Saturday 13th August 2016
Travelbag Surrey Championship – Division 4 2nd XI Competition
Stoke D’Abernon 2nd XI 298 for 7 (50 overs)
Sinjungrammarians 260 for 9 (50 overs)
Stoke D’Abernon 2nd XI won by 38 runs
Stoke’s 2nd XI moved themselves away from the relegation place with a high-scoring win over Sinjungrammarians. 550 runs were scored for the loss of 16 wickets during the course of an eventful afternoon.
Jase Earl won the toss and, with a powerful looking batting line up featuring 9 players who have played 1s cricket this year, elected to bat first. Andy Page was the first victim, adjudged lbw after perhaps the longest appeal I’ve ever witnessed. The excitable bowler had plenty to say to Malcolm Dickson a couple of overs later following another lengthy appeal. Dickson tried to silence him, but lost a stump in the process.
20-2 brought Jack Raimondo to the crease, and he was in no mood to hang around. His first ball went for 4 and at no point in his innings was his strike rate below 100. Raimondo nearly doubled Stoke’s run rate during the 15 overs he spent at the crease. A 3rd bowler was introduced and dispatched for 19 in 2 overs. Raimondo’s 50 came up with a 6 over mid wicket from just his 33rd ball faced. Another 6 over long off followed as well as 12 4s before he checked out for 80 from 52 balls.
A feature of the innings was aggressive running between the wickets, particularly when Tom Frost was there, with numerous 1s turned into 2s. Even in an innings of only 52 balls, he still managed to lose 2 batting partners. Giacomo Gray made 14 before hitting the ball straight up, the keeper taking the catch in the batting crease, then Frost spanked a long hop at mid wicket for just 3.
At 128-5 before drinks some rebuilding was needed, which seemed bizarre after the carnage of the early overs. After the frenzy things were calmed down by a partnership between skipper Earl and Adam de Swardt. Their partnership was worth 65 at close to 5 an over. Earl set off at a good rate before de Swardt joined him hitting consecutive 4s off Javid.
After he was caught at mid off for 25, Billy Zander joined Earl and the pair added a further 38. Earl brought up his 50 from 62 balls, before Zander produced one of the shots of the day, a driven 4 with a Lara-like flourish, but shortly afterwards was run out by a good throw for 21.
Will Thomson came in with 7 overs left and the possibility of taking the score to 300. Earl and Thomson nearly managed it too, both running almost everything and Earl adding 2 maximums to his 9 4s. Stoke finished on 298 – just short of 300, but comfortably our biggest score of the season, with the captain also just missing out on a century with 97 not out from 95 balls. A formidable total!
In reply Sinjuns had a good go, but lost a wicket in Adrian Mills’ first over, Raimondo making a good grab at slip. Mills nearly had a 2nd wicket shortly afterwards, but put down a tough caught and bowled chance diving to his left.
Visiting keeper Faizan hit Will Thomson out of the attack after just 3 overs, and Imran threw the bat at Duncan Elder’s first over, hitting a 6 and a 4. Elder got his revenge quickly though, castling the batter in his 2nd over before claiming a leg before 4 balls later to complete a double wicket maiden. 59-3 after 10.
Faizan was joined at the crease by Malik and the pair batted until drinks at more than 4 per over, putting their team in a good position to launch an attack. After tea a couple of difficult chances were offered, but not taken and for a while it looked as if we might live to regret them, as the partnership swelled to 117.
It was Billy Zander who made the breakthrough when Malik hit to deep mid wicket, where Raimondo judged the boundary catch well. Gray was brought on from the railway end and bowled Rehman for 5 before Zander found the edge of Sheikh’s bat for Frost to take a sharp catch behind the stumps.
Faizan, who had brought up his 50 from 58 balls, now had all the pressure on him, but despite playing one of the best innings played against us this season, checked out for 97, edging Gray to Frost.
With his wicket went his team’s realistic hopes, but the tail proved game and the visitors managed to get full batting points, finishing on 260-9. Elder claimed 2 more wickets (a 3rd catch and a quick stumping for Frost) to finish with 4-55, and Sinjuns skipper Hafeez came out to bat despite having earlier had a trip to Epsom hospital for a dislocated finger.
The win makes Stoke’s league position seem a lot more comfortable, but there are still 3 games to play and another win next week would all but confirm us staying up.
Thanks also to Andy Berry and Rod Thomson for stepping in late in the day to umpire and score respectively.