Saturday 17th August 2019
AJ Fordham Surrey Championship – 2nd XI competition
Merstham 2nd XI 227 for 7 (50 overs)
Stoke D’Abernon 2nd XI 169 all out (43.4 overs)
Merstham 2nd XI won by 58 runs
Stoke’s 2nd XI suffered another defeat, and victory for Ripley over Purley leaves them facing the grim prospect of a second successive relegation.
The visitors were given the best of the batting conditions when the coin came down, and but for an early wicket for Adrian Mills and a bullseye delivered by Ed Ashwell in the 18th over, forty overs had passed before the third wicket fell as visiting captain Drewett took full advantage in making 89.
A formidable total was on the cards at 181 for 2 but credit to Stoke who took five wickets in the last ten overs to limit the damage. Raja Singh took the wickets of Drewett and Sathya in the same over; Mills, (10-1-32-2), doubled his tally with the wicket of Pasha; and there were two late strikes for Duncan Elder, (10-0-51-2), as Stoke restricted the damage to 227 for 7. Although wicketless, Patrick O’Neill bowled well, returning figures of 10-1-28-0.
In reply Peter Phipps and Hamza Hafeez gave Stoke a good start with an opening stand of 37 but scoring became increasingly difficult as the pitch started to die, matching the groundsman’s warning that chasing would become difficult.
An out of sorts Hafeez edged to the keeper having had two previous lives; Aarav Malhotra was called through for a suicidal single by his captain who was then bowled in the next over for 20 trying a ramp. Moments later Justin Jones picked out point and 37 for 0 was 38 for 4.
Andy Berry got the board moving again but others struggled to stay with him. Patrick O’Neill hit two nice fours over the top before holing out to the man placed in the deep to dissuade him from attempting a repeat and Carel Ferreira, who kept well earlier in the day, got a good nut second up. 71 for 6 was soon 83 for 7 when Ashwell skied one to point.
Berry was eighth out for 41 with the score on 100; and things could have been a lot worse for Stoke but for a tremendous act of sportsmanship by Drewett who recalled Elder. Having been hit in the ribs by sixth bowler Maplesden’s first delivery, he was a little disorientated and with uncertainty as to whether an opportunist run out should stand or whether the ball was dead, Drewett opted for the former.
The decision was unlikely to affect the outcome of the game, although Elder and Singh did then put together an entertaining partnership of 68; ended when Singh, (21), became was castled by a good one from Aslam. The match was over moments later when Elder checked out for 51 from 47 balls faced and Stoke were comfortably short of their target.
The stats don’t lie. One win in fifteen – and it was arguable that was burgled – leaves Stoke hanging on by a thread and they have three games against Kempton next week, then Purley and Old Emanuel to find the required number of wins; two might still be enough but any more wins for Ripley and it will have to be all three.