W&H 219-2 dec - J.Gill 132 M.Worgan 62

Old Suttonians 175 AO - N.Challen 5-32 S.Nawaz 3-43

by Graeme Mattocks

Availability for the game was good and despite a few changes during the week and a last minute change on Sunday morning we were still able to field a strong balanced side.

Come Sunday morning it looked as though my trip to Woking Market and Safeways had been in vain and that i would have been eating Sandwiches instead of big juicy steaks for the forseeable future..... Thankfully it didn't last for long and we were able to start on time.

On my debut skippering the side i did the honourable thing and lost the toss and was duly asked to bat. Shouldn't have bothered really as their captain offered us the chance to fix the toss and put us into bat as was a little worried about the game lasting the distance if they batted.

The author had been at the ground on the Saturday and saw half of the 400 runs that were scored and was confident that a good score could be made on a good wicket. Jimmy and Mark opened the batting (well actually they did all the batting!!) and Jimmy punished anything that was short with some exquisite square cuts and pulls, One of them warranting a standing ovation from the onlookers who were puzzled as to why the scoreboard was ticking over at such a fast rate of knots and that the wickets column had not been ticking over at a similar one.

A change of bowling was needed and their skipper duly brought himself on and almost snapped up Jimmy and Mark in the same over, Mark was dropped in the slips and Jimmy offered a sharp caught and bowled chance which he couldn't hold onto. That was the last chances either of the batsmen gave and Jimmy went on to make a very impressive 132 with an array of shots all around the wicket. He was well supported by Mark who went onto make 62 and also played some quality shots. Mark was eventually out off of the penultimate ball of the 39th over at which point I declared much to the frustation of Mr Walker who wanted to go and spank the last ball of the innings... (actually i was more worried about losing fantasy points in case of the inevitable...) and at this stage 2 or 3 players were looking at having a £7 shower..

Messrs Nawaz and Johnson opened the bowling with Saf in particular bowling a tight line and going past the bat on several occasions. The first breakthrough was made in the 9th over with Andy Walker taking a fine catch down the legside. Couch bowled tightly for 3 overs but then tried the dig it in short and wide theory for 2 overs so was promptly taken off. The  Challenator' (as referred to by Messrs Fowles and Smith...) replaced Couch and was as usual putting it on the spot and making the batsmen play pretty much every ball and was rewarded with a wicket in his 2nd over. Thereafter 3 wickets fell in quick sucession with some inspired field placings set by the skipper... Well it didn't takeEinstein to work out i needed a 4th slip after the previous 2 balls had gone through that region and the batsmen duly obliged and put the 3rd one straight into Ferrari's welcoming hands.

Then followed a mini-revival by their skipper and Wicket-keeper come leg- spinner and the game got quite interesting. But the vital breakthrough came from probably the worst ball of the innnings (bowled by yours truly) and the ball was gently lobbed upto Albert running around from backward point... Game on.

Challen and Nawaz were brought back on to finish off the tail and it looked as though they would hold out for the draw, but Challen steaming in off of his long run up ( 8 paces instead of 7) and with everyone around the bat found the edge of their 'SENIOR' player and Jimmy scooped up the ball to take the winning catch and able the 'Challenator' to collect another five for.. (yet more fantasy points for moi...he he he)

A thoroughly enjoyable game of cricket , played in the right spirit and sorry to Messrs Mouzoures and Hall who had an expensive shower but no doubt enjoyed the teas provided by Mrs M who i have to thank for putting up with me, allowing
me to play.... and preparing a lovely tea.

Looking forward to next Sunday already and promise the next report will not be so long...


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