2021 season gets underway with enjoyable friendly at Stoke

D&TCC 218 all out, Stoke Gabriel 127 all out.

It was great to get back to playing cricket again with our friendly match at Stoke Gabriel yesterday.  It helped that we got a fantastic sunny day. After the recent dry weather the pitch was dry and firm like a mid-summer’s one, and the match was played in an excellent spirit by both teams.

Stoke got off to a terrific start first ball when Josh Orrell left a delivery from Isaac Whittington which came in off the slope and hit his off stump.  Fellow opener Alex Winch soon followed, edging Jake Robinson to the keeper.   Everyone heard the edge except the umpire (me).   Fortunately, Winchy walked and spared my blushes.  4 for 2.   Whittington and Robinson were generating decent pace and tied the batsmen down with the runs largely coming from extras- there were 64 in the innings.

Joe and Harry dug in and put on 50 for the third wicket, at least half being extras, before Joe was bowled by Tolley for 10.   Chris and Baxi put on 124 for the fourth wicket in 21 overs- just what the doctor ordered.   Baxi was in fine fettle and, as is often his wont, his innings gained momentum after a patient start.   It was a surprise when he was finally caught at mid off (or thereabouts) for 77.    Whittingon trapped Andy lbw and Cookie’s steadly accumulation of runs ended with him also succumbing lbw to the same bowler for 52.   Nobody else troubled the scorers much as D&T were bowled out for 218 with the last ball of the innings.   Whittington finished with 4 for 25, taking 3 for 5 in his second spell.

Stoke needed to score at just over 5 runs per over to win and got off to a good start with some pugnacious batting and extras helping the score to tick over.   We opened the bowling with debutant, Matt Bramwell, a left arm pace bowler, bowling down the slope and Nick Dennis from the other end.    The breakthrough came when Nick got a delivery to nip back and bowled Tolley for 18.  Matt impressed and he picked up a deserved wicket when he induced opener Meech to play on for 15.  Whittington and Ben Robinson rallied for Stoke putting on 33 before Jono, on as a sub for the injured Cookie, caught Whittington off a fine delivery from Andy, who’d relieved Matt.    Joe produced a tidy spell and had Robinson caught by Nick at mid off for 15.   Stoke’s top four all got a start into the teens but none were able to take it further.

Stoke needed to score at around 5 and over and were keeping up with the run rate until they lost their fourth wicket for 80 after just 16 overs.   Stoke’s middle order had no answer to Tyler’s spin and he ripped through the batting taking the next 5 wicket to fall for just 20 runs, as Stoke to collapsed to 127 all out.

Stoke’s batsman weren’t the only ones bamboozled by Tyler’s spin.   Winchy was surprised by a delivery turned sharply to elude him outside of off stump.   Winchy expressed surprise and Alex H, who was umpiring, pointed out that Winchy was allowed to move his feet to gather the ball.  Full credit to Winchy because he took Alex’s advice on board and discovered that moving made all the difference.   He’d already taken a good catch off Tyler  and he was subsequently very successful in catching any balls which the batsmen missed.

The innings ended when Mick bowled Jake Robinson for 16- the only other batsman to reach double figures.

It was a useful work out for both sides and only marred for D&T by the calf injury to key all-rounder, Chris Cook.

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