Sunday 5th August 2018
Surrey Trust League
Godalming 320 for 9 (40 overs)
Stoke D’Abernon 281 all out (38.4 overs)
Godalming won by 39 runs
A much-changed Academy side from the one defeated two weeks ago was unable to reverse that result, and came second in a boundary hitting competition on another hot afternoon. The match aggregate of 601 runs was the highest in any Trust League match Stoke have played in.
Once again Godalming had a mix of senior players and some very young ones who couldn’t be risked in any of the top batting positions; and as a consequence the ‘men’ had to go in first and piled on the runs – not a criticism as with the same age profile we would have needed to do the same, but only 18 runs were scored by the ‘boys’ in their line up.
Still, Stoke still had sufficient resources and League experience of their own to deal with this and a couple of notable exceptions aside struggled with their lines and areas all afternoon and paid the price.
Ben Townsend snicked off Cox in the first over but opener Dawson batted well and found good support from O.Baker and Woodgates who made 23 and 27 respectively; the former dealt almost exclusively in boundaries and looked like he was going to go big until Oscar Jensen picked him up courtesy of a catch at point by Freddy Zander. Woodgates was called through for an improbable second run and was beaten by a rocket of a throw from the deep by Ben Holder; great to see the big man back on the field.
Billy Zander had settled into a nice rhythm and collected the wicket of F.Baker who played back to and missed a straight one. 104 for 4, but Zander Snr had his figures spoiled by Clarke who parked him into the houses.
Dawson and Clark then put together a punishing partnership of 115; the latter struck the ball cleanly and made 85 of them before Will Thomson took off the gloves and picked him up, Alex Clinton taking a nice catch that fell out of the sky. One of the Godalming babies was bowled next; but Dawson continued to move a tiring fielding unit around and didn’t check out until he had made 94.
As in the last fixture Hern hit the ball well in the closing overs and the wheels had just about fallen off by this point – the luckless Townsend in particular received little support – a number of runs were stolen on the circle and to outfielders, balls bounced off others and went over the line or were missed completely. The extras count went over 40 and additional deliveries made for a near three hour stint in the field. Late wickets for Thomson, (4-0-35-4), and Jensen, (2 for 69), who kept running in. The innings closed with a four byes.
After a nice Thomson tea Stoke got the flier they needed courtesy of a number of wides and some erratic bowling punished by Zander Snr and Holder who rattled up 47 runs in just 4.3 overs before Zander hooked one to deep mid-wicket only to pick out a lone fielder.
In his 50th appearance for the Club Thomas Dennis played positively despite the introduction of 1st XI bowlers, and it was 113 for 1 in the 14th. Sadly Holder was bowled playing back to one that kept low one short of a half-century; but Dennis and debutant Umair Anis, who looks a useful acquisition, kept Stoke up with the rate.
An epic fail at the scorers’ table saw drinks taken after 18 overs; and the break did the visitors good. Clarke bowled Dennis for 26 in the first over after the re-start; Alastair Curran hit a straight six then smashed one to cover where the fielder stuck out a hand in nothing more of a token gesture only to find the ball going in.
Anis, (12), edged one to the keeper standing up, and Clinton, (10), hit one to mid-wicket; but Stoke still had overs and batting resources left despite the scoreboard showing 155 for 6.
Jensen, (18), and Thomson, (16), scored off bad balls and the extras kept on coming to keep things interesting. The total passed 200 and ten per over was very achievable as the opposition began to run out of bowling resources; but both fell in quick succession to get the fat lady warming up.
The finish seemed moments away when Townsend was ninth out chipping to square leg; but the ‘year of the last wicket stand’ had another entry in the log; O’Neill – who bowled well amidst the earlier carnage – showed his continued growth with the bat and found the necessary boundaries to keep Stoke up with the rate. Zander Jnr got bat on ball and hit it in unusual areas. The pair kept going, taking the equation down to 64 off the last three overs. Fourteen came off the 38th, and nineteen more at the start of the penultimate took the partnership to 53, (a Club record in the Trust League); but the improbable became impossible when Zander Jnr edged one, leaving O’Neill stranded on 50 not out.
So another defeat and it was clear to all where this one got away. Too many didn’t deliver the standards to which they normally produce in their league, representative and schools cricket…but ending on a positive 281 runs were scored and, (nearly), all the overs were batted which is something that has needed addressing for longer than just this season.
Next week we finish off with the visit of Byfleet. A decision will be made in the week as to whether we play just the one scheduled game, or we switch to two 20 over matches with tea between to re-kindle the original fixture that was postponed due to the World Cup Final. Stay tuned for details…