Farnham Cricket Club’s first team fell to a four-wicket defeat at home to newly-promoted Cheam on Saturday.
The wicket looked good for batting, but Cheam won the toss and elected to field first.
Jamie Strachan and Nathan Thorpe were tasked with opening the batting for the hosts. The pair made a sure and steady start, with some sumptuous driving on display.
However, with the score on 29, Thorpe fell to Nomaan Ali for 13, chasing a wide one to be caught behind.
Captain Jim Berry joined Strachan and another good partnership ensued, with Farnham’s dynamic wicket-keeper batter Strachan the dominant partner.
He fell for a well-made 23 to Mirza Baig, and when Berry and vice-captain Russ Golding fell in quick succession, Farnham were reeling at 51 for four.
Tom Flack showed good resolve to weather the Cheam onslaught, but wickets fell consistently at the other end.
When Flack was run out for 54, it was left to Rob Goldsworthy and Jake Henderson to see out the final overs.
The hosts limped to 136 for nine from their 50 overs, which was a disappointing result after being 51 for one.
Joe Bracher and Billy Yeats got the visitors’ innings underway, while Goldsworthy and Brady Poole took the new ball for Farnham.
The batters made a fast start to the chase, before Goldsworthy found the edge of Bracher’s bat and Thorpe flew to his right to take a stunning diving catch at second slip.
There was a feeling this could spark something for Farnham. However, with the wicket offering little assistance for the seam bowlers, captain Berry had to shuffle his pack and tried his luck with Mike O’Mahony and Thorpe.
The change paid dividends with the former picking up Yeats for 30.
Number four Sam Wright batted well with Ruban Butt, and the pair had taken their team’s score to 90 when the pressure from spin duo Thorpe and Henderson was too much and Wright shouldered arms to be bowled by Thorpe for 18.
An excellent run out by Poole and another wicket for Thorpe gave Farnham a glimmer of hope with the score on 105 for five.
However, Butt was immovable, and despite a late wicket for Adam Elstow, Cheam got over the line comfortably with four wickets to spare.
The bowling and fielding display by Farnham was excellent, but they had been let down by their batters in the first half of the game.
The first team travel to Stoke D’Abernon on Saturday.