Normandy edge ever closer to Sowing it up
Normandy ............ 265-5 Farnham................... 179
victory for Normandy with just four balls to spare as they took another giant step towards the Premier.
The Australian leg-spinner produced a flipper to bowl George Dale to force a win by 86 runs, just when it seemed Farnham would hold out, ensuring Howard Grice’s men stay top by 10 points.
Their 10th success in 12 matches had much to do with Sowter, who is from Sydney but has a British passport. Earlier he had stroked 114 – including seven fours and two sixes – in adding 71 for the third wicket with Grice (47) and then 156 for the fourth with Oli Batchelor (69).
That ensured Normandy reached 265-5dec from 60 overs although the visitors – who had entered the match on the back of three wins – reached 86-1 thanks to Joel Walker (52) and Guy Hicks (28). Off-spinner Chris Jones (4-42) made important breakthroughs though and Sowter – who bowled two of his victims and had the other two leg-before – ensured Grice did not regret declaring earlier.
“I thought we might have left it a bit late when we needed five wickets in the last 10 overs but a lot of our games have followed the same pattern and we’ve learned to be patient,” said the captain.
“Many first division teams have decent early batting but then you can get through the rest and our spinners have been tremendous. Nathan batted beautifully and his googlies and flippers are a great weapon.”
The Normans will now be looking to Farnham to do them a favour this Saturday when they travel to title rivals Beddington, while Grice's side go down lowly Malden Wanderers.
Meanwhile, off-colour Camberleyy were left to rue another woeful batting display – yet they still almost ground out an unlikely victory against Old Whitgiftians at Upper Verran Road.
Cam found themselves reeling at 43-5 at one stage before Dan Burns steadied the ship with a captain’s innings, smashing an unbeaten 52 to lead the fightback.
Unfortunately, however – bar Dominic Peter’s 18 – Burns was fast running out of support at the other end and after Kyle Philander, Julian Hagger and Dan Wakeling all departed without troubling the scorers, Camberley were skittled for 120 all out.
That man Burns gave Cam hope with an early breakthrough, but after weathering the early storm the visitors looked well set at 61-1 when Philander struck twice in quick succession to add to the tension.
Now, Cam were on top and after Wakeling and Philander made further inroads, Old Whits were suddenly 75-5 and the game was back in the balance.
Brief respite was restored from Ali Jaffery (12) and Joe Murtagh (11) but another quickfire pair of wickets with the score on 95 suddenly set up a tense finale.
Unfortunately, however, a brave 22 not out from Adam Clarke helped see the visitors escape further alarm and limp home – Philander recording best figures of 3-24, backed up by Burns’ 2-30.
Camberley host Cranleigh this Saturday.
Captain’s innings: Skipper Dan Burns top scored for Camberley put couldn’t prevent defeat against Old Whifgiftians on Saturday
Spin king: Nathan Sowter is spinning Normandy towards the division one title