Sunday 26th May 2019
Stoke D’Abernon 233 for 7 (40 overs)
Badgers 116 all out (34.3 overs)
Stoke D’Abernon won by 117 runs
A big and morale boosting win for Stoke’s Sunday XI as the batting line up, boosted by a bit of senior assistance from Jase Earl, racked up a formidable total; then a bowling attack that could easily have gone out together in the previous day’s League fixture were any of them available did a great job as a unit.
Worried about their lack of runs all season, (not that we weren’t about our own run of sub-par totals), Badgers asked Stoke to bat.
Opening bowlers Jenkins and Knew were accurate but only had an early wicket of Alistair McMillan to show for their efforts. Hamza Hafeez and Earl got themselves in, and after ticking at around four an over then went through the gears either side of drinks, being very severe on anything errant by the change bowlers.
The result was a partnership of 155, the 400th recorded Stoke century partnership, (http://www.stokecc.co.uk/century-partnerships/), in 23.1 overs. Hafeez constructed a nice 73 from 78 balls with eleven fours before falling to a return catch from visiting skipper Gordon, father of Surrey’s Amy.
Earl was 99 not out at the time of Hafeez’s dismissal and completed his century moments later, moving from 50 to 100 in just 35 balls; cutting one to deep point before heading for the pavilion to give others their opportunity. Earl faced 79 balls for his runs, hit 15 fours and two sixes, (off successive deliveries.)
Richard Harris departed in the same over meaning Moumer Khara missed his slot; Ben Townsend joined Rod Thomson and the pair took what runs were on offer as the bowling, with Gordon into his spell, improved.
When Khara did enter the arena following a well judged catch to dismiss the younger of two Townsends in the Stoke line-up; he didn’t waste much time; clubbing fourteen from just five balls before skying his sixth.
Thomson ran aggressively in the closing overs, eventually being run out himself, (for the second week running), for 17. Rory Harris, Ralph Coleman and Sameer Khara – and an obliging keeper – nudged the total up to 233 for 7; Harris Jnr falling in the last over to a very young but very impressive Mann Jnr.
After a tea made up of contributions from various player in Jo’s absence; the Stoke bowlers set to work and made the perfect start.
Rory Harris started with a loosener that generous Sunday umpiring resulted in a dot ball, but the next drifted in to leg before nipping away and bending back opener Pitts’ middle stump. Unplayable…and after another leg-side shank to bring No.2 D.Ward to the striker’s end, a playing down Bakerloo saw the opposition 1-2.
At the other end Ben Townsend charged in and saw a difficult slip chance go begging. After Harris voluntarily withdrew himself after just four overs it was the first of three family affairs as Jack T provided problems of his own to the batsmen in the way that he does. Whilst the scoreboard was only being updated every few overs, there wasn’t much adjustment needed to the total.
The attritional period was broken by Jack T who castled Smith for 18 and he then picked up G.Ward’s wicket courtesy of a good low slip catch by Earl. Inspired by his brother taking a 2-0 lead, Ben T deservedly entered the fourth column when Gordon was yorked for a duck.
Enforced withdrawals from the attack due to their ages, (or lack of them), two Townsend’s, (Ben 7-2-13-1 / Jack 7-1-26-2), were replaced by two Kharas; Sameer produced his best performance in his Masuri Stoke shirt, (order yours here : https://teamwear.nxt-sports.com/shop/stokecc), conceding just 22 runs in six overs and castling Cibardo to make it 64 for 6. Khara Snr bowled four overs without luck, conceding just five.
With members of the tail starting to appear McMillan was lobbed the ball, and a few lobbers saw him collect three quick wickets. Mann Snr was bowled behind his legs first ball; and after a six and a four Jenkins charged down the pitch and was stumped by Earl who had taken over the gloves at drinks – thanks to Rod and Jase for solving this week’s keeping issue. Knew fell in identical circumstances to Jenkins; so family affair number three took place with Rory Harris returning looking for a career best, and Dad having a go at the other end.
No.3 Allen had batted through and only had Mann Jnr for company but the pair held things up for a little while. Harris Snr was denied the change to get a first wicket for the club when his son picked up the last courtesy of a leg-side catch by Earl to give himself five fielding contributions in addition to his ton. Allen was stranded on 46 not out.
So Rory H did register his personal best, (6.4-1-22-3), in his very young Stoke career; Stoke were victorious by 117 runs, and the till rang long into the night as the opposition stayed back and were joined by the Tom Frost 30th birthday party that had started in the Plough at the same time the main event at The Rec did.
The Champions League Final and the Cricket World Cup will mean a prioritisation in selection for Saturday next weekend, but get your availability for next Sunday in early and we’ll try and raise a side and find an appropriately matched opposition.