AN UNDER-STRENGH Trinity Mid-Whitgiftian side produced a tenacious performance to earn a stunning four-run win over Cranleigh in a low-scoring thriller at Lime Meadow on Saturday.
Without four of their regular top five batsmen it came as no great surprise that Mids struggled to 151 all out after winning the toss and electing to bat.
Graham Cobbett and Robert Warne were both undone early on by full-length deliveries from Max Barson but Will Page began promisingly before edging Paddy Harman to Mark Wagh at slip.
Kunal Patel continued his recent good form and kept the score moving at a reasonable rate but the Trinity batsmen began to struggle once the spinners were introduced.
Patel's patience took him to a deserved half-century, while Mike Brugnoli carried the attack to the bowlers as the pair added 31 important runs for the sixth wicket. However, both men eventually fell to young left-arm spinner Ben Broughton, who went on to finish with 3-21.
Raj Chatwal presented Broughton with an easy catch at point off Seren Waters' first delivery. Matt Winter unwisely picked out Wagh in the field and was run out by a direct hit before some careless running had last man Gavin Piper run out.
A successful defence of such a modest total looked highly improbable on an excellent batting surface but Cranleigh's batsmen turned in an equally woeful display.
Former Nottinghamshire batsman Mark Wagh had already been dropped before he was bowled by Piper in the sixth over.
Fellow opener Tom Crump was bowled by Winter before Piper trapped Scriven lbw to reduce the visitors to 46-3.
Schofield was bowled for a duck in Brugnoli's first over but Waters looked a real threat and his stand of 56 for the fifth wicket with captain Matthew Crump looked to have swung the match firmly in Cranleigh's favour.
The game took another twist when Mids keeper Will Page took an excellent low catch behind the stumps to dismiss Crump.
The Cranleigh batsmen continued to misjudge the line of the ball as Will Ripley and Max Barson both saw their stumps knocked over and Mids began to sense vulnerability in the lower order.
Much rested on the shoulders of Waters who played beautifully as wickets tumbled at the other end but Mids managed to deny him the strike as the game wore on.
Requiring 13 runs to win with three wickets in hand Cranleigh remained favourites until Broughton was tempted forward and bowled by Chatwal.
The pressure of the situation affected batsman Will Rollings who played a senseless shot and acting Mids captain Winter took a high chance magnificently.
Waters then gave his wicket away at the death, hitting Chatwal's delivery straight back to him to hand Mids victory.
Buoyed by this result Mids will welcome back most of their missing batsmen for Saturday's trip to Walton-on-Thames.