Cricket Week begins at Blackheath today (Monday 3rd August) with the club on a high following wins for both the 1st XI and 2nd XI in the I'Anson League on Saturday, and then a terrific victory on Sunday in the second round of the Cricketer National Village Cup at Churt.
The 1st XI were away at Brook, having already beaten Grayshott in the opening match of the foreshortened 2020 season. Winning the toss and electing to post a total, Brook went off like an express train and were 97-2 in only a dozen overs before Ollie Arengo-Jones (3-38) (Anthony Ainslie's picture above, with Alan Cope taking the catch) struck three times in one over to turn the match around. From 98-5 the innings never really recovered and the hosts were bowled out for 188 in just 35 of their 45 overs.
In reply, the visitors lost in-form Will Melhuish early on but a second wicket partnership of 95 between fellow opener Rob Parrott (74) and Pete Melhuish (63), followed by a typically free-hitting cameo from Alan Cope (28 not out), enabled Blackheath to cruise home to a 7 wicket victory with almost 14 overs to spare.
Meanwhile at the 'heath the 2nd XI were asked to bat by newly-promoted Badshot Lea 1st XI, and despite an opening stand of 51 from veteran Matt Hardcastle (35) and classy youngster James Fortescue (28), the innings was faltering at 136-7 when skipper Simon Mansell (26no) and Sam Breach (26no) came together. Mixing careful defence with lusty hitting, and even a cheeky reverse sweep from Breach, they put on an unbeaten 57 to take Blackheath to a respectable 192-7 from their 45 overs.
In reply, Badshot Lea were soon in deep trouble at 12-5 thanks to the emerging talents of young opening seamer Ed Eves (6 overs 4 for 10), only for Reahan Aryobi (61) and Ollie Mason (38) to blast their way out of trouble with some carefree hitting. A late spell from trusty Simon Mansell (3-15) was enough to seal victory for the 'heath as the innings subsided to 142 all out from 31 overs.
Finally to Elstead, where the 3rd XI (pictured above) took on Tilford 3rds. The Blackheath bowling wasn't quite on song this week, allowing Tilford to reach 190 for 6 from their 40 overs. An assured 41 from the skipper Colin Parrott, and good late support from Dave Raderecht (30) and Archie Jones (18 no), meant that Blackheath were always in the hunt despite the size of the task, but our reply eventually ran out of steam at 177 all out from 38 overs.
At Blackheath, good performances get you noticed, and after his 4 for 10 for the 2nd XI on Saturday 15-year old Ed Eves (above) found himself with a late call-up into the National Village Cup side on Sunday at Churt... and what a 1st XI debut it turned out to be!
Surrey Championship side Churt were very confident of victory against their I'Anson League country cousins, and despite another assured innings from opener Will Melhuish (63), the Blackheath innings got into trouble and 132-4 rapidly turned into a somewhat disappointing 180 all out from our 40 overs.
Needing to strike back quickly, our opening bowlers struggled to adjust to the length and pace required on a slow, low Churt wicket and their openers took full advantage, rapidly scoring half the required runs (90) in considerably less than half the available overs. That was before the introduction of Eves... He was already warmed up, having helped our Under 15s to defeat Guildford in the morning, and he immediately found his stride taking 5 Churt wickets for just 21 runs and turning the match completely on its head! The later order batsmen couldn't match the openers and Churt were rapidly bundled out for 111 from 32 overs.
Blackheath march on to the Surrey Group final, which will be a home game next Sunday (9th August) against either East Horsley or Addington 1743... and that will be the ninth consecutive day of men's cricket at the 'heath after Cricket Week, which starts today (Monday) with our annual match against The Cricket Society. Spectators are always welcome, and although Covid-19 means there's no food available this year, the bar (outdoors only) will be open all week.