The sun shone, whites were donned and the cricket season moved into second gear as the Woking & Horsell side played a friendly against our opposition from across the M25, Chertsey. With the majority of the 1st XI squad MIA with the bank long weekend we had a mixture of youth and experience and were keen to carry on sweeping out the cobwebs.
I am sad to day I lost the toss in what hopefully does not become the norm and we were sent into bat on a slow, low pitch but one that remained true for the duration of the game (Thanks Couch). A solid 50 opening partnership between a new pair for W&H set us on the path for what should have been a good score. Jan Kreder, a new face and Ian Meyer, an older face both batted well but lack in concentration allowed for the demise of both in a relatively short space of time. In my usual flamboyant style tried to up the tempo of the game and little and only succeeded partially in getting the run rate a little healthier before a rush of blood ended my innings inside the long on boundary. Our middle order had a serious case of warm up blues with really silly calling and lack of concentration bringing the demise of most. Qais Nawaz once again stepped up to the plate and literally took it all to the Chertsey bowlers and with a fair rear guard action we managed to post a competitive 172/10 just short of our allotted 45 over’s.
Shazad Hussain and Tony Benson then settled quickly into some really good areas and set the platform for our defence. Although the new ball did not manage a wicket it allowed for some close calls and some dropped chances. Tom Clarke, a young left arm seamer then got a chance at 1st XI level and although his concentration let him down on a occasion there are sparks of a little left arm gem in the wings. A few “interesting” decisions by our neighbours allowed their premier batsman 3 or 4 lives that ultimately swung the game their way but I was very pleased with the W&H performance, although we lost by 4 wickets, Chertsey only had 10 balls remaining and had the earlier decisions been more in the spirit of the game I think Shazad’s devastating middle order bowling effort would have been more successful and after that who knows. But in all fairness we dropped far too many catches and it’s something we will need to address in earnest as the season officially gets under way this Saturday at home vs. Churt.
My man if the match was Qais Nawaz who once again saved us from a far more modest total and bowled his full compliment of over’s without a complaint and still chased down every ball that came near him.
I look forward to seeing our newly found supporters club at Saturday’s game as well as all the old faces that continue to support W&H.
Cheers for now,
Ryan Pogson (1st XI Captain)