Oh, to have had an 11th…
A great effort by Stoke in this one who were left to rue the absence of an 11th man yet pushed a strong Teddington Town, (Sunday 2s?), side all the way. The visitors had lost their Surrey Slam fixture, we selected our weekend teams accordingly only for many of them to bail, (and in one case announce his unavailability on the morning from Portugal having, unbeknown to us, given said availability from the same place 48 hours earlier – cricket, eh!) Thanks to those who assisted with solutions to make an enjoyable day for all happen, and to give the younger players valuable experience.
To the cricket. Deepak Malhotra kindly agreed to handle on-field operations after a no-show from the originally selected captain. In their first outings of the season Andy and Rob Butler bowled well without luck against some good players who dealt mostly in boundaries; their reluctance to run proving their downfall as Noori was run out by a good throw by the older of the Butler brothers.
Malhotra slowed things and created several chances, one of them grabbed in the covers by Alistair McMillan to account for opener Kapoor for 46. A foothold.
Stoke then won the next 45 minutes, largely due to late call-up Arren Sachania whose long day started with an age group game first thing. He spun out the next three, and was also the bowler when a ball hit to Rob Butler on the circle was returned with interest to effect the run out of Mhapankar. It’s only a 3-for though, Arren!
116 for 6 and Stoke sensed their chance, but a high class 1st XI player came in next and made full use of the gaps afforded by the missing fielder. He lost three partners, all to the returning Rob Butler, (8-0-33-3), but checked out unbeaten on 66 to allow the last man a hit; which he did a couple of times before missing one from Ralph Coleman that closed the innings on the penultimate ball.
Sadly emergency guest player Jimmy Brooks didn’t get the reward with the bat that his jovial approach to life on the field deserved and was an early departure; but McMillan cashed in on some loose stuff and Stoke were nicely placed at 63-1. McMillan, (39), and Marler were out in successive overs; but Stoke’s chase was carried on to great effect by Rob Butler and Will Thomson; a burst of 43 in four overs ended when Thomson was caught at “45” having clubbed two fours and two sixes in a quick fire 22.
Malhotra and Butler Jnr added another 56 before the latter departed for a nicely constructed 44, but this resulted in two more quick wickets for the addition of just a single.
Malhotra and Sachania continued the fight; 44 needed off the last four became 30 off three, then 20-odd off two. After Malhotra was run out in the penultimate over for an otherwise chanceless 46; Sachania, (14 not out), and Coleman knocked of the odd of the 20-odd needed, but 21 off the last was too big an ask as the ninth of nine wickets fell to end the match five balls early.
Thanks to Teddington Town for playing it the right way when they could have gone in to ‘League’ mode and handed our multipli-revised side a drubbing; and to all those who made an entertaining game for the spectators who put a few quid over the bar. Those who didn’t make it missed a good one.
Oh to have had an 11th…
Scorecard : http://sdacc.play-cricket.com/website/results/4470897