Last night, Effingham U13s won their first ever cup match after 5 years of trying against local rivals, Ashtead. Ashtead were asked to bat first in this Surrey County cup game on a hastily prepared pitch at Bookham after the recent rain. The slow wicket and lush outfield suggested this would be a low scoring game, and Effingham’s impressive accuracy with the ball and sharp fielding certainly kept Ashtead’s batsmen at bay. It was Elliot Sumitomo-Wyatt who claimed the first wicket of the season with a fine catch at a wide mid-on by Jake Raffaelli, followed up with a unexpected run-out after a fine stop by Sam Cobb. Further regular wickets fell without a notable increase in runs scored with wickets from Sam Cob and Thomas Stratten. Then came the moment of the match, with Stratten pulling off a very fine stop deep in the covers. He gathered the ball cleanly and sent a missile throw straight over the top of the stumps for Ollie Nicoll to whip the bails off, with the batsmen just short of his ground. Ashtead staged a slight recovery with some late runs after William Burbidge had taken their 6th wicket with a fine 2 over spell, but a score of 63-6 off 20 overs was seemingly well below par.
The stodgy pitch also held back the Effingham batsmen in their reply, however, that did not stop Raffaelli. Last year’s big hitter got off to fine start this season and struck 7 fours and 1 six in his 37 before retiring. His first six of the season was mildly amusing with Martin failing to catch the ball on the boundary with it bouncing off his chest. Effingham lost Sam Cobb, Raymond Wing, Sam Partridge and Ciaran Jarvis for relatively low scores, but they all did their bit in occupying the crease to help the addition of runs towards the target, so should not be disappointed to get out. Elliot stayed in for the whole innings with 5 not out, despite being bowled twice from no-balls, but he stuck in there and aided by Ashtead’s bowling indiscipline, we safely won in the 14th over.
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