Sunday 9th June 2019
Stoke D’Abernon 223 for 6 (40 overs)
Epsom Methodists 120 all out (30.3 overs)
Stoke D’Abernon won by 103 runs
A third win in a row for the Sunday XI who put runs on the board for the third week running and then backed it up with a great bowling & fielding performance.
It was the opposition’s turn to panic early morning or a change, two drop outs left them asking for help. Once again Khalid Harris stepped up and brought a mate to make it an 11-a-side contest.
Invited to bat first Moumer Khara, who started the day in France, was an early departure given leg-before. Deepak Malholtra then skied a massive leading edge that might have landed on his stumps but for the intervention of the keeper; but Stoke already had 40 on the board courtesy of some good shots from Steve Wade.
Wade was joined by another southpaw, Teague Clarke making his first appearance for Stoke of the season and, currently unable to bowl due to a back issue, focussed on putting high price on his wicket. With a winter’s growth the power shots are now a part of his armoury and he made it difficult for the bowlers to contain him.
Consequently Stoke were well placed at 102 for 2 just after drinks, but had to take a breather as Wade pulled along hop to square leg one short of his half-century, Clarke holed out at cow for a Stoke career best 44 and Chris Finch smashed only the third ball he faced out to long on only to pull up and retire hurt.
Stephen Finch lofted the first ball he faced over the top for four but was caught soon after for 8; so Rod Thomson and debutant Will Harris had a bit of work to do at 130 for 5, (effectively for six); but the pair gave substance to the total with a partnership that would ultimate realise 92.
Thomson constructed a very nice 37; but was overshadowed by Harris who got himself in, worked out his scoring areas and upped the scoring rate perfectly. Not bad for someone who hadn’t picked up a bat since last summer. The pivotal over was the 39th that saw Harris cart 28 off the unfortunate bowler whose otherwise good figures of 7-1-24-2 were suitably ruined.
Harris fell to a direct hit from the deep by the opposition’s Harris in the final over; his final tally was 60 from 37 balls with four fours and five sixes. Stoke closed on 223 for 6.
After another Jo mega feast Rory Harris and Geoff Vinall had differing fortunes with the new ball. Harris’ first spell lasted only four overs but he would return to devastating effect later on; Vinall rediscovered his form last seen on tour over a month ago and bowled his eight over allocation through in one spell, conceding just 25 and taking the first two wickets to fall; Chandru was bowled and Johnson was caught by Khara for 27.
Johnson and opener Foan had given the chase the oomph it needed, ticking over at fives despite Vinall’s economy. Khara and then Thomson slowed things down; the latter taking the third wicket with the score on 82; Will Harris making a safe grab at short third man off the back off Foan’s bat.
Seeing that pace off was working the skipper’s happy weekend continued as change after change seemed to work. Stephen Finch was given a spell either side of drinks and he rolled back the years, taking two of the next three wickets to fall. Muralidaran gloved a ball to Wade who had taken over keeping duties from Malholtra at drinks, then Yelland was bowled. With Thomson picking up Harris leg-before for 17 including a nice straight six; three wickets had fallen with the score on 99 an Stoke were in the pound seats.
After the Treasurer, (5-1-20-2), and the President, (5-0-17-2), were both given a breather; Rory Harris returned and picked up three confidence boosting wickets in a two over spell; Imran Khan, (no, not that one), was caught by Chris Finch who bravely stayed out on the field; Edwards was leg-before and Blair was caught by the bowler’s bigger brother. Harris Jnr improved his figures to 6-1-35-3 leaving Malhotra and Will Harris to fight over the last wicket.
After getting a couple, of overs into his legs Harris was beaten to the glory wicket by Malhotra who closed the match courtesy of another good grab by Finch Jnr.
An excellent day, and despite losing, the opposition loved the way we did it, stopped back to put a nice amount into the bar and promptly invited us for a return fixture at theirs for our 3rd XI on Saturday week. We should have number so provisionally said yes.
Next weekend we have the very real possibility of an additional Sunday fixture due to player demand. Get your availabilities if you haven’t done so already to make this happen.