Valiant 1st XI Come Up Just Short in Thriller

Saturday 6th July 2019
AJ Fordham Surrey Championship
Farnham 278 for 8 declared (53 overs)
Stoke D’Abernon 263 all out (44.1 overs)
Farnham won by 15 runs

The unpredictable trend of results in this year’s division continued at the Stoke Rec as Farnham, occupiers of one of the bottom two spots, scored a win in a high-scoring encounter.

Put into bat on a good pitch, the visitors made a fast start, posting an opening stand of 65 before first change Shawn Dyson nicked off Hicks for 32. Davies and No.3 Thorpe continued to keep the scoring rate high; moving the total to 127 before Max Subba Row castled Davies, (65), and No.4 Berry with successive deliveries.

Farnham made light of this double-strike, though, and a partnership of 114 followed as Thorpe, (68), and Rooney, (84), tried to bat Stoke out of the game. Dyson, (2 for 67), and Robbie Blackburn, (2 for 52), collected wickets towards the close, as did the returning Toby Tarrant. A run out effected by Ian Hopton off what would be the last ball of the innings prompted a 53 over declaration on 275 for 8.

Whilst many sides would think pessimistically about a winning draw or defeat avoidance when faced with such a total, Stoke played the brand of cricket that has served them so well over the last three seasons and gave it a right go. Subba Row and James Trower were early departures, but Hopton and Dyson constructed a nice stand of 84 before the former was dismissed for 36.

Alastair Curran, (26), helped with another stand of 64; and when he and Dyson, given leg-before for 87 from 72, departed in quick succession, most sides given this match situation might assess other options.

Not this Stoke side, though. Blackburn was promoted and smashed 45 from just 18 balls; Roddy Kelso gave good support and despite both their dismissals Tom Frost continued the chase, cracking 33 from just 19 balls. Sadly he was to run out of partners was the last man dismissed with seventeen balls to go and Stoke just 13 short.

A tremendous advert for the game and both clubs. The return 50:50 match is something to look forward to if this one was anything to go by.

We now have reached the half-way stage and Stoke sit in fifth place in the table, but still within one win of the top two. Another home game next week, this time Worcester Park come to The Rec.

Scorecard : http://sdacc.play-cricket.com/website/results/3753979