PURLEY travelled to Walton on Thames last weekend sitting just above the relegation zone and desperately needing a win to gain some breathing space. Purley won the toss and elected to bowl first on what looked a bowler friendly green wicket. Adam Kelly started well and in the second over found the edge of Patrick Haddow caught behind to Lara. However, Green and Grant moved the score on quickly putting away anything short. Debutant Imran Khan joined the attack for Purley and immediately started to exert some pressure with a consistent spell of controlled seam. By the time drinks came around the run rate had dropped from 7 an over to just under 4, but with only one wicket having fallen Walton were still in a commanding position at 99-1. After drinks the Purley spinners, Razi Khan and Bowry, were introduced and this yielded an immediate result when Grant was caught for 59 off Bowry. Matthew Haddow was next to the crease and playing some flamboyant shots increased the pace of the innings. Green was eventually dismissed for a well played 87, lbw to Khan who finished with figures of 3-85. Walton skipper M.Haddow declared on 272-5 off 52 overs, remaining unbeaten on 73. With 273 required for victory the Purley openers Patel and Cott took to the wicket but batting was difficult. Walton took the old ball and the combination of spin and seam proved effective. Cott was the first to fall being caught trying to clear the in-field. Lara joined Patel at the crease and slowly they began to build a partnership. With the score on 56-1 after 21 overs, Purley needed to change gear to have any chance of winning. The introduction of the new ball saw a flurry of boundaries and soon both Patel and Lara passed their half centuries. They were soon on their way to the pavilion, however, as first Patel was bowled playing an attacking stroke to Monk and then Lara was caught in the deep going for one 6 too many. This brought Nav Chaudhry and latterly James Scott to the crease. Chaudhry had already played some fantastic shots and when he was joined by skipper the runs were flowing. In a moment of madness Chaudhry was needlessly run out and the game looked to be slipping away. Scott put the incident behind him and continued in dominating form. Bowry came and went adding a quick fire 20 followed by Harry Hanford. The 16-year-old Whitgift School player did not disappoint giving strike to Scott whenever possible and adding some power hitting of his own which included a huge six over square leg. When Hanford was dismissed for 23 Purley needed 19 to win with 3 overs remaining. I.Khan was bowled on the last ball of the penultimate over but with the rain beginning to fall and the light diminishing rapidly Scott guided the ball down through third man for 4 to win the game for Purley. Scott finished the game with a 53 ball 78* including 3 sixes and 7 fours. Purley face Cranleigh next week and will hope to carry forward the confidence from this victory.
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