Hampton Hill 2nd XI beat Merstham by 7 wickets
Hill’s second XI once again saw some squad rotation with their culturally active skipper Porter splitting his day between the side-lines and a music recital, so the reigns were again handed to self-effacing Tom ‘Better than Bairstow’ Coates. The day and with it the first half of the season, ended with the 2s sitting atop of Div 4 of the Surrey Championship thanks to a solid win over visitors Merstham, despite all involved dicing with death via some less than cooked chicken.
Bowling first Hill made immediate inroads thanks to sustained opening spells from Jack Fullicks (4/46) and Mike Murton (2/30). Man of the Match Jack bowled a particularly feisty opening spell, and both then came back to pick up important wickets late in the piece. In between General #2 Ian Exworth bowled his longest spell for a while with 13 overs off the reel, picking up 3/34 along the way, despite the customary couple of drop catches from an otherwise solid Hill fielding display. General #3 Everett kept it tight through his 8 overs and the skipper burgled a wicket with his dirty spin to end some lower order resistance, to go with three catches (and a drop); all of which left Hill to chase 140.
In reply Hill showed no signs of being affected by nugget-gate and having lost General #1 Cadogan early on, when the pace was a little too hot for the short-legged ginger opener, they then made things look easy. First Jake Wood with his flowing mane and innovative use of rubber, struck a crisp 53 and then the man all mothers would like to see their daughters bring home, Adam Oliver, continued to pepper third man on his way to a well-made 31. It was then left to Kash Sheikh (18*) and the ever-humble skipper who made a brutal 31* to see the Hill home with plenty of time to spare.
So, the season hits halfway with the 2s well positioned to push on thanks to a squad that is growing in size and quality and starting to really find its feet at this level if it can keep the run going through the holiday period and as long as Tom doesn’t get called up to the Test squad of course….
Written by Ian Exworth