A LAST-BALL run-out earned Trinity Mid-Whitgiftian a valuable winning draw against struggling Pyrford in an otherwise undistinguished match at Lime Meadow on Saturday.
Having lost the toss and been asked to bat first, Mids were far from their best but another half-century from Abhishek Jhunjhunwala and a fine effort from the tail lifted their total to a competitive 182.
Richard Piggin fell lbw early in the innings but Jhunjhunwala quickly found his touch to give Mids a solid start.
However, an uncharacteristic shot ended with Graham Cobbett caught at point and Stewart Sales swiftly followed lbw playing back to a full delivery from James Hammond.
It was a lack of application rather than fine bowling that accounted for most of the top order with Will Page picking out mid-wicket while Seb Miles was bowled by a Hammond delivery that turned as Mids slid to 78-5.
In a rarely seen incident, Mids also received a five-run penalty from the umpires after their batsmen had been warned.
Mids retained the old ball and opened with spin, Chatwal dismissing Tim Roberts lbw in the sixth over of the Pyrford reply.
Jhunjhunwala then struck twice in as many balls as Ben Ives took an excellent catch to dismiss Baxter before Eric Weirich was trapped lbw for 20.
A brilliant direct hit from distance by Jhunjhunwala to dismiss Sellick reduced Pyrford to 55-4 but acting Pyrford captain Fletcher Stewart and Andy Stillwell fought hard to keep their side in the game.
They added 50 to stabilise a creaking innings and forced Mids to take the new ball but slipped well behind the run-rate required for victory and a draw increasingly appeared to be the likely outcome.
The loss of Stillwell (17) and Chris Sellick, both lbw to Jhunjhunwala, all but ended Pyrford's hopes of victory but a winning draw remained within reach with Stewart batting well at the other end.
The Pyrford captain launched a late attack on the winning draw target of 152, hitting Winter for three fours in an over, and an expensive penultimate over from Jhunjhunwala seemed to have put the visitors in pole position for the four points. However, the batsmen struggled to make contact with the ball in the final over as the light faded badly and Stewart (63) was crucially bowled out by Chatwal off the penultimate ball.
Needing two runs for a winning draw off the final ball, Peter Sellick was comfortably run out going for the second to ensure Mids increased their cushion over the bottom two to 20 points. Mids travel to Esher on Saturday.