Claygate Cricket Club

Facing Merton away at Merton, the first challenge was a heavy shower just before the start of the game, but Claygate were able to take advantage by winning the toss and deciding to bowl first on a pitch that offered movement for the seamers.

As in previous weeks, Rajindu and Luke Webb bowled well keeping the openers in check before a flurry or runs (mostly edges) increased the scoring rate.

The introduction of Vikram Prabharkar halted progress with one opener being caught behind to a smart piece of keeping by Tom Sapsed, before the other was trapped LBW.

Claygate old boy Matt Holmes then walked to the crease but was quickly sent back, bowled ‘through the gate’ by Vikram, who continued his excellent form finishing with figures of 3-42 from 14 overs.

Wickets kept falling at regular intervals with Rajindu picking up two and there was one each for Watkins, Knight and Harris, accompanied by two run outs. Some lower order hitting and edges carried Merton’s total to 180 all out from 45.1 overs.

In reply, Claygate started strongly with Sanjeewa and Jamie Henderson finding the boundary with ease and racing to 83 without loss from 12 overs. Henderson was then bowled for 26 bringing skipper Chris Howe to the wicket.

Claygate were cruising at 113-1 when Sanjeewa top-edged a full toss to mid-wicket which was the signal for a middle order collapse with Tom Sapsed, Scott Labacik and Joel Watkins all falling cheaply. Howe reached 53 before being given out LBW with the score on 174- 5 and when Webb went without troubling the scorers the worst was feared.

However Rajindu Rodrigo held his nerve to finish the game with a stylish on-drive to give Claygate another 20 points and three wins on the bounce!

Onwards, upwards and, after a slow start to the season, third place in the league.