Cheam Parish 315 AO
WHCC 270 AO - C Murphy 47, Q Nawaz 87, P Grafton 57
June 14 1999 the world was shocked by the resignation of the then Belgian Prime Minister, Jean Luc Demagne. June 14 2003 the world is in shock due to another Wey Valley League loss by the hands of the unbeaten Cheam Parish.
Yet again another capacity crowd filled the ground and such was the importance of this match even the third eleven forfeited their match to watch this run feast! The grandeur of the match was such that even third eleven players (Andy Walker) phoned through to the stadium of fright looking for a walk on part. We duly assisted with an egg sandwich and a spot of umpiring.
With five changes to the originally selected team the batting looked weakened enough that upon winning the toss we elected to bowl first. Yet again the opening bowler did well to contain the opposition with Jas Dhillon bowling a very impressive spell of 2-11 off 5 overs. equally the change bowlers Peter "my hands still hurt from signing autograph signing" Smith and Qas Nawaz kept the ship steady and the opposition were held at 57-4.
However, as with previous weeks we left the door ajar and with the combination of excellent batting, shabby fielding, poor bowling and some indifferent captaincy decisions, Cheam were let off the hook and soon smashed their way to 208-6. As the game progressed heads dropped (even though it was four years, the lads were still feeling the affects of the Belgian PMs decision) and the fielding standards fell with the notable exceptions of Messrs Grafton and Zafar.
With the ball spending more time in Faisals front garden than on the cricket pitch Cheam smashed their way to 315 all out. Their no 6 and 7 hitting 73 and 113 respectively. It would be a tougher mountain to climb than Church Hill in Horsell and we hoped our batsmen would respond to the challenge.
Gribbler was the new opening batsmen with the skipper and 66 was put on for the first wicket when I cruelly received a ball that made Shane Warnes ball against Mike Gatting look like it was going straight on. It would be hard to imagine Brian Lara still at the crease after such a delivery!
Anyway, back from Swiss clock land, the batting performed admirably. Gribbler continued to use Faisals lawn as a source of entertainment and Faisals father built a machine gun nest to shoot down any endangering small red objects approaching any windows. With Gribbler jug watching his innings closed on 47 shortly after the electricity in the pavilion did the same.
As Nawaz and Pete Grafton continued in the same vein and the sand bags eclipsed the bushes in Faisals garden. Rumour has it that peacekeeping troops were called in to protect the property! Both batted excellently and put on 119 for the third wicket. They both kept the board ticking and their wickets in tact to enable us to have and end of innings bash. Qas 87 consisted of 3 sixes and 12 fours which was highlighted by a reverse pull down to fine leg for four. Peter batted sensibly looking for singles to rotate the strike and achieved his 50 just after the fall of Qas when the score was at 216-3. All bonus points were now secure and all that was left was to have a dart at the steep total set.
Wickets fell regularly in the run chase and we finally succumbed to a total of 270. I find it hard to remember if the 4XI has achieved or exceeded that total. It was an excellent effort against one of the best teams in the league and one we should be proud of.
The biggest difference between us and established Wey Valley League teams which was highlighted yet again was the standard of fielding. Cheam are probably one of the best fielding sides we have encountered and gave us very little whereas our fielding contributed to our victory. We need to concentrate for 45 overs and not to let our heads drop when the going gets tough. However, remaining positive, we gave, in my opinion the best team we have played so far one hell of a game and if we remain with a batting line up like this (the batsmen will end up in the 3s) a victory will not be far away.
Lemon Tango moment - Woking Borough Council look like they have this award sewn up for the year and its only mid June! Someone give them 50p for the meter!
Castle Moment - Qas Nawaz varied stroke play