded to grind down the remaining Guildford batting. They bowled 19 overs in tandem. Beaven picked up three wickets, one a superb reflex catch by Simon King
at silly point, and Dahl took the wicket of Matt Teale.
Beaven brought back Stevens in an effort to capture the last wicket but this prize went to Dahl as Jamie Odell, having pasted the bowling for a quick 20 off 17 balls, holed out to the safe hands of Hairs at deep mid-on.
Guildford was all out for 209 in the 57th over with only six and a bit overs left to play. The last wicket stand of 33 runs in just over nine overs had increased anxieties from some Priory supporters but the players claimed later to have been in no doubt of the win, which ended up being by 91 runs.