Hutch hits 83* but Llamas left agonisingly short
By Antony Ireland
By Dick Belcher
The 2’s visit to neighbours Ashtead coincided with Ashtead’s President’s day-brought forward because of the road closures for the London-Surrey Cycle Race-which meant added spectator numbers which included our own President Andy Packham.
A youthful looking Llamas; including Rory Haughton, Will Dahl, Wilbur Tiley, Jonny Flanders and Will Hodgson were up against an Ashtead team that included 4 members of their 1st team that lost to Chester-Boughton-Hall in the ECB National T20 Final in 2014.
Neil won the toss and put Ashtead into bat and the early exchanges were to be between Ashtead’s experience openers Gary Martin and recent 1st teamer Michael Sanderson and Llama youngsters Will Hodgson (U15) and fellow opening bowler Jonny Flanders (U17).
21 runs after the 1st 5 overs saw Jack Beaven introduced for over number 6.
Jack hadn’t had a chance of a warm up having been stuck in traffic on the M25 which may explain the10 runs from Jack’s 1st over (as well as a strong wind blowing in Jack’s face)
Ashtead were held in check by change bowlers Mobeen Tahir (14 overs 0-49) and Wilbur Tiley bowling in tandem and steady-if unspectacular-progress saw Ashtead reach 106-0 after 25 overs and drinks.
The breakthrough came in the 29th over with the score on 123-0 when Gary Martin having just reached his 50 was bowled next ball by Wilbur Tiley (12 overs 1-59).
Another recent 1st teamer John Vaughan-Davies came in at 3 and it was Jack Beaven starting his 2nd spell in the 39th over with the score on 165-1, who clean bowled him for 10; breaking a stump in the process.
Meanwhile Ashtead Opener Michael Sanderson had reached a classy ton.
Fours overs later and Jack bowled Harry Williams (4)-score 178-3 in the 43rd over.
Jack was warming to the task and in the 47th over bowled wicket-keeper Seb Stewart for 10-score 203-4.
Next over (48th) Will Hodgson (U15) back for his 2nd spell got his reward (11 overs 1-52) when he had Paul Cohen (4) caught at mid off by Wilbur Tiley. Score 209-5.
The Ashtead umpire described one ball from Will to Michael Sanderson as unplayable pitching on leg stump and passing the bat outside off stump.
Jake Martin (U19), who on the previous Friday had put our Trust Team to the sword, then proceeded to do the same to our 2’s scoring a quick fire 24 before he fell LBW to Jack Beaven (14 overs 4-69). Score now 245-6 in the 53rd over.
There had been a couple of appeals for caught behind but the strong wind made it difficult to hear any nicks and the batsmen duly survived.
The declaration came after 54 overs with the score on 255-6 with opener Michael Sanderson undefeated on 129-over half of their runs. Their scoring rate of under 5 an over was partly due to Mobeen’s miserly spell of 14 overs 0 for 49, together with a good all round fielding performance (led by the excellent Will Dahl) in difficult fielding conditions,
We were under instruction that tea wouldn’t be ready until 3.30 as the President’s day lunch had to be cleared away. This didn’t prove to be a problem as it took us until 3.40 to bowl our 54 overs-a couple of lost balls didn’t help but we were guilty of a slow over rate (4 minutes per over compared with Ashtead’s over rate of 3.5 minutes). The tea was well worth waiting for with the Ashtead tea ladies providing enough to feed the entire Surrey Cycle Race.
Rory Haughton and Henry Tye opened for the Llamas and only 2 runs came from the 1st 3 overs before Henry got the scoring underway in the 4th over with 2 fours. Rory joined in and they both took advantage of anything loose to score 4’s. 10 overs had gone when Henry on 19 was 1st out with the score on 38 when he got a bottom edge very well taken by the Ashtead keeper off the bowling of John Vaughan-Davies.
Rory had reached 22 when he gave a chance to gully only to be dropped by (Dad) Gary Martin off the bowling of (Son) Jake. The Llamas innings had stalled and had reached 66 in the 18th over when Rory on 41 was out caught. Welcome runs on top of last week’s 77.
The 24th over, with the score only on 81, saw Johnny Flanders (U19) out caught at mid off from the bowling of spinner Amir Akbarali for 7 having been in for 32 balls without really looking settled.
Will Dahl (14 including 3 fours) was then bowled by Amir Akbarali in the 29th over-score 113-4.
Neil Saker hit his 1st ball for 4-collected from over the boundary by son Albie-and followed this up with 4 more 4’s before Neil was caught for 27 at deep long on by Michael Sanderson; also becoming the 3rd victim for Amir Akbarali.
With the score now 118-5 in the 32nd over and the Llamas needing 10 an over (another 138 runs) from the remaining 14 overs the Llamas looked out of this game and staving off defeat seemed the likely outcome.
BUT, and definitely not for the 1st time this season, the 2’s never know when to give up.
This time it was a combination of Matt Hutcheon-carrying a niggle so not bowling today- and Stuart Mills coming together at 118-5 who still had ideas of the Llamas getting something out of the game. After 37 overs Ashtead had scored 161 and after 37 overs the Llamas were also on 161; but with only 9 overs left anything other than a losing draw looked out of reach.
Matt and Stuart didn’t agree and proceeded to belt the ball to all corners of the ground to get to 208 off 43 overs. The Ashtead fielders were getting nervous.
The winning draw target 218 was reached in the next (44th) over and then Matt and Stuart even looked to threaten the Ashtead target of 255.
33 runs to win with 2 overs left.
16 runs from the 45th left another 17 needed from the last over.
Further mayhem from Matt and Stuart almost got us home but 7 were needed off the last ball.
No-ball ? Unfortunately not and we had to settle for a winning draw falling 3 runs short on 252-6.
Matt had followed up last week’s 61 not out with 5 sixes and 6 fours in his unbeaten 83.
Stuart had been a more than able ally in his 48 not out in their unbeaten 6th wicket partnership of 134.
For the 2nd week running a really good game of cricket going right to the wire.