WHCC 236-6 - R Staples 106

Dorking 103 AO - C Johnson 9-41

by Paul Fortescue

The week passed without incident - actually without selection for a good part too until Friday. The mandatory phone call, this time from Munge brought the usual distraught response from Walsh as Woods Jnr made the step up to the £8 shower team. Munge has never beaten Dorking, but he did turn up later, to make a contribution ( fielding one ball and scorebook and tea!) so we fined him anyway.

Returning from the 2's, Cheets and Dunbar took up where Gihan and Matt left. Weddings are the scourge of the summer, second only to Wimbledon in the 'waste of space, should be in the autumn' stakes, and closely followed by football, which clearly is a sport to be played in 30+ degrees!!

Won the toss. Had a bat. Groans from the opposition, all ten of them. Dorking were not confident already, and then they coerced their umpire into playing, provided someone had some whites they could borrow. Worgan and Cheets opened up, Cheets was soon back, bowled round his legs. It did seem as though it might turn out to be a bit of a nightmare, but the sun beat down strongly and you could almost see the strength ebbing out of the Dorking players.

Rob Staples went in 3 and set about the Dorking attack immediately. He and Worgy put on 88 for the second wicket, then with Awais another 50 partnership.  Long drinks breaks were taken, and the most junior of the Dorking players came off with heat stroke. Rob crashed shots all around the place, reducing Dorking to silence and  eventually making his ton, with  14 4's and a brace of 6's. Dunbar contributed greatly to this, contributing the replacement wood. Couch and vd Walt added forty between them to compound Dorking's misery and take the score over 200, the declaration coming at 238 for 6, from 40 overs.

One Dorking bowler - Elliott, - the one who came back to the club for a while in the evening bowled 20 overs off the reel, returning 4-102 in a marathon effort. Rob was eventually out, to Elliott, for 106 in the first century for the 3's this season.

What is there to say about the Dorking reply. The heat was oppressive, quite breathless. They were never confident that they were going to get anything like the runs, and most batted as though they knew it. Still, the wickets had to be taken, and Couch duly delivered. In the context of recent weeks, 19 overs is a reasonable opening spell, but this was the best I've seen Couch bowl this year.

Two catches at slip for Worgy, two behind for Peter Allan, plus a stumping. An LBW, plus a couple of bowled victims made short work of the Dorking side. The ball that dismissed their skipper - the most stoic of them all, fizzed appreciably as it pitched, turned and hit off stump.  Couch recorded 9-41. It is a great shame that their number 11 was too ill to give him the opportunity of a tenth victim, which was surely deserved. Dorking all out for 103 in 32 overs.

Two excellent performances made short work of a side who do seem to be in some trouble, now second bottom. The news that Wimbledonians had been beaten by Chessington added some irony on the day when we found out about the leagues decision to call the game an abandonment. We will need to produce more performances of this calibre to beat Wimbledonians next week,  lthough the prize on  offer, second place should provide good motivation.

Well done to Rob and Couch, both sterling efforts. To Worgy and Peter for taking all the chances that came by and to Cheets who ran like a madman in the heat as picks up another FP for his efforts.


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