Saturday 4th August 2018
Travelbag Surrey Championship – Division 3
Epsom 233 all out (50 overs)
Stoke D’Abernon 234 for 7 (45 overs)
Stoke D’Abernon won by 3 wickets
A huge win for Stoke as they increased their gap over Epsom in the promotion race with another successful run chase.
Epsom won the toss and chose to bat; Robbie Blackburn was involved in the first two wickets as he bowled Hudson then effected the run out of Edwards off his own bowling. 40 for 2.
In the match at Stoke earlier in the season Stevens and Moore were two of Epsom’s more accomplished batsmen, and their third wicket partnership of 92 threatened to swing the game their way. They were separated by Will Frost whose two wickets came in the same over to put the brakes on.
Stevens made it to 90 but fell to a return catch from Ian Hopton, (162 for 5); and although Patel, (23), Rivers, (29 from 21), and A.Somerford, (17), kept the board ticking Shawn Dyson, Blackburn and Max Subba Row took further wickets; Subba Row, (5-2-4-2), doubling his count at the death. Epsom were all out for 233 off the last ball of their allotted overs when Hopton effected a run out, one of several occasions he hit the stumps.
After tea Stoke had another Addiscombe-eque experience; falling to 32 for 4. One wonders how many runs this line up could score when you consider that in a sample of ten and seven matches respectively this year the first three wickets have averaged just 49.70 and the first four 63.57; but this team rarely panics.
Dyson more than restored order with a knock of 88, (116 balls, 13×4, 1×6); firstly adding 74 with Alastair Curran who made a run-a-ball 44; then with Hopton, (48), who once again fell just short of a half-century; but not before a 6th wicket stand of 112 took Stoke to the brink of victory.
The Dyson/Hopton partnership was a Club Record for all 1st XI League cricket; beating the following:
Morrant Wey Valley League era (1973 to 1993)
108 Dave Stephenson (60) & Gordon Trapmore (47) v Pyrford on 14/06/1975
Fuller’s Brewery Surrey County League era (1994 to 2008)
105 Dudley Tuppin (84) & Adam Jolliffe (67) v Ewhurst on 02/07/1994
105 Steve Wade (107) & Andy Page (53) v Worplesdon & Burpham on 18/06/2005
Surrey Championship era (2009 to date)
6th 93 Tom Frost (78*) & Will Gudgeon (32) v Chertsey on 15/05/2010
Back to the present, a couple of late wickets delayed the inevitable; James Whitmarsh, (no byes in the first innings), and Blackburn were together when the winning hit was made with five overs to spare.
Stoke now have a 43 point gap over Epsom with four games to go so two wins would be enough. Bigger thoughts must now start to enter heads, though, as going through the rest of the season unbeaten would see the title clinched. One game at a time, though; next up a home match against Streatham & Marlborough, one of the sides Stoke have yet to beat this year.