It was a vital week for W&H with several promotion and relegation matters to be decided but despite a week of availability chaos for the captains the teams responded on the field with four victories, three of them by bonus point margins.
The 1st XI picked up their second win of the season, their second against Bank of England, by seven wickets at Brewery Road. A devastating spell of bowling from Mike O’Mahony, who took 6-22, saw us dismiss the Bank for 115 despite conceding 29 in wides and no-balls. Malcolm Eddington and O’Mahony were both dismissed cheaply but a stand of 57 between Qais Nawaz (40) and Tim Keene (41*) saw us most of the way home. There was still time for an extraordinary six for Steve Cockett as we eased home by seven wickets.
The 2ndXI had a straightforward win against strugglers Maori Oxshott. Despite a ragged start the introduction of spin twins Damo Honey (5-27) and James Williams (3-20) put the brakes on the Oxshott innings and they were eventually all out for 92 in the 26th over. Vaibhav Bhade and Williams opened the innings and set about the bowling. For once VB was outscored by his Geordie partner who enjoyed hitting a six to the petanque arena. With shots being played all round the wicket, the game was over in the 13th over as we passed our target without losing a wicket. A bonus point win at Ashford next week will secure promotion for Phill West’s team.
The third eleven secured their second division status for another season with a four wicket victory over Sanderstead. Winning the toss and choosing to bowl, Sanderstead were bowled out for 117 with five overs left of their fifty. Johnny Ayling and Bilal Mir both took three wickets and Mandar Khedekar took two during his miserly spell. We found the reply hard going, however, as wickets fell regularly. Tom Harlow (34) top scored opening the innings and Ramesh Parthasarathy (26*) guided us home to ensure a bonus point victory.
The fourth eleven secured their win shortly after lunchtime on Friday as Sinjun Grammarians conceded saving our brave boys the trip up the A3. Unfortunately, however, results did not go our way and we must beat champions Dulwich on Saturday and hope that other results go our way to ensure Premier League survival.
The Red Lions were the only team to lose their game as they were defeated by 94 runs at Valley End. Valley End made a decent start but Jeevan Namboodiri and Mike Walsh polished off the innings taking 5-14 between the pair of them to bowl the opposition out for 165. Our innings struggled to get going with only two of our batsman making double figures as we were all out for 71.
I am sad to say that we are nearing the end of the league season, however, that does mean we are nearing the highly anticipated Woking and Horsell 2014 Awards Night. The event will be held on Saturday 6 September after our final league games of the season.
For those that haven’t attended before, the awards celebrate the good, the bad and the downright awful of the 2014 season, with player of the year prizes going to each team. We will be awarding prizes to the batsman and bowler of the year, fielder, young player and clubman. There will also be a number of “joke” prizes awarded for various misdemeanours committed throughout the year. If you have any stories of “village behaviour” from this year please do let James Williams or Andrew Murphy know as they will be presenting the awards and they do enjoy hearing them. We are looking for someone to take photos on the night so, if you have some aptitude with a camera, please let us know ASAP if you’d like to help (they'll need to be of a high standard to match last years!). Pictures of previous events can be found on the club’s Facebook page.
We are well aware that availability has been “average” this year, something that will be covered on the night, but please make every effort to attend. You never know what you may have won! Hopefully there will be plenty to celebrate anyway, as Phill West’s second team are looking for promotion and the third and fourth elevens try and avoid relegation. We need as many people available during the final two weeks to finish off the season. Hope to see you there.
The 1stXI were relegated following a seven wicket defeat at Pyrford. Winning the toss and choosing to bat we made a strong start with a 68 opening stand between Malcolm Eddington (39) and Qais Nawaz (31) but once Qais was out wickets began to fall at regular intervals with Tim Keene the only other batsman who made more than 15. Despite Calum Chisholm’s 6*, which he “wished more people had seen”, W&H stumbled to 157 all out. Despite Calum’s early wicket, Pyrford set about our target with relish and eased past our target having lost only three wickets and with twenty overs in hand.
