Avid followers of CricInfo will have seen the book review of “Masterly Batting : 100 Great Test Centuries” by Patrick Ferriday and Dave Wilson: http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/689777.html
This got us thinking and in the first of a five part series Ralphie has kindly taken time out to review and rank the centuries he has seen scored by Stokers in his time at the Club. Here is a brief background to set the scene, then on to part one:
As a starting point the first thing to look at was how many hundreds I had seen scored as I didn’t have a clue. Conveniently, Adam De Swardt’s effort at Battersea Ironsides last August was the 50th ton scored in a match I had played in. I have also watched another three from the boundary and/or the scorers’ table, but keeping it to a nice round “Top 50” means I’ll apologise now to Will Gudgeon, (113 not out against nine-man Burgess Park in 2010), Giacomo Gray, (his only club century to date, 101 against the Harrow Wayfarers in 2014), and to Pagie who carried his bat at Ripley last May for the 2s for 103 not out. These three centuries don’t make the series, but they are on our 100s board for ever : http://www.stokecc.co.uk/centuries/
In their book, Ferriday and Wilson use a “methodology” with ten categories – size of score, conditions, bowling attack, percentage of the total, chances, speed, series impact, match impact, “intangibles” and “compatibility.” I’m not for one second going to score each century in that way, although these factors do help mentally to a degree to rank them. I’m not ashamed to say my approach was a much more basic one of placing 50 pieces of paper on the floor at home and moving them around!
So here are numbers 50 to 41:
Jase Earl : 109 v Maori Oxshott (H) on 24/08/2014 – Sunday XI – Friendly
Scorecard : http://sdacc.play-cricket.com/website/results/699090
Here go my chances of a recall to Jase’s team for this coming season(!) but even Jase himself would admit that this was an ‘easy’ ton if ever there was such a thing. Oxshott were in a period of transition and brought a young side to the Rec. Looking for middle time to prove fitness to Pagie after injury, Jase cashed in before walking past one from Richard Hansom, (that he probably could have turned back to and had another go at hitting if he wasn’t in Sunday mode!)
Jack Raimondo : 107 (Retired) v Badgers (H) on 15/05/2011 – Sunday XI – Friendly
Scorecard : http://sdacc.play-cricket.com/website/results/459133
One of a few examples in the list where a 1st XI batsman comes up against a traditional friendly Sunday XI attack with inevitable consequences. One wonders how many more runs Jack and the person with him for most of his knock, Robbie Parrett, would have scored had they opted not to milk singles in the middle overs, turn down runs and blatantly steal the strike off each other! Notwithstanding the ‘comedy’ it was a decent knock, all the more funny watching Frosty getting increasingly frustrated watching his mate trouser a hundred having got the only decent ball of the day early doors.
Nick Lo : 122 v Wisley Southside (H) on 16/09/2012 – Sunday XI – Friendly
Scorecard : http://sdacc.play-cricket.com/website/results/535700
Another example of a League player coming up against a friendly Sunday XI. Clubman that he is, Nick negotiated a pass to play at short notice, (we bribed him with an opener’s spot); hoping a quick 50-odd and out from him would set a nice platform for the younger players in the team to play around. It didn’t quite go to plan and ended up being a quick hundred that gave less opportunity to the others! As a result we batted on a bit longer and were unable to force a win despite Alex Bond bowling seriously quick for a Sunday match and Greg Routley winning a pint of Asahi for cleaning up Malcolm who was in the opposition batting line-up.
Shahil Ramdin : 103 not out v Claygate (A) on 01/08/2013 – 1st XI Friendly
Scorecard : http://sdacc.play-cricket.com/website/results/599729
The Claygate Cricket Week often provides opportunities for our guys to get some runs and wickets into their career counts, and having been not out a lot in successful run-chases, Paulie got a chance at the top of the order in this one and walked off before lunch with his only career century for the Club etched on to the hundreds board. Gudge smashed 61 to give us a nice total to play with, but quite unexpectedly, (after we reduced them to 20 for 3 before tea), we needed all the runs we had as Dan knocked over the tail to help us win a close one. The match will also be remembered for an all-run seven off Corbs’s bowling when a missed run out led to a comical debate as to who would fetch the ball…that then pulled up a foot short of the longest boundary as the batsmen kept running.
