Sunday 25th August 2019
Stoke D’Abernon 162 all out (36.5 overs)
Badgers 116 all out (33.2 overs)
Stoke D’Abernon won by 46 runs
With one or two notable exceptions Stoke’s batsmen were indebted to their bowling unit as they turned and under-par score into a winning one at a sun-soaked Stoke Rec.
Shawn prepared a road with a message to fill yer boots and whilst Malcolm Dickson, (22), and Rob Butler moved Stoke into a solid position at 48 for 1 after the early departure of Harry Nawaz; they found themselves with work to do less than ten overs later with the board showing 98 for 5; 45 of them to Butler Jnr who reached that score having showed more patience than anyone.
A much needed half-century partnership followed as Hass Dahir Jnr placed nicely and quickly moved the fielders back to regulation positions after they initially crowded him thinking he was just a filler in the team being given a chance.
He became the first of three wickets for D.Pitts; who with Jenkins, (3.5-2-2-2), knocked over the tail – plus Butler who checked out on 71 with 11 fours. Stoke criminally didn’t use up their overs; maybe the events at Headingley didn’t quite keep minds focused on the job.
After Jo’s excellent tea and Ben Stokes doing his thing it was time for Stoke to do theirs. Early wickets were essential and Andy Butler and Rory Harris each struck with their first deliveries; Carel Ferreira taking a nice catch down the leg-side off the first ball of the reply; Harris castling No.2. Another wicket each in their opening spells, (Butler Snr 4-2-7-2 and Harris 4-0-19-2), saw Stoke into the middle order early at 28 for 4.
With runs to play with Dahir Jnr did his thing. He plays a number of games on pitches shorter than 22 yards so he initially found trouble with his lengths but improved as his spell went on. At the other end late call up Richie Parrett did his best with no cricket behind him since Wraysbury; and the match was beginning to turn Badgers’ way as J.Gordon hit the ball nicely and Smith, (eventually 8th out), stayed with him.
Rod Thomson had been short of overs recently and made the most of his chance. 86 for 4 became 86 for 6 as J.Gordon, (43), and Danny Glover, (no, not that one), were castled off successive deliveries and soon after he took out Smith leg-before for 27 before bowling visiting captain M.Gordon for his second duck on the ground this season. 7-2-14-4 should have been converted into a 5-fer but a relatively straightforward catch went to ground.
Thomson’s wickets sandwiched Nawaz’s solitary strike, a return catch to complete nice figures of 6-2-13-1; and with the run rate starting to spiral Stephen Finch and Parrett shared more overs. No’s 10 & 11 took what was on offer, but the match was starting to crawl to an inevitable conclusion.
As boredom started to set in and the lure of the bar proved a more attractive proposition for most; Finch unselfishly gave way for Rob Butler to finish the match. He needed just two balls to shatter Pitts Snr’s stumps and close out a 46 run victory.
Another good day for the Club and a highly sociable opposition put money over the bar before, during and after the game to please the Finance department.