Oxted & Limpsfield Under-8s 155-3 (20 overs), Horley Under-8s 139-11 (20 overs), Saturday, 4 May, Crockham Hill. Oxted and Limpsfield won by 48 runs
Despite having a number of underage players, Horley Under-8s put in a sterling effort, but couldn’t make a winning start to their first season.
Oxted’s first batting pair found scoring tough but with their second pair the tide began to turn with boundaries coming regularly from great shots, despite a sharp run-out from Zach Douglas off his own bowling. The flow of runs continued with Oxted’s next pair but Horley again replied with a wicket from Eoin Spalding and another from Joe Ardon in the final pairing.
Special mention goes to Mohammad Sherwani for his resilience after taking a ball in the face resulting in a nose bleed whilst fielding.
The scoring rate slowed towards the end of Oxted’s innings but they finished with a handy net total of 343 for 3 from their 20 overs
In Horley’s reply, skipper Tom Jowett was the only player to reach double figures, finishing on 17, including four boundaries.
Nathan Harding, in the last pair, scored nine, alongside Douglas who scored six, while William Richards in the penultimate pair got eight runs.
Horley finished their 20 overs on net 295 for 11 wickets, leaving the home side as comfortable winners.
Merstham Under-8s 347 (155-2) (20 overs), Horley Under-8s 286 (126-10) (20 overs). Merstham won by 61 runs.
Jack James hit an astonishing 46 in 16 deliveries during his four-over stint at the crease in this pairs match, but it was not enough to give Horley’s youngest team a win in their first game.
Merstham already had two matches under their belts and they put pressure on Horley’s first pair with accurate bowling supported by able fielding around the wicket.
Despite this Peter Artemenkov found the boundary twice with fine blows to leg.
Alfie Warden picked up where he left off, hitting the first six of the year in a fine innings of 15.
Horley’s next couple of pairs struggled to get bat to ball before Thomas Jowett and Jack James took to the crease and put on what is very possibly a pairs club record of 57 in four overs.
The momentum couldn’t be maintained and with a flurry of wickets, which take four off the score each time, Horley ended up on net 286 (126).
Consistent, strong batting throughout Merstham’s line up saw them comfortably achieving their target by making net 347 (155) despite wickets for opening bowler Artemenkov (1-8) and the fast improving leg spinner Shivesh Anguraj (1-9).
Despite the defeat, the young Horley players all enjoyed their experience and will be back for more.