Andrew Furze : 115 v Ottershaw & Hamm Moor (H) on 04/09/2005 – Sunday XI – Friendly
Scorecard : http://sdacc.play-cricket.com/website/results/224289
This was one I agonised over ranking higher. Always nice to see one of the products of the colts section go on and produce in the senior matches, but on reflection that was against a weak Sunday 2nd XI attack from a club quite a bit further down the Surrey ladder than us. Nevertheless Andrew struck the ball well, and it was a shame we couldn’t force a win with the last pair blocking out, (I could add that you had to bowl well to get wickets on the pitch); Andrew’s brother David taking a return catch in the final over off a no-ball. A very young Toby Tarrant was also in the side that day and Chris T watched the first few overs.
Nick Lo : 114 v Hunton Wanderers (H) on 22/09/2012 – 1st XI – Friendly
Scorecard : http://sdacc.play-cricket.com/website/results/587352
Hunton really pushed for this fixture when we advertised. Their credentials on Play Cricket looked decent enough, but sadly we had too much for them on the day. Nick was the chief beneficiary with his second hundred in the space of a week. Despite the distance they travelled the opposition did put quite a bit into the bar which meant the afternoon wasn’t a complete waste.
Ian Hopton : 115 not out v Epsom Methodists (H) on 08/06/2014 – Sunday XI – Friendly
Scorecard : http://sdacc.play-cricket.com/website/results/673894
After a lack of opportunity with the bat in the league games with the 1st XI going so well at the time, Hoppy asked for a bit of middle practice, we duly obliged and he carried his bat leading to us using a nice spread of bowlers after tea. On reflection the match wasn’t as close as the scorecard suggests, although a timely double-strike by Keegan just as things began to get interesting made involving everyone with the ball without jeopardising the result an easier task.
James Trower : 103 (Retired) v Sutton (A) on 19/04/2015 – Sunday XI – Friendly
Scorecard : http://sdacc.play-cricket.com/website/results/2519810
Perfect batting track, fast outfield, rusty Sunday XI bowling attack, moderate score to chase. All the ingredients for JT to plunder an opening day hundred. A good knock with some nice shots, though, including a six to bring up his hundred to prompt retirement to let others have their chance.
Johnny Lawes : 101 (Retired) v Sheen Park (H) on 06/05/2006 – 1st XI – Friendly
Scorecard : http://sdacc.play-cricket.com/website/results/221609
Sadly I didn’t get the chance to see Johnny’s two League hundreds for the Club which I’m sure would rank much higher than this effort that came in a pre-season friendly. It was a gloomy day and a few of the guys were scratching around looking for some early season rhythm on a pudding. Johnny took a different approach and simply smashed himself into form taking the pitch out of the equation. One of his sixes was probably the biggest I have ever seen…to paint a picture we were playing on a strip much nearer the pavilion than the astro-pitch, yet he pulled one over the nets at the far end! Cries of “heads!” towards a father after & son who were in the nets resulted in dad simply looking up and watching the ball sail over his head before making a nice clunk on the adjacent iron bench.
Dan Douthwaite : 112 v Maori Oxshott (A) on 28/04/2013 – Sunday XI – Friendly
Scorecard : http://sdacc.play-cricket.com/website/results/600150
The annual early season Sunday friendly saw Sakes give short spells to a number of bowlers rather than match his better bowlers to the better players in our batting line-up. Dan cashed in. As the better bowlers then pegged things back, Pagie wen berserk to get us a nice score to bowl at. We needed those runs as Oxshott’s League quality batting line-up made a good fist of the chase; Dan’s run-out of the overseas Grant Wood swung the game our way just as it looked like his earlier good work was potentially going to go unrewarded.
So that’s the first ten done. If anyone doesn’t agree with any of the above and can justify ranking them differently, I probably won’t argue with you! (The nearest I ever got to 100 was with the ball – a spell of 20-1-96-3 in a League game back in 1996!) The Clubhouse bar is a great place to meet to debate any of this through…or most of you have my/the Club’s e-mail address!
Tune in next week for Part 2…