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1st XI positivity backfires for once at Staines

Saturday 19th May 2018
Travelbag Surrey Championship – Division 3
Staines & Laleham 210 for 9 (50 overs)
Stoke D’Abernon 128 all out (29.5 overs)
Staines & Laleham won by 82 runs

Stoke lost their unbeaten record with an untypical collapse after putting in a great effort in the field on a hot afternoon having lost the toss.

Robbie Blackburn and Alex Bond shared the new ball and the pressure they created resulted in two early wickets for the former who extracted some lift to account for B.Archer who steered one to James Whitmarsh at slip; then former Hampton Wick Royal man Ahmed was leg before having missed a full ball.

Second change Shawn Dyson hit the top of Swain’s off stump with his first delivery, and made it 56 for 4 soon after when he yorked Ramdin.

The home side needed a partnership and got one courtesy of a 69 run stand either side of the drinks break, 55 of them scored by Langworth who took the lush outfield out of the equation with twelve fours. The drinks break came at the right time and Blackburn returned early to complete his allocation, taking the wicket of Langworth off the last ball of his spell to finish with 10-1-39-3.

Home skipper Smith looked to bat through. Muhammad, (21), stayed with him longer than anyone else before he was called through for an improbable single and Adrian Taylor did the rest with a smart pick up and underarm into Tom Frost who kept a clean sheet behind the timbers.

In the closing overs Dyson, (10-2-32-3), Ian Hopton, (dismissing Smith for 45 courtesy of a stumping), and Will Frost took a wicket each – Frost, (10-3-31-1), was particularly deserving of his; and hopes were high of a sub-200 chase at 191 for 9 before the last pair nudged the score up to 210.

After tea Stoke made a good start with Billy Zander and James Trower adding 41 in just 7.3 overs. Both looked in good order before the latter fell to a direct hit from third man coming back for what appeared to be a routine two. Taylor fell soon after, but Tom Frost struck the ball cleanly from the off and Stoke were well ahead of the rate; forty runs coming in a four over period to make it 90 for 2 after just 16 overs.

After that, things went a bit pear shaped. Having cleared the line on the full twice, Frost was unlucky to fall to a direct hit run-out when his bat stuck in a used end, (a good throw with only one stump to aim at, mind), and he departed for 29 from 28 balls faced.

This seemed to galvanise the home side who held pretty much everything after that. Stoke’s positive approach to the chase didn’t meet with the usual desired outcomes as they lost their last eight wickets for just 38 runs in the space of 13.3 overs, six of them to S.Archer who registered his second best career figures of 8-4-12-6.

Zander played very well for his 42, (from 68), and Blackburn offered some hope with a run-a-ball 24 down the order; but the latter was the only player in the bottom eight to make double figures as a few in the line-up were still a little short of match practice.

A side that plays its cricket as positively as it does and has achieved great success in doing so for the last couple of years will always have a day or two like this as they move up the divisions, and as things stand this is not something to dwell on. Results elsewhere leave Stoke in a pack of seven teams with one win, one defeat and one abandonment; so a chance to push up a few spots if a win can be secured at Churt next week.

Scorecard :