Saturday 20th August 2016
Travelbag Surrey Championship – Division 4 2nd XI Competition
Kingstonian 2nd XI 149 all out (48.1 overs)
Stoke D’Abernon 2nd XI 150 for 3 (28 overs)
Stoke D’Abernon 2nd won by 7 wickets
A second successive win for the 2nd XI has moved them above their opponents in the table and has secured Division 4 status for another season.
After winning the toss Stoke got a good start with Adrian Mills finding 2 edges in his 2nd over, Neil Foster taking 2 regulation catches behind the stumps. With Giacomo Gray also taking the new ball, scoring chances were few and far between.
Roddy Kelso came on first change at the Blundell Lane end and hit the stumps 3 times in his first 5 over spell. When skipper Duncan Elder bowled the opposing captain just before drinks the visitors were reeling, 6 down with barely 50 runs on the board.
Determined not to let a good position slip away as had happened when the 2 sides met earlier in the season; Elder was quick to change things when number 7 Kamran took a liking to the seam bowling on offer. Billy Zander and Harry Nawaz shared 18 overs of spin between them, with Zander in particular settling into a great containing spell that would see only 7 runs come off his 10 overs. He got reward with a catch at deep square leg for Gray.
Kamran and Hinds batted for a long time (which felt like a very long time due to confusion over the number of overs shown on the board), but a combination of tight bowling & fielding and (it seemed) a lack of urgency from the batters helped restrict the scoring rate. We wondered if the pair had misread the pitch in the thought that maybe 160 would be a good score if they batted all their overs.
After they attacked Nawaz in his last couple of overs Elder brought himself back on and claimed the wicket of Hinds. Nawaz took a good running catch at long off despite the batsman broadcasting his thought that the ball would land safely.
Shortly afterwards Kelso claimed a 4th wicket to finish with 4-23 from 9 overs, Andy Berry with the catch at mid wicket and it was all over the next ball when Kamran checked out on 73 (to add to the 56 he scored against us earlier this season) hitting Gray to Nawaz, again at long off. 149 all out was a long way short of a par score on this pitch.
The run chase started badly with 2 wickets falling in the first 5 overs. Malcolm Dickson swung and lost a stump after hitting the first over for 10 before Andy Page fell to a splendid diving catch by visiting keeper Hinds.
Andy Berry and Giacomo Gray came together and changed the match making the pitch look very different to earlier with positive batting rather than the ponderous prodding some of the visiting batters had employed.
Berry marched his personal score to 30 quickly, (taking advantage of a couple of drops) with 4 early 4s and a 6 towards the car park before spinner Sikander found a line and length to keep him relatively quiet. Gray on the other hand upped his scoring rate at this point to breeze past the senior partner towards his first Championship 50. He achieved this with a 6 in what proved to be Sikander’s last over from just 55 balls faced.
From there the money was on Berry to join him in the half century club, but Gray carried on, punishing every bad ball that came his way, taking us up to the victory target in just the 28th over.
Only once the scores were level did Gray fall, toe ending a chance to mid on off the 6th bowler to leave the arena for 76, an innings that included 12 4s and 2 6s. Billy Zander nudged the only ball he faced towards a vacant square leg for the single to win the match with Berry finishing 47 not out.
Should Stoke 2s win their remaining games they will finish the division in 4th place. First is a trip to Battersea Ironsides who will need to beat us to have any chance of surviving relegation.