Saturday 15th July 2017
Travelbag Surrey Championship Division 4 – 2nd XI Competition
Alleyn 2nd XI 134 all out (47.3 overs)
Stoke D’Abernon 2nd XI 127 all out (51.3 overs)
Alleyn 2nd XI won by 7 runs
Stoke’s 2nd XI missed the chance to go back into the promotion places when two bunches of wickets in the batting effort undid an excellent performance in the field with a wet ball.
Fielding first having won the toss and opening the bowling himself, Jase Earl got Stoke on the board early with the wickets of Van Der Merwe and Oriakahel, (17 for 2); but Bridgeman, whose sole purpose in life seems to be to score runs against Stoke, batted to drinks with No.4 Tidmarsh.
Stoke had scoreboard control despite the lack of wickets, though; Duncan Elder, Jack Townsend, his brother Ben on League debut, and Alex Clinton bowled well as a group and the innings run-rate never went above three per over once they had touched the ball.
The pressure told and the post-drinks session was all Stoke. Earl castled Tidmarsh for 16 and he then removed acting skipper Gay for a first ball leg-before dismissal, (we’ll note here how well player umpires on both sides did prepared to give lbws); then Jack Townsend, (who returned excellent figures of 11-3-17-1 in two spells), snicked off Streather, Peter Phipps made one of two great grabs at slip. Not to be outdone, his brother then thudded one into No.7 Millett’s pads and he was gone too.
Clinton bowled some excellent deliveries, and ironically got his wicket with arguably his worst ball when Watson slapped a rank full toss to Ralph Coleman at mid-off. Elder, (7-3-14-2), and Earl shared the last three wickets to close the innings on 134.
Bridgeman, who was caught off one of just two no-balls and was also dropped in the gully, finally departed for 69, when he feathered one to Andy Page behind the stumps; Earl completed a maiden League 5-for, (10.3-4-20-5 was also his Stoke career best), when Brook missed one having connected with three boundaries, one of them the match’s only other six.
After a great tea with lots of variety, openers Phipps and Moumer Khara batted sensibly to post and opening stand of 51 by the end of the 15th over. Sadly both fell in quick succession, for 16 and 30 respectively, leaving Deepak Malhotra and Clinton to start again.
Having looked in little trouble Clinton clipped a loose ball to square leg; and whilst Earl arrived at the wicket with just 62 runs needed and seven wickets in hand; Stoke were in a sticky spell that would see them lose five wickets for 22 runs; the fourth and fifth of this sequence were Malhotra, (16), and Rod Thomson. 73 for 5.
Earl and Page still had 24 overs left so they batted sensibly and moved the total to 96 before Page, (15), failed to clear the infield.
The home side sensed a rare win in their quest to get themselves out of the relegation places at 96 for 7, but were quietened by Earl and new arrival Coleman. An eighth wicket partnership of 30 took Stoke to the brink, but only four overs were left and ten needed; and with two of them coming from Watson who conceded just seven runs in his first eleven overs, run rate came into play.
Coleman pushed for a single to a deepish mid-on only to be beaten by an outstanding pick up and throw, but the equation was still in Stoke’s favour with eight needed from 19 balls.
After Earl played out the last remaining ball of the 50th over, (of 53 to be bowled), Watson lined up the tail and removed Elder and Ben Townsend for first ballers. Jack Townsend saw off the remainder of the over; and it was time for Earl to go big.
He launched Bridgeman out into the deep, many thought he had carried the line on the full but the ball dipped at the last minute to deny him the six he and his team craved; similarly the late dip put the boundary fielder off and the chance went down. Amid the confusion Earl and Townsend Snr ran but they couldn’t get back for two to give the former the strike; and the very next ball the latter served up a return catch that was well-held by Bridgeman diving forward off his own bowling.
The margin of defeat was seven runs with the last four wickets falling for just that aforementioned single. An irritating loss, particularly as the home side were missing a few of their first choice regulars; but well done to slow-bowling trio Watson, (13-7-9-4), Millett, (14-5-36-2), and Bridgeman, (7.3-1-24-2), for turning the game in their favour.
Despite this defeat, and it was a shame to lose after everyone gave so much to the game, Stoke still have matters in their own hands but now must put together another run of wins like they did a few weeks back. Next up is a trip to Merstham.