It was yet another mixed weekend for W&H which saw two league wins, two defeats and a losing draw.
The 1stXI game followed a similar pattern to last week as we struggled to chase down a large target. Promotion chasing Egham put on over 200 for their first wicket as we struggled to get a grip on the game and, despite a late flurry of wickets, they were able to set us an imposing victory target of 279 to win. Skipper James Woods finished with four wickets.
It wasn't long before our innings was in total disarray with five quick wickets leaving us 25-5 with plenty of hard work to do. Liam Monaghan and Will Pyle rebuilt the innings but both were out by the time that the total had reached 68. Fortunately we had two men for the crisis, Vikram Singh (103*) and Indi Fernando (43). Despite not threatening the Egham total we claimed one point for a losing draw and finished on 216-8.
The 2ndXI also had a similar game to last week and they won their seventh game in eight attempts by beating Camberley by four wickets putting them in joint second place.
Former Camberley player Phill West invited them to bat and early wickets from Calum Chisholm and the returning Damien Honey left Camberley on 40-4. The game became a war of attrition after that with wickets only falling at irregular intervals as Camberley sought to rebuild their innings. Some middle lower order hitting ensured a reasonable total on a spongy wicket despite some excellent tight overs at the end from West and Ian Meyer.
As with the Camberley innings the new ball did the damage as we struggled to 5-2 and 35-4 but a strong middle order always gave us room for confidence. Johnny Gardner continued his good form making 31 but once he and Steve Cockett were out with the score on 103 it left the game in the balance. There was no need to worry, however, as Ian Meyer (48*) and Angus Hargan (32*) took us over the line to secure a four wicket victory.
After last week's morale boosting victory, the 3rdXI couldn't keep up their form and lost to Normandy by 59 runs.
Matt Lock won the toss and invited Normandy to bat and it was Woking old boy Richard Thompson who took up the challenge of opening the batting. 18 runs later he was back in the hutch caught in the fully off Mandar Khedekar. Score draw. It wasn't until the back up bowlers Matt Allan and Mo Waseem came into the attack, however, that we began to fight back. At 117-7 the game could have been different but the last three Normandy wickets cobbled together a useful 44 runs.
Our reply was soon in trouble as Saggar Nayyar, Tom Sharpless and Nick Tune fell cheaply. Rehan Ahmed (37) started a comeback but with little support at the other end victory was not on the cards and we were bowled out for 102. One nil to Tommo (two nil if you count the game in May).
The 4thXI, in contrast, had a stunning victory at Oxted, the like of which hasn't been seen since Clive Moon's unforgettable 291* ten years ago. Chasing a mammoth 260 to win in 45 overs Woking eased home with seven balls to spare. On a day to forget for the bowlers, particularly for Mike Walsh who is no longer Surrey's best bowler due to his slow right arm grenades being dispatched for ten an over, Sharath Vasudevamurthy stood out, taking 4-63. It was the batsmen who were the heroes this week though as Andrew Statham (107*) and Jack Allen (81*) put on 140 for the third wicket. When Statham was out with the score on 196 there was still plenty of work to do but Jack, with support from Jack Matthews and Bilal Mir, ensured we gained the record thirteen points.
The fifth eleven had a tough game at promotion chasing Walton. After winning the toss and deciding to bat, the fifths gave what was described as "a disappointing performance" making only 88 with the bat with no batsman making more than 17. Despite Dave Lane grabbing an early wicket there was little more joy to come as Walton cruised past the required total only two wickets down with nearly twenty overs left.
Results took a slight turn for the better this week despite a difficult week off the field for the captains.
The 1stXI secured a point in a tense draw at Addiscombe finishing nine wickets down and thirty five runs adrift chasing a target of 226 to win. With a weakened bowling attack due to James Woods unavailability and Jack Allen's injury it was left to opening bowlers Vikram Singh and Mike O'Mahoney to do the majority of the bowling. This was always likely to be a challenge on a hot afternoon and so it proved as Addiscombe made 225-7 in 51 overs.
The reply began steadily but with three wickets falling with the score on 31, the job of rebuilding fell to Qais Nawaz and the clubs in-form batsman Tim Keene. Once Qais was out Liam Monaghan successfully took over his role, however, once he was out for 25, with the score on 118-5, wickets began to fall quickly. When Keene was out for an excellent 91, the game became all about survival and Giles Green and Indi Fernando played out the last few overs as required.
The second eleven's excellent form continued as they won their sixth game in seven attempts against Esher which takes them level on points with them in second place.
Phill West won the toss inviting Esher to bat and some tight bowling from all five bowlers made batting difficult as Esher scored 155-7 in 55 overs. Receiving only 45 in return there was an onus on the opening batsmen to score quickly and Vaibhav Bhade is the ideal man to do that. His good form continued as he made 33. Despite our customary wobble, we were led home by Steve Cockett (27*) and Steve Jones (25*) to win by 4 wickets.
The third eleven won their first game since May with a 43 run victory at Purley. Invited to bat the threes made a solid start but 63-1 soon became 89-5 with some rebuilding work to be done. The middle and lower order set about the task successfully aided by 44 extras as we finished on 169 all out. Quick wickets would be the key to victory and four from the returning Johnny Ayling and a run out left Purley reeling on 45-5. Mandar Khedekar and Matt Allan mopped up the tail to secure the thirteen points.
