Season 2022 Match Reports

Sutton CC v. Esher CC

At Cheam Road, Sutton, 27th August 2022.

Sutton 20 points (260/4 off 46.1 overs) beat Esher 5 points (259/10 of 49.3 overs).

Finally, a Win!

It took far too long but Sutton finally got their first victory this season.

As the Premiership’s last winless team Sutton finally broke through for win number one. It came against Esher who, prior to the game, had a mathematical chance of winning the competition.

The hosts needed a marvellous 4th wicket partnership to do it, but the 6-wicket win was much needed for the lift it gave the players, and the club, after a season fractured by injuries and several enforced team changes.

After being put in by Sutton’s skipper, Sam Seadon, Esher were on the back foot from the start and by the conclusion of the 20th over the visitors were struggling at 88 for 5 as Sutton’s troop of left-arm spinners got to work.

Despite Sutton’s tidy bowling it took another 20-overs before the next wicket fell. David Brent (105 off 114 balls) and Andrew McCallum (52 off 67) had revived Esher’s innings with a disciplined 6th wicket stand of 113-runs when Fabian Cowdrey’s slower ball saw McCallum’s hit to the deep snapped-up by Dane Currency. The next 4-wickets fell for 58-runs and Esher were dismissed for 259 off 49.3 overs, with main wicket-takers Aneesh Jhalla (9.3-2-38-4) and Cowdrey (10-1-39-4).

After such an encouraging start to the game, the 260-run target meant Sutton would have to reach their highest score of this season to win. The attempt began poorly as Justin Broad’s pace put Sutton under pressure from the outset and after just 5-overs the hosts were labouring at 30 for 3, with Broad (8-0-68-3) taking all 3-wickets. Something rare was needed to save this game; and a touch of brilliance did!

Josh Blake, returning to the home fold after significant county duty, and Cowdrey, back to his best with the ball, joined forces at the fall of the 3rd wicket. They then delivered what must be one of the finest partnerships seen at Cheam Road for many a year.

An individual innings does not become great in isolation. Unlike other sports in which players could go solo and score goals and points, cricket, especially batting, revolves around partnerships. A batter can add runs to the team total only if he has someone at the other end. Partnerships win matches and save them. This 4th wicket one certainly put Sutton into a winning position.

187-runs were scored in 33-overs as both batted impressively, pushing the hosts nearer and nearer that elusive victory. The stand ended when Blake was dismissed for a superb 89 off 109 balls, including nine 4s and two 6s, caught Freddie Harrison off Ben Collins. Sam Woods joined Cowdrey (98 not out), at the crease, with Sutton now 217 for 4, and needing 43-runs to win in just over 10-overs.

In a tad more than 7-overs, victory was gained as Woods (23, including three 4s) swept Nicholas Smit to the boundary, and to the target. Cowdrey remained not out scoring a marvellous 115 off 120 balls, including twelve 4s.

What was so encouraging for Sutton’s 1st XI was an otherwise disappointing season at least ending on a high note. Another win next Saturday, this time at Normandy in the final 2022 Premiership fixture, would be even more uplifting.

East Molesey CC v. Sutton CC

At Graburn Way, Molesey, 20th August 2022.

East Molesey 20 points (103/1 off 12.1 overs) beat Sutton, 0 points (99/10 off 31.4 overs) by 9-wickets.

Moles go top after telling victory.

The good news for several of Sutton’s 1st XI is that they are departing Cheam Road on Sunday morning, bound for the West Country, a bit of respite, and even some tour cheer.

The bad news is that, following an embarrassing 9-wicket loss to the table-topping hosts in Saturday’s game, they must return home to Cheam Road to face high-flying Esher next Saturday in the penultimate Premiership fixture of the season.

It was a case of another day, another humbling, another time to reflect, as Sutton tumbled to a 9-wicket loss at Graburn Way.

Having won the toss and found the surface good enough on which to bat first, Sutton could muster just 99 all out, their lowest total of this continually frustrating season.

Unable to cope with the control and swing of Toby Porter and Andrew Westphal at the top of the order and, just as concerning again, spin of the variety that Matthew Tigg and Jonathan Fawcett delivered at the bottom, the visitors were bundled out in just 31.4 overs.

Chris Morris was dismissed in the 2nd over without scoring, and a procession of wickets followed. Skipper Sam Seadon (5) went soon after. A brief rally by Sam Woods (16) and Fabian Cowdrey (15) steadied the ship a tad, but with only Dan Edwards (23) and Ben Rutherford (21 no) passing 20 any hope that Sutton would pose the hosts a challenging score was simply a dream.

Although East Moseley lost opener Dominic Reed in the second over of their innings, caught Woods, bowled Callum Noonan on debut, for 9, Moseley’s response in their 100-run mission was swift and brutal. The winning total was achieved in just 12.1 overs, with skipper Nick Stevens 42 no, and Mac Wright 39 no, seeing the hosts home. With news of Wimbledon’s defeat at Reigate Priory, Molesey are now back at the head of the Premiership.

Sutton CC v. Reigate Priory CC

At Cheam Road, Sutton; August 13th 2022.

Reigate Priory 20 points (203/5 off 42.1 overs) beat Sutton, 3 points (199/10 off 48-overs) by 5-wickets.

Sutton’s inevitable relegation from the Surrey Championship Premiership has been confirmed.

They are winless in the topflight this season and have long looked destined to drop down after just one season out of the first division.

Sutton started the current round of matches 66-points adrift of 8th placed Sunbury but after the defeat at Cheam Road yesterday by Reigate Priory yielded just 3-points, they no longer have a mathematical chance of staying up.

Sutton now turn their focus on avoiding the ‘wooden spoon.’ With three rounds of the Premiership remaining, overhauling Malden Wanderers, sitting in 9th place after Saturday’s games, must be the aim.

In stifling conditions at Cheam Road on Saturday, Reigate Priory beat Sutton by 5-wickets to maintain their title hopes.

Sutton skipper, Sam Seadon, won the toss and elected to bat on a hard, dry wicket; but the home side were soon in trouble and by the end of the 5th over were 3 for 2. The batting continued to struggle against the experienced Priory attack, although decent shows from Rehan Ratnasapabathy (46 off 99 balls), Fabian Cowdrey (63 of 76), and Ansh Bansal (26 no off 27), helped Sutton reach a passable 199 all out in 48-overs.

Priory’s response started poorly with skipper Richard Oliver (8 off 10 balls, caught Dan Edwards, bowled Aneesh Jhalla), and fellow opening bat, Sam Hall (7 off 14, caught Edwards, bowled Sam Blake), back in the pavilion by the end of the 5th over.

James Crosthwaite’s hard-hitting 90 from 95 balls, including sixteen 4s, was the mainstay of Priory’s innings as they reached the winning score of 203-runs for the loss of 5-wickets in 42.1-overs.

Crosthwaite was eventually out, caught Edwards, bowled Jhalla, off the first ball of the 38th over. With the visitor’s then standing on 172 for 5, Oliver steered his team home with a controlled 44 not out.

