Saturday 27th August 2016
Travelbag Surrey Championship – Division 4 2nd XI Competition
Stoke D’Abernon 2nd XI 223 for 7 (50 overs)
Battersea Ironsides 2nd XI 206 for 7 (50 overs)
Stoke D’Abernon 2nd XI won by 17 runs
A day to remember for Adam De Swardt as he made an unbeaten 100 to lay the foundation for a good win that was more comfortable than the final winning margin of 17 runs suggested.
Acting skipper Andy Page lost the toss, but got what the team wanted as Battersea Ironsides, (needing to maximise bonus points were they to lose to stand any chance of avoiding relegation on the last day), chose to field first on a pitch that played much better than it looked.
Malcolm Dickson and Page batted cautiously against some decent opening bowling, adding just 26 by the start of the 13th over. Dickson chopped on to first change Gopal who then had a loud shout for leg-before against No.3 Andy Berry turned down next ball. Berry hit the next two balls for four, and was his usual belligerent self, cracking 26 off just 21 balls, (6×4, 1×2), before picking out Stevens at mid-on. Gopal was the successful bowler again and before the over was completed Steve Wade was leg-before to leave Stoke on 58 for 3.
Page and De Swardt re-built the innings as the change bowling was reasonably accurate, but not very threatening. The 4th wicket partnership was 60 going into the 34th over, but ended when Page swept Breislin and was well caught at deep-square. Page made 37 and faced 94 balls for his runs.
De Swardt was joined by Ollie John and another 25 runs were added. John contributed just a single before an attempted sweep came off the back of the bat and lobbed up to slip, but he ran very aggressively in his time at the crease, turning a couple of shots from De Swardt into all-run fours.
At 143 for 5 the home side reintroduced their opening bowlers and bowled them both out trying to find a tail, but they weren’t given a sniff as De Swardt and Peter Phipps added another 52 runs. Stoke were able to score freely off the lesser bowlers in the closing overs. Boundaries were at a premium – Phipps didn’t hit one in his knock of 18 that ended when he was castled by the returning Gopal in the pursuit of quick runs.
Deepak Malholtra clubbed a four over the in-field before becoming Gopal’s fifth wicket, (he ended on 10-1-59-5), and it was then a question of whether De Swardt would have enough overs left to score his hundred.
The 49th over was productive as he moved to 98 with six balls to go. He lost the strike, then got it back only to lose it again, and after being dropped, (difficult chance), and nearly run-out, (would have been a worldy of a direct hit), he completed his century, (from 100 balls with 15 fours), with a ball to spare. Pictured here…
The innings closed on 223 for 7. Decent, but a good start was needed after tea as the pitch played well.
Adrian Mills and Roddy Kelso delivered said good start in a big way. They conceded just eight runs from the first ten overs that saw them take a wicket each. Mills found Mustafa’s edge and Phipps took a good one at slip; then Kelso got one to spit viciously from the surface and Davis could only fend it to gully where Dickson did the rest.
No.3 Gibson hit the ball in unusual areas and made a quick 18 to take the score to 40; but perished to a good catch at slip by Berry to give Kelso his second.
Change bowlers John and Ralph Coleman bowled the overs up to the drinks break that saw Stevens and Brown advance the score to 86. The board continued to tick over but the required run rate was starting to climb. The partnership was broken when Mills retuned to the attack, took a return catch to account for Stevens for 61, and soon after he completed his allocation with miserly figures of 10-4-17-2.
Stevens had played well, and although Brown gave good support to set up a last 15-over dash at the victory target, he struggled to find the required boundaries as Page generally set good fields. Indeed, Brown hit just one four in a knock of 38 that ended when he hit a full toss from De Swardt down deep square leg’s throat where Kelso showed good hands.
As the asking rate started to climb, the intensity of the match was softened a little as two streakers appeared from over the fence behind the bowler’s arm and ran from one end of the ground to the other before heading off for Spencer’s ground the other side of the hedge. That sounded a great game from the noise coming from behind the hedge and had a former Stoker playing. (http://surreychampionship.play-cricket.com/website/results/2804111)
This comedy moment settled things down after an untidy period in the field where there were overthrows, fielders not attacking the ball, the ball not going back round to the bowler in the air and a lot of backing up needed as throws didn’t go cleanly to the bowlers or Malholtra, (who did well behind the stumps.)
John returned to finish his allocation and bowled a great four over spell that didn’t contain any boundaries. He got a deserved wicket when Wahab, (21), smashed one to cover and Phipps added to his portfolio of outrageous catches that he has taken for the Club; this left roughly 35 needed from the last two overs. Coleman had one comeback over that yielded just five singles and a leg-bye; leaving Kelso enough runs to close the game out.
Kelso picked up a third wicket to finish with 10-2-44-3; and although Breislan hit the first of the last four balls, (all needed to be hit for six to win), for the match’s only maximum; the match reached it inevitable climax after another swing and miss, and a couple of singles took the total to 206 for 7.
This was a great win on the road by the team that changed dramatically in the 24 hours leading up to the game. Reinforcements should be back next week for the match at Alleyn where a win would see Stoke finish a very commendable 4th in the table. Alleyn have the same opportunity, though, so no end of term feeling is expected in Dulwich.