The 2ndXIwon their ninth game in ten with a bonus point victory over Pyrford. The opposition won the toss and elected to bat. They made a decent start as our bowlers struggled to hit their lengths, however, the introduction of our change bowlers, Phill West and Stephen Jones who both took three wickets, saw Pyrford all out for 101. With the 2ndXI only one point above Dorking in the race for promotion, securing maximum points by winning by 4 wickets or better was imperative. That didn’t look in doubt when we were 70-2 with Vaibhav Bhade (45) and Doug Newton (21) in partnership but when both were out in successive overs the pressure was back on. Matt Lock was bowled and Ian Meyer skied a catch back to the bowler leaving us eight more runs to score without losing a wicket to ensure the bonus point. In true W&H fashion this didn’t happen easily as Stephen Jones was dropped at slip but some responsible batting by Angus Hargan saw us home by four wickets. Two bonus point victories in the next two weeks will see Phill West’s team promoted.
The 3rdXI have been dragged into the relegation mix with their third defeat in a row this time against Hampton Wick. We need to win one of our final two games to ensure that we stay up. Despite electing to bowl, we struggled to breakthrough as we were on the wrong end of a decent opening partnership. Although wickets weren’t falling regularly the scoring rate wasn’t particularly high as Hampton Wick finished on 168-6 from their 50 overs. Qasim Asghar finished with 3-13 from his four overs. Batting has been a bit of an issue for the third team this year and it proved the case again as the first four wickets fell cheaply. Some resistance was shown by Rehan Ahmad (33) but the tail was mopped up pretty quickly too as we were all out for 109.
The fourth eleven turned up at Hampton Wick to find a dead mouse on the wicket but that didn’t seem to make too much of a difference to Tom Harlow who made a career best 82 in our solid total of 175-5 from our 45 overs. The Wick also made good use of the wicket, however, as they made short work of our total by passing our total just five wickets down and with sixteen overs left. This result leaves us in big trouble in the relegation zone with the likelihood that we will probably have to win both of our last two games to stay up.
The 5thXI had a pleasing victory over Kempton following our big defeat in the previous fixture. It was a game where the bowlers were always on top and despite making 300 against us back in July, Kempton were all out for 72 with the wickets shared around. With a fairly straightforward victory expected W&H made very hard work of it squeaking home by one wicket! Zeeshan Naeem, batting at five, made a very valuable seven not out to see us home.
The 1stXI snatched a tie from the jaws of victory as a batting collapse ensured that we only took five points from our basement battle against fellow strugglers Staines and Laleham.
Having won the toss and inserted the opposition we made a bright start taking two early wickets but two significant partnerships put Staines in the ascendancy until Indi Fernando took two crucial wickets and, aided by debutant Usman Mumtaz, who took five wickets, the final seven wickets fell for just 58 runs leaving Staines 210 all out.
Despite losing an early wicket the top order performed strongly without any batsman going on to make fifty and, at 173-3, we were strong favourites to go on and win the game. The dismissal of Tim Keene (36) saw us lose five wickets for just eight runs. Vikram Singh and Usman Mumtaz took us six runs short of our target when Vikram was bowled and with the scores level Usman offered a return catch. The result still leaves us bottom of the table and probably needing to win our last three games to stay up.
The 2ndXI had a crushing 173 run win over Stoke D'Abernon at Brewery Road which keeps them in the promotion places. Having decided to bat, Phill West, James Williams and Johnny Gardner were all out cheaply but a 106 run fourth wicket stand between Vaibhav Bhade (76) and Doug Newton (77) and a subsequent stand of 68 between Newton and Matt Lock (47) took us to a very competitive total of 266-8 from our fifty overs. Wickets fell at regular intervals as no Stoke batsman got on top of the bowling. The wickets were shared around as the opposition were bowled out for 93.
The 3rdXI were involved in a tight game at table toppers Walton which ended in a three wicket defeat for W&H. Batting first we were soon in trouble with the majority of the top order back in the pavilion with the score on 30. Only Andrew Murphy (24) and skipper Matt Allan (27*) offered much resistance as we crumbled to 89 all out. Batting proved even more difficult initially for Walton with Mandar Khedekar and Johnny Ayling getting plenty of movement. They were soon in desperate trouble at 1-3 and 8-4. A strong fifth wicket partnership of 60 put Walton in command but with both batsman removed and Jack Fairey taking another with ten runs required it looked like the game could take another dramatic swing, however, it wasn't to be as Walton passed our total with seven wickets down. It was pleasing to see some real fight shown after last week's debacle as we ensured that we took the game to the 45th over before Walton passed our score. That fight will need to evidence in the coming weeks as all of our relegation rivals won to leave us looking downwards.