In their quest to deliver that prized first win of the season, next Saturday Sutton visit title-chasing East Moseley. What a prize a win there would be!

Sutton CC v. Malden Wanderers CC

At Cheam Road, Sutton; August 6th 2022.

Sutton tie with Malden Wanderers in mind-blowing finish!

Sutton, 10 points (192/10 off 49.5 overs) tie with Malden Wanderers, 10 points (192/7 off 50-overs).

Nothing between the two relegation threatened clubs.

Malden Wanderers made 192 for 7 wickets and then bowled out the home side for exactly 192 with one ball to go, resulting in a tie with each side taking 10 points.

Wanderers made a poor start to the match after skipper Richard Croney had won the toss and elected to bat. With half the side out for 80, including the prized wicket of Zac Elkin, caught at slip by Sam Season, bowled Aneesh Jhalla for just 2-runs, it was down to fast bowler turned batter, Rafeh Jafri, and Alex Cormack that Wanderers were able to post a competitive score.

Coming in at 27 for 2 in the 6th over, Jafri (58 off 134) batted right through to the 48th over when Dan Edwards clutched an edge off Dane Currency (10-2-30-2) with Wanderers score on 171. Jafri added 83 with Cormack (48 off 39) to take the total to 163 for 6. Some decent strikes by Croney and James Rimmer raised the total to 192 for 7-wickets off 50-overs.

Sutton batted steadily and were looking good for their first win of the season, as skipper Seadon and fellow opener Chris Morris, took the score to 49 by the end of the 10th over. The introduction of leg-spinner Jack Morgan changed everything rapidly. In his first over he had Morris stumped by Croney for 26 (off 24-balls) and next ball pinched the valued wicket of Fabian Cowdrey, no score. Sutton were now 54 for 2.

The ship steadied with stands of 41 between Seadon (42 off 75) and Rehan Ratnasapabathy, and 40 involving Ratnasapabathy and Sam Woods (23 from 43). When Ratnasapabathy (41 off 79) was caught and bowled sharply by Webster in the 38th over, the game was well-balanced. Sutton, at 146 for 5, needed 47-runs to win with just under 12-overs remaining but lost wickets regularly along the way.

However, the drama was yet to come. With two overs to go Sutton needed 5-runs to win with 2-wickets in hand. Sam Blake was LBW to Alex Cormack for 1 off the first ball of the 49th with Currency on 7 not out, playing shrewdly for the win. Last man Jhalla came in, still with 5-runs needed for the win. Incredibly, with the 5th ball of the final over and the scores level, Pete Young ran out Jhalla who was on 3 off 7-balls. The result: a tie!

An excellent game of cricket but sadly for both clubs’ relegation to Division 1 is now almost unavoidable; and Saturday’s game revealed many of the reasons as to why they are stranded at the foot of the table. Some fine performances along the way. Even some exciting ones; but not good enough overall to compete with the consistency and quality of performance regular attained by most of the Premiership clubs throughout the season.

Ashtead CC v. Sutton CC

At Woodfield Lane; Saturday 30th July 2022.

Ashtead 24 points (250/4 off 50 overs) beat Sutton, 4 points (247/10 off 65.5 overs.)

A 6-wicket defeat away at Ashtead leaves Sutton rooted to the foot of the Premiership.

Sutton’s unexceptional season continued Saturday. A stunning 193-run 2nd wicket partnership between Damien Shirazi, (97 off 158-balls) and Ashtead’s SA overseas, Matthew Breetzke, (95 off 78-balls) destroyed the visitor’s bowling attack, as the home side claimed a convincing victory by 6-wickets with 4-overs of the game remaining.

In warm conditions Ashtead won the toss and elected to field first, although the wicket looked fine for batting, with the possibility of some assistance for the spinners later. However, the stars of Ashtead’s bowling were the opening pair of pacemen Ben Sidwell, (18-7-36-3) and Sam Hunt, (14.5-3-61-3) both of whom troubled Sutton’s batting throughout.

Sutton’s innings was made up of three substantial contributions. Fabian Cowdrey, (66 off 121-balls), Etinder Bopara’s (68 off 74-balls), and extras, 30! Plus, bits and pieces from the remainder.

By achieving their highest total of the campaign so far, 247 all out in 65.5 overs, Sutton had given themselves every chance of earning their first win of the season. Sadly, they could not protect the target once Ashtead’s 2nd wicket pairing had got their respective eye in. The bowlers plugged away commendably and got a small reward towards the end; Dane Currency grabbing 3-wickets, (18-3-78-3), and Aneesh Jhalla 1, (9-0-44-1), but the batting was of the highest standard and the runs were accumulated with comparative ease.

Sutton’s Premiership chances have been a talking point for much of the year. At the start, people said the club would have to fight hard to uphold their new, elevated position; and they were right. With the quality of most teams in the division superior to anything seen over the past few years, the club were always going to find the campaign tough going.

For the past few weeks, Sutton have had that dreaded ‘mathematical possibility’ tag hanging over them. Well, it is round 14 now and they are still in with a chance despite being without a win all season. Every player is doing their best to keep the club in the Premiership; of that there is no doubt. Regrettably, the ‘rub of the green’ seems to be against them most of the time.

“To me, it does not matter how good you are. Sport is all about playing and competing. Whatever you do in cricket and in sport, enjoy it, be positive and try to win.” Ian Botham.

Sutton CC v. Weybridge CC

At Cheam Road, Sutton; Saturday 23rd July 2022.

Weybridge 24 points (216/9 off 66 overs) beat Sutton, 5 points (176 ao off 59.3)

Sutton’s woes continue, while Weybridge seal victory to remain genuine Premiership challengers.

On another beautifully warm day at Cheam Road, Weybridge captain, Matt Laidman, won the toss and elected to bat on a pitch that seemed good for batting, but could provide some spin.

Rehan Ratnasapabathy opened the bowling for Sutton accompanied by Dane Currency’s left-arm spin; (skipper, Sam Seadon, having also ‘read’ the pitch!) The Weybridge opening batters, Sarel Erwee and Stuart Van Der Werwe looked comfortable early on as they eased their way to 67 without loss by the end of the 14th over. However, that composure was unsettled dramatically as spin dominated the remainder of the innings.

From that confident start, Weybridge lost 7-wickets for just 71-runs as Currency (25-6-87-6) rattled through the card, whilst Aneesh Jhalla (15-2-47-1) nipped in with the important wicket of South African international, Erwee, LBW for 49. There was a significant rally towards the end of the visitor’s innings steered by James Cunningham, 38no, before Cowdrey (20-4-47-2) secured the final two wickets: Weybridge finishing on 216 for 9 off their full allocation of 66-overs.

Sutton had 62-overs to make the runs and started cautiously, which was understandable. However, two quick strikes put the hosts immediately on the back foot. Chris Morris was dismissed for 4-runs, caught behind by skipper/keeper Laidman, bowled Ben Ladd-Gibbon; and unexpectedly, given his prolific season so far, Josh Blake fell first ball to a Harshil Patel caught and bowled.

