WHCC 261-5 dec - I Meyer 81, T Green 72, G Morley 56*

Ashtead 119 AO - M Surridge 5-33

by Simon Vicos

With half the season gone and the perilous position we have put ourselves in, this was a game we just had to win. Ashtead arrived having had a reasonable season so far and no doubt looking to make amends for their performance against us last year.

Ashtead won the toss and we were put into bat. Ross and Toby went out and within 15 minutes Ross was back in having been clean bowled with the score on 18. Quaggy joined Toby and the two quickly began to take on the Ashtead bowling. Toby in particular took a liking to what he was receiving and played a combination of blistering drives and uncultured wipes as he very quickly got into the 30’s. Quaggy seemed content to let Toby do the bulk of the scoring while he picked off the bad balls at his leisure. Once both had got into the 30’s I can only presume a conversation had taken place in the middle between the two as to who would get to 50 first. Human Dog was the winner as he clubbed 13 off one over and earned himself some well-deserved applause. Quaggy reached his own half-century a little later and we were firmly in control.

However, the pair did not seem to be content there and carried on making Erica’s pens smoke as they continued their assault on the Ashtead bowling. It was a shame that neither of them could continue into three figures as first Toby served up a piece of catching practise and went for a highly entertaining 72, he was followed soon after by Quaggy who was surprisingly caught considering what had gone on before, for an excellent 81. The pair had added 140 for the second wicket which must surely be the highest for some time. With 150 plus on the board and 18 overs still to bat we were looking at a big score and for once, we delivered.

I can’t remember the last time Glenn had to wait so long to bat but once he got his eye in we were treated to another boundary fest as he helped himself to an unbeaten half century as he smoked the bowling to all parts of Brewery Road. Regan, Dikko and Ross may feel as though they missed the boat but at the end of 55 overs we were sitting pretty on 261-5, the biggest score I have ever seen us post and a total which had surely put the game beyond Ashtead. The only remaining question was, could we bowl them out?.

Their reply got off to a bad start with the first wicket going down with only 6 scored, but just as we had done, the second wicket partnership began to repair things and carried the score into respectability before Mark Surridge was introduced and the scoring rate began to slow. The second wicket fell at 91 and not too long after Mark removed the dangerman leg before but we still had a lot of work to do if we were to win. As soon as the wicket fell we took drinks and you could sense the mood was that we thought we had a great chance if we could keep up  the pressure and continue to bowl well. On returning to the pavilion you could also tell that the Ashtead players were a bit less optimistic than they had been a ball before.

What we hadn’t seen coming though was a batting collapse that even we would be hard-pressed to emulate. Mark and Damo bowled superbly as we cranked up the pressure and surrounded the bat as wickets fell at an increasing rate, for once the catches were held and by the time the last wicket fell, we had shot them out for 119 and deservedly won the game by 142 runs. Damo returned figures of 4-24 and Mark 5-37. It was a happy dressing room that tucked into some well-earned lager and how nice it was to hear “13 points in the bag” once more.

Overall, a thoroughly deserved win and a result that lifts us one place up the table. Glenn completed a fine all round display with some neat Barbecuing skills later on and it was a pleasant change to enjoy some post match beverages without the need for a post mortem.

So, 8 games left, we have some tough sides ahead starting next week at Camberley, no side is far and away superior as Egham showed by taking a winning draw from Horsley and Send.

The difference is consistency and the elimination of stupid shot selection and poor fielding. We have now won 3 out of the last 6 games which considering our awful start is not too bad.


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