1st XI defeated by Godalming

Surrey Championship Division 5
Godalming 292 for 8 (55 overs)
Stoke D’Abernon 228 all out (44.2 overs)
Godalming won by 64 runs

Stoke’s promotion hopes suffered a dent as an off-colour display with the ball and in the field put too much pressure on the batting line up who were bowled out in the final over going for a ‘Winning Draw’ rather than settling for just a losing one.

Stoke skipper Matt Gottschalk won the toss and gave the visitors use of a new strip. Will Lander made his long-awaited first appearance of the season, and in partnership with Will Frost the pair bowled decent areas without getting a breakthrough. The pitch played well and openers Milner and Mayne cashed in, adding 88 runs in the first 20 overs.

The partnership was broken when Gottschalk introduced himself into the attack, and with his first ball Mayne, who compiled 56 from 60 balls with eight fours and a six, skied to mid-off where Tim Handel made good ground to take a well-judged catch over his head.

With the addition of just six more runs No.3 Hall called Milner through for an improbable single, and with the batsmen at the same end Handel effected a simple run out of Milner for 28; but this was the last success Stoke would have for another ten overs as Hall and Agge moved the score to 159.

Agge hit the ball with his usual positivity, and took just 31 balls to hit 46 with five fours and three sixes. His innings came to an end when he cut a delivery from Hiken Shah into Tom Frost’s gloves.

Hall then scored the bulk of the next 40 runs in partnership with Clarke. Clarke edged a delivery from the returning Lander for 9, then Churaman was leg before to Ralph Coleman for 8, a wicket he barely deserved after a bad day at the office. At 224 for 5 Stoke still had hopes of limiting the chase but needed to continue to take wickets.

However another 56 runs were added by Hall and Tunbridge. The latter hit 25 from 24 balls faced and survived a difficult chance that was parried for his solitary six before he was well caught in the deep for 25 by Will Frost off the bowling of Gottschalk who returned figures of 2 for 71.

With overs running out Hall, who made 97 in the earlier fixture between the sides, completed his second league century of the season. He would eventually finish unbeaten on 101 from 96 balls with eleven fours and four sixes; and he watched two late wickets fall to Lander who took a return catch to account for Forbes, (one can only assume that there was bat involved in the unsuccessful leg-before decision that led to the ball ballooning back to him), and Ketteringham who dragged on. Lander finished with figures of 14-2-65-3.

No.10 Cox, (8 not out), faced most of remaining balls as Godalming chose to bat the full 55 overs, reaching an imposing 292 for 8 and setting Stoke a victory target run rate of over 6.5 runs per over.

Stoke were up for the challenge, though, and Shah and Adrian Taylor had hit 34 by the midpoint of the fifth over when Shah fell to a debatable leg-before decision when well forward for 15 – the ball also carried to slip on the up off the pad.

Taylor and Paul Prichard continued to score runs quickly and Stoke were well placed with the score on 85 in the 13th over. Prichard hit five fours before dragging on to Tunbridge for 23 when well set.

James Whitmarsh hit five fours of his own as Stoke continued the charge; but the loss of four wickets for just one run put them on the back foot. Agge accounted for Whitmarsh for 23, caught at the wicket by Mayne off Agge, and two balls later Handel suffered the same fate. In the next over Tom Frost was trapped leg before by Crowder, then Taylor, who hit 39 with five fours and a glorious six over deep square leg, was leg before to Agge. Agge had figures of 3-2-1-3 at that stage but would finish with 13-3-54-3.

Jack Raimondo and Gottschalk went on the offensive rather than to let the bowlers bowl to them. Although the victory target was looking unlikely, the ‘Winning Draw’ target of 239 was back on as the pair added 83 in just 14 overs.

Gottschalk hit the ball cleanly and registered his maiden 1st XI league 50 with his tenth four. He fell for 55 when he skied to Hall off Crowder; but Raimondo continued to score runs at the required rate with Lander providing solid support.

Just as the ‘Winning Draw’ was beginning to look a probability, Raimondo chopped on to Crowder, (9-1-28-3), for 41; leaving Lander, Will Frost and Coleman to find another fourteen runs from the final three overs. Lander hit some clean shots, but sadly straight to well-placed fielders, and then he fell to a run out effected by Tunbridge who scored a direct hit with a long throw from deep fine leg to the bowler’s end.

The final over was given to Churaman who split his fielders between close catchers and boundary runners. Eleven were needed, and Frost hit the second ball cleanly, Cox held on to a great juggling catch in the deep to complete victory by 64 runs.

This result will almost certainly see Godalming participate in Division 5 next season. They are worthy of their place in the Surrey Championship, are a well organised club and play the game the right way. As for Stoke, Division 4 cricket remains a mathematical possibility; but they are now reliant on others failing to win and they themselves need no more slip ups in their remaining five matches, the first of which is a 50-over match away to Chertsey.

Scorecard Link : http://sdacc.play-cricket.com/scoreboard/scorecard.asp?id=11137898