Saturday 7th July 2018
Travelbag Surrey Championship Division 3 – 2nd XI Competition
Stoke D’Abernon 2nd XI 190 all out (50 overs)
Trinity Midwhitgiftians 2nd XI 154 all out (49 overs)
Stoke D’Abernon 2nd XI won by 36 runs
A noon start for the 2nd XI and Stoke left it late but secured a win that, when the final points totals are tallied in September, could go down as one of the most significant of the year.
Like the 1st XI Stoke found themselves batting first. The top four all got starts. Roddy Kelso and Andy Berry both made 23, Thomas Dennis and Will Thomson 17 each; but were four of eight players to make double figures without going on – Kelso and Berry scored most with the bat but extras top-scored with 26.
Stoke traded wickets for runs to find themselves well below par on a good pitch and a fast outfield at 149 for 9. Somasegaran collected a career best 5 for 26 from his allotted 14 overs. When he was out of the attack Ben Townsend engineered a last wicket stand of 41 to give Stoke something to bowl at; the partnership broken by Cook who took 4 for 43 from twelve overs.
Despite an early wicket for Alex Bond Stoke’s fielding experience was very similar to last week’s; accurate bowling and sensible field placements keeping the innings run rate below the starting asking rate of 3.82 but wickets were hard to come by.
But for once Stoke got on a roll. Encouraged by a vociferous home support Kelso grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck and despatched five batsmen in the space of 27 balls for a personal cost of just 21 runs to set the visitors back at 90 for 6; 48 of them to Khan who was sixth out for the match’s highest score.
The decision to finish the over before drinks was particularly important as keeper Barton, who made four grabs in the Stoke innings, steered the only ball he faced to Will Thomson at slip before the refreshments came out.
Kelso was given tremendous support by Patrick O’Neill who delivered a miserly spell at the other end to give skipper Jase Earl control.
The pitch was still playing well, though, and Stoke were frustrated by a seventh wicket stand of 44 between Gukian, (20), and Brugnoli, (25) – the former taught himself how to play the short ball whilst at the crease, the latter batted through considerable pain having torn something in his arm early in the game limiting him to just two overs.
With overs running out O’Neill returned and snicked off to Gukian to finish with outstanding figures of 11-5-12-1. The catch was made by Andy Page who had a great game behind the timbers on a very warm afternoon.
Earl made multiple changes to get the job done and the seventh bowler he tried, Thomas Dennis, delivered the 8th and 9th wickets. Brugnoli was castled, then Earl himself moved well from mid-on to wide mid-on judge a good catch to account for Somasegaran. Stoke had seven overs to finish things.
As can often be the case the last pair proved difficult to separate, number 11 Khera was technically very good. Townsend, (8-3-20-0), bowled with a lot of heart on an unhelpful pitch and the ball having gone soft; and in a last throw of the dice Bond returned for the penultimate over. With what would be his final scheduled ball of the afternoon he shattered Vaillant’s stumps to cause much celebration and a never seen before scaling of the Clubhouse by one of the fans…
…this 36 run win now puts Stoke back within one game of those just above the trapdoor. Returning and newly eligible players should add depth to the selection pool for next Saturday’s match at home to our friends from Ashford.