Narrow T20 defeat at Premiership Sunbury

Surrey Championship T20 – Round 2

Sunbury 125 for 9 (20 overs)

Stoke D’Abernon 115 for 6 (20 overs)

Sunbury won by 10 runs

Stoke gave Premiership Sunbury an almighty fright but ultimately fell to a narrow ten run defeat in the second round of the Surrey Championship T20 competition, matters still in the balance with two balls remaining when an incredible ‘team catch’ in the deep to account for Johnny Lawes put the result beyond doubt.

Tim Handel took charge of the side and having called incorrectly he unleashed pacemen Toby Tarrant and Will Lander on a firm track spiced up by the earlier rain. Both bowled a great line given the short square boundary on one side. Only nine boundaries would be conceded in the whole innings.

Tarrant struck in the first over when White edged the first ball he faced to Tom Frost; and further inroads in to the top order were made when Granger was unable to beat Johnny Lawes’ throw from the deep; then Golding called for an improbable single, Lander fielded the ball off his own bowling and duly threw the stumps down. 15 for 3.

After three more overs of seam, two of them from the impressive Seb Jewell; spin twins Ian Hopton and Will Frost continued to strangle the scoring, conceding nineteen and eighteen runs respectively from their four overs.

Frost accounted for opener Hall who fought hard for his 33, but cut a delivery to Matt Gottschalk low at point; then London spooned an easy catch off the same bowler to Jewell on the circle.

Hopton took a deserved wicket when the final ball of his final over, a maiden, was hit by Manro to Will Gudgeon who made great ground in the deep to account for Pope. Pope used up 45 deliveries in making his 25.

Wickets were lost in the closing overs in the pursuit of quick runs, Jewell deservedly collected two of them when Roland-Jones skied to Lawes at mid-on, then Manro, (22), picked out Handel at mid-off.

The innings closed in confusion on 125 for 9 when Tom Frost appealed for a catch at the wicket off the returning Lander – was it glove or arm? – no-one was sure if the umpire had upheld the appeal against No.9 Lewis who had charged down the wicket continued to run, so Frost threw down the stumps to effect a run out, the easy decision given by square leg umpire Hiken Shah who got more then he bargained for when he came to support the team!

Stoke were pleased with their efforts in the field – rightly so – this was a total some 50 runs fewer than Reigate Priory had managed against them in the 2009 final – and when Gudgeon crashed the first ball of the reply over extra cover for six, the mood was even better.

Sadly both Gudgeon and opening partner Tom Frost were back in the pavilion with the score on 18. Frost got a big leading edge that carried to cover, then Gudgeon again found that being hit on the roll yards down the pitch off a pace bowler doesn’t appear to be enough to avoid a leg before decision.

Handel and Gottschalk – the latter opening his account by crashing a length ball back over the bowler’s head for four – moved the score to 48 by the end of the eighth over when Handel was adjudged leg before sweeping, the ball after he had hit a big six on to the nets that were occupied at the time by some of the players he coaches!

Gottschalk and Hopton continued to accumulate runs, but found boundaries hard to come by as the change bowlers mixed their length and pace well, perhaps on reflection slightly better than the Stoke bowlers had done in the first half and went some way to the differing final innings totals.

Having hit five fours and made it to 28, Gottschalk fell to a good catch in the deep by London, (65-4), and whilst the home side thought that this may have opened an end, they were soon in a state of panic as Lawes entered the arena, (with runner Tom Frost), and scattered the field with his usual belligerent style.

With Hopton pushing the singles Stoke were never too far behind the run rate, and  the game was in the balance with 28 needed from the last three overs, (to tie and win by fewer wickets.)

Sixth bowler Pope bowled a good 18th over that upped the task to 20 from 12; and he was backed up by a penultimate over from Smith that yielded just five runs, two of them overthrows, and crucially no boundary.

Pope, (3-0-14-2), produced another good final over that accounted for Hopton who made 15; but Lawes thought another huge hit into the deep would clear the rope to set up a “last ball, six to win” scenario; but he fell to what can only be described as a ‘team catch’ as Manro made ground to catch the ball, and another fielder hauled him inside the boundary rope when it appeared momentum would have taken him into the nets. Incredible and almost impossible to describe in words – you had to be there to believe it!

Lawes hit 34 from just 21 balls faced with three fours and a six. This left Lander to clip the final ball for two to leave Stoke ten runs short. The sides exchanged the customary post-match handshakes and reflected on another tremendous advertisement for T20 cricket.

The match was watched by a decent crowd including a number of Stoke supporters; Francis Parrett, Jake Lavender and father, Jo Patrick, Gavin, Maggie & Josh Gresse and the parents Handel amongst their number. Thanks to you all and apologies if we’ve missed anyone here.

Our thanks to Richie “5.3-4-4-6” Parrett, (ask at your peril!), for his multi-coloured scoring efforts; to Hik-Man for wandering from square leg to square leg; and to the home umpire for standing at both ends. Without these people we don’t have a game and we are always grateful for the role they play; but we hope the latter would reflect on his post match taunt of a senior member of the Stoke side regarding his contribution to the match and the overall result was, in retrospect, an error of judgement beyond the scope of his role; and did not set the greatest example to his membership or the younger Stoke players who showed their usual impeccable behaviour, spirit and graciousness in defeat. Results in team sports are reflective of the efforts of the team. 

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