Alex Clinton 6 for 26 but 2nd XI suffer narrow loss

Saturday 28th July 2018
Travelbag Surrey Championship Division 3 – 2nd XI Competition
Kempton 2nd XI 180 all out (38 overs)
Stoke D’Abernon 2nd XI 168 all out (50.4 overs)
Kempton 2nd XI won by 12 runs

What a difference a year makes. Last year this mad game would probably have been won, but not even a near miracle last wicket stand was able to prevent Stoke slipping to another defeat to leave their chances of survival on the respirator.

Last week Kempton’s batsmen came out swinging and fell to succession of dismissals from the same spinners that our tail enders had no problems with a couple of weeks earlier. This week it was 92 for 0 off 16 as the ball repeatedly fell in unusual areas. Had 100 fielders been at the Captain’s disposal a ball wouldn’t have dropped to any of them. It was that sort of day.

Things did improve, though. After the initial breakthrough Academy product Alex Clinton spun out six batsmen at a personal cost of just 26 runs from nine overs; Roddy Kelso, Alex Bond, Thomas Dennis and Kane Fullalove all bagged a wicket each too and Kempton were all out for 180 just over an hour later, leaving Stoke a minimum of 62 overs to chase the runs.

Plenty of time, but after 5.1 overs and 8.5 overs of the chase Stoke were 29 for 3 and 38 for 5 respectively. Jack Raimondo – great to see him back on the field – and Andy Page added another 29 at near on a run-a-ball, but Raimondo’s departure to a great grab for 19 left Stoke in a hole.

The game seemed up at 90 for 9 as other came and went; but Page and Duncan Elder set out to bat for as long as they could.

Progress reports reached Stoke HQ: “horrific…102-9” became “125 for 9” “130 for 9” “145 for 9” “154 for 9” “163 for 9” then “168 for 9” – Page had reached 47 not out, (7×4), and Elder a career best 58, (1×6, 8×4) – as the improbable started to look like a real possibility; but sadly the latter fell leg-before to one of nine bowlers tried to separate them and the last wicket stand ended on 78, agonisingly 12 runs short, and still with more than ten overs of playing time left.

Edgabston 2005? Melbourne 1982? Yes, it was comparable to either of those. Our English Captain now knows how the Australians would have felt on either of those occasions. Erm, hang on, he is Australian…again.

Simple maths. Five games to go. Four wins minimum, (probably five), needed. As a group we go again on Wednesday ahead of Saturday’s visit of Sanderstead.

Scorecard :