Saturday 25th May 2019
AJ Fordham Surrey Championship – 2nd XI competition
Stoke D’Abernon 2nd XI 219 all out (47.1 overs)
Kingstonian 2nd XI 212 for 8 (36.1 overs)
Kingstonian 2nd XI won by 2 wickets
One that got away from the 2s as they batted themselves into a great position only to lose a cluster of wickets when well set; then they had the opposition seven down with 45 still needed but a belligerent number nine smashed off the rest.
Batting first captain Peter Phipps and Andy Berry gave Stoke a good start, adding 44 in eight overs before the former was leg before. After a bit of a wobble at 60 for 3; Berry and Andy Page added 100 for the fourth wicket; the latter having made 98 of the total to that point before becoming the first of four wickets to fall in the space of 6.1 overs; only Page, (24), making double figures.
Berry hit 14 fours and 3 sixes to equal his Stoke career best; and his only score over 30 in the league since making said other 98 last June.
Two more wickets saw Stoke in trouble at 188 for 9 by the mid-point of the 43rd over; and the possibility of toasting the opposition further, (their over rate was atrocious and the first innings of the 1st XI match was over by the time 39 overs had been bowled at the Rec), appeared to have gone begging.
However Duncan Elder and Raja Singh lifted the total to 219 before the latter became the sixth Stoker to be out leg-before wicket in the innings. Elder was unbeaten on 35 with three fours and a five courtesy of overthrows.
After tea it was clear the opposition were keen to claim the time back by shortening the second innings as much as possible.
Elder collected Stoke’s only lbw in the fielding effort; and there was a wicket on league debut for Mashood Naeem; but the game moved on at pace; 89 for 3, 127 for 4, 144 for 5, 162 for 6 and 175 for 7; all before the end of the 28th over; three wickets for Raja Singh in a four over burst at a personal cost of 25. Patrick O’Neill bowled better than his final analyses of 10-1-42-0.
One more wicket might have proved decisive, but Stoke could do little to contain No.9 Niazi who clubbed an unbeaten 31 with four sixes and a four to wrap up the win with nearly 14 overs to spare.
Better 1st XI availability and no school matches will hopefully make the selection pool a little bigger than was the case this week; but these ever improving performances need to be converted into wins.