Sunday 28th July 2019
Excellent availability, and most importantly received early in the week, allowed us to source two great fixtures…and in the end we played three matches! An early call could be made to secure a fixture at our friends from Sutton, and later in the week Thames Ditton binned off their original opposition when an advert for a game at the Rec was placed; technically a re-match but none of the Stoke XI that played at Giggs Hill Green a few weeks ago were in Duncan Elder’s side.
Home Friendly – Match 1
Thames Ditton 91 all out (18.2 overs)
Stoke D’Abernon 92 for 4 (13 overs)
Stoke D’Abernon 6 wickets
Given the result of the previous meeting Thames Ditton, minus their talisman Mike Dixon, never recovered from a terrible start that saw them sink to 8 for 4, (skipper Elder 3-4, Ben Townsend 1-4); then to 22-6, and 34 for 8 before a bit of game management saw Coupe-Annable get 54 before being last out with the total on 91. Carel Ferreira, (2 for 18), his friend and debutant Dan Eades, (2 for 3), Rory Harris and Stephen Finch, (one each), completed the wicket-taking.
Stoke were equally ruthless in the chase, needing just 13 overs to knock the runs off despite losing Alistair McMillan to the first ball of the reply. Malcolm Dickson and Finch made 11 and 9 respectively; but Patrick O’Neill, (34), and Neil Foster, (31 not out), knocked off the majority of the remainder to prompt the sides to take tea and play a 20 over game…
Home Friendly – Match 2
Stoke D’Abernon 104 for 7 (20 overs)
Thames Ditton 104 for 9 (20 overs)
This time Stoke batted first and traded runs for wickets to the extent that everyone got to bat; Harris and No.11 Dickson joint top scored with 15 not out, the former making a Stoke career best; Foster, (15), and debutant – although technically his second appearance! – Jack O’Neill, (12), the only others to make double-figures.
In reply Townsend added three more to his career count; Elder, the O’Neill brothers and Eades, (one each), had Thames Ditton 61 for 7 coming back but Rotsey, (48 not out), and Chris Dixon, (20 not out), added 43 to tie the scores.
The book actually shows Thames Ditton’s total to be 103. Could we claim a win? Would be harsh, and remember at Stoke we play nice; as did Thames Ditton who agreed to the extra game unlike Wibbandune who could not be cajoled into a fun re-match on a glorious September afternoon in 2012.
Sutton 202 for 4 (40 overs)
Stoke D’Abernon 174 for 8 (40 overs)
Sutton won by 28 runs
A result that was likely a bit earlier than the final scores suggested, but a very enjoyable contest and very much a case of so near and yet so far for a player on each side.
Sutton chose to bat on winning the toss, a decision that helped Stoke skipper Ralph Coleman involve everyone where, arguably, all eleven could lay claim to a full eight over allocation; and many would be trusted with a front-line batting role. All the players were very supportive in accepting that spells were likely to be short, and those who bowled the most overs might have to drop down the order from their preferred positions. Thanks also to Deepak Malhotra and Mark Christie for sharing the keeping duties so they could each have a bowl.
Back to the match, Sutton lost Srivastava early to a good catch at point by Rob Butler to give Aarav Malhotra, (4-0-20-1), a deserved wicket; but Gardner and Gurung batted to drinks without further loss. All the bowlers did well; Andy Butler, (5-0-12-0), continuing to improve after his recent return to cricket; Christie confused the batsmen; Paddy Wilson and Vinnie Peters would have returned better figures without what were rare blemishes in the field seeming to come off their bowling.
Peters, (6-0-35-1), picked up the second wicket to a well-judged catch by Hassan Dahir on the circle; Dahir then earned himself an extended six over spell, and deserved much better for his efforts notably two stumpings; one missed, one not given. The benefactor of the latter was Gardner who got ahead of the rate just enough to give him time to get his century, but on 99 and the field brought in he was bowled attempting a wild hack at one of Deepak Malhotra’s off-breaks.
This was Malhotra’s second wicket having taken out No.4 Blake for 42. Rob Butler bowled six good overs at the death, conceding just 20 and Stoke only had to chase down 202 for 4 when a score in excess of 250 was more likely given the position at drinks and wickets in hand. A superb effort on a large ground.
After an excellent tea Paddy Wilson was promoted with Harry Nawaz to give the innings a bit of oomph. Initially the plan was successful as 29 came from the first five overs; but Ramalingan found his range and sent down four successive maidens; taking out Wilson, Aarav Malhotra and Nawaz, (25 from 31), to finish on 6-4-11-3. Deepak Malhotra departed in the over after Nawaz was caught; and Stoke had lost their way a little at 43 for 4.
Arman Zaheen and Rob Butler set about batting time and taking what was on offer. Unfortunately not much was as highly promising leg-spinner Waldon-Ferguson sent down eight accurate and testing overs either side of drinks; conceding just 16 and picking up Zaheen for 11 off 45 in his penultimate over.
Christie hit a nice four before being sent on his way by umpire Nawaz; a decision that brought his son to the crease. Dahir Jnr more than held up an end for Butler Jnr, and the pair added 45. Butler completed his second fifty in just his fifth appearance for the Club; and then went through the gears to try and force an unlikely win. Sutton’s skipper gave opportunities to lesser bowlers and whilst the run rate improved the asking rate rarely dipped below tens.
Dahir checked out for a well-constructed 11 and left the field to a tremendous reception of home players and supporters alike. The home support were enjoying hurling friendly banter at their bowlers who were then subject to an almighty assault by Butler in the closing overs. Having toughed it out with 12 from the first 47 balls he faced; he then made 86 from the next 58; the 57th and 58th balls – the last two of the innings – were superbly stopped on the line to leave him two short of a maiden century.
So Stoke closed 28 runs short but much can be taken from the performance where everyone played their part. Thanks to Sutton for their excellent hospitality and to friend of Stoke – and many – Chris Clapham for keeping score. Another interested spectator was Southern Railway & Kenley’s former 1st XI umpire who, having seen Stoke were in town, popped in to see if there was anyone he recognised and to have a catch up to offer his congratulations to the recent progress of our 1st XI. Answer : One. We’ll leave you to guess who…
Due to the road closures there is no Sunday cricket next weekend we’ll take availability for Saturday this week and source a friendly game in addition to our League programme.