GRAYSHOTT’S father-and-son opening partnership clicked for the first time in the I’Anson Division One as Andy and Alistair Wheble put on 129 against winless Chiddingfold on Saturday.
Dean Spencer’s decision to bowl first on a flat track, with a parched outfield, backfired as the openers sprinted to 70 from 15 overs. Tom Gleave finally made the breakthrough, bowling Wheble Snr for 64. Wheble Jnr was then caught for 47, but Grayshott were well set at 144-2 after 30 overs and Matt Jackson and Nathan Phillimore (29 not out) consolidated with a partnership of 57.
Jackson made a fast 43 and some hard hitting from Harrison Ward enabled Stuart Kennedy to declare at 227-3 after 44 overs.
A superb opening spell from Mark Richards immediately had Chiddingfold on the back foot. The speedster bowled 10 overs straight off, returning figures of 10-4-25-3 and claiming the prize scalp of Gleave (26) with a wicked middle-stump yorker.
Kieran Wells, Danny Brown and Nathan Phillimore all took wickets and the game looked to be heading for an early finish at 53-6. But then Grayshott were held up by gritty resistance from Stuart Manning (37), Nathan Eddy (27) and Tony King (27).
Ward and Phillimore had further successes, but the overs were running out. Wells then returned with his extra pace and had King caught behind by Wheble – a third victim for the schoolboy. Chiddingfold all out for 158 in the 43rd over.
Blackheath continued their good form with a 68-run win over Tilford. Blackheath lost an early wicket after opting to bat, but then Australian Mitch O’Dwyer took control, sharing partnerships of 116 and 63 with Rob Parrott (39) and Peter Melhuish.
O’Dwyer was eventually run out for 116 off 101 balls, hitting 15 fours. Skipper Melhuish finished 62 not out (50 balls) and declared at 264-5 after 42 overs.
Tilford struggled in reply and were three wickets down for 62 when Jake Austin joined Mark Ramesar in a fine stand of 64. At 125-3, with Austin in full cry, Tilford were still in the hunt, but things changed after Ramesar was caught for 44 off Alex Bertola.
Austin, who was particularly severe on O’Dwyer, continued his assault and struck 70 off 46 balls, including three sixes, before being adjudged lbw to Peter Melhuish.
Thereafter, Tilford folded to the fired-up Bertola who snapped up 5-25 in 10.3 overs. The visitors lost their last six wickets for 48 runs and were bowled out for 196 in the 42nd over.
Leaders Grayswood continue to look in a different class. They left themselves 52 overs to dismiss Headley after mauling them for 237-4 in 38. And they needed ample time to complete the job as the visitors batted into the 49th over before Iain Jackson ended their resistance.
Kash Rashid made a quick breakthrough after George Ellis had inserted Grayswood and first-change Clive Bate took a return catch to dismiss the in-form Tom Barnardo.
Bate (3-33) also removed Jackson (41) and James Atkinson (36) during a good spell, but the other bowlers took a fearful pasting from Alastair Gloak (80 not out off 52 balls) and Graham Dooling (51 not out from 45 balls) and their exhilarating partnership of 127 set up the early declaration.
Harry Clarke and Ellis took Headley to a promising 59-1, but Atkinson broke the stand and the way was open for Jon Ashworth (3-31) to pick apart the middle order. The spinner got Ellis for 48 (76-4) and despite their determined defence and late aggression from Rashid (25), Headley were dismissed for 160 with three overs remaining.
Puttenham had much the better of a draw against Brook. With both teams struggling at the wrong end of the table, Puttenham chose to bat first and batted the maximum 48 overs for a decent 228-5. Brook did well to keep the run-rate under control as the top six batsmen all reached 20, with opener Imam Hashmi making 68 and Aks Ilyas 44 not out.
Brook, after a bright start, were strangled by the unforgiving accuracy of Saeed Ahmed and Aks Ilyas. Puttenham also found wickets hard to come by and a sixth-wicket partnership between Robin Hudson (46 not out) and Neil Cooper (a breezy 33) virtually assured the visitors of two points to the home team’s eight.