Saturday 23rd June 2018
Stoke D’Abernon 3rd XI 197 for 8 (40 overs)
Epsom Methodists 175 for 8 (40 overs)
Stoke D’Abernon 3rd XI won by 22 runs
Good availability at the beginning of the week allowed us to accept the offer of an invitation to play the Epsom Methodists. EMCC are one of our traditional ‘Sunday XI’ opponents but a crammed fixture programme at the Rec meant this was one we had to miss this year…so it was great when they were able to host a Saturday game and enough of our ‘I’ll play either day’ candidates were able to attend.
Things changed a bit after confirming things when seven – yes seven – players from the original selection pool were then unavailable, and an eighth confirmed Thursday evening and then promptly pulled out on the Friday morning. We got a helping hand from Surrey CCC who ended their Championship fixture on the Friday meaning Kevin and James Morgan became available; Moumer Khara and a beleaguered Team Secretary found the rest and a full XI made it to the Gibraltar Rec…to play against 10 as one of the opposition didn’t get the message to pick his team-mate up! Add in the stumps being locked away at the scheduled start time, it was looking like one of those Loony Tunes days but once the first ball was bowled it settled down into an absorbing contest.
When the cricket started Malcolm Dickson and Kevin Morgan fell cheaply; but things weren’t easy as a number of length balls reared making runs a precious commodity. One that didn’t misbehave took out debutant Saleem Ghuman leg-before; but a 91 run partnership between McMillan, the ideal man for the job, and Hamza Hafeez who showed all his skills whilst he serves a waiting period to play League cricket, moved Stoke into a good position.
The pair batted from the 15th over to the 31st when McMillan’s tough knock of 70 from 91 balls came to an end as he tried to up the scoring. The successful bowler was Blair who took out Khara later in the over when he played on.
This brought James Morgan to the crease and he was fearless; parking Blair, a big-shouldered Aussie in the Ryan Harris mode who pushed it through, back over his head; but he was less fortunate in the next over when a couple reared off a length and one went through the grill. The second one startled him enough to prompt a sensible decision to have a sit down, but he’d bounce back later…
Hafeez and new arrival Rod Thomson added a few more; the former reaching a well-constructed 57 from 68 balls before falling to a good catch, the latter picking up six runs when the ball thrown in having completed two missed everyone and trickled to the boundary for four more. (For the stattoes this doesn’t count as a six on the scorecard, as wouldn’t an all-run four in the 4s column.) Raja Singh hit two nice fours before becoming a fourth victim for Jim Yelland who returned the match’s best figures of 8-2-23-4 in three spells.
After tea Stoke were a little light on bowling due to the demands of the 2nd XI; but all those given the ball did well, save for an untidy start that saw 42 added for the first wicket in rapid time, taken by first change Hafeez. Khara was unlucky to see an early chance offered by Goni go down, and it was looking expensive as he moved to a quickfire 32; but he fell to a stunning one-handed grab by Kevin Morgan at backward point off second change Thomson.
One time wannabe Stoker Coyle and keeper bat Matt Yelland batted to drinks and set the game up nicely; but Nelson struck as Khara – who bowled well without luck and was fired up having not secured his productive opening batting role – snicked off Coyle for 29 and ended his spell of 2 for 36 with Matt Yelland’s wicket courtesy of a catch a backward point by Paddy Wilson.
The catch at the wicket was held by Dickson who enjoyed his time behind the stumps given the challenges of the variable and sometimes spiteful bounce. To concede only four byes in the innings was a great effort, and only a curious piece of umpiring denied him a clear stumping with a very fast piece of work.
With the total on 135, the match was still in the balance but Stoke took a big step towards victory when James Morgan and McMillan – respectively the youngest and oldest in the side – shared the next eight overs. They ended with identical figures of 4-0-14-1; McMillan getting his first wicket of the season courtesy of a bat-pad catch that popped and Dickson moved from behind the stumps to complete things. Morgan Jnr swung the ball prodigiously, was a good pace for the pitch and took a deserved first wicket in senior men’s cricket when home skipper Blair pulled to McMillan at mid-on. A great end to his day and he saved plenty in the field too.
Edwards and Sree batted time to nudge the home side nearer the victory target. Bowling resources started to become a problem with Khara & Hafeez bowled out, Morgan Jnr out of the attack on the grounds of age, (or lack of it), and Singh pulled up.
But Thomson had overs of his own up his sleeve. In the first ball of his second spell Edwards, (18), miscued one and Hafeez made no mistake at “45” then Wilson took a second catch to send Sree on his way for 13.
Jim Yelland and Muralidaran advanced the score from 166 to 175 but Thomson, (whose 8-1-29-3 moved his career bowling average below 20), tied them down to the point where they needed snookers in the final over and Stoke closed out a 22 run victory.
A great game where everyone had a chance to contribute. Thanks to EMCC for hosting and hopefully we can get a free Sunday – or Saturday – to play them again.
Saturday 23rd June 2018
Travelbag Surrey Championship Division 3 – 2nd XI Competition
Stoke D’Abernon 2nd XI 114 all out (33.2 overs)
Camberley 2nd XI 115 for 4 (27 overs)
Camberley 2nd XI won by 6 wickets
Feast to famine for the 2nd XI. After a big score last week, only Max Subba Row, (31), Roddy Kelso, (31), and Andy Page, (12), made double-figures this time around as Stoke were shot out for just 114 in 33.2 overs.
With such a low score to defend Adrian Mills locked down an end with figures of 10-2-18-2. Seven other bowlers were tried as the right option was sought at the other. Roddy Kelso, (5-0-14-1), found one wicket but apart from a late pole for Subba Row; Stoke made the trip back from Camberley without any points.
Next week Leatherhead make the short trip to the Rec.