1st XI crash to defeat at Godalming

Surrey Championship Division 5

Stoke D’Abernon 200 all out (50.3 overs)

Godalming 201 for 3 (42.5 overs)

Godalming, (13 points), beat Stoke D’Abernon, (0 points), by 7 wickets

There were half centuries for Hiken Shah and Tom Frost, but it was a third consecutive week without a win for Stoke, and a victory for experience over youth as Godalming cruised to a seven wicket victory.

With opinion divided on whether to bat or bowl first, the decision was taken out of Stoke skipper Siddhartha Lahiri’s hands when he called incorrectly and found himself walking to the wicket with Shah.

All seemed well after thirteen overs as the pair added 70, forcing the introduction of spin.

Lahiri, (25), was the first to go when he chipped a return catch to Crowder, who on 1st XI debut also collected the wicket of Shah for 58 from 50 balls faced in the same manner. With these wickets coming either side of the loss of Tim Handel to a smart leg-side stumping by Thomson of Churaman; momentum was lost with the score at 95 for 3.

Once again Stoke found progress in the middle overs difficult against accurate bowling from slow left-armer Agge, and Crowder who was having a debut to remember. Only Tom Frost managed to accumulate runs at the effective rate.

Jay Stevenson and Will Gudgeon fell to Crowder trying to force the pace; Jack Raimondo was leg before to Agge; then Will Patrick and Ian Hopton both edged Crowder to the keeper.

Running out of partners, Frost went on the offensive, and shortly after losing Jake Lavender to a stumping to leave Crowder with figures of 20-3-55-7, he completed a gritty half-century in the next over with his sixth four to add to the only six of the entire innings; the boundary count low despite a very short square boundary.

After bringing up the 200, Frost served up a catch off Agge, (13.24-52-2), to close the innings.

After tea early wickets were a must, and with the track offering little for the seam bowlers in the first innings, Lahiri chose to open with spin at both ends, taking the old ball himself with the division’s leading wicket-taker Hopton.

Thomson was given an early life when dropped in the deep in Lahiri’s first over, and missed chances would plague Stoke throughout the innings. Once exception was Raimondo who showed great hands under the high ball to give Hopton an early wicket; but profiting from a number of missed chances, Thomson hit 47 of the first 64 runs scored before finally snicking a Hopton delivery to Frost.

Home skipper Hall dropped anchor, and Agge hit a run-a-ball 62 in a 114 run partnership for the third wicket, ended when Lahiri trapped him leg-before.

To this point, it was an all-spin diet as Lahiri, (1-61), Hopton, (2-75), and Shah toiled away on a turning surface. Excellent ground fielding, notably from Patrick who patrolled the short boundary with distinction, didn’t paper over the cracks in the catching department – upwards of ten went to ground.

The introduction of seam with just 23 runs needed saw two more difficult chances fail to go to hand, and an edge between keeper and first slip; but the winning hit was made by Hall, (87 not out), to give welcoming hosts who were good humoured throughout the day, a most deserved win.

Stoke now face a test of their promotion credentials. After a run of three games on the road yielding just a solitary point, a win at at home to Dorking next week is now a must.

Scorecard Link : http://sdacc.play-cricket.com/scoreboard/scorecard.asp?id=10911070