Saturday 27th April 2019
Stoke D’Abernon 325 for 4 (40 overs)
Bungay 126 all out (25.3 overs)
Stoke D’Abernon won by 199 runs
Stoke played the their first tour match in arguably the most arctic conditions ever but an XI that the skipper would happily go into a Surrey Championship match with began their ‘warm up’ to the season with a big win.
Batting first on an excellent pitch the tourists made a solid start with James Trower and Tim Handel, both watchful at first, adding 68 either side of a solitary rain break that reduced the match from a 45:45 to a 40:40. Handel, (33), chipped to Nick Lo at short mid-wicket.
Trower and Ian Hopton moved Stoke into a position of dominance with a stand of 96; both registered half centuries before the former was bowled by Lo for 75 and the latter retired on 57 at the end of the over in which he reached his fifty. Hopton walked off raising his bat in appreciation to absolutely no-one as the spectators had all taken refuge in the bar given the weather.
Shawn Dyson and Robbie Blackburn maintained the high scoring rate making 42, (retired), and a career best 68 respectively. Blackburn went through the gears and cleared the short boundaries on the full on four occasions, one of them striking one of the cows in the adjacent field, before being stumped in what wasn’t an unrealistic attempt to get a hundred with a few overs to go.
There was time for James Corbishley, Roddy Kelso and Justin Jones to have a hit to lift the score to a formidable 325.
The total was a little harsh on the home side who should be commended on keeping going despite the weather and the boundary count; a number of their younger bowlers bowled much better than their final figures suggested, and if, (erm hopefully when), we come here again in the future it will be interesting to see their growth as they looked promising.
After an excellent tea the players braved the elements once more.
Opener Ling played like he had somewhere else to go, (we found out afterwards that he did), smashing five boundaries in a quickfire 24 before he chased a rare wide one from Toby Tarrant to give Tom Frost his first dismissal of the season.
25 for 1 was soon 25 for 3 when, in the next over, Blackburn found Lewis’ edge and Ashken was castled next ball. Tarrant, (5-1-17-2), then forced Williams to drag on.
Lo had negotiated the hat-trick ball and looked good for his 22 – many of them courtesy of hooks – until his progress was cut short by a leg before appeal, (pictured), was answered in the affirmative by the home umpire.
The successful bowler was Will Frost who took a second when Johnson hit to Blackburn in the covers. His day’s work – but not his weekend’s – was done when he completed his fifth over at a personal cost of just 10.
Kelso improved as his short spell, that spookily reflected large parts of the lyrics to the tour song composed in his memory by the Stoke massive the night before; and castled Jonah Wicks.
This exposed the tail that was quickly seen off by Jones, (4-0-22-2), who bowled one and collected another courtesy of a smart stumping by Tom Frost.
The man who conceived the idea of the tour in the first place, Geoff Vinall, crept on to the field for the closing overs, (Dyson the lucky one to get the chance to seek warmth), got a chance to have a bowl and closed the match when the last man edged to Handel at slip.
Thanks to Bungay who were excellent hosts and were unfortunate to be missing a few of their better players; but this gave opportunities to their younger ones who look to have a bright future.
After warming themselves back at camp the older tourists went for a curry, the younger ones skipped the food bit and explored the East Anglian pub scene. As for what happened after that, what happened on tour, (apart from an account of the Sunday fixture), will stay on tour as they say…