Sunday 19th May 2019
Stoke D’Abernon 174 for 9 (40 overs)
Maori Oxshott 178 for 6 (34.5 overs)
Maori Oxshott won by 4 wickets
A marked improvement on last week’s performance for the Sunday XI.
In the end the team were left to rue a shortage of runs again, but they made Oxshott work very hard for the win, and it took three of their players to register career best scores to get the job done.
Pre-game discussions saw both sides leaning to have a bowl first; but as guests we agreed to have first go.
In his first appearance of the season Hamza Hafeez played nicely but had to dig in as he saw wickets fall at the other end; Bester taking out Moumer Khara, Deepak Malhotra and Alistair McMillan at a personal cost of just 22 runs in seven overs.
The bowling conditions were still favourable to allow Woods, (6-2-16-0), and first change H.Barnes, (5-3-3-1), to slow the run rate down. Five maidens were bowled in a row.
Rod Thomson played nicely for his 11, but was beaten by a direct hit from mid-off. Hafeez reached 28 before edging to the keeper and Stoke were in a spot of bother at 60 for 5 with two new batsmen to take strike after drinks.
However the next two were ideal for the situation. In their first outings of the season, brothers Chris and Stephen Finch rebuilt things and fell just short of what would have been a first ever century partnership; separated at 94 from 94 balls faced. Finch Snr picked up from where he left off at the back end of last season and made a nice 40, passing 6000 career runs for the Club in the process.
Finch Jnr was watchful initially, but once he got his feet moving he went through the gears. Three sixes and seven fours saw him complete his first half-century since July 2014. He eventually checked out on 57 from 53 balls faced.
Umar Qayyum, making his first appearance for a couple of years, debutant Mashood Naeem and Geoff Vinall nudged the total up to 174 for 9 with an over to go. An excellent last over by youngster Edgar-Gibson to Vinall saw no addition to the score, though.
After an excellent tea Stoke’s bowlers were tasked with not giving away the sort of quick start gifted to last week’s opposition.
Sadly, despite debutant Naeem bowling well without luck, the board did tick around to 44 after just seven overs.
Khara slowed things down a little allowing Naeem to get his first wicket for the Club towards the end of his opening spell when former Stoker Depree was well held at backward point; but this brought Overseas De Vos to the crease, his fortunes were of much interest to his fellow WPCC team-mates Dyson and Hopton who had earlier seen him take 3 for 26 with the ball. It was nice to see the away support boosted by messers Corbishley, Trower, Dolman and Vinall Jnr at various points in the afternoon.
Khara landed deliveries in areas that resulted in variable bounce, and De Vos touched a lifting delivery to Malhotra behind the stumps for just eight. Two balls later H.Barnes was bowled and Stoke now had a foothold in the game at 67 for 3.
With the fast start creating little run-rate issues, O.Barnes and Khan batted time and pushed the total towards the hundred mark. Barnes had complied a career best 40 before Qayyum pinned him leg-before with one that kept a bit low. 95 for 4.
Thomson and McMillan bowled good overs either side of drinks to keep things interesting; but Stoke were starting to run out of runs to play with as Khan and Gavin Harper moved the total to 129.
Ralph Coleman brought himself on and his first ball that lifted off a length saw Harper, who did well to get anywhere near it, glove to Malhotra who made a terrific diving one-handed catch low down in front of slip. Malhotra did well behind the timbers given the variety of levels of bounce from similar length.
Next man Wood was nearly cleaned up first ball but eventually found his rhythm, and with Khan having the day of his life at the other end; the pair moved their team to the brink of victory.
In one final throw of the dice Naeem returned to the attack and sent Wood’s bails flying over the slip cordon, (he would finish with 8-1-45-2), but youngster Burns hit two boundaries, a first to tie the scores, then the other to complete the win with 5.1 overs to spare.
Khan walked off unbeaten on 40, (previous career highest score 20), and the players shook hands after a contest played in a great spirit.
We’re hopeful of numbers for a fixture next Sunday. To make this happen please get your availability in so we can assess our strength and find a matching opposition.