From 4 for 2, Cowdrey, 22, and Seadon 19, helped Ratna, 14no and playing reassuringly, guide Sutton to 64 for 4 after 27-overs. With 35-overs still left, and 153 needed, the game was on the edge. Sutton could win with sensible controlled batting; but if Weybridge secured a couple of quick wickets the game was theirs.

As the overs passed, the pitch became increasingly tricky. Both Ratna and Sam Woods, at the crease after the fall of the 4th wicket, found scoring runs testing; and although the pair added 73 by the 51st over, the rate required had increased markedly. With 11-overs remaining, 80-runs at around 7.25 an over, were needed to secure the club’s first victory of the season whilst Phillip Mann’s right-arm spin was causing problems. Moreover, the pitch was not getting any easier to bat on. A win for Sutton now looked beyond them. Nevertheless, the immediate task was not to lose and hopefully lock-in a winning draw, 66-runs away at 203.

Alas, it was not to be. At 143 in the 54th over, Ratna fell LBW to Mann for a resilient, stubborn 51-runs, off 149 balls; Dan Edwards came and went quickly, and Woods eventually succumbed to Mann, LBW for a spirited and determined 42 off 80. As a result, Weybridge were now well on top, with victory in their sights. Sutton were eventually all out for 176-runs as Mann (19.3-7-46-5) cleaned up, leaving the visitor’s winners by 40-runs.

With six games still to go, Sutton are once again staring early relegation in the face, thanks to a run of six straight defeats since that early June period when hopes were raised of a brighter campaign. After two strongly fought draws were earned things looked to be improving. Sadly, that optimism faded quickly. Although in a few of the succeeding games they had worked their way into winning positions, they failed to capitalise on their strong position and on every occasion the opposition found a way back to secure a victory. It is doing the right thing at the right time that leads to wins, which comes with experience and ironically, the confidence that winning brings. They may just be trivial things, but usually they make the difference between winning and losing.

Whilst not mathematically doomed, a series of wins is necessary to give the club any chance of Premiership survival. Sutton were on the verge again on Saturday to capture that first 2022 win. Hopefully, that win will come next week at Ashtead. The all-round quality is there to do so.

Wimbledon CC v. Sutton CC

At Church Road, WImbledon; Saturday 16th July 2022.

Wimbledon, 24 points (299/9 off 66 overs) beat Sutton, 4 points (167 ao off 46.3 overs.)

Pressure on Sutton to turn the season around quickly.

Sutton’s disappointing run in the Surrey Championship Premier division continued when they suffered a 130-run defeat against competition challengers Wimbledon on Saturday. With the win, the hosts stay in second place, just two points behind current leaders East Molesey. Sutton remain at the foot of the division.

On a scorching day at Church Road, after being asked to bat by Sutton skipper Sam Seadon, the hosts managed to score 299-9 in their stipulated (66) overs thanks to opener and captain Jonathon Webb (71 off 116), Aussie overseas Jack Boyle (84 off 167), and David Scott, who hit a rapid 63 off 31. Seadon claimed 4-wickets for 53-runs and Rehan Ratnasapabathy nipped in towards the end to take 3-wickets for 60.

In reply, Sutton put up another substandard performance with the bat as they were bundled out for 169 in 46.3 overs. A 2nd wicket partnership of 121 between Ratnasapabathy (65 off 99) and Josh Blake (53 off 69) gave hope that a Sutton challenge might be sustained. Alas, Blake’s dismissal, caught behind by Tom Cooper off the right arm spin of David Scott, triggered a Sutton batting collapse with 8-wickets falling for just 42-runs, leaving Wimbledon winners by a convincing 130-runs. Scott collecting 5-wickets for 27-runs on the way.

With 7 matches left to play, Sutton are currently 55-points adrift of Premiership safety and clearly need to turn around their season in a hurry. There is no better time to start than during next week’s fixture versus Weybridge at Cheam Road.

Scorecard here Premiership table here Next week’s fixtures here.

Sutton CC v. Sunbury CC

At Cheam Road, Sutton; Saturday 9th July 2022.

Sunbury, 24 points (211 ao off 49.4 overs) beat Sutton, 3 points (107 ao off 37.3 overs.)

Sutton let themselves down after another desperate display with the bat.

Sunbury’s skipper, Sam Burgess, won the toss and elected to bat on a perfect day for cricket; Cheam Road offering again, a decent, good cricket wicket.

It was terrific to see some fight from Sutton with the ball, the highlight of which was Dane Currency’s return to his penetrative best (24-3-79-6.)

Sam Blake opened the bowling for Sutton striking early in the 3rd over, tempting the visitor’s keeper Conor Fulton into hooking a well-directed short ball in the 3rd over straight to deep fine leg for just 2-runs.

Opener Burgess was joined by Nico Reifer and the pair put together a 50-run stand before Currency got into his day’s work by luring Reifer forward, only to snick to Sam Seadon at slip. Reifer, dismissed for 23-runs, Sunbury 57 for 2 and Burgess 31 not out.

Burgess has a strong all round game; defending when necessary and hitting powerfully when opportunity allows. Supported soundly by South Australian, Liam Scott, Burgess played aggressively against the bowling of Sam Seadon and Aneesh Jhalla, finally falling to a spinning Ben Rutherford ball, bowled for an exciting 76 off 53 balls.

From then on it was the Currency show. At 119 for 3-wickets, the visitor’s quickly fell away under the pressure to find themselves struggling at 168 for 8. They rallied a tad and reached a final total of 211 all out from 49.4-overs; Rutherford adding one more wicket; and Jhalla nipping in to take the 10th.

Sutton received back 72-overs in which to reach the target set of 212-runs. Sadly, however hard Sutton tried and however much character they displayed with the ball, their failings and weaknesses with the bat were again brutally exposed.

Top order disappointments left the home side marooned at 37 for 4 by the end of the 19th over. A quick fire 30 from the returning Fabian Cowdrey and a neatly constructed 29 by young Ansh Bansal, making his debut, redressed the balance a little, leaving Sutton standing on 101 for 5 at tea.

After the break, the pace of Scott (12.3-7-12-4) and the left-arm spin of Vishal Manro (10-2-39-3) ripped through Sutton’s remaining order, to ensure a Sunbury victory, in 37.3 overs, by 104-runs.

Sutton CC v. Normandy CC

At Cheam Road, Sutton; Saturday 2nd July 2022.

Normandy, 24 points (189 ao off 63.4 overs) beat Sutton, 5 points (178 ao off 54.5 overs) by 11-runs.

Sutton fold again with bat after perfect start vs Normandy at Cheam Road.

A wonderful start for Sutton but despite the day setting out so positively, little has changed, with a recognisable batting collapse following hot on its heels of a respectable bowling performance.

Sutton captain, Sam Seadon, won the toss and elected to field on a bright and warm day. The wicket like those other decent looking Cheam Road strips that have been prepared regularly this season.

Normandy’s innings got off to the worst possible start with a wicket off the first ball of the game. Ollie Batchelor, 385 runs in his last three innings, including one ton and one not out double century, edged the returning Sam Blake’s delivery to Steve Dolben at slip, giving Sutton great encouragement early on.

