Andy Berry

2nd XI complete double over Ewell to stay in the hunt

Saturday 5th August 2017
Travelbag Surrey Championship Division 4 – 2nd XI Competition
Stoke D’Abernon 2nd XI 218 for 9 (50 overs)
Ewell 2nd XI 170 all out (38 overs)
Stoke D’Abernon 2nd XI won by 32 runs (Revised target of 203 in 43 overs)

Stoke started the day at the bottom of a group of hopefuls for the second promotion spot along with runaway leaders Chessington, and did their cause no harm when the XI, missing a few first choice players including the Captain and Vice Captain, scored a superb win having lost the toss.

The cornerstone of the Stoke batting effort was Andy Berry’s 89, (13×4, 2×6); but he got good support from Deepak Malhotra, (22), Malcolm Dickson and Will Thomson in the play that took place either side of two rain breaks.

By rule the side batting first has to bat all of the overs and the overs lost are taken off the second innings with a revised target. The players came off again with three overs remaining and Stoke probably a few short on 191 for 9; but acting skipper Andy Page, (32 not out), orchestrated an unbroken last wicket stand of 29 with Richie Parrett to raise the total to 218 for 9. This left Ewell 43 overs to chase 203.

Stoke got the perfect start when Patrick O’Neill snicked off the opener with the first ball, (this was also his first ball in Championship cricket having been denied the chance by rain last week.) After a half-century stand for the 2nd wicket plus a few more for the third, Alex Clinton bagged two to make it 71 for 3.

The visitors then put themselves in position to chase the runs down at 100 for 3; but Deepak Malhotra and Clinton chipped away at the Ewell order, Will Thomson also effected a direct hit run out. Add a middle-overs containing job by Page into the mix; six wickets fell for the addition of just 48 runs.

Clinton, (career best 9-1-32-4), and Malhotra, (9-0-42-3), completed their allocations leaving a bit of a conundrum on bowling options for the death overs; and after the last pair added 22, O’Neill returned to the attack and Thomson effected a stumping to complete the win.

Stoke move above Ewell with this win; but need to keep winning to pick off the clubs above them one by one in the closing weeks, (will Kingstonian regret their reluctance to play last week?)

Next week bottom of the table Sinjungrammarians come to The Rec, fighting for their lives. Good availability is expected to meet the variety of challenges this fixture always brings.

Scorecard :