Sunday 7th July 2019
With a number of players who wouldn’t normally commit to a Sunday supporting the President’s Day match, to avoid disappointing others who wouldn’t have otherwise got a game, again we raised two sides with another XI going to Oxted & Limpsfield. Contrasting fortunes for the teams but many positives.
Stoke D’Abernon 233 for 4 declared (36 overs)
Chelsea Nomads 65 all out (37.2 overs)
Stoke D’Abernon won by 168 runs
President Finch looked after matters at HQ and got first use of the pitch used for the previous day’s league match. It still played well and encouraged the batsmen to do the same.
Having made a quickfire 33 on the strip the previous day Tom Frost added 77 more to his count in quick time; a fast scoring rate was needed as the opposition bowled a very slow over rate which meant President Finch would ultimately not get a chance to bat on his big day. Brother Chris did get a turn and made 39 to put Stoke in a good position at 141 for 3.
After a message to go to the away game didn’t make it, space in the side was found for Tom Dennis and he accumulated a nice unbeaten 26; but pyrotechnics from the other end came from Andy Page, (52 from 25), and Will Thomson, (16 not out from five), to close the innings on 233 for 4.
After tea, (and Jo put on a splendid pre-game lunch too), Will Frost collected his 299th and 300th career wickets for the Club; Geoff Vinall his 33rd and Alistair McMillan his 270th and 271st. At the other end Rod Thomson sent down a succession of maidens as the opposition made an early decision to play for the draw.
Inspiration was needed, and it came from Dennis who returned career best figures; collecting four wickets at a personal cost of just five runs in five overs.
Despite this Stoke were made to work incredibly hard to finish the job. Will Thomson gave up the gloves in an attempt to blast out the last man. In the end, Frost Jnr found a way through in the last of the mandatory final overs to complete a 168 run win.
Oxted & Limpsfield 260 for 7 (40 overs)
Stoke D’Abernon 193 all out (35.4 overs)
Oxted & Limpsfield won by 67 runs
We were exceptionally grateful for Oxted for putting together a side and getting a playable pitch at their second ground in Grub Street; their additional Sunday XI having use of their main ground at Master Park. Ironically the game at the main pitch didn’t survive the overnight and morning rain meaning this one was the main event.
Pre-game discussions established that Oxted had a few more league players, so Stoke fielded first; and whilst having favourable pitch conditions, the outfield had a lot of water that made the ball very difficult to grip; and there was no movement so Adrian Mills, Andy Butler, Mashood Naeem and Rob Butler did a great job. A couple of chances went to ground before Naeem got a breakthrough, castling E.Thomas for 48 to make it 90 for 1.
With such a great start fellow opener Heaver and No.3 A.Cutmore continued to play positively and Stoke were staring a big score to chase at the drinks break; 154 for 1 was soon 188 for 1 – technically for 2 as Heaver retired on 67 to give others a chance – but they kept going.
Moumer Khara slowed things down in a nine-over spell from one end, (a mis-count by both scorer and umpire, the latter had an otherwise very good game), and wickets started to fall at the other end. A.Cutmore, (42 from 27), gifted Ralph Coleman a wicket to end his drought when he was bowled with his head in the clouds; the same bowler then collected a second later in the over with a more satisfying castling of Auer.
Coleman later turned catcher to give the returning Mills a deserved wicket, and he of pony tail doubled his count for the day when removing M.Thomas with a peach to drag his figures back to 8-0-30-2. A ball of that quality was needed to remove this fine young batsman who played very well for his 25. Oxted’s future is in good hands based on the youth they had on show.
Naeem then came to the party; throwing down the stumps after mis-fielding to run out Emmins; then he removed home skipper Adamson, bowled by one that kept low. Oxted closed on 260 for 7; a great fightback given the position at the half-way mark; Andy Butler’s comeback over at the death was a maiden, and Rob Butler saved countless runs at backward point for the team throughout the innings. In the absence of any recognised keeper, Ed Ashwell did a sterling job too.
After a sizeable tea; Oxted chose to give their two youngest players use of the new ball. Hamza Hafeez and Khara filled their boots; taking the total to 50 in just the sixth over. The pair would ultimately add 61 but it took a few more overs to get there as home skipper Adamson brought himself on to slow things down.
He used all his guile to remove Hafeez, (16), bowled; then Khara, (58 from 33 with 10×4 and 2×6), who steered one to a close catcher; so debutant Arman Zaheen, (thanks to the Butler boys for sourcing him); had to invest time getting himself in.
It was clear that Adamson was the standout bowler in the game and needed to be played accordingly, however erring towards a little bit of criticism; Stoke didn’t play their smartest cricket and he took three more wickets in four balls in his penultimate over; only an Ashwell boundary on the hat-trick ball leaving him with double-digit runs conceded as he returned figures of 8-3-11-5. In the context of the match, when he bowled his last ball the combined figures of the rest of the team were 13-0-96-0.
So a re-building job was needed with the third, fourth and fifth wickets all falling on 99. Ashwell clubbed his second and third fours before being caught the ball after being bowled by a no-ball. Naeem fell to a smart stumping, (121 for 7), so Butler only had Mills and Coleman left.
Mills did a great job; gutsing it out for 12 from 37 and hitting two fours – a third courtesy of a classy leg-glance was signalled as byes. Butler Jnr played very nicely and wouldn’t look out of place in our League selection. The pair added 69.
Mills was eventually bowled by the returning A.Cutmore; Butler smashed a couple of fours to record a maiden half-century in just his second appearance for the Club, but the game ended when he skied to cover to leave Stoke 67 runs short, checking out on 53 from 59 with seven fours and a six.
Again, Stoke had a good post-drinks session and put some respectability into the final result. Many a team would have continued to lose wickets and end up being beaten quite heavily, as has been the case by four of our Sunday oppositions who have lost to us by 99 or more runs.
Next week the prospect of the Cricket World Cup Final probably limits us to just the one home fixture already carded against Bank of England, but as always we will take availability and see if we can meet the ever-increasing demand to play for Stoke.