This was the day many of us had been waiting forThis was the day many of us had been waiting for – only one of the contenders for leading wicket taker was present and surely this would be the day when Jerry took the opportunity to leave his rivals behind. The early promise of much beer for the stand-in skipper meant that the Brookwood batsmen would be seeing quite a lot of him.
We started late, mainly due to some last minute additions to the playing staff, so we had a game of 11 a side.
Brookwood won the toss and, having looked long and hard at the first virgin pitch the Sunday XI had had for some time, decided to put W&H in to bat.
The W&H innings had a familiar feel to it. We got off to a brisk start until the stand-in skipper was given out LBW in the 8th over. Sam Way and Ferrari then consolidated against some tidy bowling before Sam, taking a leaf out of the book of Andrew Murphy, was guilty of blatant jug avoidance when on 49. He lobbed a catch to mid-off, where a familiar looking Brookwood fielder (more about him later) dropped a dolly, allowing Sam a single. The applause for the 50 was still well deserved. Sam kept going until he tried to belt a straight one and was bowled for 77. This brought our two stalwarts together – young Albert injecting his customary enthusiasm and speed to the proceedings. When the stalwarts departed for 29 and 23 respectively, our Greek immigrant (who can count his own score, if no-one else’s) and Uzi got stuck into the Brookwood bowling, before we called a halt to proceedings on 215 for 5. Gribbler’s 33 was another good knock and, as he leaves us now for this summer, he will be sorely missed, although we are not sure by whom.
Tea was, as usual, a splendid affair and, suitably fuelled, W&H took the field to try and get back to winning ways.
Sideshow and Uzi opened taking one a piece in a good opening spell. The Brookwood opener, a strangely familiar figure, batted well for a much deserved 18 runs. He was sporting a new bat – a slightly smaller version of the one wielded by Bilal Mir – with edges bigger than many middles. A good knock by Ed and our thanks to him for standing in for Brookwood.
Once Ed went, the Brookwood number 3 chanced his luck and was dropped at least twice and missed a couple of other times. The biggest disappointment was when Sideshow did him, only to watch a feeble effort in the slips by his dad. Failing to get the number 3 proved our undoing, despite good bowling efforts by Jerry (12 overs; 2 for 35), Sideshow 1 for 20 off 10; Uzi 1 for 25 off 8, young Albert and Tarun (a slightly wayward but troublesome 0 for 16). We also had the left armer (the word slow does not do him justice) Ferrari, to whom the skipper turned in a moment of desperation. Adam (1 for 24 off 5) had an excellent start to his Sunday bowling career and left the field to encouraging words from his captain, telling him to keep his index finger for his spinning in future. Highlight of the innings a superb stumping by Peter off Jerry – the appeal had a strange ring to it – “take that Smithy” being a new one for this correspondent. Peter did express his neutrality in the race for wickets and indicated that the correspondent’s hearing may have been faulty.
Brookwood’s innings fizzled out at 132 for 5, slightly disappointing that they put up the shutters quite so early, but a good game nonetheless. The groundsman, well fuelled by this time, kept repeating how he had prepared a “road” for us to bat on. Shame we ended up on the hard shoulder.
Jerry did not get enough to take the lead again in the race to win the biggest prize in cricket – leading wicket taker in the Sunday XI of Woking and Horsell – but the gap is now down to one.
The Captain and Vice Captain return next week – not before time say the rest of the team.