1st XI lose at Sanderstead

Saturday 18th July 2015
Surrey Championship Division 5
Stoke D’Abernon 99 all out (30.1 overs)
Sanderstead 102 for 2 (20.1 overs)
Sanderstead won by 8 wickets

Such is the topsy-turvy nature of Division 5 this season a win would have taken Stoke’s 1st XI back to third in the table at Sanderstead, but a defeat – with no points – leaves us in sixth spot and in serious need of a run of wins to re-ignite promotion prospects.

Led by Matthew Hilton who took a career best 7 for 29, Sanderstead moved into the promotion places with their eight wicket win. Will Gudgeon top scored for Stoke with 32, Tom Frost made 20 and Toby Tarrant, (2 for 44), took both wickets.

The match started well enough, with Jack Raimondo producing a handsome cover drive to get off the mark, but things went awry as early as the 3rd over when Nick Lo received a scuttling delivery which knocked back his off stump. Allen then saw to both James Trower and Ian Hopton in the 4th over – the latter the victim of a perfect away swinging delivery that pitched on middle and clipped the off bail. (Allen later said he didn’t initially realise it was a bowled and was appealing for a caught behind due to the snick sound of ball hitting bail.) The 5th over saw Raimondo play on, a dismissal Hilton was particularly pleased with following Raimondo’s treatment of him during the earlier match this season.

At 18-4 in the 5th over we were in a dire position, but with the home scorer suggesting a total as low as 120 might be defendable on this strip hope was not lost. Will Gudgeon found partners willing to stick around in both Nico Spreeth and Tom Frost. The former fell leg before shuffling across his stumps trying to work the ball to leg, but Gudgeon and Frost produced the highest partnership of the innings (41).

Gudgeon inside edged 2 consecutive boundaries off change bowler Jackson, but he was unable to get hold of the accurate Hilton and perished in his attempts to a very sharp stumping by Bull. I’d be willing to bet that not many ‘keepers have taken stumpings off Hilton’s bowling during his career. Hilton received further reward for targeting the stumps when Frost became his 5th victim, Frost leaving the party for 20.

After that wicket there was time for Matt Gottschalk to hit 2 boundaries off Carter, before Carter got his revenge moving one in to break the stumps, Toby Tarrant lost a stump playing back to a ball he should have played forward to and Adrian Mills hit a rare boundary off a seemingly equally rare Hilton bad ball before being castled by a more customary good ball to finish Hilton’s terrific spell of 7-29. All of this left James Corbishley stranded on just 2 and without the chance to put his batting skills on show.

In reply Tarrant caused problems early on, following Hilton’s lead of bowling straight in case the pitch misbehaved. Both Branch and Muzammil were dismissed by straight deliveries (one leg before, one bowled), but Carter and Jackson both batted aggressively with the attitude that if there was a ball with their name on it, they’d make the most of their stay at the crease before it arrived. These were the final dismissals in a match which saw no catches taken.

Frost produced a good display in his first game behind the stumps this season including 2 very low takes from balls that shot along the deck. In the end though, a score of 99 is rarely enough and every chance has to be taken. 2 tough diving half chances were close, but we left the field on the wrong end of a one sided scorecard.

Next week we face the long away trip to Alleyn CC. We beat them earlier in the season and we’ll need a similar result in order to keep in touch with the leaders in an increasingly tight division.

Scorecard : http://sdacc.play-cricket.com/website/results/2469073