OWs owe win to a watchful last pair
OLD Whitgiftians won Saturday's big local derby with Purley at the Ridge to move up to sixth spot in Division One but the hosts remain in trouble in the relegation places.
OWs last pair of Mo Raza and Amar Patel, both aged 19, added 49 very sensible runs to boost the score from 135-9 and hoist a competitive 184 with Raza making an excellent unbeaten 60.
Majid Khalil then bowled very skilfully to take 5-47 as OWs ran out 66-run victors.
Luke Fisher deputised for Whits skipper Ali Raja at the toss and called correctly before surprising some by electing to bat on a wicket containing some damp patches likely to assist the seamers.
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Young Aussie quickie Tim Miles was returning to the Purley side after injury and was a handful throughout, aided by the wily Stan Somerford at the other end.
OW struggled to 16 in the 10th when they lost both Jono Morey and Ali Ayyub. Murti Hussain was then bowled by Miles to reduce OWs to 20-3, but Em Raja was playing well and added 38 with Rory Caines before Caines was caught by Bowry at slip in Nav Chaudhry's first over.
Ali Raja was then bowled by Chaudhry before his brother got an unplayable delivery from Chaudhry that reared off a wet patch to be taken by wicket-keeper Stuart Glassington for 44 and OWs limped to the lunch break at 85-6 from 30.5 overs.
Mo Raza and Ali Jaffery then took the score to 121 before OWs lost three wickets to Miles to slump to 135-9 after 45 overs, with Purley seemingly in the box seat.
This heralded an invaluable partnership between the last pair, who batted properly and added 49 in 10 overs before Amar Patel played across the line for the first time and was lbw to Razi Khan for 20. Miles finished with 5-62.
Purley had 65 overs to get the runs and John Fry had taken 10 off Fisher's second over before being castled to leave the Pumas 22-1 in the fourth over.
In Murti Hussain's first over, Miles hit his first ball for four but then went walkabout looking for a non-existent single and was brilliantly run out by OWs keeper Caines, who picked the ball up and threw the ball at the one stump visible.
Fuaad Syed was then caught behind off Hussain for 15 and when Majid Khalil cleaned up Tauseef Medhi for a duck, Purley were in big trouble at 29-4 in the ninth.
James Scott and Sonny Bowry played calmly in taking the score to 80 although Bowry was dropped at deep mid-on before being dismissed off Hussain for 30 and Scott had survived a big shout for a catch at the wicket off Khalil when on just nine before being sharply taken at slip by Morey off the same bowler for 22.
Purley were now 111-6 after 37 and lost three more wickets, Glassington and Khan both bowled by Khalil for ducks and Chaudhry (21) by Hussain. Andy MacDonald and Somerford battled through the next three overs before the former was stumped off Khalil by Rory Caines..