Controversial call costs Sandridge

A controversial umpiring decision cost Sandridge their chance chase down Rickmansworth’s total on Saturday.

Needing 40 to beat the total and seven wickets down, Sean Murphy was getting into a rhythm and edged Sandridge towards victory. However, a dubious LBW decision sent him on his way and, with it, Sandridge’s chance of victory.

On a hot, muggy day, the hosts won the toss and decided to bat. Despite a wet outfield, the covered pitch proved hard and true and the decision looked correct as the batsmen got off to a flyer, with the first wicket falling at 76 off 17 overs, courtesy of Paul Rothery’s run out, his second in consecutive weeks.

This setback did not seem to deter the Aussie opener, Chris Morris (75) as he compiled a classy looking 50 and the number three, Fraser Heron Paterson, contributed to take the score over 100.

Then, Duncan Ferguson (4-38) started to change the game back in the Sandridge’s favour, first trapping Paterson LBW then forcing a leading edge from the new bat and bowling the opener.

Sandridge applied the squeeze and, despite a skier being dropped, wickets fell at regular intervals and the run-rate, which was well over five an over at one point, dried up.

With John Murphy (4-62) picking up wickets at the other end, the fight back was complete when the visitors, who were 152-4, were finally dismissed just inside the allotted time for 186.

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The response could not have started worse as Adam Temple, almost run out hesitating over a single, was LBW to the second ball of the innings. Merryfield also fell to the same dismissal although there was some doubt about whether the ball pitched outside leg stump as Sandridge slumped to 19-2.

Lennie Peters and Rothery then made a mockery of the attack as boundaries flowed freely on both sides of the wicket as the score moved to 60 before the latter was adjudged to have gloved behind.

Peter Camm, Andy Norman and Nick Betts all perished cheaply leaving Peters to continue the fight back. As the hundred came but he too perished to a tame caught and bowled off the miserly Paterson.

Ferguson, architect of the bowling recovery, alongside Murphy, started to do the same with the batting, steadily edging towards the 140 mark. Murphy was cleaned up by a yorker before the turning point of the game.

Ferguson clipped a ball off his toes off down to fine leg but was given out LBW. Despite protestations, the umpire stood firm and the home skipper declined the opportunity to recall him so he departed for 22.

Lawrence White launched into the attack to secure batting points before becoming Patterson’s fourth victim to end the game.