If there were serious promotion thoughts starting to creep into the minds of the Woking and Horsell players after successive victories in the last 2 weeks, these will have been put to the back of the mind after they failed to chased down a below par 159 on a good pitch against lowly Old Emanuel. Despite having a number of players missing, especially from the batting line up, this was a game that Woking should have won to show that they had true promotion credentials.

Things started well for the home side as skipper Damien Honey made it back on time from the overnight flight from New York to win the toss and put Old Emanuel in. Sammy Managei once again set the tone early for an excellent bowling display with 2 early wickets and Callum Chisholm returning for his 1st game in 2 years for the 1st XI after a nasty shoulder injury, showed good control in his opening spell.

As record breaking all rounder Arvind Maan looked to bed in for a long innings and opening Abdul Wakeel mixing sporadic bursts of aggression with curious defence, Old Emanuel recovered to 64 for 2, before Honey introduced himself and off spinner Phil West into the attack. West picked up 2 quick wickets including the crucial one of Maan, but with some big hitting from Opie, the score moved on to 118 for 4 with 10 overs left. Woking’s accuracy with the ball and enthousiasm in the field then shone through as wickets fell quickly. Managei returned to finish up with excellent figures of 5 for 36 and Honey (2) and Chisholm picked up the others to fall as Emanuel collapsed to 158 all out.

Against a basement team whose bowling has not fired this season, the Woking batsmen should have been able to grasp the opportunity and secure a win, especially given that they had 50 overs to do so such was there fast over rate, but as is so often the case when chasing they lost early wickets and succumbed to the leg spin of Maan (6 for 21).

Only Managei (13) and Liam Monaghan who top scored with 15 not out reached double figures as a mixture of bemusing strokeplay and hasty L-B-W decisions one by one the batsmen fell to leg spin at either end. The sorry total of 75 all out almost flattering the Woking team.

“For half of the game today we were superb, the fielding was energetic and the bowling accurate and probing. It was probably a 220 pitch so we shouldn’t have had any problems chasing down the runs. But we have some batsman now out of form and other missing and our innings just never got going. We had several of our 4th XI watching and they must have been wondering what was going on. But we know that we will come back from this, the batsmen just need a couple of breaks and we can get scoring 200+ again, we have the talent for sure.”

Woking will be up against it this weekend though as they take on runaway leaders Cranleigh who seem to field a different set of ex county players each week.

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