FARNHAM Royal have maintained their unbeaten start in Division 4B this season with a draw at Marlow 2s on Saturday.

The Royals blaze the trail having won their first six matches, all of them batting second, and consolidated their top of the table position thanks to star performances from Eshwar Dutta and Matt Shave.

Dutta, 17, claimed a five-wicket haul (5-79) to help bowl out Marlow for 222 after 51.2 overs. The other wicket fell to Ben Pulsford (1-74).

Phil Lines hit a ton (105) for the home side and fellow opener Graham Fisher made a half-century (57) in an opening stand of 102 runs.

In response, Farnham closed on 122-7 from 48 overs for a share of the spoils with Shave, 26, unbeaten on 42*. Opener Nigel Field (34) and Pulsford (16*) were the other batsman to reach double figures.

Fisher led the Marlow bowling attack with his five-wicket haul (5-29), backed up by Jam Rafi (2-39).

VIDEO: Farnham Royal captain Nigel Field talks with Slough Observer after the draw at Marlow on Saturday.

Farnham captain Field told the Observer: “I’m a little disappointed. We left that chasing 222 should have been within our reach and we made a bit of a porridge of it early on.

“We’ve got a young side and we went at it a little bit too hard. We felt that we needed to score runs quickly early on and unfortunately lost too many early wickets.

“We’ve had good success in fielding first. I know Saturday was very hot and I did think twice about it given the temperature, but we’ve had good success over the last six weeks where we’ve won all of our previous games, and we pretty much just stuck to the same recipe.

“It was a good wicket and a very fast outfield so we felt if we could keep them to around the 200 mark we felt that we were in with a good chance.

“Eshwar bowled really well. He’s had a tough two or three weeks but it was a wicket where the slow bowlers semed to get a little bit more out of it.”

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