The fourth eleven lost to Spencer for the first time in three seasons by 55 runs. Spencer were bowled out for 199 with Chairman Smith taking five wickets. Twitter followers will be aware of this as he begged Mr Honey to post it on there. Shameless. Despite a steady start, wickets began to fall at regular intervals and despite 39 from Rajesh Rao we finished well short of our target.
The fifth team are off the bottom of the table due to a winning draw against Staines and Laleham. Skipper Dave Lane, with a stronger side than he's been able to put out most weeks, was able to declare early after an impressive batting performance as we made 223-7 in 44 overs. Two early wickets led to thoughts of a comfortable victory but Staines' third wicket partnership amassed over a hundred. Once those two were removed, however, Staines collapsed from 113-2 to 151-8 but unfortunately we couldn't secure victory with the final two wickets. Paul Fortescue finished with impressive figures of 3-15 from 11 overs.
The Sunday 1stXI drew their game with Long Ditton. Batting first we amassed 205-8 with Henri Peters making 52, Angus Hargan (49) and Jack Allen (48) but we couldn't bowl them out despite the return of veteran spin bowler Damien Honey as the opposition finished on 150-7.
There was a big win for the Sunday twos, however. Andrew Statham's 117 went a long way to aiding that victory as the second team made a decent 214-9 from their 40 overs. Despite missing skipper Dave Lane from their attack it made little difference as the wickets were shared around and Eversley were bowled out for 71.
A day dominated by flower shows was also dominated by W&H defeats.
The 1stXI lost their second tight game in eight days as they lost by nine runs to local rivals Pyrford. The day started well with the visitors bowled out for 142 with Vikram Singh taking four wickets. The W&H reply also began well but having been 81-2 we were soon in trouble at 89-6. John Hargan and Vikram re-built the innings taking the score to 115 before John was out. Indi Fernando was out shortly after and when Vikram was out with nine needed the game shifted in Pyrford's favour and they sealed victory when Arun Aiyer was caught at short leg.
The 2ndXI gained some form of revenge as they beat Pyrford by 136 runs. Two of the club's in-form batsmen continued to make runs as Tim Keene scored 100* and Vaibhav Bhade made 51 in our total of 226-6 dec. The Pyrford reply began slowly but, as he did last week, Phill West took the early wickets and Oli Guy finished with the impressive figures of 4-9 as Pyrford were all out for 90.
The 3rdXI were well beaten at Hampton Wick. We were soon in deep trouble at 63-8 but an impressive innings by Ian Evans (40), and some positive batting by the tail, took us up to 127 all out. The bowling didn't dig out the batting as Hampton Wick eased pass their target only three wickets down.
The fourth team lost a tight game, also against Hampton Wick, in the last over. As with other sides, the day started positively enough with 62 from skipper Steve Wernberg ensuring that we made a decent total of 202-8, however, it didn't prove to be enough as dropped catches from the home side proved costly as Hampton Wick won by one wicket with four balls to spare.
The fifth team, playing with only ten having struggled to put a team together this week, had a tough game at Kempton as two of the opposition players made hundreds in their large total of 348-6 declared having been 41-4. The reply was solid enough as we finished on 138 all out.
The 1stXI very nearly snatched an unlikely tie from the jaws of defeat at Ashford on Saturday with a flurry of late wickets. We were soon in trouble at 17-4 following our own flurry of wickets, however, a solid rebuilding exercise between Qais Nawaz (42) and John Hargan (26), with further support from Jack Allen (27), got us up to 151 all out. The hosts had a little wobble at various times, notably at 41-3, however, victory for Ashford looked assured when they reached our score with only six wickets down. Three wickets for no runs from Vikram Singh and Indi Fernando followed but we couldn't take the final wicket to secure seven points and Ashford won by one wicket.
The in-form second team won their fourth game from six enabling them to overtake visitors Ashford on another damp afternoon at Brewery Road. Invited to bat by the visitors, a strong W&H batting line up chalked up 163 with Tim Keene scoring 68. Despite a steady start from Ashford, the introduction of skipper Phill West into the attack changed the game as he took the first five wickets finishing with 5-33. West removed himself from the attack to bring on the youthful exuberance of Dave French and Roger White who polished off the tail to give us a 53 run victory.
Despite racking up their highest total of the season, the third eleven couldn't bowl Leatherhead out leading to a sedate draw at Westfield. Five of the top seven made thirty plus in a score of 232-7 on a wicket of variable bounce. The bowlers couldn't take advantage though as Leatherhead scrapped hard for a point finishing on 117-5.
The fourth eleven lost their game at table toppers Dulwich. We were soon in trouble as none of our top five reached double figures but a sixth wicket stand between Rehan Ahmed (41) and Imran Khan (31) repaired some of the damage but once they were out, a lengthy tail, with Johnny Ayling (0) at nine and Peter Smith (0) inexplicably batting ten, didn't add many more and we finished on 117 all out. Ralph Lumby, presumably still furious at his relegation to number eleven, and Johnny Ayling, ripped out the top order leaving Dulwich still 70 short despite being seven wickets down. That was as good as it got, however, as Dulwich won the game by three wickets.
The fifth eleven lost their game against Weybridge by 37 runs although considering how little cricket they've played Dave Lane and his team were probably happy just to be out in the middle. Inspirational captaincy from the aforementioned Lane led to the in-form Mike Walsh taking the new ball with Walsh taking a remarkable 6-46, his second five wicket haul of the season. Unfortunately though, with 183 required for victory, wickets fell at regular intervals and despite Billy Hargan's forty, Weybridge ran out fairly comfortable victors.