A 157 opening partnership between Danny Miller and the returning Danny Phillips saw Cheam to a thumping 203-run victory over an unusually subdued Old Whitgiftian in Surrey Championship division one on Saturday, writes Tim Scott.
Old Whits won the toss and elected to bowl on a damp, soft Croham Road pitch but the opening bowlers failed to justify the decision of skipper Ali Raja.
Despite the odd play and miss Miller and Phillips were relatively untroubled rotating the strike and dispatching anything loose.
Miller was particularly harsh of Luke Fisher after the bowler overstepped, the subsequent free hit disappearing into the car park for a huge six. Raja turned to former Surrey off spinner Murtaza Hussain in just the seventh over in an attempt to break the flourishing partnership. Miller however, had not read the script as another huge straight six narrowly missed a nearby conservatory.
Former colt Phillips, returning from four years traveling, showed huge maturity and grew in confidence, striking a number of crisp boundaries and one six.
It was a shock when Miller was eventually dismissed for 92, edging behind as he aimed for another maximum, but the damage was well and truly done. Phillips followed shortly behind for an excellent 61 but Adrian Jones then carried the attack to the Whits attack.
Watchful at the start Jones then unleashed a number of powerful drives in a beautifully paced 73 not out, sharing a fifty partnership with Paul Cohen (26) and seeing Cheam to a daunting 297-7 from 50 overs.
In reply, Whits were never in the hunt as Miller and Leeroy Harrison bowled with discipline and stifled any early hope of a quick start.
Overseas opener Jonathan Morey looked a good prospect but the rocketing run rate forced him into an injudicious shot and he was well held low down at mid off by Jones. Ali Jaffery, sent in as a pinch hitter, swung hard but failed to replicate the earlier dominance of Cheam batsmen. Phillips (2-7) replaced Harrison and bowled with pace and control collecting two wickets including the dangerous Hussain for just two. Skipper Mark Burns introduced himself at the pavilion end and quickly had the Whits middle order in disarray.
Extracting lavish turn and bowling with beautiful flight Burns was totally dominant taking 4-27. Only a defiant 34 from Sean Coughlan held Cheam up, but his dismissal ended any resistance as Whits capitulated for 94 from just 25 overs.
Cheam visit newly promoted Dulwich next week.