I’ANSON stalwart Tim Gray scored an unbeaten 107 as Badshot Lea chased down the target of 202 set by Thursley.
The win sent Badshot Lea from sixth to third place in I’Anson Division Two, albeit well adrift of front-runners Brook and Fernhurst.
Derek Agge, coming in at number 5, had earlier hit 93 for hosts Thursley, with skipper Steve Fuller (39) and Aaron Smallbone (37) also making valuable contributions.
Thursley made a good midway declaration and the total looked to be enough as Alex Elkins ripped into Badshot Lea’s top order. But Thursley could not halt the charge of Gray who found able partners in Max Morris, Rah Rocky and Josh Menzies.
Gray reached a superb century and finished the game in style, hitting the winning runs with a six off the second ball of the last over. With a century, two catches, including a diving one-handed effort, and two wickets, it was a memorable day for the long-serving Badshot Lea all-rounder.
Tongham, inserted at Brook, were given an excellent start by Adam Farrier and Liam Gadd. Their opening partnership of 83 was notable for many quick singles before Gadd went for one too many and was run out for 44. Gadd went on to a masterful 83 not out, including 11 fours and a six, and with Mark Andrews and Stuart Reynolds in support, steered the visitors to 196-7 off the full 48 overs. Alex Johns conceded just 18 runs in his first eight overs and Jonathan King had the best figures with 4 for 24 in 10 overs.
Brook were in a bit of trouble at 35-2, with the in-form Toby Pheasant yorked by Tongham’s best bowler, Nick Cook. But Marc-Antony Eysele, dropped at cover before he had scored, was joined by Paul Challinor and there was no further success for Tongham as an unbeaten stand of 162 eased Brook over the line in 30 overs. Eysele, although put down again, hit nine sixes in a very attractive 107 not out, while Challinor made a rock-solid 58 at the other end.
Bottom side Hindhead, missing a number of regulars, were put in at Fernhurst and were soon in trouble as Bruce Baxendale (5-20) blew away the top order with accurate and pacey bowling. David Babb put up strong resistance and batted well for his 27 before hitting the ball straight back to Nick Jackman who took a fine catch. Ali McGregor was still there and playing with attacking intent, particularly against the change-bowlers. He made 38 off 42 balls before falling lbw to Tristan Rissik and Hindhead were all out for 122 after 29 overs.
Mark Charman and Mike Allen saw off accurate opening spells from Harry Stokes and Matt Jeffs, and then attacked the other bowlers at will. The openers kept pace with other as Fernhurst cruised to a 10-wicket win in 23 overs – Charman 59 not out, Allen 56 not out.
An opening stand of 125 between Peter Unsworth and Kevin Huttly (59) set the platform for a sizeable Shalford total against Harting. The big-hitting middle order were kept in check by Simon Kyte and Archie Wadey, but with Unsworth batting throughout for a disciplined 93 not out, Shalford still managed to set the visitors 230 to win from 45 overs.
Harting began steadily, with the in-form pair of Kyte and Terry Wadey accumulating runs while keeping wickets in hand. With 10 overs remaining, the run-rate had risen to seven an over and with Shalford needing eight wickets, a draw looked the likeliest result. Then it all got exciting. Harting began finding boundaries and Shalford started taking wickets. With three overs to go, Harting needed 30 and Shalford three wickets and with Kyte out for 104, the home side seemed to have the momentum.
Harting had other ideas. With 19 wanted from the last over, Jake Wadey hit the first ball for six and the next four went 4, 1, 2, 0. So Harting needed six off the last ball with Wadey at the wrong end. To their delight, number 9 Guy Hewetson launched the ball over the wide long-on boundary. Harting had won by three wickets.
The Bourne came up against a powerful Elstead batting line-up. Openers Lewis Sheppard (85) and Dave The (80) pummelled the home bowlers and a late unbroken partnership between the returning Josh Berry and Yousef took the total to a formidable 264-5 off 42 overs.
Bourne never recovered from losing three early wickets. Russ Mayhew (24) and Isaac Morse (37 not out) put up some resistance, but Yousef polished off the tail and Bourne were dismissed for 126 in the 29th over.
The 2nd XI clash between Grayshott and Frensham produced the only draw in the six divisions as the I’Anson returned to declaration cricket. Grayshott batted the full 48 overs for a total of 205-7 after an opening stand of 53 between Alistair Wheble and Matt Jackson and then a fine innings by Luke McBain who top-scored with 62.
After a bad start, Frensham rallied with a fine partnership between James Fost (86) and Brad Van Bylevelt (38). Both eventually fell to Andy Lang (4-52) and he and Rob Gregory (3-25 in 12 overs) took further quick wickets before Frensham ended the day on 171-8. Young keeper Wheble claimed three catches and a stumping.