Saturday 24th August 2019
AJ Fordham Surrey Championship – 2nd XI competition
Stoke D’Abernon 2nd XI 177 for 9 (50 overs)
Kempton 2nd XI 178 for 7 (39.4 overs)
Kempton 2nd XI won by 3 wickets
Only a win would do for both sides and it was Kempton who emerged victorious after Stoke ground out a par-ish score on a good track but were unable to get through a competent lower order pair. Victory for Ripley now relegates Stoke to Division 5; and only defeats with zero points for Addiscombe and two wins for Kempton would prevent this from being a pair of Division 5 fixtures next year.
Stoke batted first on winning the toss and seemed to lose a wicket every time they built some momentum. Andy Berry fell to a worldy catch at square leg and Tristan Caviet played on looking to hit back to back fours; but Peter Phipps and Will Patrick batted to the first drinks break lifting the total to 64.
The drinks were an unwanted disruption to rhythm as Patrick, (29), chipped to mid-wicket with no addition to the total, and soon after Phipps, (28), and Patrick O’Neill were both bowled in the 28th over with the total on 89.
Tom Dennis hit four nice fours to move the total past the 100 mark, but when he and Raja Singh fell leg before; Andy Page, who was going well, was starting to run out of partners. Jack Townsend, (8), hung around long enough for Page to make the innings’ top score; but Page’s season was summed up in one ball when he smashed one to short cover where the fielder, taking evasive action, somehow caught the ball low down.
Ralph Coleman, (22 not out), and Adrian Mills, (4 not out), took advantage of some tired bowling and fielding to nudge the total up to 177 for 9. This looked chaseable, but you never know how good a score is until both sides have batted on it.
Kempton started their chase steadily against accurate bowling by Dennis and Mills. The latter found Sethi’s edge where Phipps did the rest at slip; but the No.3 Scott was gifted two fours off the first two balls he faced and continued to hit the ball in unusual areas as the total reached 60 after just 12.1 overs.
Patrick O’Neill snared opener Harcourt – a fine catch down the leg-side by Patrick – but thereafter Stoke were masters of their own downfall as a number of chances to remove Scott went begging and he made it to 63 before eventually being cleaned up by a peach from Townsend.
Townsend completed a double-wicket maiden by castling Lee for a duck and would return excellent figures of 7-2-16-2; and two quick strikes from the returning Dennis, (10-3-33-2), one caught by Phipps at slip, the other yorked, saw the game swing in Stoke’s favour as 111 for 2 was now 121 for 6.
Stoke tried everything but nothing quite went to hand; and Darwish and Knill batted Kempton to the brink of victory before golden arm Singh removed the former with the fat lady warming up. Mills returned and did everything but knock over a number 9 that, when looking at the way he played, left the fielding side wondering what was coming in after that; but with only three runs to play with the necessary singles were taken to condemn Stoke to Division 5 and give Kempton faint hope of a great escape as the left the field…but it was pretty sombre mood all round soon after as other results came through.
So the clubs are 99.9% certain to meet again next year; not the worst outcome as the game was naturally played competitively with so much at stake, but in good spirit as is always the case when the clubs meet at 1s, 2s or Sunday XI level.
Stoke will look for a morale boosting win next week at Purley before finishing their campaign at home to Old Emanuel.