Sunday 31st May was another great day, weather wise, and the crowds flocked to Brewery Road to see the return of the Ferrari to the starting grid. The threat of a boycott has been averted and Ferrari has signed up for another mega-million year. A Ferrari takes a fair while to reach its peak and it is best to treat it gently early on and gradually increase the power as it warms up. Starting from 5th on the grid, our Ferrari struggled a bit early on, but was running in top gear by the end.
The afternoon started well. Lyne, our scheduled opponents had backed out – it seems they heard that Lloyd was no longer playing and decided that, in the absence of his bowling, it was better not to fulfil the fixture. Smithy got to work and we were delighted to know that Surrey Gymkhana had stepped in. We will play them again in 3 weeks time, so this was the first of a double header!
The Surrey Gymkhana team had only arrived with 9 players. Ever the opportunist, the youngest Hargan immediately offered to play and, accompanied by some nervous comments – “he wouldn’t bowl quick, would he?” being one of them, he was joined in the opposition team by our overseas player Digby. Digby had been at Brewery Road, nursing a mild hangover and quaffing some of Mrs Hargan’s birthday bubbles, but he was press-ganged into playing.
The visitors have a very good attack and opener Vijay took 2 for 7 off six very good overs of left arm seam. He was faced by another new opening pair. A stranger, Mike Walsh, opened up with Usman (Captain Matt having tried to time his entry for the easier bowling again – more about that to come!) Both Walshy and Uzi lived charmed lives, offering up a couple of dolly catches which were duly dropped! However the tight bowling took its toll and by the 11th over W&H had reached 14 for 2! The big surprise being the first single figure score of the season for Player of the Decade, Albert. Billy came in at number 4 and the Surrey Gymkhana skipper decided to risk Digby’s lodging arrangements and Angus’ pocket money by bringing them both on to bowl. Both realised where their bread was buttered and took it easy on the old man, until Digby finally got his man, bowling him. At the other end Walshy had been entertaining. His footwork is legendary, especially to balls outside leg which are turning back in. He attempted to play these with differing parts of his anatomy, missing with all of them! When a leg spinner from Angus went through his legs and missed the wicket by a whisker, going for a couple of byes, we thought it was his day. Walshy fell eventually, caught and bowled to Digby for 36. We then had a very interesting partnership between Ferrari and Adam Portlock. Both hit some lovely shots (one or two of Ferrari's actually went in front of square) before Adam holed out for 38, trying to get a move on. Porters was followed by Captain Matt who, having broken his bat a couple of weeks ago, borrowed Billy’s. The bat was at fault as he was caught for a golden! Ferrari ran out of road (on 48no) when Matt called W&H off at 189 for 6.
Digby opened the batting for Surrey Gymkhana and looked comfortable when, on 18, he edged one from Hamza. This was a fine delivery, with the landlord getting his revenge in the slips.
Jack Allen bowled really well, taking 1 for 17 off 8, backed up by Hamza 1 for 26 off 7. Smithy got a lot of bounce (when he pitched it) and put in a good spell of 2 for 21 off 11. Porters showed his class in the field, taking two excellent, difficult catches - both off the Skipper. Matt had shown how much he misses the Northern Rock by bowling a couple of pies, before settling down and taking 3 for 28 off 5 overs. Porters then put a hard one down – the jury believes he is guilty as charged (of jug avoidance). Biggest surprise was the leading wicket taker only being introduced as bowler number 7!
Unfortunately, the opposition shut up shop once the top 5 were out and limped to 102 for 7 when the bar called us in.
Once again thanks to Erica for scoring and to Stephanie and Charlie for the great tea.
We look forward to the rematch!