Raja stars with 97 as Llamas chase 213
By Antony Ireland
By Ali Raja (part 1) and Dick Belcher (part 2)
With the focus of the day being on the events taking place at Park Lane, the 2s arrived at Weybridge with a depleted side, due to the number of ‘mystery illnesses’ that had occurred during the week. We were all delighted to see so many of the injured contingent make their way down to Reigate to support the ones in an incredible act of selflessness.
The game itself got off to a slow start, with the Weybridge openers taking advantage of some wayward bowling. The introduction of Oli Simms, top-knot blowing in the wind, and Mobeen Tahir led to a shift in momentum and the batsmen became bogged down. Wilbur Tiley then came on and bowled as well as he had all season to claim a well-deserved five-for (5-36). Helpfully, their groundsman left the pitch uncovered the previous evening, so the wicket was a minefield, meaning that any total that Weybridge were able to post would be challenging for the Llamas. Weybridge finished the innings 212 all out, thanks to some late order hitting, slightly wayward bowling and Henry Tye dropping catches. We walked off for tea knowing that they probably scored 20/30 more runs than they should have, in light of Simms, Tahir and Tiley’s fantastic spells.
Ali Raja (97) and Rory Haughton (11) opened up for the Llamas and looked to be positive from the start. After Rory fell to a wide half-volley, his brother Luke came to the crease to steady the innings. This pair kept the score board moving quickly and despite the odd ball exploding from a length, looked to be in complete control. Luke (10) was then undone by one that lifted off a length, which then brought Henry Tye (30) to the crease. Tye looked in fine form and both he and Raja continued the swift pace of the innings. With the score on 141, Tye chipped the ball to mid-wicket and Irving (30), donning his MCC sweater, a hangover and a less than impressive batting average, strode purposefully to the crease. He then proceeded to play the worst three shots ever seen on a cricket pitch, but somehow managed to survive. These two progressed the score on to 160, then Raja, on 97, hit the ball straight back to the bowler and set off for a single - unsurprisingly, he was run out. Leck (9), having eaten the biggest match tea ever seen on these shores, came to the crease and both he and Irving kept the scoreboard moving, until Leck was out with the score on 190. In typical Llama style, we then endured a mini collapse, until young Will Hodgson (5*) hit the winning runs, with a boundary through the covers.
All in all, a fantastic win for the Llamas. The boys hope that everyone who was unavailable for this fixture feels better and had a restful, healthy weekend.
And for a slightly more detailed account from Dick....
The game was played at an almost empty Weybridge-they’d all gone to Reigate apparently.
The wicket had been uncovered and was damp after the overnight rain.
Ali won the toss and chose to bowl and gave the new ball to youngsters Ollie Thilo (U16) and Will Hodgson (U15).
Will started with a maiden but struggled with his control in his 2nd over that saw 12 runs with 2 wides, 2 fours & a couple of no-ball beamers. The Weybridge batsman sportingly didn’t insist on Will being taken out of the attack as one of the beamers was far from dangerous to the facing batsman although our slip cordon did take cover. 12 runs came from Ollie’s 3rd over and Weybridge were 30-0 after 5 overs.
Ali introduced Mobeen Tahir and Mobeen started with 2 maidens & with Ollie still on at the pavilion end, Weybridge were restricted to 40-0 after 11 overs.
The 1st wicket went to Mobeen when Henry Tye held a catch in the gully to dismiss Tim Cross (16)-score 51-1 in the 14th over.
With Mobeen bowling accurately at one end and Ollie Simms keeping control from the other end, Weybridge were kept to 86-1 at 25 over drinks.
Mobeen had bowled his 10 overs in one excellent spell to finish on 10-4-20-1
Drinks brought the 2nd wicket when Wilbur Tiley got Haydir Ali LBW for 13-score 87-2 after 26 overs.
6 overs later and Ollie Simms had finished his single spell (10-3-31-0) with Weybridge having only added 22 runs, when Alastair Stanley (4) fell to Wilbur, this time a catch by Ali-score 109-3 in the 32nd over.
The Weybridge opener Adam Dean had reached 60 when he was caught at deep mid-wicket by Will Irving off Wilbur’s bowling-score 117-4 in the 34th over.
