Another Sham-pagne innings gave the Bloody Lads a bloody nose as the Orange Caps cruised to victory in their 99th game.
A year after scoring a golden century against them Sham had to settle for de Silva with a 50 as he again put the Bloody Lads to the sword, smashing 77 out of an Orange Caps total of 150.
He was ably supported by Matt Small, promoted to open by stand-in skipper Jamie Keating, who scored 28 before ripping the heart out of the Bloody Lads’ innings by taking 3-8 in 5 overs.
Put into bat, The Road’s innings got off to a rocky start, with Matt Glover out for four and wicketkeeper Chris MacNicol picking up a golden duck to a quick, full and straight delivery.
But then Sham came out and together with Matt put on 57 for the third wicket before Small’s resistance was finally ended as he went for one shot too many.
Dan Howard and skipper Keats both came and went without scoring, David Hughes managed five before top edging one and Sham was dropped on 38 as the innings faltered.
But Sham took full advantage of the extra life he was given, embarking on a hitting spree which saw him blast 18 off one over from Inbetweeners star Henry Lloyd-Hughes, including a massive 6.
There was to be no ton this time, though, as eventually he was well caught for 77 but a flurry of late runs for Orange Caps veteran Tom Parnell – who hit a spectacular chipped boundary – and Guru helped the Road post 150.
That total proved far too much for the Lads, particularly after a tight opening spell from Glover (1-10) and Kevin Pittaway left them well behind the run rate.
As they looked to accelerate the Lads’ batting line-up were cut to pieces by Small and James Couldrey (2-29).
By the time drinks were taken the Lads were seven wickets down and more than 100 runs away from victory.
Captain Keating decided to turn to spin to help finish the job, with a rare chance for Hughes to turn his arm over. In his second over the Lads’ opener Leeson was deceived by the lack of pace, turn or bounce and clean bowled, the ball having just enough energy to dislodge a bail.
Bowling in partnership with Hughes (1-16 off 5), the Skipper troubled the batsmen to take 1-18 off his five, before tossing the ball to Pittaway to wrap things up by taking the final wicket to finish on 2-23 with the Lads 108 all out.
It was an emphatic win and sets the Road up well for the historic 100th fixture against the Orange Caps’ bitter rivals, the Battersea Badgers.