Sunday XI fall just short against Cheam

Sunday 17th July 2016
Cheam 202 for 6 (40 overs)
Stoke D’Abernon 183 all out (37.4 overs)
Cheam won by 19 runs

A lovely day at the Stoke Rec saw a great game where Stoke ultimately came up just short, but did so without compromising their Sunday cricket ethos to involve everyone who made themselves available to play.

Cheam chose to bat first on winning the toss; the match delayed slightly as the visiting captain was bringing the last couple from an age-group game he was managing. This gave Stoke a chance to catch up and have pre-game chat with an old friend, Hamza Hafeez, once of Old Rutlishians, who played against us in a number of our pre-season friendly and Trust League games. He was typically complementary about our youth set-up and asked after a few Trust League opponents from the past; notably Tim Handel, Alim Sheikh and Will Frost.

Anyway back to the present, Hafeez took strike with Sayed and they made steady progress on a pitch that offered little assistance to the bowlers. Richie Parrett, (7-1-27-0), bowled a decent opening spell, as did Luke Kirchner who settled into his work after a nervous start.

The opening stand reached 64 by the fifteenth over; and the partnership was broken by Rod Thomson who bowled Hafeez for 26. Ten runs later No.3 Forsdick edged a Thomson delivery to Peter Phipps who started behind the timbers and ended up keeping the role for the whole afternoon.

Sayed and Shetty moved the total past the hundred but the rate was kept in check by Thomson, and Ian Hopton who ironed out one or two things and added a more positive mindset to his bowling with a few fielders around the bat. The total reached 107 when Thomson took his figures to 7-1-9-3, Hopton making a casual one-handed grab at mid-off to remove Sayed for 45.

Cheam made steady progress after drinks without the rate ever spiralling out of control. Debutant Deepak Malholtra bowled five tidy overs of tempting flighted spin, and Zach Gilbertson bowled three overs without luck, difficult chances not going to hand.

Kirchner returned to complete his eight over allocation, (he bowled much better than final his figures suggested), leaving Ralph Coleman and Hopton to share the death overs.

Shetty completed his half century but Hopton castled him next ball; and Coleman picked up a couple of late ones when Fenwick, (28), skied on and Zach Gilbertson did well under the high ball; then Senanayake edged to Phipps.

202 for 6 at half-time represented a goof effort on both sides.

Doug Gilbertson and Chris Finch gave the chase a nice start with 38 runs in the first 8.3 overs; until the former was bowled for 24 looking to turn a straight ball from Forsdick through a vacant mid-wicket area.

Finch and No.3 Malcolm Dickson played positively to keep the scoreboard ticking. Finch hit some nice shots over the in-field and cut a couple for four through point too, but he was bowled by Senanayake for 37 with the score on 72 at the end of the 18th over.

Stoke then got a little stuck, largely due to a good spell by young spinner Nair. Malholtra hit a couple of nice fours before becoming one of many Stokers to fail to clear the in-field. Dickson, (30), hit the erratic sixth bowler West-Symes to Bahl and Phipps top-edged a sweep to “45”off Nair. 91 for 4 in the 23rd. Work to do.

Hopton got himself in and started to accelerate the scoring, but had an inexperienced lower order to work with. Kirchner and Zach Gilbertson did well, though, scoring 10 and 18 respectively before the former was bowled by West-Symes.

Hopton had engineered the score to 162 for 6 by the mid-point of the 33rd over at which point Hafeez was brought into the attack. Hopton hit his first ball down Senanayake’s throat, Gilbertson Jnr couldn’t clear the in-field and Coleman followed almost immediately when he chipped the first ball he faced to Forsdick who juggled a pretty straightforward chance and ended up catching it in his leg whilst on the ground. 171 for 9 and Thomson had just Parrett for company to score the remaining runs with four overs to go.

The pair gave it a good go, though, Thomson, (16 not out), hit the ball cleanly and ran aggressively, but the innings closed 20 short of victory when Parrett connected with a Hafeez delivery only to see Senanayake move well to take the catch. Time to replace the old bat with something more powerful, perhaps?

Hafeez had taken 4 for 10 in just 2.4 overs, not quite as destructive a spell as his Trust League effort here in 2009 for Old Ruts, (, but decisive enough to help his team to a narrow win.

Good fun had by all and hopefully we can find a way to get this opposition on to the fixture card on a more permanent basis.

Next week the Sunday XI will be on the road with a Trust League match at The Rec. Details of what we arrange will follow soon.

Scorecard :

Sunday XI v Cheam - July 2016