Adam Dean was in the Weybridge 1st eleven last week but lost his place when Weybridge strengthened their 1st team in selecting Surrey players Tom Curran and Will Jacks for their game against our 1st team.; but I don’t think we can be too critical as we’ve done something similar when we’ve strengthened our 5th team in recent games by selecting players from the 3rds and 4th’s.
Ollie Thilo, back for his 2nd spell, immediately cleaned bowled wicket keeper Toby Ashley-Collins for 26-score 148-5 in the 41st over. A missed run out opportunity when Ollie Simms launched a rocket at the stumps fortunately didn’t cost as the same batsman Imran Lodhi was out soon after when bowled for 10 by Ollie Thilo (10-1-59-2) -score 175-6 after 45 overs.
Some acceleration at the end of the innings took Weybridge to 202 in the 48th over that then saw a flurry of wickets.
Will Hodgson took a catch off Wilbur’s bowling to dismiss Sam Crabtree for 7-score 202-7.
Wilbur then took a catch off Luke Haughton’s bowling (Luke 8-0-47-2) to dismiss number 5 bat Simran Singh for 36-score 211-8 in the 49th over and James Leck then stumped Anwar Khan from Luke’s bowling-score 212-9.
Last over and Lecky took his 2nd stumping, this time off Wilbur’s bowling—Wilbur finishing with 9.2 overs-5 maidens-36 runs-5 wickets.
The only disappointment was the number of extras (35 including 27 wides).
With 3 spinners (a rarity in the 2’s this season) bowling almost 28 overs, the Llamas bowled their 49.2 overs in a more than respectable 2 hours 50 minutes.
Ali Raja and Rory Haughton opened for the Llamas and Rory got off to a flyer with a couple of 4’s before he was caught behind for 11 off the bowling of Anwar Khan-who took 2-29 when he played for Guildford against out Trust team earlier in the season-score 13-1 in the 3rd over. Anwar was to have less success against our 2’s with figures of 1-50 off his 7 overs.
Fellow opening bowling Zeeshan Afridi had figures of 7-4-15-2 when he played for Weybridge 3’s a fortnight ago against the Llama 3rd team but he was to go wicketless against the 2’s.
Luke Haughton and Ali took the score onto 68 in the 16th over when Luke was caught behind for10 off the bowling of Masud Javaid-score 68-2 in the16th over.
Henry Tye and Ali Raja then took charge and the Llamas raced to 141 at 25 over drinks.
With Henry on 30 and Ali on 88 and with 25 overs left, 7 wickets in hand and 72 runs to win; what could go wrong ?
The break for drinks is what went wrong.
With the score still on 141 the dreaded drinks break saw the 3rd wicket fall when Henry was caught at extra-cover for 30 by the Weybridge Captain Adam Dean off left arm spinner Sam Crabtree.
Will Irving joined Ali Raja who was nearing his ton when in the 30th over with the score on 160, Ali on 97, called for a single but was run out 3 short of a deserved ton.
Ali’s classy innings, although not quite chanceless, had been a mixture of power combined with some delicate shots; the pick being a couple of deft late cuts for boundaries.
James Leck joined Will Irving and although Will had a swing and miss he quickly settled to hit some boundaries being particularly brutal with 17 scored in the 35th over off returning opening bowler Anwar Khan. Meanwhile James Leck was out for 9 caught by Afridi at mid-off from the bowling of Adam Dean-score 198-5.
Almost home but Will Irving was then bowled for 30 by Sam Crabtree-score 199-6.
Weybridge see their chance with youngsters Will Hodgson and Wilbur Tiley now at the crease, but Wilbur hit a straight drive for 4 back past the bowler Sam Crabtree before Wilbur was out LBW to Sam Crabtree for 4 -score 208-7.
Llama youngsters Will Hodgson and Ollie Thilo had started the game by opening the bowling; the pair now had the job of finishing the game & it was Will Hodgson who hit a boundary to take the Llamas to a win.
The Llamas scored their 213-7 in 38.1 overs to gain the 20 points to keep us 3rd in the league with one match to play.
Man of the match.
On most days it would have been Wilbur Tiley with 5-36 from his 9.2 overs but he’s trumped by Ali’s match winning innings of 97 which proved to be the decisive innings of the match.