Surrey Championship 1st XI Division 4

Home: Churt 92 all out (30.2 overs)

Away: Woking & Horsell 108 all out (31.4 overs)

Result: Woking & Horsell won by 16 runs

 

Woking completed a dramatic win in a low scoring encounter over top of the table Churt. An unusual wicket which on first appearance looked good for batting led Woking’s stand-in skipper Henri Peters to elect to bat first. The pitch however offered significant assistance to both spin and seam bowlers and Woking’s openers found scoring hard with Peters being dismissed for a duck in the fifth over. Stuart Warner joined Lewis Dunford at the crease and with prodigious seam movement on display both opted to go on the attack. Dunford was bowled for 19 to leave Woking at 37-2 after 12 overs. With the knowledge that Churt’s strength was in their spin bowling options and given the conditions new batsman James Woods and Warner continued to attack the seamers, elevating the score to beyond 80. 

Inevitably Churt’s spinners Ben Mitchell and Rowley Marshall were introduced in the 20th over and runs immediately dried up as the excessive turn on offer made batting increasingly difficult. After several runless overs the pressure eventually told as Warner was dismissed LBW for 35 leaving Woking 84-3 from 24 overs. Woods (26) followed in the next over and with fielders all around the bat wickets started falling with regularity as Woking slipped to first 102-6 and then 108 all out with five Woking batsmen making ducks. Mitchell finished with figures of 6.4-2-13-3 and Marshall 7-2-24-5.

 

Woking knew their only chance of defending such a low score was early wickets and opened with spin at both ends. The decision was rewarded with both Tom Sharpless and Phil West picking up wickets, Churt finding themselves three down inside five overs. They could have been four down as Sharpless trapped Mitchell back in front of his stumps only for Churt’s umpire to unbelievably give him not out. It looked to all that Mitchell and Marshall were going to carry Churt with the bat as well as they started to attack the spinners and the score was lifted to 67. 

 

The game took another turn as Roger White was introduced to the attack as he removed Mitchell (30) while Sharpless accounted for Marshall (24) in quick succession, both caught by Qais Nawaz. Two more wickets fell without the score being added to as skipper Peters shuffled the bowlers. The score limped into the 90’s before West and White combined to take the final three wickets to complete the most unlikely of victories as Churt were bowled out for 92 in the 31st over. White was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 7.2-4-12-4 with Sharpless and West taking three and two wickets respectively.

 

While once again their middle and low order batting proved fragile, they can take great heart from another stellar bowling and fielding display. This was another superb result having beaten third placed Cobham and bowling out second place Stoke D’Abernon in a rain abandoned match in the previous weeks.

 
 
 


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