Surrey Championship Division 4 – 2nd XI competition
Stoke D’Abernon 2nd XI 241 for 8 (55 overs)
Alleyn & Honor Oak 2nd XI 219 for 6 (45 overs)
Winning Draw to Alleyn & Honor Oak
Both teams were billing this as an important game being the last of the declaration games this season when 13 points are on offer, but both had to settle for a draw after a hot and hard fought contest.
Having lost the toss, we found ourselves batting first. Ali and Falcon got us off to a good start, annulling the threat of the new ball and putting on our highest opening partnership since May. The grass in parts of the outfield was long and it became obvious quickly that anything square of the wicket would have to be run rather than hoping it would go to the boundary. Against the opening bowlers we still managed to score at 4 runs an over.
Mahmood came on to bowl spin and started with 3 maidens, but it wasn’t until the 18th over that he took the first wicket when Ali was given leg before for 29. Tufty helped Falcon move the score to 78 before we lost 2 quick wickets just before drinks. Falcon was disappointed to sky the ball to point when well set on 34 and he was followed in the next over by Jonny who attempted to sweep Walker, only for the ball to balloon off the back of his bat for Ahmed to take a catch behind the stumps. 78-3 at drinks.
Gudge joined Tufty at the crease, but Mahmood and Walker kept the pressure on and with only 80 on the board at the 29 over mark, we needed to up the run rate. Gudge hit Walker out of the attack, a big straight 6 helping, before taking advantage of a wild 6th bowler who conceded 21 in just 3 overs. This was the impetus our innings needed and the run rate was excellent from then on.
Tufty had a moment of luck when home captain Sean Van de Merwe brought himself on and Tufty offered a chance in his first over, which proved to be a costly drop. Tufty built half century partnerships with Gudge who fell to a high slip catch for 28 and skipper Crispy who struck 3 early boundaries to get our score towards 200.
With the scoreboard ticking over nicely, a fired up Foley was brought back into the attack and he trapped Crispy lbw for 22. This brought JT to the crease in swashbuckling mood, setting about the bowling with an impressive array of shots and aggressive running between the wickets. We put the pressure on the fielders in the latter overs and this really told on a hot day as the hosts will have been disappointed with their display.
JT hit 31 off just 23 balls, the aggressive running helping a great deal. During his stay, Tufty just missed out on a first half century of the season when he was bowled by the returning Ata for a fine 49. Foley took 2 wickets in the final over – both bowled, but Pagie denied him a hat-trick and he couldn’t stop Bondi clubbing the last ball of the innings for 4 to leave us at 241-8.
Po and Bondi opened up after tea, knowing that the hosts would make every effort to chase the runs from the word go. Po nearly claimed a wicket in his second over when Mahmood got off the mark with an edge between 1st and 2nd slip. Having got the ball swinging nicely he got the breakthrough in his 4th over when Ahmed chased a wider ball and edged to Falcon who made no mistake. Number 3 Gavin Van de Merwe attacked straight away, striking 3 fours off Po before the straight fielders went back.
At the other end, Bondi was beating the bat, and got reward in the last over of his first spell when he bowled Mahmood for 21. 53-2. Jonny and Jake continued the bowling with Gavin VDM calming slightly and making sure the scoreboard ticked over, whilst Foley punished any short bowling that came his way, hitting 6 boundaries in his 36 before becoming Jonny’s first victim of the day just after drinks, Jonny firing in a quicker delivery to trap Foley leg before.
By this point the required run rate for the home side was nearly 7 and our fielding had to be sharp to keep it down. JT in particular was having an inspired time, pulling off a number of diving stops as the ball seemed to follow him around. Sean Van de Merwe joined his brother at the crease and, having been hit for 10 in 1 over from Crispy earlier in the day, returned the favour, striking 3 boundaries in his opposite number’s only over.
The brothers put on 50 in just 9 overs, keeping us nervously glancing at the scoreboard, while Bondi pounded in for his 2nd spell. Gavin VDM brought up his 50 with a single off Bondi, who wasn’t giving much away. Having kept things tight, he tempted Sean VDM to go for a cut, which was edged, then juggled and held by Falcon, the home skipper out for 21. Bondi would finish with 2-63 in 14 overs.
The required rate was now 8, but with Gavin VDM still there we knew they still had the chance to pull off the win, even with a crucial maiden from Jonny (1 of only 2 in the innings). Jonny did the trick though with 4 overs remaining, beating Gavin VDM’s defences, the latter leaving the field to deserved applause after compiling 68 which had given his side a chance of victory. After his departure though, the game was drawn. Jonny took a 3rd wicket in the final over to finish with 3-53.
Next week we’re back to the limited overs format with Chertsey coming to the Rec and we’ll still need a couple of wins to be safe.
Scorecard Link : http://sdacc.play-cricket.com/scoreboard/scorecard.asp?id=11138646