Saturday 25th August 2018
Travelbag Surrey Championship – Division 3
Stoke D’Abernon 219 all out (43.5 overs)
Old Wimbledonians 223 for 7 (42.5 overs)
Old Wimbledonians won by 3 wickets
Stoke made good starts in both innings but lost both middle over sections, largely due to the opposition captain who grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck to boost his own side’s survival chances, and an eleven game unbeaten run came to an end.
Batting first having lost another toss James Trower reached a short wide one, and Max Subba Row also nicked off inside the first six overs. The total was already 33 at this point, though, as Tim Handel made a fast start, taking advantage of some loose bowling by Neilsen who then settled down after taking his wicket. Fifty runs were added for the third wicket with Shawn Dyson before Handel was caught at the wicket for 40 off a wide-ish delivery from Gordon.
Dyson and Alastair Curran then put together a quickfire partnership either side of drinks to put Stoke in a great position. The pair added 109 in 15.2 overs as the change bowlers were given the run-around.
At 192 for 3 Stoke looked set for a big score but an epic collapse saw six wickets fall for the addition of just nine runs in the space of 46 deliveries. Curran, (44 from 44 with 5×4 and 1×6), smashed one to deep mid-on who will have a nice bruise on his chest to show off; Dyson was bowled by the returning Gordon for 90 from 88, (11×4, 2×6); James Corbishley was leg-before to the same bowler and ring-rusty James Whitmarsh fell in identical circumstances to Curran.
Gordon had rolled the dice, brought himself back early, and his gamble to leave lesser bowlers at the end paid off. He completed a second spell of 5-3-4-3, (10-4-19-4 in total), by collecting the wicket of Billy Zander with his final delivery. Jase Earl was ninth out next ball; so last pair Ian Hopton and Will Frost had 8.5 overs of batting left.
A few more overs were negotiated, during which Frost hit a glorious straight drive and another four over the ring; but he was leg before for 9 to close the innings on 219. No.7 Hopton was left stranded on 5 not out.
After a well received tea Thomas gave the innings a decent start with twelve off the first over, moving the score to 30 by the mid-point of the sixth before he was bowled by Frost for 27. During this time Handel pulled up chasing a ball to the boundary and was replaced by the home scorer who gave it a go despite being incapacitated himself. His presence did allow more capable fielders to stand in better positions, and three more quick wickets fell.
Frost snicked off Smith, Steyn mis-hit Dyson to Zander in the circle and Frost, (10-0-33-3), bowled Dartnell through the gate to make it 46 for 4. Very much advantage Stoke.
Once again Gordon took responsibility for the chase and struck the ball very cleanly from the off. Having pocketed a half-century by the drinks break, he went on to make 84 out of a partnership of 115 for the fifth wicket in less than 20 overs. He found support from No.3 Bedford who held up an end for him.
The partnership was broken when Earl judged a good high catch in the deep off the returning Hopton. Gordon had faced 68 balls for his runs and hit ten fours and four sixes.
In the next over Bedford’s knock of 29 from 71 that spanned nearly 30 overs was ended by the same bowler; Trower turning a dolly into a less than 50:50 chance but he held on a the sixth/seventh/eight attempt.
Zander had bowled well and got his reward when he trapped Majid leg before for 3 to make it 178 for 7; so this finely balanced game came down to whether, or not, the visitors had a tail.
They did indeed. Laycock was watchful and picked up runs off anything errant; but the match was finished in emphatic style by Neilsen who clubbed 36 off 20 with four fours and two sixes to complete a crucial three wicket victory with plenty of overs to spare.
The result handed Old Rutlishians the title as they completed an expected victory over Streatham & Marlborough, meaning the meeting between the sides next week has less on it than was originally thought.
The points for Old Wimbledonians, who played the game in a tremendous spirit and stayed back a long while after the game, were a much needed shot in the arm for them ahead of their final fixture where they now have control of their own destiny. We wish them well next week.
Thanks also to Sean Curran for taking over the scorebook for majority of the second innings, and to those who came along to support.