Holmbury St Mary CC v Hambledon
Date: Sunday 12 May 2019
Venue: Holmbury St Mary CC
Result: Ashtead win by 61 runs
Report by Tim Riggins
Ashtead 186 for 9 from 45 overs. Holmbury 125 from 39 overs.
Winning the toss, we put Ashtead in to bat on a fresh and green wicket, and they paid a high price in the second over when Monu bowled their opener. Several maidens followed and by the first bowling change (‘Archie’ Harrison for Monu) after the ninth over, the visitors were 17 for 1. Harrison soon removed Ashtead’s other opener LBW, and tight fielding was rewarded with several good catches, including one at belly height by Monu at cover point. At 44 for 5 off 20 overs, Ashtead were there for the taking, and our intensity and intent was ascendant.
Enter their number six, who over the next 25 overs scored 98 not out (with some luck including a dropped ‘sun-in-eyes’ catch and a very close stumping appeal). Wickets continued to fall around him, but towards innings end he finished with a barrage of boundaries. 93 for 7 off 29 doubled to 186 with a wicket remaining after 45 overs. Still, some good bowling (Ross 10-1-26, Monu 10-2-40, Harrison 10-3-32, Martin 9-1-37, and Nick J taking two wickets) and exceptional ground fielding kept Ashtead’s total to a still-achievable run target of 186.
Holmbury’s top three offered little, but Andrew (40) and Ross (55) steadied the ship. For a time, they kept us chasing at the required six an over, but with Ashtead's fifth change taking a well-deserved four-fer and Holmbury’s tail offering little assistance to Ross’s gritty, persistent innings, our chase died the death. The last push to achieve a draw stopped an over short with the fall of the last wicket. Significant credit is due to Stuart for batting with a dislocated finger.
So, although we initially put ourselves in a strong position, ultimately it was a missed opportunity against a very strong side with deep batting and a plethora of bowling options. Next Sunday sees Westcott visit HSMCC for a 1.30pm start – so let’s put this one behind us, refocus, maintain our intensity and strive to notch a win.