FARNHAM Royal hosted new boys Sulhamstead & Ufton with the aim to complete a hat-trick of wins in Division 3A of the Thames Valley League on Saturday, writes Mel Ive.

Having lost the toss,

the Royals

found themselves in the field first at Church Road.

Opening the bowling attack was seamers Ben Pulsford and Jack Barton. Despite solid batting from the Sulhamstead openers, Farnham had a quick breakthrough as Pulsford removed Chris Mercer (4).

Royals captain Matt Shave then made the decision to swap brother for brother as Harry Barton replaced Jack. The move was the right one as Usman Shah (31) hit out straight to Eshwar Dutta.

With Harry Barton pairing up with club stalwart Ian Pulsford, Sulhamstead found themselves 63-3.

A change of pace in the bowling brought the spinners, Gurveer Singh (4-26) and Joe Masih (2-17), to the fore. It was not long before Singh showed his style, teasing Phil Walden (6) to send one straight to Rory Scott.

When the visitors steadied slightly, the onslaught from Singh and Masih continued and suddenly Sulhamstead found themselves going from 102-5 to 110-9.

With Singh cleaning up on the last ball of the 39th over, Sulhamstead & Ufton limped to 119 runs all out, giving Farnham 61 overs to get the target.

A dubious leg before wicket decision against Pulsford (0) and a wild swing from Dutta (0) saw the Royals 4-2 early on in their response.

Amir Abassi (47) and Singh (16) however then steadied the ship.

Shave (5) and Pulsford (10) played an excellent supporting role to Abassi as he proceeded to ramp up the runs, sending the Sulhamstead bowlers around the ground.

With the loss of Abassi, it was left to the Farnham opening bowling partnership of Pulsford and Jack Barton (10*) to bring them home, finishing on 121-6 from 33.1 overs.

The win means Farnham Royal remain in third place in the table, 32 points behind the two promotion spots, and host leaders Binfield at Church Road this Saturday (1pm).

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