Expectations were raised further in the 5th over. Sam Blake, bowling beautifully, with movement that troubled the batters throughout the innings, saw Chris Jones play straight into the hands of Seadon at first slip. Jones out 4, and Normandy 6 for 2-wickets.

Keeper Liam McKendry joined opener, Aussie overseas Joel Foster, at the crease. By the end of the 31st over, consistent pressure from Sutton’s spin attack of Dane Currency and Aneesh Jhalla, had restricted the pair to 72-runs off 25-overs. With lunch imminent, the breakthrough came. McKendry, on 27, pushing at Jhalla, nicked to slip and again Seadon took the catch. At the break Normandy were 81 for 3, off 32-overs. Foster 42 not out and fresh partner, Sam Holland, 1 not out.

Foster went soon after lunch for 46-runs, caught Rehan Ratnasapabathy in the covers, off Jhalla. A succession of wickets fell as the visitors struggled to up the run rate and by the 46th over Sutton had stifled Normandy’s top order to the tune of just 108-runs; but more significantly, for the loss of 7-wickets. The home side were on top.

From then on, a captain’s innings of 55-runs from Vignesh Venkateswaran, assisted by William Pereira’s 21, and Rhodri Williams’ 12 not out, pulled Normandy back into the game, finishing on a reasonable 189 all out, off 63.4-overs. With that recovery the game took on a different complexion.

Chasing 190 to win off the 56-overs back, Sutton’s response was ideal. Going to tea at 59 for no loss after 15-overs, Ratna 21 not out and Seadon 37 not out, the home side’s optimism was understandable. Alas, the match started to turn a little in Normandy’s favour soon after. By the middle of the 19th over both openers had departed. Ratna bowled Jones 23, and Seadon caught Batchelor bowled Venkat 39.

Spinners Venkat and Jones took centre stage from here on in, bowling unchanged for the rest of Sutton’s innings; and although the home side were still in the game at 158 for 4 with 19-overs remaining, spin eventually told, as is often the case at club level. Venkat finished with 4 for 75 off 24.5-overs; and Jones 5 for 55 off 24-overs, with the remaining 6-wickets skittled for just 20-runs.

The story of this season continues. From several potentially winning positions Sutton have failed to push on to success. A classic case of when you are not used to winning, it is hard to win!

Every team has, ‘bad days at the office;’ but when those bad days turn into weeks and months you know it is time to take a step back and accept that something is not right.

Nevertheless, the club must not lose all faith. No matter how difficult the challenges are, there is always a chance to turn things around.

Esher CC v. Sutton CC

At New Road Esher, Saturday 25th June 2022.

Esher, 24 points (226/2 off 47.4 overs) beat Sutton 3 points (223 all out off 58.3 overs) by 8-wickets.

Sutton lose to Esher after making strong start.

Sutton’s disappointing season continued at New Road Saturday, when Esher heavily defeated them. The margin of defeat was 8-wickets; yet it all began so differently.

Esher’s skipper William Edwards won the toss and elected to field on a bright and breezy day, where the threat of rain was constant, but which pleasingly, never realised. The wicket looked good, hard, and true with a tad of bounce.

Sutton got off to the best possible start with another opening partnership topping 100-runs. Chris Morris, maintaining his bold recent form, hit a quick-fire 92 (nine 4s, five 6s,) in 74 fun-filled minutes, before falling LBW, sweeping to leggie Freddie Harrison in the 22nd over. Ratna, once again thriving in his supporting role, played sensibly, the perfect partner to the irrepressible Morris. The first wicket fell at 124 with Ratna 28 not out.

A tremendous start for the third week running but again Sutton were punished for not taking advantage. With runs currently drying up for skipper Sam Seadon, and keeper Josh Blake, Sutton were very quickly 129 at the cost of 3 wickets. Blake losing his off-stump to the right-arm spin of Ben Collins who also seized Seadon’s wicket, caught at mid-on by Andrew McCallum, for 4-runs.

A pleasing cameo of 23 from recalled Sangram Reddy was about it for the rest of the batting other than another excellent Ratna innings. Almost carrying his bat, the innings ended in the 58th over, LBW to Nicholas Smit, for a well- managed 77-runs off 145-balls. Sutton were finally all out for 223-runs in 58.3 overs, Collins doing much of the damage, (14.3-1-53-4).

The fall of Justin Broad in the 4th over, with 21-runs on the board, caught behind by Blake off Connor Griffin for 13, gave Sutton early encouragement. The promise soon dissipated as the host’s skipper Edwards joined opener Alex Martin at the crease. The pair were in control until Martin on 49 and looking to secure his half-century, smashed a Dane Currency delivery to the left of Seadon at silly mid-on, who appreciatively clutched the chance.

With Esher standing at 104 for 2 wickets off 20-overs, the host’s overseas, Smit, now joined Edwards, 41 not out, in the middle. Thereafter, the pair coasted coolly to the 224-runs required, virtually untroubled by the bowling, winning by a resounding 8-wickets in 47.4 overs.

Another sobering experience for Sutton who again got a lesson in failing to make their early dominance count.

Sutton CC v. East Molesey CC

At Cheam Road, Saturday 18th June 2022.

East Molesey, 24 points (209/4 off 49.4-overs) beat Sutton 3 points, (207/10 off 64 overs) by 6-wickets.

In a weather affected game, the draw looked inevitable on Saturday as Sutton battled to contain Premiership contenders, East Molesey. However, rain interruptions, bad light, and the inevitable over reductions, contributed to a convoluted, and for some, baffling final target calculation; and at 7.47pm, the visitors claimed victory by 6-wickets.

Sutton skipper, Sam Seadon, won the toss, electing to bat on another decent looking Cheam Road strip. Opening batters, Rehan Ratnasapabathy and Chris Morris made excellent progress against East Molesey’s new ball bowlers, Andrew Westphal and Harry Porter. So much so, that by the 15th over Sutton had scored 74-runs.

As has been the case regularly this season the introduction of spin eventually curbed the flow of runs. Jonathan Fawcett came on for the 12th over and Frank Knight for the 15th, replacing Porter and Westphal, respectively. Morris especially, took a liking to Fawcett’s early overs as the hosts openers moved smartly to 106 in the 24th over. Fawcett gained revenge when Morris, unable to ground bat or body after attempting a mighty, reverse sweep, was stumped by Molesey’s skipper/keeper, Nick Stevens. Morris roared to his 68-runs in 66-balls, including eight 4s and two 6s. Meanwhile, Ratna, in support, had cruised serenely, to 37no.

In the 26th over, Josh Blake, replacing Morris, surprised everyone at Cheam Road, including himself, by succumbing early on. Fawcett got some bounce, the ball scratching Blake’s glove and caught behind for just a single run; Sutton were now 108 for 2.

Knight, having no luck opposite Fawcett, was replaced by Westphal in the 27th over. With the change, Molesey’s grip on Sutton’s batting was steadily tightening. Seadon, replacing Blake, was uncommonly subdued finding the bowling from both ends tough to get away. At the conclusion of the 39th over, with Sutton’s run rate waning, the score stood at 131 for 2.

