Woking and Horsell 234 (50 Overs). Worcester Park 235 (47.3 Overs)
So after a morale boosting season opening win it was off on the road in week two for Woking and Horsell’s 2nd XI, that road being the A3 to be specific, a road embedded with the tire rubber of generations of Woking cricketers off to do battle in the wilds of South London, in this case Worcester Park.
A much changed side from week one saw former two’s stalwart Jamie Williams return to the side with Shiraz Hussain, who was ruled out from last week’s curtain-raiser through injury. Hussain and Williams’ return meant two things; the renewal of successful batting and bowling partnerships from years gone by, and a preponderance of beautiful, if impractical sports cars.
Also joining the side this week were seamer Jonny Ayling and batsman Vaibhav Bhade, as skipper Roger White aimed to bolster a side missing Liam Monaghan, Aalok Jain, Fazli Hadi and Will Pyle from week one.
White is nothing if not predictable when it comes to his tossing habits, and after calling wrong Mark Worgan and Williams donned their pads to open the batting.
Having formed a successful partnership of contrasts in the past, the W&H opening pair begun their partnership like they’d never been apart, with Williams taking to 2nd XI cricket once more with the ease of a Geordie asked to go twelve rounds with Kauto Star.
Worgan, despite testing Worcester Park’s catching skills early on, raced away as the pair took the score to 81-0.
Again there was a failure to build on a promising start as Williams (34) succumbed LBW to medium-pacer Chris Turner and Vaibhav Bhade quickly followed, edging to slip for 0.
With the loss of two wickets it should’ve been the time to knuckle down and dig in, but Worgan couldn’t resist the urge to attempt to bring up his fifty with a maximum, caught in the deep for 45.
The score was now 92-3 and the innings had begun to look a little like the opening week’s disappointing effort, with the pressure on Woking and Horsell’s middle-order to improve upon that fitful procession.
Pete Day set upon this task with a voracious appetite, racing to 21 off just eleven balls, off the twelfth however he was left disappointed to find himself back in the pavilion, another LBW victim of Turner with the score on 110-4.
So now all the weight was on the substantial but youthful shoulders of Angus Hargan and the slighter build of Indika Fernando. Quick scoring at the top of the order meant an imposing total was still a possibility, but after that opening week collapse it looked a distant prospect.
Hargan though after a nervous start began to show his talent, but they were so afraid, and for Fernando, every delivery, every over seemed to last eternally.
There was something in the air and runs were tight, but the shots were bright, as Fernado and Hargan took control gradually.
As the partnership built runs started to come more easily, with Hargan taking charge as the score progressed past 200, and the pair passed the hundred partnership. After an inspired innings of 65, Hargan’s innings came to an end after a mix-up left him standing at the wrong end with an indignant expression unseen from a Hargan since the great milk and Thai green curry famine of 2011.
From there Indy marshalled the pensionable middle-order of White and French along to a score of 234. A decent total with the bright spot the maturity and class shown by Angus, although Worcester Park’s fast outfield and benign pitch meant that the game was far from over.
After tea bowling responsibilities fell to Jonny Ayling and Olly Guy, who aimed to restrict the home side’s openers and turn the batsmen’s 234 into an even more imposing target than it had seemed.
The Worcester Park pair of Fell and Davies matched Woking and Horsell’s endeavour however, and despite a gut-busting effort, in particular from Guy, the score was on 89 before the first wicket, literally Fell to first-change bowler Shiraz Hussain.
A middle overs battle then ensued; with Worcester Park always slightly behind the rate as the experience of Dave French and White, alongside Hussain began to tell as they used their wiles to attempt to snuff out the opposition batsmen.
Wickets tumbled at regular intervals, but not so swiftly that the tide ever turned decisively in the away team’s favour. After calm thinking from Worgan resulted in a run-out and left Worcester Park 160-5 meant that five wickets had gone down for 71 runs, it did look as though things had begun to slide away from Worcester Park and into the grasp of the Woking side.
The game though had another twist in it, as Burrows and Drake rebuilt the innings with some dramatic shots and the odd slice of luck, as the flying edges and aerial shots just out of the fielders’ reach that had been a feature of both teams’ play increased in frequency and put the home team in command.
Alas, by the time the partnership was broken by an inspired run-out by Vaibhav Bhade, it was too late for Roger White’s team, who had battled hard but just been a little short in the games key moments.
It was a frustrating loss for Woking & Horsell, one which left the return journey back down the A3 peppered with if onlys, but with Worcester Park holding their nerve when under pressure they ultimately got a hard earned and deserved win.
Best Batsman – Angus Hargan, 65
Best Bowler Olly Guy, 0-40, Shiraz Hussain, 1-40
Champagne Moment: Vaibhav’s run-out
Woking and Horsell 162 ao (45.2 overs), Addiscombe 128 ao (39.2 Overs)
The sound of leather on willow, the smell of talcum powder and the sight of a well upholstered Dale Winton lookalike could only mean one thing – that the cricket season is once more upon us.
After last year’s successful promotion to Surrey Championship Division Two Roger White’s side were hoping for an equally efficacious start to 2013, something made especially important by the fact that the opponents were fellow promoted side Addiscombe.
After oiling his antiquated joints, skipper White went out to toss and after a predictable loss it was Woking & Horsell who were sent in to bat, with imposing opening duo Pete Day and Mark Worgan aiming to start the season explosively.
