Sunday 7th August 2016
Thebertons 220 for 9 declared (41 overs)
Stoke D’Abernon 128 for 8 (41 overs)
Stoke’s Sunday XI played out a draw against Thebertons, captained by currently occasional, but hopefully more full-time in the future, Stoker Neil Foster.
Foster won the toss and chose to bat on a very warm day. In contrast to the normal composition of the Stoke Sunday XI, Stoke were unusually short of bowling resources so Ralphie, (who himself became unable to bowl as his dreaded cellulitis re-appeared just after play commenced limiting him to a fill-in and-field role), negotiated a timed format with decent batting depth to attempt to chase any target set.
It was 100mph stuff in the opening overs as new-ball pairing Alistair McMillan and Atta-Ul-Karim Saeed, (“Atta” to his friends), traded runs for wickets at an alarming rate.
Atta struggled initially with his length, but McMillan took wickets at regular intervals as the Thebertons batsmen were looking to play as many shots as possible.
McMillan, (10-3-42-5 – his first 5-for since July 2016), took the first five wickets to fall in a ten over spell, the last of which went for ten.
Foster gave him an early return catch to start things off, Bishop was bowled, Lucas suffered the same fate, (replacement bail needed), and Southern, who looked to hit as many boundaries as possible despite the field being set back, skied to Malcolm Dickson in the deep for 33.
McMillan’s fourth wicket was his 250th for the Club – he is also our all-time leading run-scorer and has taken more catches in the field that any other Stoker.
He completed his 5-for when Anderson was leg-before for 4; and it was 67 for 5 in just the seventeenth over. At one point 51 runs had come from the first seven overs; the scoring rate slowed by Andy Page who bowled a controlled spell of 9-3-22-0.
At one point A.G.Page was bowling in tandem with daughter Amy; and Amy won the ‘Page-off’ – she would later do so with the bat as well – with three wickets in her seven over spell. Fairweather was bowled, Dickson took a second good catch at deep long-off to account for Sutton who made 46 with five fours and two sixes; then Atta showed good hands at deep square-leg to give Amy figures of 5.2-0-37-3.
It was 142 for 8 in just the 29th over and Stoke showed their usual generosity in making sure the opposition had a total to bowl at rather than be shot out for, say, 160 in 35 overs.
Although Atta returned to bowl a much better second spell than his first, that included the the wicket of McConachie, (caught Andy Page), with the total on 168; No.9 Dundas, (who was at the Rec a couple of weeks ago playing for Old Pauline), took advantage of the quick outfield, and some friendly bowling, to put together an unbroken last wicket stand of 52. Dundas made 55 not out and had good support from No.11 Jenner who was unbeaten on 12.
Foster called the batsmen in after 41 overs. 220 was, perhaps, a few too many, but Stoke had the batting depth to chase it down.
However, after a great tea from Jo, Doug Glbertson and Malcolm Dickson found progress difficult against accurate bowling from Jenner and Dundas. In an attempt to get things moving Dickson flashed at one from Dundas and edged to Foster behind the stumps. Gilbertson followed soon after when an attempted pull went wrong and the ball ballooned up in the air where Foster fell underneath it at “45.”
Late call up Simon Fisher, (a former Stoke colt but playing his first senior game for the Club nearly a decade later), was scratchy at first but got his feet moving and hit a nice couple of shots before he was leg-before for 19 playing around a straight one.
Rod Thomson, batting with Dickson as a runner, and Deepak Malholtra got the board ticking as lesser bowlers were tried attempting to buy wickets with the asking rate already approaching tens.
It was one of those days when every big shot resulted in a wicket to scupper any chance of a successful chase. Malholtra, (11), was looking good but cut to backward point where the fielder reluctantly extended his arm and the ball stuck in his hand; Jeremy Connell was dropped twice, but then fell to great low catch; Thomson was bowled for the innings’ top score of 32 and Andy Page pulled a waist-high full-toss, (not called), to mid-wicket. 102 for 7.
Andy P was batting with Amy P; and the latter completed a good all-round display by safely negotiating the closing overs with men round the bat. She hit some very nice shots in her 15 not out. Here are father and daughter pictured batting together:
Most of the block–out was achieved with McMillan at the other end. McMillan was adjudged leg-before in the final over prompting a few nervous moments, but Atta saw off the rest of the over with no alarm and the teams shook hands with Stoke only getting to 128 for 8 in the same number of overs.
Next week Stoke are in Roehampton at the Bank of England Sports Club; but there is a Trust League match for your pleasure at the Rec against Worcester Park.