2s start 2019 with the narrowest of defeats

Saturday 27th April 2019
Chipstead Coulsdon & Walcountians 2nd XI 182 all out (39.5 overs)
Stoke D’Abernon 2nd XI 181 all out (40 overs)
Chipstead Coulsdon & Walcountians 2nd XI won by 1 run

On a cold and generally grey dry day with the remnants of Storm Hannah still present, Stoke and Chipstead played out a tight and competitive, but good spirited friendly that gave good match time to the players.

Stoke Skipper Peter Phipps lost the toss and visiting skipper Martin decided to bat.

Duncan Elder and Ben Townsend took the new ball, and it soon became apparent that the batsmen were in for a lively time of it, with the younger of two Townsends in the side especially getting the ball to jump from a length and sometimes keep low.

Andy Page behind the timbers took a number of blows trying to judge where to effectively stand. In these conditions good control is important, and both displayed this, in the face of some positive running.

Elder was first to notch a wicket when Davey, who may have been distracted by his bails being blown off, lobbed a catch to Will Gudgeon in the gully, and then Townsend took his first wicket of the season getting Milton to nick one to Phipps at slip.

Blackburn tried to hit Elder over the top and mis-hit to Curran at mid-on who pouched it after a juggle, and then Townsend took the wicket of Martin who had battled well in the conditions with another catch by Curran.

Another Blackburn retired hurt with a stiff neck, and after 10 overs Chipstead were 46 for 4.

Chipstead needed to consolidate in the face of a double change with Tom Dennis replacing Elder and Jack Townsend replacing his brother at the railway end. Dunkley and Clarke did exactly that and ground out the next ten really probing overs for the addition of only 23 runs. Both Dennis and the older Townsend were unlucky not to register wickets, but bowled their five over spells for only 8 and 14 runs respectively. At drinks Chipstead were 69 for 4.

After drinks Deepak Malhotra was brought into the attack, with Ben Townsend getting a further breakthrough when he bowled Clarke with one that nipped back, ending with 3 for 24 off his 8 overs.

This brought Barber to the crease and he tucked into a few loose deliveries from Malhotra in difficult conditions for an off spinner, and cleared the ropes on three occasions. Barber went for 20 holing out to Elder off Curran who had replaced Townsend Jnr.

Chipstead had some impetus now, and Barber Jnr and Dunckley went on the attack hitting selectively and quite effectively, as the older ball stopped behaving so extremely.

This partnership put on 63 until at 177 with Dunckley, having made an excellent 56 in the conditions, was castled by Dennis for a well deserved wicket. This was in the 37th over.

Townsend Snr replaced Curran, and proceeded to wrap the innings up with two further bowled wickets at 182 for 9, (all out), off 39.5 overs.

The young seam attack did an excellent job, backed up by committed and solid fielding.

Now the turn of the Stoke batsmen to get a taste of the track with a new ball.

The Stoke openers definitely did not get off to a flyer, as fingers were rapped and avoidance, (sometimes), of some flying deliveries made. Alistair McMillan put away some wide ones from left-armer Hasten, but the openers struggled to rotate the strike and Phipps got bogged down against Barber Jnr who got up some decent pace.

McMillan was first to go caught off one that popped from Hasten, and Gudgeon came in at 23 for 1 off 10. He was watchful but also showed his intent by hitting a big six and then a four off Barber’s last two overs.

Barber Snr came on at the Steels Lane End, and after a few rusty ones, settled into his accurate rhythm, taking his first wicket when Phipps left one that hit his off stump. That cheered the spectators up as it had taken Phipps 47 balls for his 5. Dennis came in at number 4, and was looking really solid and played some good straight drives off Milton who had replaced Barber Jnr at the railway end.

However, Dennis could do nothing about one from Barber Snr that shot along the ground, trapping him leg before for 10. 76 for 3 off 22 with Gudgeon moving on to 33.

Curran came to the crease, and the home side knew they were still in with a good chance, and it proved to be, as the two non-tourists, ran well, and hit well anything in their areas, and spread the field. In six overs they put on 45, and with Gudgeon one short of his 50, Curran seeing third man up went for a switch hit off a straight one from the spinner Clarke and missed it, being bowled for 24. An unfortunate end to a well structured innings. With Gudgeon still in and score on 120 for 4 off 28, all three results were still possible.

Dickson provided good support, ran well, and rotated the strike until he was leg before to Moody for 4. Page then kept Gudgeon company until the score was 160 in the 36th over, and with just over 20 to get, Gudgeon finally missed one from Clarke for an excellent 82. The game was still on for both sides.

In the same over Malhotra played back to Clarke as was pinned in front from one that stayed low. Ben Townsend joined Page and they put on a further 9 until the former got a shooter to be out leg before, and Page who was getting his eye in went down the wicket to Clarke, swung and missed and was stumped. 176 for 9 in the 39th.

With 6 needed Jack Townsend, who scored at a run a ball for his 9, was joined by Elder, and they played the end game taking it deep, running well, but could not quite get a boundary, and on the last ball with the field spread Townsend managed 2 runs, before Elder was run out going for the tie. This left Stoke on 181 off their 40 overs, just one short.

Considering the climatic conditions this was a great game, and good feedback from the Stoke team and Chipstead on how much they had enjoyed the match.

Stoke 2s are away at East Molesey next week, and following that the League campaign starts at home to Old Hamptonians.

Scorecard : http://sdacc.play-cricket.com/website/results/4031245