WHCC 197-6 dec - C Murphy 43, S Zafar 35

Surrey Gymkhana 151 AO - M Allan 5-37 

Sunday morning dawned warm and bright as Brewery Road prepared to host Surrey Gymkhana.  Upon their somewhat late arrival the skipper duly won the toss and decided to bat, much to the relief of one or two of our number, who were feeling decidedly unwell following the previous night’s festivities.  Smithy declared that Mrs Smith had spent the morning urging him to pull out, at which point we wondered when he’d become a Catholic.

 Billy and Sam got us off to a solid start before Sam, showing a total disregard for the old maxim – ‘Never pull a straight one at Brewery Road before the end of June’ was out LBW.  Billy continued unruffled at the other end before having a wild swipe at a straight one and being bowled for 15.  Dave and Albert got in and out, leaving us precariously balanced at 75-4.  Gribbler, looking scratchier than a flea-ridden mutt gradually played himself into some form, ably assisted by the never knowingly orthodox Salam.  80 was added at about a run a ball before both persished going for one big shot too many.  Matt and Khakan were next in, both playing some lusty blows before the skipper called a close to the innings at 197-6 off 37 overs.

 The opposition started strongly in reply, thrashing Albert and Smithy to all parts, Albert at least compensated by the wicket of one of their openers.  Smithy’s figures may have been similarly burnished had Peter managed to keep his trousers up.  The elastic having gone, he spent an over keeping to Albert with one hand, desperately clutching his waistline with the other, like a clown who’s forgotten his braces.  Leaving the field for repairs, Salam took up the gloves, only to drop a sitter off our anguished leg-“spinner”.

 The skipper turend to himself and Jerry to turn the tide, Smithy’s grumbling halted after dropping a catch of equal simplicity off his rival for leading wicket taker.  Rumours of skullduggery abounded.  At this point, their opener, reaching his fifty at more than a run a ball, decided that having been dropped by Smithy he had achieved everything he wanted to in cricket, and promptly retired himself out.  From a position of supremacy at 87-1, Surrey Gymkhana collapsed utterly, aided by some fine bowling by Matt, to 151 all out.

 A splendid day’s cricket, against a great bunch of lads, who never thought of shutting up shop when defeat looked likely.  Special mention to the skipper, most importantly for winning the toss and batting, but also for an excellent all round display.  (And if that doesn’t get me out of umpiring for the second week running nothing will)

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