WHCC 296-7 - R Morley 100* I Meyer 71* P Day 63

Maori Oxshott 190-8

by Damo Honey

A much improved performance from Woking saw them nearly take all 13 points in a run fest at Maori Oxshott’s ground on Saturday.

Ian Meyer won the toss again, but this time chose to bat on what looked a slow flat batting track. His decision looked to be justified as newly promoted opening batsmen Peter Day and Duncan Smethurst managed to see off the new ball without too many difficulties. Day in particular was playing some nice shots off his legs and was scoring freely.

Smethurst eventually pushed a ball from Thompson straight back into the bowler’s hands and was out for 14 with the score on 56. This brought Ross Morley to the crease and after a cautious start began to pick up the scoring rate. Day reached his maiden 1st XI fifty with a glorious cover drive and then proceeded to dispatch Oxshott’s spinner Padesh out of the ground and far beyond.

With the score on 106, Day tried one shot too many and was stumped for an excellent 63. This brought Ross’ brother Glenn to the wicket and he was keen to cash in on the flat batting track, playing some of his trademark drives before falling to a shooter from Hewitson for 17.

Skipper Meyer strode the crease and continued his recent good form with the bat by striking a series of boundaries both sides of the wicket. At the other end Morley was batting with immense ease combining big hits with excellent running between the wickets, reaching his maiden 1st XI 50 in the process.

As the score reached 200 with only 3 wickets down, this pair launched one final assault on a tiring Oxshott attack and the result was devastating. In the final 7 overs 96 runs were scored at an astonishing rate that Morley and Meyer’s fellow countryman Chris Cairns would have been proud of. Meyer finishing up with 71 not out off just 42 balls, whilst Ross Morley at the other end turned his debut 50 into a simply magnificent maiden century. His innings took only 118 balls and included a high proportion of glorious boundaries.

Meyer declared immediately after Morley reached his century bringing Woking’s innings to a close on 296 for 3 off 51 overs. This gave them 51 overs themselves to bowl out Maori-Oxshott.

Left arm spinners Woods and Honey opened the bowling with the old ball but it became evident from an early stage that taking wickets was not going to be easy on such a benign pitch. Ross Morley and Roger White took the new ball after 9 overs and beat the bat on occasions but found it difficult to make inroads against stout Oxshott defence.

Eventually Morley made the breakthrough having Freeman well caught behind by Dean Faulkner. Whilst White continued to go past the bat, Morley tired quickly after his exertions with the bat and was replaced by his brother Glenn. Both picked up a wicket apiece and the game was well poised at 150 for 3. Meyer then reintroduced spinner Honey who picked up a wicket with his first ball and Woking sniffed a chance of victory with 6 wickets require from the remaining 15 overs.

Wickets continued to fall but not quickly enough and eventually 2 wickets were required from the last 3 overs. As fielders surrounded the bat, Oxshott’s captain Hewitson stood firm and the innings closed at 187 for 8.

Skipper Ian Meyer was a lot happier after this week’s game, “The whole team performance improved greatly from last week. The batting was excellent, Pete gave us a great start from which to build and Rosco’s innings was simply superb from start to finish. I’m really pleased that he has found his touch, he found it hard last season, but his performances this year have been of the highest level.”

He was also pleased about his own innings, “it was nice to bat on a track like that, come in when the bowlers were tiring and take full advantage. I really enjoyed it.”

Spinner Damien Honey was also pleased with the way the bowling and fielding went. “To prize out 8 wickets on a track like that was a really good effort. It was not easy for bowlers but everyone stuck to the game plan well, it was just a shame that we didn’t have a couple more overs at the last few batsmen or I think we would have won. The fielding also was a big improvement on last week’s unacceptable performance.”

This weekend Woking travel to Mitcham without Honey who is away, but have opening batsman Toby Aldred available again and expect to be confronted with a similarly good batting track.

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