Saturday 8th June 2019
AJ Fordham Surrey Championship – 2nd XI competition
Stoke D’Abernon 2nd XI 181 for 9 (55 overs)
Ripley 2nd XI 160 all out (42.1 overs)
Stoke D’Abernon 2nd XI won by 21 runs
A sensational win for the 2nd XI who had the worst of the conditions and were behind in the game for long periods.
The covers were removed to reveal a few wet patches, but they weren’t in areas that could prevent any delayed start. A crucial toss was lost by Peter Phipps and he took strike with Malcolm Dickson who was making his first League appearance of the season.
The pair toughed it out for 25 runs before Dickson and No.3 Harry Nawaz were bowled with successive deliveries by Naseer who had a questionable action. Phipps and late call-up Hamza Hafeez continued to grind it out and the run rate up to drinks was just a little over two per over; but the work they did to protect the middle and lower order could not be understated.
Both upped the rate after drinks; Phipps hit three fours in one over and Hafeez made it to 33 before being bowled trying to register what would have been his sixth four. 88 for 3.
Jase Earl joined his captain and Stoke looked well set at 123 before losing their way slightly. Phipps was stumped for 66 from 110 balls faced; Patrick O’Neill got a good nut; Earl –who played nicely for his 27 – skied one looking to push the score on; then Duncan Elder and Andy Page were bowled by the returning opening bowlers. 152 for 8.
Raja Singh nursed the tail up to 180 as Stoke made a conscious effort to not give overs to their opponents; Singh was bowled for 21, (including three nice fours), off the penultimate ball of the innings; Adrian Mills dropping the last at his feet for a single.
After Jo did her thing Stoke knew that things needed to be kept tight early with an asking rate of just four per over. Mills and O’Neill did well, backed up by a keen fielding effort, but wickets were hard to come by on a pitch that had now dried out.
Mills, (9-3-20-1), got the first breakthrough with the total on 40 when the opener holed out at cow to Elder; but No.3 Dhillon played positively, hitting the bad ball, as well as some good ones, to various parts. With Cliff dropping anchor at the other end things weren’t looking great for Stoke with the total on 104 for 1 after 26 of a minimum of 45 overs.
Then things changed. Elder grabbed the ball, and the game, by the scruff of the neck and started to make things happen. With Ralph Coleman locking the other end down Elder produced a burst of four wickets in thirteen balls, the second a great catch on the line by Dickson to remove Dhillon for 54.
Three came in his seventh over, (how he didn’t collect a hat-trick baffled everyone as a swing and a miss went for four byes); then Coleman took the sixth wicket off the first ball of the next, a good catch by Singh over his head on the circle, and it was 122 for 6.
Cheered on by members of the returning 1st XI Stoke pushed for the win, but as is often the case after a bunch of wickets there was a partnership; the next pair digging in and playing much more sensibly than their team-mates in the middle order.
Elder continued to cause confusion and Phipps threw the ball to O’Neill to try and spin the tail out with just 24 runs to play with. A great comeback over now brought run-rate into play, and Hussain played across a straight one from Elder in the next to depart for 14 trying to keep the board ticking.
This left Naseer with nine ten, ten and Jack to get the job done; but Elder and O’Neill, (1 for 34), knocked them over for ducks to leave Naseer stranded on 23 not out and Stoke victorious by 21 runs.
Elder’s final figures were 12.1-2-44-7.
Results elsewhere meant Stoke didn’t advance their league position, but they will travel to Merstham next week with reinforcements and some much needed momentum.