Raimondo Century and Milestone as Sunday XI beat Badgers by 11 runs

Sunday Friendly

Stoke D’Abernon Sunday XI 211 for 7 declared (35.2 overs)

Badgers 200 all out (44.2 overs)

Stoke D’Abernon won by 11 runs

Robbie Parrett Reports…

A fine game of cricket unfolded at Stoke on Sunday, as the Sunday XI took on Badgers in a keenly contested and enjoyable encounter.

With the visitors winning the toss and electing to field, Stoke found themselves in early trouble at 13-2 with both openers back in the pavilion. First, Tom Frost was castled for a jittery ten-ball duck, before Tom Subba Row – who had struck a couple of well placed and well timed boundaries – followed, bowled by Allan Butt for 12.

Alas Robbie Parrett and skipper Jack Raimondo found themselves at the crease somewhat earlier than expected, and began to lay the foundations for a competitive score. With Badgers’ opener Rob Knew gaining a decent amount of swing early on, things were hardly easy, but there were singles to be taken and relatively frequently boundary balls offered to boot.

Jacko was in particularly fine fettle, frequently easing the ball to the ropes and passing fifty at more than a run-a-ball. At the other end, Robbie fluctuated between several sweetly executed boundaries and a number of play-and-misses, as well as being dropped twice in quick succession. A charmed life at times indeed.

With Badgers’ change bowlers including two youngsters, Jacko and Robbie attempted to reduce the rate of boundary collection and opted to accumulate singles instead. Whilst this lead to many amusing moments of over-concluding strike-pinching, it kept the scoreboard ticking over healthily at in excess of six-an-over. The century partnership and Robbie’s fifty were soon brought up too.

Robbie was to perish for 62, (74 balls, 11×4), having shared a partnership of 150 with Jacko, the score now 163-3. Jeremy Dharmasena joined Jacko at the crease, the pair adding thirteen before Jeremy was bowled for 5 (176-4)

Joined at the wicket by Stoke debutant Paul Winterflood, Jacko brought up his sixth Stoke century shortly afterwards, his first since 2008. It had been a fine innings, occasionally inventive (the odd reverse sweep), pretty much chanceless and certainly untroubled.

After a delightful flick to fine leg the previous over, Winty was to suffer an amusingly unfortunate dismissal (206-5), bowled for 4 off the back of his bat whilst endeavouring to flick a wayward leg-side delivery down to fine leg. Quite remarkable really.

Moments later Jacko retired – on high following a delightful cover-driven boundary – with 107 to his name (92 balls, 18×4, 1×6). In no way had this been a tiny knock from the impish right-hander; indeed Jacko passed 5000 career runs for Stoke in the process. A flurry of late wickets saw Stoke declare on 211-7 off 35.2 overs, with Hugh Lunt 0*, cruelly denied a chance to score his first run for Stoke.

Following another typically impressive Stoke tea, Hugh Lunt set about the Badgers’ batting along with Ralphie Coleman. Hugh picked up the first wicket with 7 on the board, Steve Pitts well caught by Hugo Solway following another of Hugh’s canny intentional bouncer/long-hops. Genius.

At the other end Ralphie was probing away with his customary endeavour and economy, harshly denied a deserved wicket when Jacko spilled a quick moving edge behind the sticks, diverting the ball into Robbie’s chest at slip who was unable to gather the ball before it hit the deck.

It was as this moment the Badgers batsmen realised no sightscreens were in place, Frosty immediately utilising this as an excuse for his earlier duck. A valid argument perhaps, until it was pointed out that Jacko and Robbie had had little trouble in amassing runs earlier under the same conditions. Pipe down Frosty…

Ralphie was to get the wicket he deserved as he reduced Badgers to 36-2, with TSR taking a well-held catch; Ralphie was to eventually finish with tidy figures of 5-2-9-1. Moments later it was 40-3, Hugh ‘Lumpy’ Lunt (terrible nickname, thanks Giltec) had his second wicket, Frosty holding a steepler at cover.

As the score passed 50, Jacko rang the bowling changes, but to decidedly varying degrees of success. Whilst Hugo Solway was to bowl well (on another day he might have easily had three wickets to his name), Tom Gudgeon’s introduction was the near antithesis of 1970s West Indian fast bowling. Although himself around 8ft tall, Nudge fluctuated from leg-side full-tosses to short-and-wide, with the short-and-wide becoming decidedly shorter and wider as the over progressed past double figures for attempted deliveries. Nudge’s watching brother duly left the ground. With many fielders struggling to keep a straight face, it was unsurprising that this was to be Nudge’s sole over for the day. Figures of 1-0-8-0 did not do him justice. Literally…

Jacko turned to the part-time filth – sorry, technically it was “off-spin”, but lets not let facts get in the way of a good story – of Tom Frost. Astonishingly, two quick wickets came for Frosty (was bribery involved?), including playing hot potatoes with a caught and bowled opportunity, as the Badgers were reduced to 61-5. Ok, credit where credit’s due, Frosty bowled quite well…

With game going away from Badgers, Rob Knew and Mark Gordon set about rebuilding their innings. Knew, in particular, scored with freedom, and was himself soon into the thirties and his team past a hundred.

Solway was given a well-earned rest, and Jacko turned to Robbie for some genuinely horrid leg-breaks from the Railway End. Robbie extracted prodigious turn from the previously benign Stoke pitch, although unfortunately the majority of his deliveries were approaching long-hops in length. Astonishingly this brought about Knew’s downfall, with Coleman clinging on to a dolly at short-fine leg following a mistimed attempted dispatching of another long-hop. 102-6.

At the other end Frost (9-2-21-2) was replaced by Paul Winterflood, whose three overs cost thirty runs, with Gordon in particular taking a liking to the Blackpool fan’s bowling – as generous with the ball as his team is in defence it would seem…

With the score approaching 150 and overs on the batting team’s side, Winty and Robbie (4-0-12-1) were replaced, with the previously impressive duo of Hugh and Hugo reintroduced to the attack. Hugh picked up two further wickets, having Gregg caught by Jeremy for 14 (145-7), before Frosty held on to a tricky chance in the deep to remove the dangerous Mark Gordon for 43 (160-8).

With 50-odd still needed for victory, it was left to the wise head of Ben Valentine and the two youngsters Jake Gordon and Daniel Ward to try and see Badgers home. Valentine picked up boundaries and sought singles from deliveries at the end of overs as Badgers edged closer to their target, before Hugh Lunt (11-3-52-5) completed a stunning 5-fer in just his second game for the club by castling Jake Gordon (177-9) as the game approached a tense conclusion.

Further boundaries came for Valentine as Badgers got to within 11 of their target, before Hugo Solway (10.2-2-52-1) wrapped the game up, collecting the wicket his bowling deserved as Jeremy held a tough chance from Valentine (32) in the deep despite the increasingly gloomy conditions.

So the Stoke Sunday XI won by a narrow 11 runs in a well-spirited game. We hope it was a good experience with bat and ball for the Badgers’ youngsters, and look forward to facing them again next season. Congrats to Jacko for his ton and Hugh for his 5-fer.

Cheers boys, cheer…

Scorecard Link : http://sdacc.play-cricket.com/scoreboard/scorecard.asp?id=11192939