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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.


After our brief detour we arrived and Jamie tossed up, and soon he was putting his pads on to open up with Worgan. After a few early scares, they took the score serenely past 50, both playing good shots and beginning to look comfortable. However Worgan after scoring 23 had a rush of blood and chipped the ball to mid-on. This brought old skipper Roger White to the crease. Despite looking good early on he was soon on his way back, out LBW to Boast for a classy if brief 10.  Next up was Adam Portlock, returning to the side due to the generousity of the Portlock family selection committee. Portlock and Williams took the score past a hundred before edging behind for a classy 48. Dave ‘Vichy ’ French was up next. Despite French wearing a helmet that looked like it had seen action at Rorke’s Drift the good batting continued until French found himself caught and bowled. Still, that left him more time to enjoy Callum’s chicken wings and the excellent innings of his replacement, (Sorry Jamie by ‘excellent’ I mean ‘scratchier than a leper with chicken pox.’) Doug Newton. Doug wasted little time in compiling 77, playing with the sort of fluidity that is usually only found in the gullets of players indulging at the bar. Not even the dismissal of Portlock for 39 fazed him as he piled up the runs and got us towards a very competitive total. A vintage contribution from Sharaz (16) continued the pattern of players getting good knocks as he and Shahid (9*) continued the innings after Doug’s dismissal. Last to fall was Ollie for 0 (definitely not bowled round his legs) with Fazil not out on 2 at the end of our 50 overs. A great effort from all, with all the top order batsmen contributing and we had racked up a score of 270-8.

After  a rather delicious tea it was back out on to the field as Callum (16-0) and Fazil opened the bowling, both getting up good pace, Fazil quickly dismissing the opener with a fast all that smashed into the off stump. With both bowlers passing the bat, second slip Dave French defied the laws of physics with the sort of catch that makes Professor Brian Cox break out in cold sweats. After they’ve finished looking for the Higgs’ boson I hear that the large hadron collider’s next project is to work out just exactly how he caught it.  Fazil was the beneficiary finishing with figures of 26-2 from his 7 overs. Both openers having given good stints the captain tossed the ball to seasoned campaigner Roger White for another breakthrough, he soon provided it, using the wisdom of the ancients to place Sharaz at silly mid-on where he gratefully snaffled a difficult chance from the second opener. In the same over a brilliant direct hit run out from Shahid ensured that the wickets were tumbling again. From the other end Sharaz’s (10-1) bowling was getting better with age and he got just reward with a wicket, bowling the number 5, Glaister. Two wickets in two balls from White to finish an ever reliable and well-crafted spell and the win was almost complete. However as W&H sides have found before, Chertsey never go quietly and it was left for Ollie Guy to put others’ patriarchal concerns to one side (15-1) and with Shahid Khan (15-1) to both bowl a good short spell, each taking a wicket apiece to wrap up the innings. Chertsey were bowled out for 117 and we’d won by 153 runs. A genuinely great start to the season with all contributing and an excellent spirit in the side, alas the route back from Chertsey wasn’t lined with young and old alike waving Red Lion flags in our honour. They must’ve been all street partied out, that or they’ve heard Ollie’s been watching ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’

Best batting: Doug Newton 77
Best Bowling: Roger White 31-3 (6 overs)
Champagne moment: Dave French (Slip catch)

Jamie Williams ©
Mark Worgan
Roger White
Adam Portlock
David French
Doug Newton (wkt)
Sharaz Hussain
Shahid Khan
Ollie Guy
Fazil Hadi
Callum Chisholm

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