Egham 109 AO - R White 5-44
WHCC - 110-6 - G Morley 41
by Simon Vicos
In a glorious afternoon, skipper for the day Quaggy won the toss and asked Egham to bat. Ross and Roger opened the bowling and within a few overs the first Egham wicket fell thanks to a run-out and a decent bit of glove work from the re-installed Magoo.
Ross was probing away and beating the bat with increasing regularity while Roger bowled a tight line and was extracting a fair bit of bounce at the other end. It was Roger who took the second wicket with the score on 10 as the batsman, looking to give himself a bit of room, chopped on.
Roger then took another wicket thanks to a great catch from Glenn in the slips and with the score on 30-3 we were well on top. Glenn then produced a snorter of a ball that the batsman could only glove to Regan, but for some reason the umpire gave him not out which predictably induced a few choice words from Glenn. With Roger and Glenn now finding their rhythm the wickets continued to fall and Egham were reduced to 65-5 thanks to another from Roger and one from Glenn. We continued to pile on the pressure through a combination of good bowling and for once, excellent fielding. Roger produced a spell of superb bowling and by the time the 8th wicket had gone down he had returned figures of 5-44 with Glenn taking two wickets from the other end. Dikko then replaced Roger in an attempt to break a stubborn 9th wicket partnership and he duly delivered, and then went on to bowl the last man to leave Egham all out for 109.
Ross and the returning Gibbers went out to open and became our 5th opening combination in 5 games. Gibbers was soon returning to the pavilion having been cleaned up by a very tidy yorker indeed. Ross was scratching around a bit but didn’t look in too much trouble and was joined by Quaggy who stroked a few smart boundaries before trying his luck one time too many and holing out for 18, decent catch though.
Ross was the next to go, his frustration having got the better of him as he played a poor shot at a wide one and was caught at gulley. Fortunately for us Glenn was by now beginning to enjoy himself and he played some exquisite shots as he carried the score on at good pace. Regan played one great shot from his first ball, but for some reason went in the head and chased a wide one which gave second slip the chance to pull off a great diving catch.
By now it became clear that as long as Glenn could stay there we had a great chance of winning as long as someone could hold up the other end. Porters took up the challenge and offered good support as these two edged us closer to the victory target. Just as Glenn had got into the 40’s he was bowled by one that did a bit off the pitch, sparking wild celebrations from the Egham team. Dikko went out and played a very sensible innings and rather than attempting to win the game with a series of big shots he worked the ball around for singles and twos and together with Adam finally took the game away from Egham. Adam was out to a poor shot to mid-on but he had done a very good job for us by then and it was left to Minge and Dikko to inch us past the target.
The last 23 runs needed for victory took an age to come, but Minge was never going to let them get him out and was content to leave the bulk of the scoring to Dikko. When Dikko finally sneaked the winning single it didn’t prompt scenes of mass jubilation from us, more like a huge collective sigh of relief that we had ended our losing run and got our season off and running.
Our bowling had been superb all day, Ross will bowl worse and take lots of wickets but for some reason he just keeps beating the bat without reward. Roger produced an excellent sustained period of good line and length bowling and coupled with Glenn’s pace and hostility we never let Egham get going.
We also displayed what a difference good fielding can make, this time we ran down every ball and created doubt in the batsman’s minds about whether a single or a second run was on. It was a welcome change from the efforts of the previous 4 games.
We still showed some familiar frailties with the bat, Ross, Quaggy, Regan and Adam all falling to shots they would probably have played differently given another chance. Dikko played with more restraint than I can ever remember and Minge just had to stay there and sneak quick singles rather than crash the ball around, which he did very well.
So the awful run has been ended and we have lifted ourselves 2 places up the table. Hopefully the mood in the camp will improve now that we have bagged our first maximum of the season. Contrast the way you felt this week Roger to how you felt last Saturday !. If we can produce the same level of fielding and eliminate the stupid shots we are prone to, then there is no reason why we can’t climb the table. We still have 13 games to play and that’s an awful lot of points up for grabs.
I was pleased for you all on Saturday, it’s been a real test of character, now lets look to win the next game against Chessington.