Thursday 27th July 2017
Stoke D’Abernon 268 for 5 dec (39.5 overs)
Claygate 180 for 4 (33.1 overs)
A terminal rain shower with an hour to go ended a nicely poised contest as Stoke had another enjoyable day out as part of the Claygate cricket week.
As is tradition, Stoke batted first and a never seen before opening partnership of Will Gudgeon and Adrian Mills took strike on a pitch that did a bit when the ball was put in the right areas.
The very first ball summed up opening bowler Louw’s afternoon as it was edged through the cordon for four; after that runs were scored at a decent rate as Gudgeon found his rhythm and Mills split his shot selection with a safety first approach and some nice drives, many to fielders but two of them went for four, one going back past the bowler and another through the covers.
Mills does not appear on the list of century partnerships for the Club, (http://www.stokecc.co.uk/century-partnerships/), but was looking good as the total reached 97 only for him to miss a full toss, the first ball delivered by Walker, and he was sent on his way by James Corbishley for 15.
Gudgeon had already passed 50, (earlier than he was applauded as the South African scoring team was not a particularly slick operation), and after surviving a couple of early chances No.3 Malcolm Dickson joined Gudgeon and the pair took Stoke to 139 for 1 at lunch; Gudgeon having 90 of them to his name.
Very soon after play resumed, Gudgeon was lifting his bat after completing his eighth century for the Club, joining Simon Engelen with the same number, and when he reached 128 he became the 14th Stoker to pass 7000 career runs.
The second wicket fell when Gudgeon, who was batting in a very cavalier mode at this point as he was not concerned with losing his wicket with others ready to have their turn, finally found a fielder who could catch and he checked out on 146 with 20 fours and six more sixes, (he might have had a few more but the tree at mid on resulted in a number of fours), to add to his Club record career count. (Click here and sort by sixes : http://sdacc.play-cricket.com/website/web_pages/88649)
The 2nd wicket partnership realised 155, 79 of them had been scored by Dickson who lived a charmed life throughout his knock, during which he passed Adam Jolliffe to move up to 6th on the list of all-time run-scorers for the Club.
A few wickets were then lost in the pursuit of quick runs; Dickson making 83, (12×4), and others fell for single figure scores. The last three wickets fell at such a rate that no-one was padded up to go in at No.7 so skipper Shawn Dyson chose to declare on 268 for 5 in just the 40th over. With rain about this was a good declaration.
Roddy Kelso took an early wicket as Stoke chased the win, Gudgeon holding a good low catch at gully to account for Webb; but a second wicket proved elusive despite the best efforts of the Townsend brothers who did well with a ball that became very wet after the players tried to play through the first of a couple of heavy showers.
Second change Mills took the wicket of No.3 Roberts when the score was on 71, and the game was nicely advanced at tea as Claygate opener Willard played positively and took advantage of the small boundaries and Stoke being one light in the field after the late withdrawal of Michael Dolman before the match – Corbishley stepped up as keeper and did a commendable job.
As Willard and No.4 Machin moved the score on after tea Stoke needed a breakthrough. An under the weather Ian Hopton found two quick ones, snaring Willard leg-before for 61, then Walker mis-drove to cover where Dyson showed good hands. 163 for 4.
So the game was set up nicely, and former Wimbledon, Watford and Aldershot footballer Talboys, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Talboys), joined Machin who had passed a fifty of his own to leave Claygate needing 93 in the last hour.
Sadly just one delivery of the mandatory last 20 overs was bowled before the players were chased off again by a bigger downpour. The sun re-appeared about half an hour later and there was some discussion about playing a further eight overs to see how near either side could get to a win; but a close up inspection of the pitch led to an agreement that no further play was possible. Credit to the players for getting as far into the game as they did, though.
So it was back to the bar and the Stokers sank a few drinks to help boost Claygate’s coffers as they continue to finance the re-building of their Clubhouse that was lost to a fire after the stupid actions of some youths in the winter. We wish them well with this project.
For Stoke, League cricket resumes on Saturday. There is no Sunday cricket this weekend as the roads are closed for the cycling event. There are also Under 19 T20 Blast fixtures next week for your enjoyment.