Sunday XI survive smash up on the Heath

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Sunday XI survive smash up on the Heath

Sunday 11 August – 35 over game


Sunday XI: 258-7 (Warwick 96, Noble 69)


Reigate Priory Cavaliers: 255-7

By 3 runs


The Sunday XI survived a late charge from Reigate as a game seemingly drifting into nowhere was rapidly enlightened by Reigate’s skipper, whose 97* off just 34 balls took his team to the brink of an unlikely win.

Earlier in the day, Headley were asked to bat first on a very good deck and were not in the mood to pass up the invitation. Gus Noble (69) fired some powerful drives, whilst debutant No.3 Seb Warwick (96) hit some scintillating shots and soon began peppering the car park on realisation it was by far the shortest boundary. Noble departed to a wily caught and bowled, but Warwick moved through the gears in partnership with John Mottashed (41) who stroked the ball around in his usual elegant style. These two took the score to 210-2 in 25 overs and a truly monumental score looked possible before a run-out for Mottashed halted the momentum. Headley subsequently lost Jack Curtis, Warwick (stumped for a superb 96), James Midmer (bowled for a less superb 10) and Grant Waller (bowled for an even less superb golden duck) before Andy Pickering (34*) eventually made sure the platform wasn’t wasted, with some late hitting taking Headley up to 258-7.

The visitors had several decent batsmen so this score was within reach with one very short road-side boundaries. However, two pinch-hitters fell early (12-2) and the rate soon climbed as some vintage left-arm swing from Waller (including the positioning of a leg slip) and tight spells from the Mottasheds applied the squeeze. With 10 overs to go, several batsmen perished quickly leaving the visitors on 150-6 (give or take) with 8 overs left, a seemingly impossible position. That was before the Reigate skipper, batting at No.7 started murdering the Headley change bowling with some savage blows to keep the game alive. In fairness to the bowlers he was dropped several times, benefitted from a missed stumping, but he scored 70 of a seventh wicket partnership of 71 and got it down to 40 needed from 3 overs.

The impossible now looked on; all fielders on the boundary; all singles being refused, and regular sixes raining down in the direction of Beaverbrook. Amidst the carnage Henry Calvert bowled a decent penultimate over to leave the visitors needing 19 off the last, bowled by a brave Andy Pickering, who thanks to some stunning captaincy from Midmer had been bowling slow left arm with the tiny road side boundary on the leg side.

The final over transpired thus: the first ball was a crucial dot, the next was a four, the next was a four (almost a six), the next was a four (almost a six, this time at the Cock Inn end fence, he was hitting it that far). Just 7 needed from 2. With the batsman moving severely to the offside pre-delivery; Pickering speared the next ball craftily in wide of off stump; the ball was initially called as a fairly tight wide, but after some debate the umpire very sportingly changed the call. Reigate now needed six to tie, but the final ball just didn’t clear the net and was a four; Reigate’s skipper reaching a remarkable 97* off 34 balls; Reigate three runs short; Headley totally exhausted, and nobody sure how to react! A few beers helped. Headley next play against Brookwood

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