Heroic Bondy steers 2s to win at Chipstead

Surrey Championship Division 4 – 2nd XI Competition
Chipstead Coulsdon & Walcountians 2nd XI 150 all out (45.2 overs)
Stoke D’Abernon 2nd XI 151 for 8 (43.1 overs)
Stoke D’Abernon 2nd XI won by 2 wickets

Despite dominating the first quarter of the match and dismissing Chipstead for 150, Stoke’s 2s were indebted to No.9 Alex Bond, who steered us to an important win by 2 wickets. Now, only a bizarre sequence of results will prevent us playing Division 4 cricket in 2012.

Crispy lost the toss and the hosts chose to make first use of the track, which proved to have a bit of bounce in it. Bondy and Po took the new ball and started with a maiden each before the home side’s openers got going with boundaries on the off side, Flower looking the more aggressive of the pair.

Po was unlucky not to get a breakthrough in his 4th over when Flower hit over extra cover and was caught by JT on the boundary, only for JT to fall onto the fence – 6 runs. Po did get the first wicket though in his 6th over when Flower edged to Crispy at 2nd slip for 33 of the 47 scored so far.

This opened the door for more wickets to fall. Ralphie and James L were brought on and James broke through in his first and his second overs – both wickets caught at slip by Gav – before Ralphie too took 2 in consecutive overs – 1 catch for Pagie at mid wicket and one which hit the stumps. We claimed a 6th wicket before the drinks break when Gav held a top quality low catch to give James L a 3-for. With good bowling and sharp catching 47-0 had quickly become 75-6!

Sterling and Orr put a partnership of 34 to try to get a decent total to defend, but on 21 Sterling slugged Crispy straight to James L at mid on. Bondy was brought back into the attack at the road end and whilst his first spell hadn’t been as accurate as he would have liked, his second was exactly what was required.

He put the brakes on Orr who was just starting to open his shoulders and had him caught behind by Falcon for 21. Bondi’s 2nd spell of 5 overs went for just 7 runs. Ralphie was brought back and accounted for M Smith who played round a straight one before Moody who had worked the ball around nicely for 20 edged behind off the returning Po, (2-29), to bring a close to the innings on 150.

James L and Ralphie finished with 3 wickets each going for 19 and 23 runs respectively. Whilst we felt 150 was very chaseable, we could see the pitch was quite bouncy and if CCW bowled well, it would be a challenge – and so it proved.

Stoke’s innings followed a similar pattern to the first innings, with a good start, a collapse and a rally to finish. Ali Mac and Gav got us off to a solid start against the giant Orr and the accurate Boothroyde. The pair took us to 24 before Ali played on to Orr for 13.

Gav and Falcon then took the score past 50, each hitting 4 boundaries before the hosts brought spinner Huitson into the attack.Huitson trapped Gav lbw, before Falcon took 7 off M Smith’s first over. Huitson then had Falcon caught behind by A Smith and Tufty caught and bowled for a duck to swing the game towards the hosts. M Smith then took the next 2 wickets as Stoke’s 2 young guns, (James L and James T), were both caught for 5 – James L a low catch by keeper A Smith and JT well taken by Boothroyde. 80-6!

The experienced heads of Pagie and Crispy, (combined age 96), then set about the task of seeing us home. Having taken the score past 100, Crispy sent a steepling catch to mid on and took a single in the confusion that followed the catch being put down. This could have been an important drop, but Moody was brought on to bowl and had Crispy caught behind in the next over for 16.

Pagie then fell to Boothroyde in the next over to leave us reeling at 106-8 with only the bowlers to bat. Bondy and Ralphie were now at the crease with only Po to come – 3 batsmen of limited pedigree – with 45 still needed for victory.

Ralphie moved the ball into the gaps for singles to give the naturally aggressive Bondy as much strike as possible. The pair had put on 19 before the match suddenly swung back to Stoke, with Bondy clubbing successive sixes off Huitson. With 10 needed, Bondi top edged to fine leg who spilled the chance, but the start of the 44th over saw Bondy strike the ball into the next field to win us the match, and finish top scorer with 34 not out – a career best.

Only an unusual set of results can now deny Stoke 2s a place in division 4 for next year and next week sees Stoke host promotion chasing Sinjungrammarians who are on a very good run of form having won 7 games in a row.

Scorecard Link : http://sdacc.play-cricket.com/scoreboard/scorecard.asp?id=11138673