With temperatures reaching a balmy 25+ degrees, Stoneleigh had two home matches over the weekend to take advantage of some fantastic weather to play cricket, as well as a fantastic pitch on which to play.
First off was the league match against Afro Caribbean. With only 5 of the away team at the ground at 2pm the match was delayed after Stoneleigh won the toss and decided to bat first. After losing 2 early wickets, Stoneleigh rallied with excellent contributions from Matt Beale and KP Bains to post an imposing 237 after 40 overs.
With only 35 overs for the away team to bat (due to the late start) Afro knew they needed a quick start, and a 6 off the second ball of the innings set the tone for their innings (cheered on by their team mates every time they connected with the ball over the ropes).
The big hits kept coming but without the partnerships that were needed to chase down the score set by the home team. Early wickets came when they were needed, with B Bains utilising his slower ball to great effect. 4 wickets for P Chapman meant that their middle order could not carry the team over the line.
The fact that Afro had scored their 140-9 off only 22 overs meant that if they had continued as they were going without losing wickets, this would have been a very close game.
One “controversial” moment of the match came after one of the Afro batsmen was given out caught behind much to his displeasure.
The following response from the batman to umpire B Waite after being given out can only be classified as “bringing the game into disrepute”! (I think section 18 sums up the situation pretty well)
In the end a (relatively) comfortable victory for Stoneleigh and first win in the league this season, sending the team to 5th in the table.
Report on yesterday’s match to follow….