In the 40th over Fawcett struck once more, and again with the help of his keeper. Ratna on 58 and looking solid, ‘nicked’ one straight to Stevens; Sutton 135 for 3, and Fawcett taking all wickets so far to fall. Etinder Bopara joined Seadon at the crease but soon Fawcett was working his magic again, Bopara caught sharply at short leg by Max Tomlinson for 4 runs. Sutton 147 for 4 after 47.1-overs and now struggling to reach a challenging target.

Fawcett continued to cause havoc and subsequently, claimed a further 5-wickets before Sutton were dismissed for 207-runs in their 64-overs. (Both teams lost 2-overs because of a short break for rain.) Seadon eventually fell to a Westphal slip catch for 22 and Aarav Rajnikanth scored a promising debut 29 before falling to another Stevens stumping; but others fell cheaply, with the final wicket a run out. Fawcett finished with stunning figures: 27-7-87-9. Astonishing!

Composed batting from Molesey’s opening pair, overseas Mac Wright, and Jake Kings, established the second opening century stand of the match. The first wicket fell in the 29th over, Dane Currency’s 11th. Kings, LBW for 53 and Molesey 110 for 1. Replacing Kings, Sam Burge took a mighty swing at ball two of Seadon’s second spell and was magnificently caught on the long-on boundary by Currency. Molesey 130 for 2 off 34.2-overs, requiring 78-runs to win off 17.4-overs.

At the end of the 47th over with Molesey standing at 185 for 2, the rain, threatening for the past hour or so, eventually dropped, sending players and officials scampering to the pavilion. When they emerged at 7.30pm Molesey found they had lost another 2-overs, leaving them 18-balls to score 23-runs and reach the target of 208.

By the 16th ball it was all over. Molesey victorious by 6-wickets, reclaiming top spot in the Premiership table, as news filtered through of Wimbledon’s defeat at home to Reigate Priory.

Realistically, by only reaching a total of 207, Sutton were never in the hunt for maximum points from this fixture. Nevertheless, they certainly did not make it easy for Molesey. A draw was possible, but Sutton’s bowling could not withstand the final 3-over onslaught and another confidence boosting result got away, just.

The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time and next week’s fixture at Esher gives the team an opportunity to simply do that and prove that the past few weeks’ improvement is not just a passing phase. When they get good enough, they will start winning.

Reigate Priory CC v Sutton CC

At Park Lane, Saturday 11th June 2022.

DRAW: Reigate Priory (203/8 off 58-overs) winning draw, 12 points; Sutton (215/10 off 65.3 overs) losing draw 7 points.

The 217 Derby is back!

Sutton stopped the rot in the Surrey Championship Premiership last Saturday by gaining the winning draw against Malden Wanderers. Yesterday, they showed real grit in battling their way to a hard-fought draw at Reigate Priory, joint leaders of the Premiership, with skipper Sam Seadon leading from the front.

On a day perfect for cricket, Sutton, who have found life difficult in their return to the Premiership, were asked to bat first, on a greenish looking wicket. They started very well as openers, Chris Morris, and Rehan Ratnasapabathy, tore into Priory’s pace duo, Andrew Delmont, and Matthew Hutcheon.

Big hitting Morris notably, took a shine to both bowler’s contributions, smacking a quick-fire 48 off 32 balls, before falling LBW to Angus Dahl’s leg-spin in the 11th over. Morris’ 50/50 approach to the timed format is refreshing. Great to see. Supporting Morris superbly in the opening stand of 67, Ratna nudged, nurdled and straight-batted to 19 not out, and more than happy to let Morris take the strike.

Dahl, who replaced Delmont in the 11th over was soon joined for the 12th, from the ‘Blue Anchor’ end, by celebrated spinner, Michael Munday. The hosts had now switched completely from pace to leg-spin, a strategy that was to eventually pay dividends.

At the fall of the 1st wicket Sutton’s run-machine Josh Blake joined Ratna, the pair moving efficiently to 87 in the 21st over, when Blake was adjudged LBW to Dahl for 12. Skipper Seadon came to the crease with Ratna still there on 27 not out. Their ensuing, valuable stand of 43 runs came to a halt in the 33rd over. Ratna, on 43, and attempting to loft one over mid-on, was fabulously caught by Delmont off the bowling of Connor Newbold, who had replaced Dahl in the 25th over. It was an innings of quality that helped Sutton reach an encouraging 130 for the loss of 3 wickets.

Dan Edwards was next in, with Seadon not out 26. Dahl returned in the 35th over to join his fellow leggie, Munday and it was at this stage that the game’s momentum changed. During the next 17 overs, 5 wickets fell for a total of 40 runs, leaving Sutton struggling at 170 for 8; and although Dane Currency’s big-hitting cameo of 21 runs helped in reaching a final total of 215, the leggies had done their job. Dahl ended with 4 wickets for 70 off his 23 overs: and Munday with 5 for 59 off his 27.3 overs. Seadon was last out, anchoring the innings with 73 runs in 109 balls, including seven 4s.

No sooner had Seadon removed his pads, he was ready to open the bowling with Connor Griffin. Priory skipper and their own run-machine Richard Oliver took strike, with Luke Haughton at the opposite end. It was not long before Seadon struck, albeit with the help of Currency who, running back, took an excellent catch over his shoulder to dismiss Houghton for 20 in the 9th over. 35 for 1. Oliver at deep mid-on strained his back in the over and for the rest of his innings batted with a runner.

Seadon turned to spin of the left-arm variety in the 13th over. Aneesh Jhalla replaced the skipper, but it was not Jhalla’s day, for once; and Currency came on for Griffin in the 16th. Ben Rutherford, playing his first game for Sutton after moving to the area from Kent, and on for Jhalla in the 17th, delivered an outlandish but highly productive initial over of right-arm spin. A double-wicket maiden derived from an over that included 2 full-tosses and a very full one! No matter, they all count, especially when one of them enticed Delmont, on 9, to swing hard only to be magnificently caught by Seadon standing at short mid-wicket. Final ball of the over and Alex Ross played all round another full ball, bowled and out for a golden. Priory 66 for 3.

Rutherford, now settling into a fine rhythm, took his 3rd wicket in the 23rd over, when Edwards grasped a lovely slip catch to dismiss James Crosthwaite for just a single. Priory 78 for 4. In the 30th over Currency (19-2-58-1) had his unyielding spell rewarded, Seadon catching Sam Hall in the slips for 8 runs. Priory now standing on 95 for 5 and thinking the impossible might be possible.

Angus Dahl however, was having none of it. Joining the unflappable but restricted Oliver, 53 not out, Dahl started positivity and only had winning the game in mind. Meanwhile, Seadon continued to ring the changes with his bowling attack, in what was a successful attempt to push deeper into Priory’s batting. Seadon pinned Dahl LBW for 38 in the 44th over; and dismissed Hutcheon for 5 in the 48th, Jhalla taking a lovely diving catch at mid-wicket.