The fourth eleven were well beaten by Wimbledon at Westfield. Invited to bat we were soon two wickets down but the experienced pairing of Andrew Statham (30) and Nick Tune (32) put on 69 for the third wicket. Unfortunately, very little resistance was shown after that with only one other batsman making it in to double figures as we stumbled to 107 all out. Things didn't get much better on the bowling front either with Sharath Vasudevamurthy the only bowler to take any wickets as Wimbledon won by eight wickets. Defeat puts us back in the relegation zone.
The fifth eleven lost by 39 runs to Ashford at the Wheatsheaf. Inviting the visitors to bat, Virbhadeshwar Singh made inroads into the Ashford batting taking five wickets opening the bowling. He was ably backed up by opening partner Ejaz Ahmed and Richard Lewis as Ashford finished on 164-9. A decent second partnership between Rehan Ahmad (22) and Gihan Thabrew (43*) developed during our chase but the innings fell away as the tail was mopped up leaving us 123 all out.
The 1stXI slipped further into relegation trouble following a narrow nine run defeat to fellow strugglers Old Wimbledonians. After winning the toss and inviting Wimbledonians to bat on a wet track, wickets fell at regular intervals with Calum Chisholm taking four of them leaving the opposition on 165 all out. A good start was required in order to give us a good chance of winning the game, however, as has often been the case this year, it wasn’t to be as we soon found ourselves 24-3. Despite this, Qais Nawaz (67) was going well at the other end and was regularly peppering the boundary. When he was out, with the score on 132-6, we were still favourites to win and, as Mike O’Mahoney and Vikram Singh developed a partnership taking us to 155-6, it looked like the points would be ours, however, there was to be a sting in the tail as we lost our final four wickets for just two runs leaving us bottom of the table and 21 points adrift of third from bottom.
The second team’s unbeaten run came to an end as they lost by six wickets at Oxted. Losing the toss and batting first on another wet wicket, and without their leading run scorer Vaibhav Bhade at the start who had been given incorrect instructions from the absent skipper on how to get to the ground, we began well, however 58-1 soon became 84-6. Doug Newton (68) aided by “the best all-rounder in the club”, Olly Guy (39) repaired the damage to take us to a respectable 212 all out. Our lack of bowling was exposed though and Oxted passed our total in the penultimate over. Defeat does make the league a bit tighter, however, we are still in the promotion spots.
Not much can be said about the third eleven’s trip to Worcester Park. It started by turning up at the wrong ground and got worse. With several regulars missing for various reason, we at least managed some steady bowling up until drinks when Worcester Park were 72-2 but this was followed by some very wayward stuff and some poor fielding. The opposition racked up 195 in the last 25 overs to take them to 267-4 off their 50 overs. That was always going to be a tough ask with our lack of batting and so it proved as we were all out for 83.
The failures of the top teams, thankfully, weren’t matched by the fours or fives. The fourth team won a very important game against Guildford to take them out of the relegation zone. Usman Mumtaz did the damage taking three early wickets and another one later on. Qasim Asghar, Jack Matthews and Gagan Kumar all took two wickets to bowl the visitors out for 99. The game turned on the dismissal of Andrew Statham (36). This began a wobble in the middle order and it was left to Mumtaz (16*) to finish the game off with a four in partnership with last man Peter Smith.
The 5th XI won by three wickets against eight-man Egham at the Wheatsheaf. Ralph Lumby took four wickets as Egham were all out for 108. Despite Ehti Sadiq being run out for nought by one of his own players (borrowed by Egham for fielding duties), Ramesh Parthaserathy (23) and Mike Walsh (33) put a solid partnership together, however, several wickets fell cheaply following the dismissal of those two but that didn’t prevent us winning the game which lifts us to joint sixth in the table.
Both Sunday games were cancelled due to the weather.