Sunday XI nearly win it late

Sunday 16th August 2015
Stoke D’Abernon 207 for 5 dec (44 overs)
Bank of England 159 for 9 (40 overs)
Match Drawn

Stoke’s Sunday XI played out an enjoyable draw at the Bank of England Sports Club, almost snatching a win in the last over when the draw looked to be the most likely result with a handful of overs to go.

Having been given first use of a firm strip Dough Gilbertson and Adam De Swardt made steady progress, adding 43 for the first wicket before Gilbertson, (9), edged second change Davis to slip moments after calling for a runner when pulling the hammy.

After investing time getting himself in against accurate opening bowling, notably from Saguta who returned and opening spell of 7-5-6-0; De Swardt looked good for his 38 until he picked out mid-off looking for an eighth four.

Platform set, Chris Finch survived a chance at slip first ball before hitting three nice fours in a knock of 13; his dismissal, from an identical shot to the one he played first up, paved the way for brother Stephen to join No.3 Andy Berry, and they put on an entertaining fourth wicket stand of 104.

Berry decided to take running out of the equation and hit a number of boundaries, (a couple very close to being sixes but he had to settle for just the one maximum); Finch Snr scored his 32 runs all around the wicket and looked good until he was bowled trying to up the scoring rate.

Berry had a good two over period that suggested a century was possible, and accordingly the declaration was delayed to give him every chance, but he finally checked out on 90 with fourteen fours and the aforementioned six when he was caught on the circle.

Shortly before the plug was called, Zac Gilbertson hit some nice shots in a brief cameo.

After a traditional, cream-tea based dining experience, the Stoke bowlers set about trying to force a win; an extra 15 minutes negotiated to ensure the home side, who bowled their overs pretty slowly, got a few more overs to chase the runs.

Stoke started well. Richie Parrett, (2 for 15), swung deliveries through the defences of openers Hussain and Andrews; and in partnership with Adrian Mills, who earned an ever increasing number of slips and gullies as he beat the bat repeatedly; they pair gave Stoke early control.

No.3 Viegas was joined by Streather, (the latter has played twice against Stoke’s 2nd XI this season for Alleyn), and they brought up the 50. Alex Thomson was in the attack by now, and after a wide-filled opening over came back well to finish with commendable figure of 6-1-19-0; and this created pressure for everything to happen at the other end.

The beneficiary was Gilbertson Jnr who ran through the middle order in quick time with a devastating spell of three wickets in the space of two overs; it might have been more but for better support in the field, notably from Dad who shelled a slip catch.

Viegas was leg-before for 18; keeper-bat Hilton edged the next ball to Stephen Finch in the cordon, and soon after the hat-trick ball was negotiated, in his next over Friar was well held by Dad at first slip. 52 for 5 and Gilbertson Jnr had figures of 4-1-13-3.

To keep the home side interested Chris Finch tried a few overs but actually bowled too well(!) as the batsmen were unable, rather than unwilling, to score runs to keep up with the rate; so after drinks other combinations were tried.

Ralph Coleman trapped Milligan leg-before on the back foot for 7; and after a couple of exploratory overs from the car park end, De Swardt switched ends and things started to happen.

Streather and No.8 Ngo put together an entertaining seventh wicket stand of 47 to back up the previous partnership of 39. Ngo clearly still had a win in mind and played positively. This inspired Streather, who profited from the attacking fields, to pass a half-century before finally checking out on 74, (13×4), when he edged De Swardt to Rod Thomson standing up. Thomson Snr again did a good job behind the stumps.

De Swardt locked down one end and the other bowlers were tried in short spells from the other in an attempt to force the in. How Mills walked off with 0-for in the match will forever remain a mystery; and the game looked set to end in a tame draw going into the final over.

However there was late drama. No.10 Kapadia was bowled by De Swardt playing back; and the penultimate ball saw Ngo, back on strike after a bye, bowled for 34. With fielders crowded around the bat Saguta negotiated the final delivery with aplomb and stumps were drawn by the home umpire with the total on 159.

De Swardt finished with 7-1-26-3; but everyone did well with the ball and in the end Stoke simply ran out of time and overs, but did manage to run through 40 of them in just over two hours, a decent effort given the time constraint.

Despite the match finishing late the players stuck around for a while after the game for a few jars and made sure both fixture secretaries agreed to book this one in again for next year.

Scorecard :

Andy Berry
Adam De Swardt and Doug Gilbertson
Chris Finch running for Doug Gilbertson
Andy Berry Shot
Stephen Finch Shot
Ben Mills