With Priory standing on 167 for the loss of 7 wickets, all results were possible; and there were 10 overs left in which to do so. Hodgson joined the battling Oliver, 81 not out, but both were kept quiet by a mixture of clever and penetrative bowling by Seadon and Currency. So much so, that by the end of the 55th over, although there were no further wickets, the hosts had only advanced by 14 runs. Oliver 90 not out, Hodgson 5 not out, Priory 181 for 7.

With the final 3 overs left, 35 runs were required for a Priory win, 191 for a Priory winning draw, 2 wickets for Sutton to win and a losing draw possible as well. In the 56th over, with the result anyone’s guess, Hodgson hit out, looking to secure at least the winning draw, the over finishing with Priory on 190 for 7. At the end of the 57th over Priory were 196 for 7, and the winning draw secured if they did not lose 3 wickets in the final over. They did not, even though Oliver fell in the final over while attempting a 6 for his ton. He was well caught on the mid-wicket boundary by Rutherford off Seadon’s bowling for a superb 95 runs. Priory ended their 58 overs on 203 for the loss of 8 wickets. Seadon 14-1-41-4 wickets; Rutherford 11-2-36-3 wickets.

Sutton almost accomplished the shock result of the season so far. They often had the edge in a game that fluctuated numerous times. Sadly, their efforts, just like last week, were not enough to secure their first victory. Nevertheless, signs are clear that this squad will not relinquish their Premiership spot easily. They are determined to justify their status and serious about retaining it.

The ‘Spirit of Cricket’ lived on during the whole of this game. A terrific intense match played the right way throughout the day, including post-match. Seems Ubers were the call of the day, once the lads had decided it might be time to depart Park Lane and return via the A217 back to HQ. Lovely!

Malden Wanderers CC 1st XI v Sutton CC 1st XI

Saturday 4th June 2022 at Cambridge Road, New Malden.

Sutton gain winning draw, (10 points including 4 bonus points), Malden Wanderers (7 points including 5 bonus points.)

Sutton earned a winning draw at last year’s Division 1 champions, Malden Wanderers, after winning the toss and putting the hosts in to bat, on a day of early morning rain showers and a strong breeze. The game was delayed 45-minutes and consequently reduced to 107-overs with a 59/48 split.

Wanderers’ openers started well enough, coasting to 40 off 13-overs until Aneesh Jhalla tempted Andrew Carson next over, who promptly hit the ball hard and true, but straight to Rehan Ratnasababathy at mid-on, taking the catch instinctively. Carson went for 18 while fellow opener Zac Elkin, stood on 28; Wanderers 40 for 1.

Jhalla came on for the 10th over, Sam Blake giving way. Blake, returning after straining a hamstring tendon at Weybridge, did not look right and pulled up at the end of his 4th over. Likely a couple of weeks rest before Blake returns fit.

Wanderers started to lose wickets regularly during persistent bowling pressure, in the shape of Jhalla’s left-arm spin. He bowled beautifully throughout his uninterrupted spell, ending with excellent figures of 25-2-71-5.

The second Wanderers wicket to fall deservedly went to skipper Sam Seadon, who opened the bowling with Blake. Seadon had been troubling Elkin with his accurate medium paced seamers and got his man with the final ball of the 17th over, pinning Elkin plumb LBW for 28-runs. At this stage, the home side were standing at 52 for 2.

At the end of the 48th over (of 59) Wanderers were struggling to cope on the slow wicket, standing at 125 for 5. Alex Butler had contributed 30-runs before becoming Jhalla’s second wicket of the day, caught at first slip by Dan Edwards; but there had not been much else up to that stage. The next 11-overs produced 79-runs however, which took the pressure off the hosts a tad. Certainly 204 looked less vulnerable than the 160 odd if Wanderers had maintained their run rate of around 2.7. Alex Redmayne 45 and Aamir Raza not out 32, did the damage as they took a liking to Sutton’s clearly fatigued bowling.

Sutton were given 54-overs back, the result of their rapid over rate but toiled from the start of their innings as wickets were lost early. Chris Morris went for 8 in 4th over; Ratna for 15 in the 12th; and Seadon for 3 in the 17th. Sutton, 43 for 3.

From then on things started to look better. By the final ball of the 30th over Josh Blake and Dan Edwards had added 65-runs but just as the pair were looking to increase the run rate Edwards was adjudged caught behind by Richard Croney, off Rafeh Jafri, making a breezy 34 off 36 balls. With Sutton now 108 for 4, Blake on 46 not out, and 24-overs to go, this game was there for the taking by either team.

Run-machine Blake looked set for another high score but succumbed at the end of the 36th over to the right-arm spin of James Rimmer, nicking one to Elkin at first slip for 51, leaving Sutton 115 for 5. Wanderers skipper Croney was rotating his bowling skilfully, helping to pacify Sutton’s batting.

Sam Woods joined Etinder Bopara, 4 not out, at the crease and suddenly the pace of the game changed again. Woods hit a rapid 27 from 20 balls before yielding his wicket LBW to Raza. Bopara was stood steadfast on 12 from 41 balls; and Sutton were now 152 for 6 after 42.2-overs.

In the 46th over Connor Griffin was out LBW to Rimmer for 6. Dane Currency joined Bopora, and the two saw the score to 186 before in the 51st over, Bopara was caught at mid-wicket by Jafri off the bowling of Joe Lavender, for a circumspect 29. Croney’s bowling rotation was doing its job in restricting scoring opportunities and it was left to Sam Blake and Currency to see Sutton through their 54-overs doggedly, to the winning draw while taking the Sutton total to 188 for the loss of 8-wickets.

Overall, a game where advantage seesawed, where either side will rue not taking their opportunities to win; but where clearly, neither side wanted to lose. Whilst not a victory, the determination and resolve shown in not losing, notably from the late order Sutton batters, augers well for future fixtures.

Scorecard here Premiership table here

Sutton CC 1st XI v Ashtead CC 1st XI

Saturday 28th May 2022 at Cheam Road, Sutton: 50/50 format.

Ashtead (20-points) beat Sutton 4-points) by 74-runs.

Ashtead took full advantage of Sutton’s depleted attack on Saturday as the home side suffered a deflating 74-run defeat.

Missing two of their regular bowlers, as Fabian Cowdrey and Sam Blake recover from their recent injuries, Sutton struggled to contain Ashtead’s batting line-up. Former Surrey CAG Marcus Caprano-Wint, 50; ex-county player and Ashtead skipper Paul Harrison, 64; and South African overseas, Matthew Breetzke, 134 not out, tormented the Sutton attack throughout the visitor’s innings, reaching a total of 298 at the conclusion of their 50-over allocation.

All Sutton’s bowlers underwent various degrees of damage, although there was a potential dream start for Jack Sissons’ in his 1st XI debut. Harrison, driving loftily but firm at Sissons’ fourth ball was dropped at silly-point, whilst standing on 15-runs. It made minor difference overall but would have been a nice boost to Sissons’ confidence.

