Moari Oxshott - 277-8 dec

WHCC - 219 AO

by Damo Honey

Woking and Horsell’s dismal season continued on Saturday as they lost to Maori Oxshott. Skipper Richard Walsh lost the toss but Woking were surprisingly invited to bowl first on what appeared to be an excellent pitch amidst the picturesque setting of Oxshott Village sports club.

Ross Morley and Roger White took the new ball for the third game in a row, however Woking’s fielders were soon looking for lost balls on tennis courts, bowls pitches and avoiding the arrows of the archers as Oxshott’s opening pair of Aldridge and in particular Hewitson seemed to be under the impression that they were taking part in a 20/20 match. With 50 on the board after only 7 overs, Richardson replaced White but he feared no better as Hewitson in particular rode his luck with some big shots, taking full advantage of the short straight boundaries and lightning outfield but without offering any chances.

In an attempt to put a squeezer on the situation, Walsh brought on left arm spinner Damo Honey in only the 11th over. This brought immediate success as he removed both openers within the space of an over. Aldridge caught on the boundary after a rank full toss, whilst Hewitson was beaten by flight and departed for 60 at far quicker than a run a ball.

This brought about a more sensible period of the game where Honey and the newly introduced Ian Meyer kept the scoring down to below 3 an over. Meyer took wickets in consecutive overs before limping out of the attack with a groin strain to be replaced by Glenn Morley. By now Surrey coach Keith Medlycott had arrived at the crease and he along with Latif raised the run rate scoring 13 boundaries in a partnership of 66 before Honey struck again. Firstly he had Medlycott caught in successive balls by Ross Morley. The first one was without doubt one of the finest catches you will ever see as Morley jumped high off the ground to take a spectacular one handed catch before unfortunately falling over the boundary and being honest enough to admit to acknowledge the ball as having gone for six. The next ball Medlycott hit it straight to the same fielder who took a more straightforward catch.

Honey’s next over saw Latif removed for 29 and some smart work by Giles Green behind the stumps produced a run out and a stumping in the last over as Maori Oxshott declared at 277 for 8 off 51 overs. Honey finished with an excellent 5 for 81 in a marathon 21 overs and Meyer took 2 for 26 off 9 before his injury. The rest will hope for their figures to be erased from the scorebook.

For the first time this season, the Woking innings got off to a useful start with the recalled Toby Green partnering Ross Morley. The score had reached 35 before Green who had shown that he has fully recovered from his broken wrist with some fluent boundaries, fell for 22 to a rash shot.

Regan Smith joined Morley and he too looked in good nick. However, just as Woking looked to be putting a serious challenge together to overcome the Oxshott total both lost their wickets. Morley tamely lobbing a catch to square leg for 30 and Smith (27) being very unfortunate to be adjudged LBW. With vice captain Meyer still struggling with his groin, Richardson was promoted up the order and together with Glenn Morley looked to get the innings going again. Both played some nice shots mixing studious defence with some aggressive shots and took the score to 136 when Morley played one shot too many and was bowled by Latif for 37.

Adam Portlock carried on the good work and Woking were well set to launch an attempt for victory with 100 required off about 20 overs. However, when Richardson (36) fell to a brilliant slip catch from man of the day Hewitson, the innings faltered. Portlock was needlessly run out for 24 by Meyer’s runner Green and once White had been the victim of another poor LBW decision, the tail offered no resistance and despite some boundaries sweetly struck by Meyer the innings concluded at 220 all out.

After the game Walsh commented, “The first 14 overs was destructive batting, rather than bad bowling. After that I thought that we were the better team. Damo and Quag (Ian Meyer) bowled very well.”

“As for the batting, Ross looked good and it is only a matter of time before he comes off. All the batsmen looked in good nick, but they need to convert good starts into big scores.”

“On the whole, there were lots of positives to take from the game apart from the result.”

Once again results went Woking’s way and they remain in 17th place, but there is an increasing danger that the bottom four teams are becoming adrift. This weekend Woking are at home to Streatham and Marlborough who have Tyrone Henderson of Border in top form with the ball.

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