FARNHAM 2nd XI narrowly avoided defeat at local rivals Normandy II, thanks to a brave last-wicket stand between Marc Lewis and Tom Blackburn who kept the home bowlers at bay for 18 overs.
Normandy skipper Leon Robinson had no hesitation in opting to bat and openers Ross Skidmore and Muhammad Khan went off like a train, taking advantage of the rapid outfield. Leg-spinner Saaj Patel finally broke the stand at 85 and, thereafter, the bowlers toiled hard in the mid-afternoon sun to eventually dismiss Normandy for 216 in 48 overs, with Khan and Robinson both completing half-centuries.
Jonny Matthews and skipper Jamie Strachan set about chasing down what seemed a modest total and punished some initially wayward bowling. But Matthews was caught at 38 and there followed a catastrophic collapse as Farnham lost eight further wickets for just 47 runs.
At 89-9, with the game apparently lost, number 11 Blackburn joined Lewis and the pair battled the heat, a deteriorating wicket and a rampant Normandy side for 18 overs. It was a heroic effort from the tailenders as they steered Farnham to 117-9 from 53 overs. Lewis ended 20 not out from 78 balls, while Blackburn facing 54 deliveries for his defiant 8 not out.