WHCC 252-5 - C Murphy 68, N Cheetham 47
by Mike Walsh
Due to Woking Park being turned into the venue for this F1 season the match was switched to the arena of legends - Waterers Park. A lot of the lads hadn't played at arguably the greatest cricket stadium in Surrey after the Oval and flippin eck pre match nerves were telling. It was evident that some of our players were in awe of this great stadium.
This was the first game of the reverse fixtures and we knew Headley were a good batting side and in the away game we fielded like steamrollers on a session of Gordon's Gin and Baileys. Had we learnt the lessons from the first game, no short or wide stuff and field properly. Guess what, err no, we managed to outdo ourselves and field like daleks wearing lead boots, tight leather trousers and strait jackets. Even K9 would have scored fours against us! It wasn't Tom Jones, Henry!
Lost the toss, they batted and we opened the bowling with the Woking express and Boycie (well in his moustache days). Both beat the bat early and Boycie bowled a better line and length than his previous tour against Headley. They played their shots as expected and it became evident that our luck wouldn't be in with edges not carrying, mis-hit shots just dropping short or flying overhead. Boycie claimed the first wicket, the batsmen caught by W G Grace off an edge that vibrated so loudly it made the Millennium Wheel spin round quicker than an old "78 record. The batsmen didn't walk and even suggested he didn't hit it!
In came a batsmen with his thigh pad on the outside. In the attack supporting Boycie was Tiger. Unfortunately Tiger couldn't find his usual rhythm and like most of the bowlers he bowled at least one four ball an over. However, Boycie was turning, thigh pad boy, square on occasions and wasn't getting the luck he deserved, partly due to poor fielding. Boycie picked up another victim, clean bowled due to coaching by W.H!
The Carnival really kicked in now, LBW decisions that were hitting middle and leg were given not out because they were missing off! Dollys were dropped, singles were turned into fours and even off Kojaks bowling a ball reared up so much that it went flying over W.Hs head who wouldn't have been able to get it on a step ladder. even the cyber men decided to tear up their season tickets and storm out of the crowd due to our shocking display.
In hindsight I probably left Tiger on too long, but in my defence he has been by far our best bowler this season and I was hoping for some of that magic. Rug replaced Tiger and as previously mentioned bowled reasonably well but giving away that four ball an over. On came W.H, later than intended to bowl at the death and apart from one over of being hit into the trees by a batsmen in black jeans bowled a good spell and earnt himself a reward of 4-34.
Facing a large total of 270 to win the "Don" (what Howe? - Munge) decided to sacrifice his opening spot and to see if a pinch hitter (Kosack) could get us off to a flying start. Well, not exactly! After four overs the score was 14-2 with both Kosack and Tiger back in the hutch. However, Mr Leopard Pork and Rug steadied the ship and put on 81 for the third wicket. Rug was the victim and looked in no trouble until an indecisive shot of should I whack or defend it left a dangling bat and a dolly catch.
Leoparders was now partnered by Aristotle, who was the pick of our batsmen. They put on 29 for the fourth wicket, Leoparders, being caught for a jug avoiding 47. It was always important to keep wickets in hand and make large partnerships. A partnership of 103 by Aristotle and W.G put us back in contention, but due to failing light and the return of their opening bowlers, things started to get tricky and we got behind the run rate. Needing 43 off 3 overs when Aristotle was out for 68, Boycie was sent in to crash it and duly smacked two consecutive fours. However, it was a tall order that we couldn't quite each. The batsmen made a tremendous effort and darken skies (mainly due to the oppos desire to move the field every ball) probably was the deciding factor.
We were stranded 17 runs short and I am in no doubt whatsoever that this defeat was due to our diabolical fielding display. Too many of the key senior players including myself were surely not at the races in the field and there were fewer blokes in the field who were average in the field than shocking. practice next week chaps.
Lemon tango Moment - Sorry its not the outcry of "the Don" in anguish after spilling a skier but a team vote for fielding.
castle Moment - Aristotle's batting performance to get us back amongst it.