Sunday Muddy Sunday 



WHCC 181-8 -  S Stevens 91*

Shalford 106 AO

The smell of the newly painted changing rooms was masked by the scent of Deep Heat and Wurthers Originals as the 2008 Antiquities XI assembled for their first game of the season. Some relief to the stench of decay was provided through teen spirit in the form of Sam Way and debutant Mark Hodgkiss. I wont, and neither should you, go into Peter Allan’s jockstrap. The morning was dominated by rain, phone calls and disbelief among many that we would play. The promised blue sky, however, appeared at noon and, after dusting the wicket with Charlie’s stash of grass in lieu of sawdust, we were good to go.

The new captain won the toss, elected to bat and ingratiated himself to the bowlers who had neglected to keep fit or bring wellies.

Billy and Sam started the innings against a Shalford attack that, after initially struggling with the Passchendaele pitch, settled into some tight bowling. After the openers had succumbed, the stage was set for the much heralded Mark H. Facing a better than usual Sunday bowling side, Mark showed, in making his 30, that there are many runs ahead for him in this team and anywhere else he can get a game.

After the demise of Mark and Albert the team were looking a little unsteady on 67-4. What was needed now was for someone to miss and mistime the ball at one end while someone else hit the ball very hard and very far at the other - a requirement that was ably fulfilled by the captain and Scott Stevens respectively. Scott continued to threaten the wellbeing of the umpire and non-striking batsman in his familiar ferocious style, timing his shots beautifully on the way to an unbeaten 91.

The W&H innings ended after their 40 overs on 181-8.

Woking set about defending their total with Paul F and Scott opening the bowling (Scott having admirably declined the offer of a rest after his batting efforts). Paul cast aside any pre-match doubts over the condition of his back by delivering a tidy 8 overs and picking up a wicket for the cost of 27 runs.

Mark replaced Scott (who received a bit of his own medicine by having the shiny new ball despatched onto the roof of Ashley Cook) and took 6 overs to dismiss the heart of Shalford’s batting line up in taking 3 for 14. After a very effective 4 over spell from John Dunbar, which produced two wickets, it was left to Jerry and Smithy to finish it off.

Jerry produced a fine spell, figures of 3 for 7 off 6 and a look of absolute astonishment on the face of the batsman at the (lack of) pace of his first delivery. Smithy was the unluckiest player of the day after the batsman was stumped capably by Peter off the first delivery of his last over only to survive as a result of the absence of a square leg umpire and going on to hit 18 of the next 5 balls.

Despite the captain showing a disregard for his personal safety and dignity in contriving to injure himself in the course of dropping two catches, the team achieved victory in bowling Shalford out for 116.

A brief note of thanks to Stephanie and the girls for their excellent tea and Erica for her proficient scoring – we look forward to benefiting from their respective talents with nosh and numbers over the upcoming months.

Next up is Crondall away, from where, in line with the new rotating reporter policy, Jerry will be your correspondent.


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