Sunday 14th July 2019
HJM CC 215 for 7 (40 overs)
Stoke D’Abernon 213 all out (39.5 overs)
HJM CC won by 2 runs
While England and New Zealand served up a rather dull affair at Lord’s, two sides, meeting for the first time, fixture only agreed the day before, served up a classic at The Rec that would have been talked about well into the night but for the fact that the teams were still playing at that time.
A quick setting up after the colts fixture saw the visitors choose to bat on winning the toss; Carel Ferreira and Andy Butler did more than OK with the new ball; Butler bumping out Suleman to get Stoke on the board; but were part of a succession of bowlers who suffered bad-ball-an-over-itis as opener Khan and No.3 Singh cashed in on anything loose; racing to 69 before Ed Ashwell took two wickets in a four over burst; Khan, (31), giving Andy Page a second of three catches behind the timbers then Moinak, (15), chipped to mid-wicket where Hassan Dahir Jnr took a good running catch. 116 for 4.
A far too late decision to take pace off the ball slowed the scoring; Dahir Jnr and Harry Nawaz Snr shared 14 overs at a personal combined cost of just 45; Dad picking up Nadeem caught at the wicket standing up and Singh for 51, well held on the line by Hamza Hafeez the ball after reaching his half-century. With better support in the field Dahir Jnr would have had even better figures than his 7-1-23-0.
As is the way we do things on Sundays opportunities were given to other bowlers in the closing overs. Rod Thomson and Moumer Khara took wickets courtesy of a bowled and another catch on the line by Hafeez respectively; some slightly untidy fielding as the batsmen ran everything, notably from the home captain who basically had a mare all afternoon, saw the innings close on 215 for 7, a few more than he planned for but still very gettable on a good pitch.
After tea Khara and Hafeez dealt in boundaries but were both gone by the mid-point of the sixth over with 20 on the board.
Page played nicely and punished everything loose whilst Thomson dropped anchor. The former was bowled for 21 trying to up the rate with the total on 54; but Stoke were still nicely placed at and just after the drinks break, (extended to watch the last two overs of the World Cup Final); Rob Butler playing some nice shots before checking out on 29 from 22 in the 24th over. 99 for 4.
The plan to hold Ferreira back to take on the change bowlers proved an effective tactic as Stoke caught up with the required run rate. Ferreira scored runs all around the wicket and any dots were drilled straight to fielders; making it to 41 from 26 before the keeper removed his pads, came on to bowl and castled him with a dart. 177 for 5; 39 needed off 38 at this point.
Ashwell worked the same bowler out, and got Stoke ahead with a nice straight six to take the total past 200, (15 now needed off 24), but a disastrous start to the 37th over saw Ashwell run out by the bowler off his own bowling for 11 from 5; and Thomson’s excellent effort – that included a ‘six’ courtesy of four overthrows – ended next ball when he was bowled for 47 off the 104th ball he faced.
Stoke still had some batting left but equally the visitors had some death bowling; notably M.Khan who snicked off Andy Butler, then castled Nawaz, (10), and the captain next ball to close out a 2 run win off the penultimate ball and finish with 7.5-0-31-4.
A great game and no-one would have argued if the result had gone the other way or the teams had tied. We would have needed floodlights for any Super Over, though.
Credit to the opposition who stayed back quite a while after the game despite the near on 9pm finish; few were there to see a comical but ultimately successful bundling of six of them – plus kit bags – into one car and leave. Had there been space for the home captain as well – arguably he was their man of the match – there would have been few objections from the home support who stayed back to watch his horrific effort with the bat, ball and in the field. He lost the toss as well.
So bad news, he’ll probably be back next week. Good news, initial numbers look good for two Sunday games so get your availabilities in and we will source the appropriate number of fixtures.