Ashmore 176-8 Charlton Down 177-5 Div 3 1/7/2017
Charlton Down completed the first half of the season unbeaten with their ninth straight win and a five wicket win against a strong Ashmore team who had only lost one game during the season. A mid season top of the table clash that had everything good about cricket. Great fielding, bowling batting and a sense of enjoyment by both teams on and off the pitch.
Charlton Down inserted Ashmore and winning the toss paid dividends as Matt and Dan Stevens extracted movement with the new ball. Matt struck with the fifth ball of the innings bowling Julian Watson, centurion from last week, with a perfectly directed yorker. Dan Stevens then had Lee Russell caught by Nick Voss in what can only be described an astonishing catch of the season, one handed run and leap on the boundary edge and pluck out of the air with both feet off the ground! The Ashmore batsmen were at times bamboozled with the tricky of Dan Stevens(1-16) who only conceded 16 run from his six overs but a slight back strain meant he could not bowl any further overs.
This had Ashmore on the back foot at 5-2. Stalwalt Andy Taylor and ex Somerset Sam Diment rebuilt the Ashmore innings until the turn to spin saw Kim Park have Taylor(23) caught behind attempting to sweep with the score on 61-3. Sam Diment and Andy Maidment were looking well set until spinner Sam Roles had the impressive Sam Diment caught by Mark Homewood for a well constructed 54 and then a return catch by Maidment(34) saw the score go from 128-3 to 138-5. a further middle order wicket for Roles saw Chris Gray bowled for 12. The returning Matt Stevens(3-29) was too quick for Hipworth and Trepass and it was Roles(4-36) who picked up his fourth wicket with a well judged catch by Mark Homewood as Ashmore closed on 176-8.
Charlton Down innings mirrored that of Ashmore losing two quick wickets with the score on 24-2. The experienced and firey Sam Diment bowled both Eveleigh and Voss for 4. However an important fifty run partnership between Jae Miller and Sam Roles steadied the innings before Miller miss timed a clip off his legs to mid wicket for a careful but important 37 with the score on 74-3. The match winning partnership of exactly 100 between Sam Roles(69) and Matt Stevens(40) was a show of gritty defence, classical stroke play and explosive clean hitting, from both players. Both young batsmen batted with great maturity for over and hour and half until 3 runs were required for victory they both were dismissed. Roles innings included 7 fours and 3 sixes and Matt Stevens included 6 fours. Leaving Kim Park and Javed Gill to see Charlton Down to victory with ten overs to spare.
Captain Tommy Tucker said” this was probably the best all round team performance of the season as so many players contributed with the bat, ball and in the field. Our fielding performance was definitely our best so far. Ashmore, who played League 2 cricket last year, stacked with experienced players and included ex Somerset player Sam Diment, are far the best team we have played this season and made our young team rise to the occasion with flying colours”.