Sunday XI fall short in Merton

Sunday 22nd September 2019
Kingstonian 193 for 5 (30 overs)
Stoke D’Abernon 168 for 8 (30 overs)
Kingstonian won by 25 runs

For the second week running Stoke were left to rue an untidy first phase of the match and a number of missed chances and lost a game that otherwise could have been won. This negative aside, it was another very enjoyable afternoon and a triumph for persistence and a will to get a game on; the players not deterred by a heavy shower that arrived just as they did to put the fixture in doubt. After waiting around, an inspection of the pitch delivered a “passable” verdict and the players decided to give it a go; limiting things to a 30 over contest given the ghastly forecast for later on.

With a bit more ‘league’ element to their side than when they faced us two weeks ago Kingstonian chose to bat first on winning the toss; brave given the pitch was spicy, but when have they ever left the pitch in the equation when they bat!

Consequently the field was spread pretty quickly as the bowlers struggled to find any consistent length – part of this down to the footing and the wet ball – making field placement near on impossible; the only ‘dismissal’ was young Saravanan who was dealt a nasty blow from an Andy Butler bouncer and went for a sit down to keep the game moving.

One immune from any criticism was James Morgan who did everything but take a wicket in his initial spell of four overs and his comeback two later on; swings & misses missing everything and difficult chances not sticking.

The breakthrough finally came when Drew Birch, who travelled through driving rain from Poole for his annual appearance, picked up the wicket of Joshi who chipped to Stephen Finch at slip; then after trying one swing too many Kedia hit to Moumer Khara at mid-wicket shortly after completing his half-century. Khara Snr caught the same player in the match we played a few weeks back.

Thereafter the sides traded wickets for runs in the closing overs. Shukla made the most of his early life and constructed a nice 28 before skyign a return catch to Andy Butler. Footage of this dismissal is on the Stoke Twitter feed, (@StokeDabernonCC for those not following us); as were the last two wickets, run outs effected by Arman Zaheen who saved many runs on the line.

Kingstonian closed on a competitive 193 for 5; chaseable but we needed someone to go big or a couple of big partnerships.

The chase started promisingly as Justin Jones smashed the first ball for four and cashed in on anything loose; but there was less hittable stuff served up by Kingstonain’s openers than Stoke’s. Jones, (15), picked out point with the total on 35; but Moumer Khara and Rob Butler kept Stoke on track with a stand of 48, the stand going from 38 to 48 as Khara Snr crashed a four and a six to pass 2000 career runs for the Club; but after a delay searching for the lost ball, he was leg before to then next for 48 attempting a repeat.

Butler Jnr had large periods where he couldn’t get the strike but had reached 33 at a run-a-ball in good time, passing 500 runs for the, (half), season in the process; but when he fell to a stinging catch at mid-wicket by the home skipper with the total on 118 and the asking rate pushing nines; the lack of lower order firepower ultimately proved decisive.

Not that the Stoke players didn’t give it a go despite it not being a natural game for many. Deepak Malhotra, who kept well again, was unlucky to be run out when his bat stuck in a used end; Zaheen and Finch were both stumped trying to hit grenades from Jacobs into the next parish, and Butler Snr’s entertaining 27 off 20 ended with 39 needed off the last 15 balls.

As expected this was an unlikely equation; Birch ran himself out coming back for two after his reverse sweep barely made it off the circle; leaving Morgan and Sameer Khara to register red-inkers.

The difference was 25 runs. Regrets, a few, but then again too few to mention. We got a game on and had fun.

So is that the end of things for the year? Well, it’s up to you. Get your availabilities in and we will see what we can do. Pitch availability will be a challenge if we’re too late but if we have numbers we’ll have a go.

Scorecard :