In updating the Club’s partnership records we have also been looking into the century partnerships.
In Stoke’s history there have been over 370 recorded century partnerships, (click on the above link), involving near on 150 different players.
The first recorded 100 partnership was all the way back in 1923, when sides were very often bowled out for less than 100. The historic duo were Bill Martin and Fred Bolton who put on 103 for the 4th wicket against Southern Railway.
As the years have gone by, and the pitches have got better, more and more big partnerships have been built, including three stands that have topped 200, (all of which have been for the first wicket) – and one stand of 300!
There are now more matches played than in previous years, with games on Saturdays, Sundays and T20 games during the week; therefore providing more opportunity for scoring big runs. In 2008 Matt Gottschalk and Gavin Gresse made the first century stand in a T20 game for Stoke when they put on 106 for the 5th wicket against Claygate.
Stoke has never produced a century partnership for the 8th or 9th wicket, however there have been two for the 10th wicket. The most famous one of these was 118 by Alex Shipp and Tristan Caviet in a must win game at the end of the 1998 season against Blackheath. It is still a Fuller’s Brewery Surrey County League record and was crucial for keeping Stoke 2s in Division 1 of that League.
In terms of contributors to the big stands, it has not been surprising to discover that our all-time leading run-scorer Alistair McMillan has been involved in more century partnerships for Stoke than anyone else.
His partnerships put him ahead of Ian Wellman.
We would welcome any stories about these, (or any!), Stoke matches and will publish them on the site.