Saturday 3rd August 2019
AJ Fordham Surrey Championship
Old Rutlishians 144 all out (46.4 overs)
Stoke D’Abernon 146 for 5 (29.5 overs)
Stoke D’Abernon won by 5 wickets
Stoke’s 1st XI secured a five wicket win at Old Rutlishians to keep themselves in the promotion hunt.
Acting captain Tom Frost won the toss and chose to give his bowlers first use of a green pitch; but the adjacent strips suggested it had crumble potential so the brief was very much to make the chase as easy as possible.
Initially things didn’t quite go to plan as openers Young, (31), and Gibbs, (43), added 72 in the first hour’s play. Will Frost, Robbie Blackburn, (who saw a catch at long leg go down), and Shawn Dyson all bowled tidily.
Ian Hopton got Stoke on the board with the wickets of both in his second and fourth overs; Young yorked himself, then Gibbs chipped to mid-wicket. 80 for 2 was soon 93 for 3 when Ben Townsend, making his 1st XI debut, picked up the wicket of Pemberton courtesy of a slip catch by Will Gudgeon who had mixed fortunes in that area all afternoon.
Trimmings and Patel dug in but found run-scoring hard to come by as the field was up, allowing Hopton, (10-0-35-3), and Townsend, (7-1-22-2), to pressure the batsmen into surrendering another wicket each; the latter could be very satisfied with his contribution; doubling his count when he ran one across Trimmings to give his captain his one successful grab of the afternoon.
Dyson returned to the attack after Townsend’s enforced removal from the attack due to his age, (or lack of it), and added three more to his count; the first a return catch to record his 100th wicket for the Club to take out Nuttall for 20. Khan and Cooper then registered single digit scores and he ended his pre-tea duties with figures of 12-2-30-3; in between Will Frost, (10-1-28-1), picked up the wicket of Patel leg before playing back to one that kept low.
Max Subba Row closed the innings on 144 in the 47th over when Jarvis flashed at a wide-ish one and Gudgeon completed his third grab of the afternoon.
After the customary Ruts big tea Subba Row and Hopton commenced the chase. The latter hit the ball nicely, but straight to fielders, then chose to run on the 5th ball that he faced only to be beaten by a direct hit. A frenetic start continued when Subba Row, (17 from 15), was bowled by Jarvis to make it 22 for 2 off just the 23rd ball of the innings.
James Corbishley and Dyson settled things down and added 52 for the next wicket in eleven overs. Dyson, (29), had an early life at second slip and nearly got another courtesy of the same fielder but it came out of his hands and ended up in the hands of the man at first.
Corbishley and Alastair Curran kept the board ticking as opportunities were given to a number of younger and lesser bowlers in a very unfamiliar looking Ruts line up. A partnership of 53 moved Stoke to the cusp of victory.
Corbishley looked set for a half-century but an aborted drinks break appeared to disrupt his rhythm and he was bowled two short of the mark. He faced 53 balls for his runs and hit seven nice fours.
This allowed Gudgeon, (10 not out), to get some brief middle-time – and Curran reached 36 from 44 before he was caught on the line shortly before the winning hit.
Results elsewhere probably mean that there is now only one promotion spot up for grabs as the playing conditions revert to the 50:50 win/lose format for the last five games. If Stoke win five and Bank of England don’t that will do it; but you can only win one at a time so the focus turns to Oxted & Limpsfield who come to the Rec next weekend.