Sutton’s reply of 224 for 9 was effectively down to Josh Blake’s batting, whose 101 took his total runs in the four league matches so far this season to an impressive 339, including two not outs, to yield an average of 169.50.  Josh displayed exceptional batting skills throughout his innings, while wickets were falling regularly at the other end. Brief but productive cameos from Luke Smith, Dane Currency, and Sissons, 19, 30, and 19 individually, helped Sutton gain 3 much needed batting bonus points, while adding a tad of respectability to the total score.

Another weekend, and another unwelcome defeat. The reality of Premiership cricket these days is there for all to see, as the difference in skill levels between the top clubs and those promoted is evident. It is an exceedingly demanding situation for any promoted club.

Sutton have had a slow start to the season, losing their first four games; but the club is confident that the slump is reversable; and there is no better way to kick-start their season than a victory at last season’s Division 1 champions, Malden Wanderers, next Saturday, the first match of the time/declaration series of nine fixtures.

Weybridge CC 1st XI vs. Sutton CC 1st XI

Saturday 21st May 2022. 50/50 format.

Weybridge (20 points) beat Sutton (7 points) by 78-runs.

During the week following the match against Wimbledon, Sutton announced a change to the first eleven captaincy. As a result of growing work and personal commitments, Luke Smith, after leading the club for three seasons, took the difficult decision to stand down as captain. Luke, who remains a key member of the side, handed over the reins to his vice-captain, Sam Seadon.

Seadon’s first decision as skipper was a bold one which, with a bit of luck, almost paid dividends. Electing to field after winning the toss at Weybridge on Saturday, Sutton had the hosts reeling at 83 for 5 wickets after 22 overs although, early on, they were hindered when opening bowler, Sam Blake, broke down with a hamstring injury, delivering the second ball of his third over.

In a break from the norm, Aneesh Jhalla’s left-arm spin opened with Blake; and Jhalla did not take long to strike, bowling Odge Davey for 8 runs. Fellow opener, South Africa’s Test player, Sarel Erwee, stood on 1 not out. The second wicket fell to a sharp run-out, assisted by Smith from cover. Nathan Tilley was the victim on 14 and Weybridge were now 37/2.

Erwee 35 and Craig Meschede on 10 had taken the innings to 68/2 when in the 16th over that bit of luck mentioned earlier turned in the favour of Weybridge, the result of which was contentious and significant in altering the course of the game.

In Seadon’s 4th over, after replacing Blake, Meschede, with Erwee the non-striker, hit straight to Sam Woods at mid-on. His pick-up was crisp, and his aim deadly as the throw struck the wickets directly. Erwee went for a quick run but was sent back. Struggling to make his ground as the stumps collapsed, Seadon and Woods appealed confidently, certain of the run out. Yet, the standing umpire disagreed. It must have been close though. See for yourself:

Debatable!

Sutton continued to make inroads as Seadon seized the wickets of Meschede, caught in the deep by Dane Currency for 12; and Ryan Sclanders, taken sharply at point by Smith, for 4. Then, in the 22nd over, bowled by Seadon, Steven Reeves was left stranded in the middle of the wicket and was run-out, assisted coolly by Currency from point. Weybridge were now feeling the heat at 83/5; but that situation was soon to change.

The Weybridge skipper and keeper, Matt Laidman, joined Ewree, 42 not out, and the two turned around the host’s innings dramatically, putting-on a stand of 181 for the 6th wicket. Erwee, faultless after surviving the run-out appeal, demolished Sutton’s bowling on his way to 159 before being dismissed, swinging at a Rehan Ratnasapabathy delivery, with Currency taking a neat catch at deep mid-off. Ewree’s innings contained twenty 4s, 2 sixes and took 147 balls.

Meanwhile, Laidman continued his measured innings until the 49th-over when, on 81, he hit Ratna high into deep mid-on territory. Currency, not moving, held the catch efficiently and Weybridge now stood at 287/7. By the end of their 50-overs, the home side at reached 309 for the loss of 9 wickets.

Sutton had worked hard to contain the Weybridge batting, but having said that, the crucial run-out judgment early in the innings clearly surprised them. Credit then to the way Sutton performed after that run-out call. They fielded well, and never once did their heads fall. Realistically though, Weybridge had already managed to bat them out of contention. In the 50/50 format, chasing 310 to win is rarely achieved; thus, the enormity of the task facing Sutton was there for all to see.

Seadon, opening with Ratna, showed intent from the off, smashing a 6 way over the mid-wicket boundary, off Jack Winslade’s 6th ball. Alas, the next ball, Ralph Day’s 7th, nailed Ratna on the back foot. LBW, no score. Sutton 12/1.

Josh Blake joined Seadon, and both applied good technique whilst moving the total to 90 at the end of the 19th over. Seadon was judged LBW, 45, off Steven Reeves’ first ball of his 5th-over, leaving Blake on 35 not out. 

With the target 220 off 30-overs, Sutton’s only sensible objective now had to be gaining as many batting bonus points as possible to add to the 3 bowling ones already earned. Blake stayed the course finishing not out 103 at the end of the innings, including eight 4s. Once again, Blake batted superbly for his ton, the second for him in this campaign. Lovely to see.

Sutton, helped also by a brief but productive Connor Griffin cameo of 25 runs, closed on 231 for 8 from their 50 overs, thus gaining 4 batting points. Sam Blake, with a runner, remained not out on 5 leaving Weybridge winners by 78 runs.

Luck is a strange thing. Some like to point to people and say, “they got lucky,” and some will say luck does not exist. With chance, there will always be a factor of luck, as it is in the game of cricket; and every now and then you just need one result and a bit of luck to get back on track. It was not Sutton’s day on Saturday; but there was enough enterprise and passion on display to suggest their luck will change very soon.

Scorecard here. Premiership table here. Next week’s fixtures here.

Next Saturday, May 28th, Ashtead CC 1st XI visit Cheam Road, 12.00pm start, for a Surrey Championship Premiership 4th round fixture, the final 50/50 format game (of nine) before the nine rounds of timed/declaration 120-overs games commence.

Sutton CC 1st XI v Wimbledon CC 1st XI

Saturday 14th May 2022. Wimbledon beat Sutton by 8-wickets.

Sutton let slip the opportunity for their first win of the season with a fragile batting performance, paving way for an easy Wimbledon win on Saturday.

Having won the toss Sutton elected to bat on a warm, sunny day, and on another good-looking Cheam Road wicket.

However, hopes of a solid start disappeared when, in the 8th over, and with just 20 on the board, skipper Luke Smith was caught low down at second slip by Jack Boyle for 5, off the bowling of opening bowler Jack Palser.

Sam Seadon, opening, and Josh Blake, settling in effectively, took the score to 58 by the 14th over, when second change Richie Lamb tempted Blake who was neatly caught behind by Michael Turner, for a brisk 21 off 19 balls.

Rehan Ratnasapabathy joined Seadon at the fall of the second wicket and they were working hard to repair the early damage when at 107 in the 30th over, Moriarty enticed Ratna, who was duly stumped for 16 runs. 3 runs later Seadon was caught on the mid-wicket boundary by Lamb, off Moriarty, for a well-constructed 52.

