FERNHURST again showed their batting strength as they overhauled Frensham 2nd XI’s 241-8 to close the gap on Tongham at the top of I’Anson Division Two.

Tongham were without a game and Fernhurst needed a win to maintain the pressure. The gap at the top is now down to just .55 on the points average.

After being invited to bat first, Frensham batted the full 48 overs for a defendable total. Ben Harrison (45) and Charlie Robertson gave them a good start and although Leon Fourie and Tristan Rissik began to pick up wickets, Hamish Grundy strode in to hit 60, well supported by Adam Page (23) and Hally Baldock (32 not out).

The early loss of Mark Charman did nothing to discourage Fernhurst and Mike Allen and Sam Meier (46) were quickly into their stride. Allen’s powerful 80 contained four sixes and with Fourie (36) and and Ally Kidd also scoring freely, Fernhurst powered to victory with an over to spare. Kidd hit 32 of his 39 not out in boundaries.

Bottom side Badshot Lea must be wondering what they have to do to record a first win of the season. At home to Elstead, they did the first half of the job by posting 260-9 in 46 overs, with the prolific Tim Gray making 69 and Chris Minassian 43. A gift of 45 extras helped as well.

But Elstead sold their wickets dearly and hard- hitting fifties from Dave Tye (53) and Peter Cheeseman (62) had them on course for victory at one stage. Rupert Keith chipped in with 30 and although Matt Morrison caused a late collapse by taking 3-13 in six overs, Elstead held out for the draw, finishing just five runs behind on 255-9.

Witley chose to bat against the strong Pirbright side and things started with a bang as Ian Milton bowled a cracker of a first over, hitting the stumps with the first ball of the game and dismissing the other opener four balls later to leave the home side 1-2.

At 56-5 in only the 14th over, things looked bleak for the home side, but a 68-run partnership between Jamie Rawlinson and Deon Van De Merwe brought them back into the game. Van De Merwe reached his 50, but the introduction of Bailey Milton caused another collapse and Witley were all out for 150.

Pirbright also began badly, losing their openers in the first two overs. However, a solid stand of 68 between Rupert Howe and Ivan Wright put the visitors in control. Wright made a fine 79 not out and a further good stand with Aman Khan ensured victory in the 33rd over.