WHCC 236 AO - R Staples 109, Extras 53

Wimbledon Village 237-8

by Mike Walsh

These things were the spurs that set those gentlemen upon that furious and fiery course which they afterwards fell into.

An awe inspiring game which gripped the capacity crowd (record attendance) at the Wheatsheaf Stadium, that dramatically twisted and turned with a sense of pace and tension worthy of a John Le Carre novel.  It was made for superb armchair entertainment.

With the weather hotter than the devils underpants the skipper decided to bat first upon winning the toss.  The lemmings (the top 5) came and went even quicker, less said the better which left the score at 41-5.  Then Rob Staples entered the fray and prevented alot of blokes being in a very boozed state by the early evening. Rob succeeded in connecting his subject matter which had troubled the modern 4XI batting society.

Rob played himself in gently and two more lemmings came and went and we were staring at a disasterous 64-7.  get the sick buckets ready boys its going to be a long night!  Then entered "number one" Faisal Saleem who played a responsible and meticulous innings that enabled us to turn the game on its head.  Rob took charge, swiftly moving to his fifty, with Faisal playing a supporting role instead of his normal cheese one! These two moved the score onto 170 when Faisal attempted his third cut on the trot to third man and was bowled.  A 106 partnership worthy of any wicket partnership in the 4thXI and a record partnership for the eight wicket in the 4th XI.  I haven't bothered to research this but if you would like to query this please write to Mr Y.B Wett at my squirrel is on a Benecol acorn diet (at least you lot don't have to type out this drivel - Munge).

It was now the turn of Saf Nawaz to support Rob through to his 100 and its not often you get one dsensible innings let alone three in one day! Rob finally succumbed on 109, which consisted of six 6s and thirteen fours and undeniable proof of cricketing assiduity which hold this born and bred 4XI player in good stead for the rest of the season in the 4XI!  It would be tragic for the lad if he was cruelly taken from his grass roots oin his development stage at W&H.

Our heads were up at tea and the opposition were in the descendancy which was evident at the time they started after tea. Shiraz Hussain and Nick Challen embarked on an impressive spell.  They kept the oppo down to two an over for the first ten overs and were very unfortunate to have them only one down at this stage.  With the skipper looking to keep overs in the locker for Shiraz and Nick it was the turn of the change bowlers.

Saf bowled a very steady 10 overs with a few run up hiccups in the middle of his spell and then the wheels began to come off.  With at least one expensive over from Messers Saleem, Smith and Walsh (in one case their only over - good decision to bring yourself on!), the oppo pulled themselves out of trouble and into a comfortable 170-3 off 30 overs. Nick was swiftly brought back into the attack and with the combinationo f Rob got us back in it with some quick wickets which saw them on 207-7 off 36 overs.  With Nicks spell over Shiraz was re-introduced and bowled superbly and was very unlucky to end up obtaining only one wicket.

With an atmosphere more rivetting than two shipyards the oppo crawled over our score with 2.2 overs remaining.  It was frustrating to lose after setting such a big total but we were staring defeat in the face at one stage and we shouldtake heart from some positive performances when we were in the smelly stuff.

First it giveth...............then it taketh away.

Lemon tango moment of the day - Woking Borough Council - changing facilities, electricity switches off about 5pm.

Castle Performance of the day - Guess who...um Rob Staples

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