Last Over T20 defeat at Oxshott

Thursday 21st August 2014
Stoke D’Abernon 148 for 9 (20 overs)
Maori Oxshott 150 for 5 (19.4 overs)
Maori Oxshott won by 5 wickets

Before reading on a massive vote of thanks to Maori Oxshott for hosting this fixture. Stoke were starved of friendly T20 action having had both oppositions from last week scratch due to lack of numbers. Oxshott did, in fact, raise a side at very short notice to replace one of them last week, only for both sides to be beaten by the weather, but undeterred the clubs raised sides again.

There was a late change to the Stoke line-up as Match Manager Ralph Coleman came into the side after drop-out-itis struck again, and he also did the toss, calling correctly and choosing to bat.

Nico Spreeth and Stephen Anderson made good progress early on, adding 42 before Spreeth was bowled by former Stoke colt Rory Depree for 15 attempting to push things on. Anderson had played chicken with the boundary fielder twice, but his luck ran out on 25 from 20 balls faced when he was run out having failed to run his bat in.

After Jeremy Connell walked past a delivery from home skipper George Depree, Greg Routley was his usual belligerent self, clubbing another three sixes, (now 29 for the season), in a knock of 27, (no fours), before serving up a tame return catch, a fate that also befell Carel Ferreira whose six comprising six singles.

The Stoke run-rate was healthy, but they continued to lose wickets leaving the tail with near on a quarter of the overs to bat on 101 for 8.

Harry Ross and Keegan Weideman, (19 from 9), gave Stoke something to bowl at adding 38; Ross, (32 not out), plundered another ten runs from the final over to close the innings on 148 for 9.

In reply Stoke chased early wickets but ran into an opening partnership between batsmen who complemented each other well. Harper, who plays his League Cricket in the Premier Division at Leatherhead; and Ewart, added 86 in 13.4 overs, making full use of any bad balls served up; and there were a few, plus a generous helping of extras, (33 compared to just the five conceded by the home side.)

The partnership was broken in non-text-book fashion when first change Weideman’s half-tracker was mis-pulled to mid-on by Harper, (47), where Coleman stuck out a hand and the ball stayed in. Cue disbelief from the batsman and the sizeable Stoke away support, that included Jase Earl who umpired the first inning, and Rod Thomson who kept score.

No.3 Ian Harper was positive from the off, planting Spreeth onto the guttering in one of the neighbouring houses, and things looked as bleak for Stoke as the gloomy skies with the board showing 124 for 1 mid-way through the fifteenth over.

However Stoke have produced a couple of grandstand finishes in recent weeks, and chose this game to add to their portfolio. Coleman bowled Ian Harper for 29, but to say this wicket was bought was an understatement; then Nico Spreeth recovered from conceding 20 runs in his first over to set up a tense finish.

As the failing light turned to darkness, Harry Ross castled Lee; then Spreeth, with only three runs to play with going into the final over, finally removed opener Ewart for 30; then ramped up the drama when Crookes hit to Giacomo Gray at mid-on. There were also some confident leg-before shouts that failed to meet player-umpire approval.

One blow was still enough, and it came with two balls to spare courtesy of Shaw who hacked the winning hit past square past unsighted fielders in near darkness to complete the win.

After a good-spirited contest, there was decent chat about each club’s current situation in the bar, membership demographic, etc after the game, (SDCC was very curious to see if Oxshott’s 2s have a side to play on Saturday to host Streatham & Marlborough but those present said they didn’t know), and how each club continues to re-build and grow after their respective periods pain suggests a bright future for this little corner of Surrey.

The sides face off again on Sunday at the Stoke Rec in a long-format game.

Scorecard Link : http://sdacc.play-cricket.com/view_results_details?id=12064216

FOOTNOTE : Members of the Oxshott XI 1st XI present yesterday who played against Dorking at the weekend mentioned that after the teams had packed up and gone home the scorebook, when added up, showed the Oxshott total to be three more than advertised : http://surreychampionship.play-cricket.com/view_results_details?id=11873462