Sunday 14th August 2016
Surrey Trust League
Worcester Park 202 for 7 (40 overs)
Stoke D’Abernon 206 for 8 (39.5 overs)
Stoke D’Abernon won by 2 wickets
The cliché ‘you had to be there’ is often over-used but not in this case; and for those who were, this will be very much one of those ‘I was there’ games when talked about in years to come.
Stoke had nothing to play for in this one, Worcester Park needed the points to progress to the next phase, and when Stoke were 66 for 5 then 73 for 6 with a bit of a tail, all seemed lost. Two people had different ideas.
So how did we get to this stage? Stoke lost another toss and found themselves in the field again; but made early inroads when Nico Spreeth held a return catch, (having seen a chance go down in the deep earlier in the over), and first change Ben Townsend, (who bowled well again), nicked off No.3 King cheaply, captain Will Thomson doing the rest standing up. 25 for 2.
The pitch played well and No.1 & No.4 U.Ahmed and S.Ahmed batted well against generally consistent bowling that was back up by generally inconsistent fielding. The ball followed certain individuals all afternoon and Stoke leaked runs with mis-fields, overthrows and poor returns to the keeper; Jack Townsend the most unfortunate to see several undeserved increments to his third column.
Drinks were taken at 95 for 2; but Worcester Park were unable to kick on as Giacomo Gray, (4-0-18-2), removed both the Ahmeds for 64 and 21 respectively; the first a good catch by Jack Townsend on the circle after the ball had good hang-time; then Dan Gluckman took one over his head on the circle.
Andrews and O.King needed to invest time getting themselves in and Stoke ran through some overs. Gluckman bowled his eight over allocation, (very well), in one spell for the concession of just 24 runs; Spreeth, (7-0-26-2), returned and took his second wicket when O.King advanced down the track, missed and Thomson did the rest. 133 for 5 was soon 135 for 6 when Jack Townsend moved well and got a throw in to Thomson to effect the run out of Andrews.
Worcester Park then used some seniors, captain Wilkinson rotating the strike for A.Powers and they moved the total to 164 with four overs to go. The pair were separated when Wilkinson edged a delivery from Jack Townsend and walked.
Worcester Park looked under par at this point, so sensible cricket was required to limit the amount of runs to chase. The next four overs was anything but as A.Powers, (35 not out), and S.Powers, (10 not out), took 38 runs from the last four overs as the fielding effort became increasingly ragged and placements caused some head-scratching from the boundary. The last ball missed everything and went for four byes to lift the total to 202 for 7.
After an excellent tea put together by the Trowers, the reply started OK as Spreeth and James Corbishley took 25 from the first five overs. Corbishley looked good for his 14 until he gloved a ball down the leg-side that tennis-ball-bounced a little.
Spreeth hit a couple of nice shots before falling to a leg-before decision for 17 when he was quite a way down, but Stoke still seemed in no danger as Curran continued his good form and hit three crisp fours and a nice six.
But from this point Stoke batted themselves into a hole. Curran, (19), drove loosely and was held at slip, James Trower found another umpire who lined him up, Hugo Solway scratched around before popping one up to mid-wicket and it was 73 for 6 when Gray edged to give S.Powers, (8-2-24-3), his third.
Gluckman and Thomson were forced to bat time. Curbing their natural instincts to go hard at the ball they moved the total past the 100-mark and taking mostly singles as sensible field placements limited the boundaries.
As things started to turn in Stoke’s favour, (or rather restore parity), Gluckman pulled a filthy long-hop from U.Ahmed straight down cow’s throat and departed for 21, (107 for 7); leaving Thomson, (13 not out at that point), the task of finding another 96 runs off 13.1 overs with the last three batsmen having scored 4, 67 and 21 CAREER club runs in 11, 46 and 18 APPEARANCES respectively.
Forget the WASP, forget Duckworth/Lewis par scores and other in-play prediction tools; what happened over the next 45 minutes was staggering, and showed why we love this game.
Worcester Park set the field back, Thomson and Hill took what singles were on offer and Thomson found a boundary with enough frequency that the asking rate was never worse than sevens. The equation went from 68 needed off the last ten, to 34 needed off the last five. Cool heads remained and risks were kept to a minimum, the competitive C.King’s last over, (the 36th leaving lesser bowlers the last two from the Blundell Lane End), was seen off for just two singles.
The pair kicked on from this point. Eight runs were taken from the 37th over, seven from the 38th to leave 18 needed off the last two overs; and when Thomson hit the first two balls of the penultimate over for four, the realisation that Stoke might actually do this also spread to the fielding side who had been quite content to limit boundaries and back themselves to this point.
The match twisted again when Thomson was run out for 72, (75 balls, 10×4), scrambling a leg-bye to try and get on strike; (thus bringing to an end a Club record 8th wicket partnership in Trust League cricket, and all League cricket); but Jack Townsend got bat on each of the three balls he would face, leaving Hill, (23 not out), to hit his only boundary over backward square to the nets with the scores level to complete a famous win and eliminate a shell-shocked Worcester Park from the competition. What…a…game…
So a successful end to the weekend that saw all four games won, (although sadly the Sunday XI match was cancelled due to lack of numbers.) Stoke finished third in the zone having lost comfortably to the two sides above them, (so still a gap to close), but took third place in the zone on head-to-head from Worcester Park by virtue of this win.
We look for learning and progress from this competition. Overall this has been achieved but the measure will be how people apply their experiences to their League Cricket. Fingers crossed this will be evidenced over the next three weekends with the 1st and 2nd XI having important fixtures to play.
Links to Record Partnerships : http://www.stokecc.co.uk/record-partnerships/
The previous record in Trust League cricket for Stoke was in this match, (http://sdacc.play-cricket.com/website/results/836702), the record for all Stoke League cricket was this one, (http://sdacc.play-cricket.com/website/results/630543)