LURGASHALL, playing their first ever match in the I’Anson Division One, recorded a shock victory over Blackheath, last season’s runners-up and champions in 2015.
Winning the toss, Blackheath totalled a decent 201, only to discover the perils of failing to bat out your overs in this form of the game. The home bowlers stuck to their task, Aaron Evans being the pick of them, while Blackheath skipper Pete Melish held his side together with a fine 58.
Lurgashall captain Aaron Carter also led from the front, scoring a well-crafted 75 and sharing an opening stand of 100 with Drew Clark. This put Lurgashall in charge and although Melhuish picked up some quick wickets, Nathan Kemp made a clever 41 not out to see his side home in 40 overs. What a start for the Lurgies.
Tilford crushed Chiddingfold by 10 wickets at the Green. The visitors, put in to bat, were in trouble from the moment Geoff Coombe bowled Dean Spencer. Coombe proceeded to wreak havoc and took the next four wickets in an unbroken spell, helped by some smart slip catching. With half the side out for 49, there was no way back for Chiddingfold. Mitch Brown, formerly of Wrecclesham, took his first wicket for Tilford and Jason Stones and Nigel Martyn picked up two apiece, leaving Chiddingfold all out for 97. Coombe finish with 5-29 in nine overs.
Tilford openers Andy Hall Hall and Nathan Sprittles, after a steady start, increased the tempo against the change-bowlers. Their chanceless partnership was worth 101, with the aggressive Hall Hall hitting 11 fours and a six in his 67 not out. Sprittles struck the winning boundary in the 22nd over.
After a year away from the top flight, Pirbright were keen to make a good start, but came up 92 runs short at Frensham. George Breddy (49) hit the ground running as Frensham raced to 84-1 in 16 overs. However, the runs dried up against better bowling and Pirbright did well to dismiss the hosts for 184 in 39 overs.
Pirbright lost wickets regularly as the Frensham bowlers exploited some lateral movement. Opener Awais Khan put up determined resistance and was last man out for 48. Jack Richards and Nick Cobbold each took three wickets, while Ray Clarke, who has played 1st XI cricket for Frensham since before England’s footballers won the World Cup, claimed 3-17 in six overs.
Witley suffered a heavy home defeat to Dogmersfield who amassed 223 after choosing to bat. The visitors lost two wickets for 21 before two consecutive 50-plus stands swung the game their way. Newcomer Deloar fell three short of his fifty and that triggered three quick wickets before a stand of 72 between Mansoor Bashir and Illyas (40 not out) took the score past 200.
Witley’s reply started with a cascade of wickets, with Shinwari doing most of the damage, and they were a sorry 27-7 after eight overs. A stand of 55 between Ollie Hickman and Jono Hill made the score more respectable before Witley were bowled out for 90.
New player Rhys Dodson impressed as Grayswood won at Grayshott in an opening-day clash of the ‘Grays’. Dodson made 66 before being bowled by Mark Richards and Alastair Gloak (45) and Alex Tucker (30) also showed good early-season form as Grayswood posted 214-6.
Grayshott had a chance while the fourth-wicket pair of Nathan Phillimore (58) and Will Kriehn (44) were together, but both fell to the accuracy of Iain Jackson and Andy Gloak. With the required run-rate soaring, the innings ended in a flurry of run-outs. The home side all out for 174.
Seamer Matt Hall had an early success for Headley, but Puttenham, with both Awans in their line-up, opened their title defence with an emphatic win. Ahsan Awan and James Crouch scored 82 and 85 respectively in their big stand for the second wicket, Sohail Awan hit a quick 30, and the home side closed on 223-5.
Headley never really got going against a strong and varied attack and were dismissed for 136 in 36 overs.
I’ANSON DIV II
FERNHURST opened their Division Two season with victory over Harting in a tight finish.
Rob Norris (42) saw Harting to a decent total of 140 and Fernhurst struggled in reply. However, Ryan Lewis had other ideas and batted beautifully for his 31 not out. With wickets tumbling, number 10 Joe Unwin smashed a massive six and then Lewis hit the winning four.
A solid opening partnership of 70 between Peter Unsworth (87) and Bryan Winson set Shalford on the way to a healthy score of 217-9. Tongham made a steady start, but once Dave Shilcock (4-16) had made the breakthrough, wickets tumbled, the only real resistance coming from skipper Liam Gadd who added 27 runs to his three wickets.
Thursley skipper Steve Fuller stuck with the same bowling order as last week and it worked again as Hindhead were dismissed for 86. Aleem Fazal, playing in a borrowed kit, took 4-28 and only Dave Babb got going with 23. The home side reached 46-1 by tea, but a mini collapse followed Keith Tilson’s dismissal and six wickets were down when Thursley completed a second successive victory.
Grayshott II conceded 44 extras, including 29 wides, and helped Elstead to a decent total of 180-9 (Bilal 38). The visitors batted fairly consistently, but fell well short on 130 all out. Faz Syed took 4-22.
Brook were full of runs again and a total of 245 (Marc-Antony Eysele 84, Paul Challinor 53) proved well beyond Frensham II. New boy Brad Van Bylevelt hit a quick 37, but the visitors were dismissed for a modest 125.
A total of 81 was never going to win the match for Badshot Lea, playing at The Bourne. Joe Morse (31 not out) looked in good touch as Bourne won by seven wickets.
I’ANSON DIV III
AN opening partnership of 146 for Blackheath II between Ian Nolan (80) and Richard Gray (69) and a formidable total of 245 did nothing to discourage Bramley. Nick Hyett (61) and skipper Lee Burgess (68 not out) batted superbly in reply. James Renny (33 not out) helped steer the visitors to victory with five overs to spare.
Grayswood II collapsed to 91-8 against Milford before the tailenders raised the total to 144, including 45 extras. After a bad start, Gordon Gwilliam and Darren Bierton got a partnership going for Milford. Ross Ferguson made 29 and Mike Payne saw the visitors through to victory.
Young all-rounder Charlie Neville took four wickets and hit 76 not out as Headley II saw off Puttenham II. Nigel Watson and Kevin Mansell looked in good touch for the visitors, but Neville’s leg-spin changed the course of the game. He and Algie Trotman ran through the rest of the batting and Puttenham were bowled out for 160.
Opener Neville looked in little trouble with the bat, but six wickets fell at the other end before Tom Kiddey helped see Headley home.
Skipper Cameron Oosthuizen made 59 at the top of the order as Grayshott III totalled a competitive 169. Opposing captain Glenn Taylor hit a brisk 39 in reply and Peper Harow made fairly light work of getting the runs. Fellow opener Steve Bradley top-scored with 44 and Marcus Price finished the job in the 39th over.
Johnny Barran was the chief destroyer with 5-19 in nine overs as Tilford II skittled out Wood Street for 57. Tilford’s veteran batsmen then knocked off the runs in 17 overs.
Dogmersfield II lost by two wickets to Kingsley in a hard-fought contest.