Saturday 2nd June 2018
Travelbag Surrey Championship – Division 3
Epsom 206 for 7 declared (50 overs)
Stoke D’Abernon 117 all out (30.3 overs)
Epsom won by 89 runs
All of the Stoke 1st XI matches this season have been won by the side batting first and the trend continued at The Rec as another good bowling and fielding display – for some part with a man down – on a generally unresponsive pitch was met with a short second innings.
Fielding first after winning the toss the early exchanges were a good contest as Alex Bond, Toby Tarrant and Shawn Dyson tested the top order who themselves were patient; the first wicket falling on 37 when Dyson trapped Batley lbw for 11 with the rate not much more than three per over.
Stevens and Edwards doubled the total with good shot selection before the former was held at slip by Will Gudgeon off Will Frost for 33 as he looked to be more expansive after drinks.
No.4 Moore was fluent from the off and made the majority of the third wicket stand of 62 that was broken when Edwards, (39), called for a leg-bye but was beaten by a direct hit from Will Frost.
The visitors looked to up the scoring rate after that and traded runs for wickets. Zeb hit Dyson to Bond at mid-on without troubling the scorer who had another lone mission, Lowe mis-pulled the same bowler to mid-on where James Whitmarsh held a good tumbling catch; then the returning Tarrant collected two deserved wickets when Rivers’ cameo of 16 was ended by a good catch on the line by Alastair Curran then Somerford served up a more straightforward chance to Gudgeon at cover.
At the other end Moore continued to strike the ball well and scored at a rate effective enough for visiting skipper Hughes to call time after 50 overs with the total on 206 for 7; a positive declaration given Epsom’s need for wins to firstly wipe out their pre-season points deduction, then mount any sort of challenge for promotion.
Moore walked off 77 not out; Dyson, (13-2-54-3), Tarrant, (11-2-33-2), and Frost, (11-1-54-1), were the wicket-takers though Bond an acting captain Ian Hopton also did well on a warm afternoon.
Stoke’s chase began badly when Billy Zander was caught at the wicket in the first over, Gudgeon, (18 from 15), mis-timed a pull going for what would have been his fifth four; then Curran drilled one to point. 30 for 3.
Dyson and Whitmarsh restored some order with a fifty partnership in just 9.3 overs, nineteen of them coming in one over from Whitmarsh who hit Hughes for three sixes, (one over mid-one, another over mid-off and another to the long cover boundary); but when Whitmarsh, (30), and Tom Frost fell to leg-before shouts before the drinks break attempting sweep shots; Dyson needed someone to stay with him to keep Stoke on course for the win.
After drinks Dyson’s well-constructed 36 ended when he holed out looking for back to back boundaries. With Thomas Dennis only just arriving back at the ground having sustained a nasty hand-injury in the field – although he went back out and saved a few runs before giving in to wait for the queues at A&E to shorten – the bowlers all moved up a spot in the order and departed in a relatively short space of time to sixth and seventh bowlers Stevens, (3 for 17), and Zeb, (3 for 7.)
A sensible decision was taken for Dennis to not bat as Stoke were nowhere near the win, draw or any batting point; the players shaking hands with Stoke 89 runs short on 117 in just 30.3 overs.
Next week Stoke travel to Streatham & Marlborough with the Club Captain and other reinforcements available for selection.