WH 184-2, Thabrew 66*, Mouzoures 84*
by Paul Fortescue
Two years ago when playing Chertsey, John Dunbar didn't turn up, citing the poor and sorry excuse ' Nobody told me I was playing.' It is a measure of the progress of the 3's that this year, John managed to find their ground, and be there on time despite being forgotten in the mad rush to depart from W&H.
Finally, after weeks of trying, the skipper finally won a toss. A slight, inconspicuous chirp of 'err...tails' brought the downcast look from the Chertsey chappie followed by the inevitable thought process of ' wa-hey! I've won it', 'bugger, what do I do next?', and ' Oh yeah, it's the surrey championship, so we'll have a bowl!' One win from five is certainly not fantasy cricket leaderboard form and it's a good job it doesn't count.
he 3's this week has featured no less that 15 players, and that's just before the teamsheet was published. A succession of calls from Hankins has kept everyone, not least Hankins, on their toes, and the big question of the week is why everyone that's available doesn't just rock up at 11.30 on Saturday's and we pick the teams then? Four drop outs? Four!!!! Bloody hell, from one team!! That's nearly half of them!!! ( Okay, it might have been three, but it felt like 16!)
Chertsey's third team ground is one of those places that deceives you by it's appearance. It looks average, but the wicket itself is really good. The outfield looks flat form a distance ( 32,000 ft in A jumbo) but on closer inspection is
closely related to the 'football ground side' of the W&H outfield. Mouzoures is one of those players who deceive you by their appearance. Most weeks appearing in a Johnsonesque dual cab covered pickup he turned up in a very mumsie people
carrier, of the sort you might expect Woods or Cheetham to drive, and know, deep in your heart that Smithy will drive, and sooner rather than later. The mumsie theme continued with the keeping as a couple of early chances hit the gloves, obviously to their bearers complete surprise, only to be put down.
Gihan, in a desperate bid to keep his place turned up with a girlfriend, and an umpire. Worgy brought his Dad and Ian brought a girlie too ( sorry - wa(i)fe / girfriend / sister?). As is inevitable with non neutral umpires, some controversy emerged as the Chertsey openers fell to LBW decisions that a blind bloke in Senegal ( presumably selling cocoa beans to Dunbar) could've given.
Chertsey scored 183, after going for it a bit too early and conceding a pair of stumpings in a South African union attempt to keep the Mouzoures fines in single figures. The aforementioned good looking pitch destroyed the ball in about 30 overs, and a couple of meetings with the low wall behind the bowlers arm did nothing to maintain the shine. Usman was outstanding in the field, securing the most difficult of the 3 run outs, Cheets snaffled a good catch at midwicket, and Des notched up a rather disappointing '3.6' for a good dive over one at deep backward square. The outfield, being both bumpy and hard ( no rain for a couple of days!) meant that quite a few misfields were in evidence.
That ground is a 200 ground and to keep them down to 183 was a good effort, needing discipline in line from the bowlers and commitment in difficult conditions for the fielders. Three run-outs were secured in another good display. It may have been possible to keep Chertsey down to 150 had a couple of chances been held and any one of a dozen top edges gone to hand, but generally, it was a good show.
184 to win. 47 Overs. Chance of showers. Teas - not bad.
A nervy start saw an early dismissal for Cheets. First league ball of the season. Whoops. Worgan batted well, again - fuelled by the customary sugar enriched diet before choosing the wrong ball to play the 'Gianotti Cut' at. Bowled, but that'll be the last time he takes coaching points from Ferrari. This brought Thabrew and Mouzoures together at 35-2.
There was a rain interruption. There is always controversy when you have an umpire and this was no exception. Chertsey left the field in a drizzly period and it took a fair degree of persuasion of get them back out there. Somewhat
disgracefully,it took the W&H score going to their club to get their sawdust!!!! The Chertsey Captain conducted himself very well and reasonably, but was badly let down by one or two of his more senior players, and one in particular who suffers from the mental illness when periodically complete abuse spouts forth.
There's not too much more to say about the game. In a chanceless 149* partnership, Thabrew and Mouzoures chipped, crashed and pulled a succession of Chertsey bowlers to all parts. Finishing on 66* and 84* both notched maiden 50s
for W&H. Gihan's dad had an aftershock. Mouzoures came back to the club for one, and stayed for a jug. (bar steward next week!). The 3's are up and rolling. Now, if only Chertsey had botherered to call in the score..............