Saturday 10th June 2017
Travelbag Surrey Championship Division 4 – 2nd XI Competition
Sinjungrammarians 2nd XI 161 all out (45.3 overs)
Stoke D’Abernon 2nd XI 164 for 9 (54.3 overs)
Stoke D’Abernon 2nd XI won by 1 wicket
Another nail-biter as Stoke’s 2nd XI claimed a narrow victory in Wandsworth.
The absence of three members of the regular bowling attack meant a never seen before new ball pairing of Thomas Dennis and Ralph Coleman start things off; Dennis striking with the second ball of the match to remove Hafeez for a duck. 0-1 was soon 8-2 when Coleman yorked Noman in his second over; and after an attritional period that saw first-change James Corbishley send down five tidy overs; Coleman took two more when Sheikh hit a return catch to him; then opener Sarwar, who had been at the crease for 22 overs for just 18, edged one and Andy Page took a good low one-handed catch. 63 for 4.
No.5 and No.6 Javid and Imran then set about re-building things. Both played positively and benefited from a couple of missed chances, Andy Berry looked to have taken a good catch back-pedalling only to learn that the bowler had delivered a no-ball. Another catch at the wicket went to ground.
Sinjungrammarians had moved to 123 for 5 but things turned Stoke’s way in the hour that followed. Deepak Malhotra found assistance from the chewy surface and started to run through the order. Imran needlessly holed out in the deep to a good catch by Peter Phipps for 43, Mitha was bowled for 1, Waqar hit to Jack Raimondo at mid-off, Patel was well stumped by Malcolm Dickson, (who took over the gloves at drinks to allow Andy Page a nice tidy spell of 4-1-7-0); then Malhotra completed a nap hand when Javid went in identical circumstances to Imran for a fluent 54.
161 for 9, and with the batsmen having crossed, two balls later Malhotra castled No.10 Jani to finish with career best figures of 8.3-0-32-6.
Stoke had a minimum of 55 overs to chase the runs and would eventually need all of them. The bowlers gave little away and the run rate hardly ever went over two per over for the first 25 overs.
Berry hit a couple of nice fours before left-armer Patel swung one through the gate, Malcolm Dickson chopped on the first change Hafeez for the same score, and after toughing it out Phipps edged to slip. 35 for 3 was soon 37 for 4 when Jase Earl hit to cover.
Jack Raimondo invested good time getting himself in, and Roddy Kelso played nicely. The pair doubled the total before Kelso was unlucky to be bowled for 21 pulling a rank long-hop that rolled.
The need for an extra bowler in the 1st XI meant a lot of head-scratching ahead of the match, but Corbishley’s appearance in this game now worked to Stoke’s advantage. A sixth wicket partnership of 55 followed and Stoke were back in control as the home side shuffled the bowling trying to break them.
Possibly the lesser of the eight bowlers used then accounted for Corbishley to a return catch; and whilst Raimondo still had competent batsmen coming in to join him, there was still work to do.
Page and Malhotra each hit a nice four but both perished to catches at the wicket; and with run-rate now starting to be a factor Raimondo took the bowling on and got Stoke to the cusp of victory with seven balls to spare, but had lost the strike.
Knowing that he would not be on strike next ball, Dennis unselfishly went for the winning hit off the last ball of the penultimate over only to hear the death rattle; so after a swing & miss, then a dug-out yorker, Raimondo flashed hard at the third ball of the final over and it flew over the keeper for four to win the game.
Raimondo finished unbeaten on 81 from 106 balls with nine fours. Credit to Sinjungrammarians for their contribution to the day, but Stoke were just about value for this win, and continue to do things the hard way.
Results elsewhere mean Stoke sneak into the promotion places for the first time this year. Next week they host improving Cheam.