With Day and Worgan at the crease one would’ve expected some mid-May pyrotechnics, however the weather and some accurate bowling from Addiscombe opening bowlers Starnes and Mahajan left Woking’s batsmen indulging in block it rather than rocket, with the promised early fireworks being more of a damp squib.
Still, with their patience holding Day and Worgan plodded through the early overs, building a good solid platform for what, with W&H’s strength packed middle-order, looked like it could be an impressive early season score.
Then minor disaster struck, as three wickets fell in quick succession, first Day, lolloping an ill-judged cut shot to cover, then Worgan chipping a good length ball to mid-off and giving a comfortable catch, with Pyle following the pair back to the pavilion, taking the home side from a promising 61-0 to 76-3.
This rather set the theme for the innings; dogged spade-work followed by mild disappointment. A description that the previous season could only have been applied to certain team members courting technique could now be applied to their batsmenship, with the disgruntled walk back from the middle replacing the lonely late night sojourn to the kebab shop.
Liam Monaghan, Angus Hargan, Indika Fernando and Aalok Jain all got starts before succumbing, as the innings faltered, with some crisp deliveries from Addiscombe spinner Barry Lineker gaining him five wickets and leaving W&H well short of the imposing target that seemed attainable early in the afternoon.
162 all-out and the disappointment in the dressing room was palpable, as memories of last season’s epic match at Addiscombe which saw Woking chase down 266, meant that Roger White’s team knew that a great performance with the ball and in the field would be required.
Free from oil change trouble this season Olly Guy opened the bowling with Fazli Hadi, with the combination of raw pace (Fazli) and left-arm swing and mad-eyed staring (Guy) troubling the Addiscombe openers Noble and Hurrion.
Guy beavered away and didn’t muff his chance of a break-through when the opportunity arose, as he produced a bit of wizardry from up his sleeve to dismiss Hurrion at slip and give his team the break-through.
Hadi then got in on the act, taking the second wicket with the score on only 32, however Noble, a veteran of last year’s stunning encounter frustrated the tiring opening pair and as the score passed 70 with no other breakthroughs, the game was getting away from the White’s boys.
To quote Sophocles, the Greek playwright rather than the clown from The Apprentice, “A man growing old becomes a child again”, and it was with a youth that belied their age that Woking and Horsell’s most venerable bowling partnership turned the game.
First French, resembling the “before” section of a just-for-men advert struck to make it 62-3, then White, the South African Fabrizio Ravnelli, saw for the danger man Noble after a catch from Jain.
Quickly it was 76-6, as French and White began to turn the key that would unlock Addiscombe’s resistance. A run-out from Hadi and a third wicket for French ensured that despite a spirited effort from the Addiscombe tail, they never looked like attaining the 163 they needed to win, as muscle-man Liam Monaghan finished things off with a cheeky two wickets at the death.
All in all a good win for Woking and Horsell’s 2nd XI, one that was important given the opposition’s status as fellow newcomers to the division and doubly satisfying as it proved Roger White’s side’s ability to win when not at the absolute top of their game.
Top Batsman: Pete Day – 33
Top Bowler – Dave French 3-20
Champagne Moment – The return of the talc
It would be like a fairy tale, the event that the nation needed to lift it out of economic gloom, ever since that heady day in autumn when it was officially announced the anticipation had been growing exponentially. As it drew nearer and new hats and outfits were ordered and the day came it became difficult to contain oneself, especially in Mr French’s cycling shorts. Yes, it was by loyal appointment, Jamie Williams’ official debut as Woking and Horsell 2nd XI captain and the first 2’s game of the season. In honour of some minor shindig up in London the day before as a team we brought something old, (Roger) something new, (debutants Fazil and Shahid) and something black and blue (Ollie’s face). Formalities and Callum’s KFC breakfast out of the way it was onward to Chertsey for the traditional start of season fixture; or well it would’ve been, if Mark Worgan hadn’t forgotten the way to a ground that he’s played at around 20 times.Read more: 2nd XI match report - 30 Apr 2011
19 June 2010
Alleyn and Honor Oak
Another Saturday and one would be forgiven to think that we left the worst of last week behind us in preparing for our game. It even started off well with the bowling machine set-up by 12 noon and most of the field preparation completed by 12:15. Even Stoned was presented with a cup of tea on arrival and the skipper was provided with a good bag of biltong by Mrs Hargan, known to most of the team as Mom and others as Kaye. It surely was going to be a good day. ..and then it started. Billy offered to step in as umpire for a bit, their skipper was unhappy for consistency reasons for Billy to stand at an end. Mom Hargan intervened, instructing Billy to umpire, immediately becoming the 2s heroine, and the game started under normal playing conditions.
The day started as it would continue and unfortunately not well for the 2s team. Firstly our very own Chissy Rascal blamed his mum for making him late to the meet time and then proceeded to mention that he thought the meet time was anywhere between 11 and 12. This was followed by Havoc arriving with some lame excuse about a meet time of 11:15, to go to Streatham!! Both were piled into the same car and instructed to educate each other on literacy and numeracy skills. An instruction I knew they took seriously as our younger generation study best to loud thumping music.Read more: 2nd XI vs Streatham & Marlborough - 12 June 2010