During the next 8 overs, with spin dominating play, 4 wickets fell for just 6 runs, which included a run out, and two superb Boyle caught and bowled efforts. Dane Currency and Sam Blake fought hard right up to the final over producing a 9th wicket stand of 28; but at 144 Currency was caught behind off the returning Palser for 10; and one run later, off the last ball of the innings, Blake was bowled by the impressive Palser for 11. Sutton ended their innings on 145 all out; sadly, a far from adequate challenge.

Aside from Nick Welch falling for 0 without facing a ball, run out after Sam Blake deflected a fierce straight drive from Wimbledon skipper, Jonathan Webb, onto the stumps, it was plain sailing for the visitors. Webb ended not out 74 and Boyle scored 58 before he fell to a Josh Blake stumping off Currency with the score on 121. Ben Coddington, 8 not out, and Webb eased their way to the target without concern, leaving Wimbledon the winners by an extremely comfortable 8 wickets.

Next Saturday, Sutton face another demanding task as they travel to Weybridge, composed winners of their first two matches. Start time for this round 3, 50/50 fixture, is 12:00pm.

Scorecard here.

Latest table here.

Follow Sutton CC’s 1st XI matches via the club’s dedicated 1st XI Twitter feed, (@SuttonCCScorer)

Match Day Programme:

Sunbury CC 1st XI v Sutton CC 1st XI

Saturday 7th May 2022. Sunbury beat Sutton by 7-wickets.

Welcome season 2022!

For Sutton CC’s 1st XI, it is a return to the battle for Surrey Championship Premiership points; and everyone at the club looks forward to that. All the same, the opening fixture in this year’s competition proved just how tough it will be to accumulate those precious points, as an efficient bowling performance followed by controlled batting saw Sunbury beat Sutton by 7-wickets in the opening match of the Premiership on Saturday.

Although there were patchy conditions overhead that might have favoured early swing, and the look of rain in the air, (which, happily, never come about,) the wicket looked a good one and Sutton elected to bat first once skipper Luke Smith had won the toss.

Sunbury’s opening bowlers, skipper Kevin Smith (2/40 off 10) and Matt Harpur (2/19 off 8) bowled very well and restricted Sutton to 22-runs off the first 11-overs, during which period both opening bats fell.

First to go was Fabian Cowdrey, caught behind by Conor Fulton off Harpur’s bowling for 6; followed soon after by Sam Seadon, caught at deep mid-on by Colby Dyer off Smith for 4. Rehan Ratnasapabathy, deceived by a fast-lifting ball from Harpur, was caught behind for 2, leaving Sutton reeling at 28/3 off 14-overs.

Meanwhile, Josh Blake, coming in at first wicket down, was launching an innings that, in truth, emerged as Sutton’s saviour on the day. Blake ended his innings not out on 114-runs off 117 balls, including 9 fours, and 2 sixes. A superb, faultless display of high-quality batting. Supported by contributions from Dan Edwards, 36-runs, and ‘ET’ Bopara, 32, Blake headed Sutton’s recovery, a respectable 212/7 at the end of their allotted 50-overs.

Sunbury openers Sam Burgess, especially, and Rajan Soni, got their club’s chase under way aggressively; and by the time Dane Currency had caught Soni, 21-runs, at deep mid-on from the bowling of Connor Griffin off the last ball of the 10th over, Sunbury had already knocked-off 60-runs of the target.

The task in front of Sutton, protecting their 212, looked daunting at the beginning of Sunbury’s innings, given their Premiership pedigree. Yet there was a glimmer of hope when at 99-runs, in the 18th over, Burgess fell LBW to Currency for 58, off 54-balls including 10 fours.

That hope passed, as Aussie overseas, Liam Scott, and the county’s Nico Reifer, managed the next 10-overs expertly, taking the score to 147 before Aneesh Jhalla tempted Scott, duly caught by Currency, in the deep again, for a calculated 54-runs.

Fulton, playing his part with an enterprising 39 off 43-balls, joined Reifer at the crease and 12-overs later the target of 213 was duly reached, leaving Sunbury winners by 7-wickets.

This defeat will no doubt compel Sutton to sharpen their sense of urgency and respond effectively to the dangers that their next opponents, Wimbledon, will present. (Sutton 1st XI v Wimbledon 1st XI at Cheam Road, Saturday, 14th May 12.00pm start)

SCC 1st XI v Banstead CC 1st 50/50 Friendly Saturday 23rd April 2022; and SCC 1st XI v Old Wimbledonians CC 1st XI 50/50 Friendly Saturday 30th April 2022.

As cricket made a welcome return to Cheam Road., Sutton Cricket Club’s 1st XI stepped up their Surrey Championship Premiership preparation for the new season with friendlies against local opposition in the form of Division 1 sides, Banstead CC on 23rd April, and yesterday, 30th April, Old Wimbledonians CC.

On both match days, Cheam Road looked a picture, providing two excellent cricket wickets; and despite neither opposition being at full strength, it was still satisfying to witness how Sutton took advantage of the wickets to dominate both games comprehensively.

Batting first against Banstead, Sutton amassed 306-runs for the loss of 9-wickets off 50-overs. Fabian Cowdrey and Sam Seadon opened, controlling proceedings superbly in an opening stand of 146 before Cowdrey was dismissed for 80 off 72-balls, including 14 fours. Seadon accelerated rapidly and fell just 3-runs short of his ton, on 97 off 117-balls, including 13 fours and 2 sixes. Dan Edwards joined in the fun and smashed 43.

Opening bowlers, Sam Blake, (2/34 off 7-overs,) and Connor Griffin, (1/24 off 6-overs,) dealt with Banstead’s top three systematically, leaving returning overseas, Dane Currency, (3/26 off 8-overs,) and returning professional, Fabian Cowdrey, (3/13 off 3.2-overs,) to see off the remaining Banstead batters; Aneesh Jhalia chipping-in with a wicket off his only over, for 2-runs.

Sutton won the game by 178-runs, as Banstead were dismissed for 128 off 30.2-overs, in a game that Sutton, frankly, had expected more of a challenge. The hope was that the friendly match versus Old Wimbledonians on the following Saturday would present a tougher contest. Unfortunately, Sutton’s hope was sorely disappointed.

Granted the OWs bowling did restrict Sutton to 259/9 off 50-overs; Rehan Ratna, opening, scored 69 off 100-balls, including 6 fours; and Dan Edwards hit an aggressive 75 off 68-balls including 7 fours and 2 sixes, whilst OWs Greg Neilsen shone with the ball, (4/39 off his 10-overs.)  However, OWs reply was clearly, inadequate.

Sam Blake knocked over OWs top four, (4/17 off 10-overs,) leaving Currency, (3/18 off 6-overs,) and Jack Sissions, (3/11 off 2.5-overs,) on his Sutton 1st XI debut since coming down from Durham, to see off the rest of OWs batting for a total of just 71 all out, in 24.5-overs, leaving the home side winners by 188-runs.  

Score cards available here.   

Next Saturday, 7th May, in the first Premiership league game of the season, the 1st XI play at Sunbury CC; whilst in the 2nd XI Prem, the 2s are at Cheam Road, entertaining Sunbury CC’s 2s.

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