Another weekend of league cricket for Hampton Hill and another 2 wins for the Saturday league teams, the stock of HHCC is definitely on the rise.
The 1st XI travelled to struggling Ewhurst, who have had such a problem with availability this year that they have had to cut their 2nd XI from the league. But there was no sentiment for their plight from HHCC. After losing the toss and being inserted, the HHCC opening pair continued their rich vein of form with an opening stand of 67, before Tom Hampton fell to Selby. Harry Coates, fresh from getting lots of runs on tour (both on and off the pitch), carried on with a fine knock of 84 until trapped LBW by Ewhurst stalwart Les A’Boe, ably supported by James Newton Savage and Joe Lee Rice. At 159/4, Charlie Newton Savage (55no) and captain Rob Fullicks (25no) set about the attack to reach a total of 239/4 in 43.5 overs, giving them 52 overs to bowl out Ewhurst. The opening attack of Paul Metcalfe and Rob Fullicks kept the score down and removed the openers before Tom Selby produced some resistance before being bowled by Fullicks for 41. 73/3 quickly became 88/7 as Chris Williams helped himself to a couple of middle order wickets. However, some tail end resistance from Matt Selby and Greenaway pushed the score past 3 figures before Fullicks finally got the breakthrough and with Metcalfe returning the tail was finally polished off for 138, giving a winning margin of 101 runs, with Fullicks taking his week’s wicket haul soaring to the mid-teens with 6/40.
With nearest rivals Horley succumbing to Merstham, HHCC have a stranglehold on the 1st X1 Division 2 with a lead of 51 points, with 7 games remaining.
The 2nds, after a bad start of losing the first 4 games in the fixed overs format, have come back strongly in the 2XI 1st division, winning three and a winning draw in their last four games. They welcomed Wallington to a blazing hot Bushy Park on Saturday. Captain Warren Carr won the toss and put Wallington in to bat. Tom Coates then ripped through the top order with some fine bowling to leave them 65/4, before Phillips and captain Julian Rozario managed to stead the ship and reach 109. After Shadab Ahmed removed Rozario a dropped caught and bowled that hit the stumps, HHCC were confident of reducing Wallington to an achievable score on a fine batting track. But some mighty hitting from Smith, and especially Chaudray ensured the total of 243/9 dec was very competitive. Shadab finished with 4/51 but could have been more as the hot weather took the toll on the young fielding side.
Nauman Butt and Saad Bhaktar then started the chase, being watchful early on to the wiles of experienced Phillips and the youthful skill of Surrey and England U15 ladies star, Briony Smith, but gradually they started to dominate the bowling and both reached half centuries before Butt was caught for 68, leaving HHCC 138/1, with over 20 overs to score the 106 to win. Bhaktar quickly followed for 53 and a mini collapse left the home side on 156/6. Tahir Butt then joined Amed at the crease and the club crept up to 172 before Ahmed fell for 21. This brought Tom Coates to the crease, and not to be out done by his older brother, batted sensibly and cleverly and with Butt pushed the score over 200, edging the Hill closer to the winning target. Butt (18) then fell with 29 still wanted off 30 balls, and Coates was joined by ageing skipper Carr. Somehow his creaky legs and bad eyes managed to help Coates to keep the scoreboard ticking over until there was just one over to go, and 6 was required. Kingsbury was the bowler and Coates was facing – pushing a single, 5 off 5, second ball, a dot as Carr played and missed. Ball 3, a huge appeal for LBW given ‘not out’ by umpire Roger Gould. The batsmen run a quick leg bye, before Carr decided to risk a second, (any second run between Coates and Carr is always risky), he made the run as the throw was wayward, and with no backing up, they took an extra run. Wallington now panicked and threw wildly again, allowing the batsmen to complete an unlikely all run 4 leg byes! 3 balls 1 to win. The catastrophe, Carr is caught behind and now with the scores level and HHCC 9 down, Henry Newton Savage strides to the crease.
Wallington see his is a young lad of 14, and you can hear the whistling of the great escape in the tension filled air. They surround the bat, as the 5th ball is bowled. A solid forward defensive produces no runs. One ball left one to win. Carr is frantically trying to tell the boys to just run… Kingsbury starts his run up, half way through he is joined by Coates, picking up speed on this exaggerated backing up. The ball is full; Newton Savage pushes the ball past the short cover fielder and sets off on the run. Coates, running like no other Coates has run before, gets home, but will HNS make it? The large crowd scream as the fielder reaches the ball and aims a throw at the stumps, but to no avail, HNS is home and HHCC win by one wicket off the last ball , thanks to the fine match winning knock from Tom Coates (34). HHCC congratulate the youngsters and commiserate with Wallington who played a full part in an enjoyable game, befitting the new clubhouse. News of the victory reached vice-captain Thornley, unavailable as acting as Best Man at a wedding, who made sure all the guests were aware of this result in his speech. The result pushed HHCC into 5th in the division, just 14 points off Shepperton who are top. This is a very tight league with only 30 points covering 10 of the 11 teams, so HHCC need to keep this momentum going to climb further up the league.