Purley 144 ao, Van Der Walt 4-29, Bird 3-21

W&H 146-3, Allan 43*, Cheetham 33

by Paul Fortescue

At last. At the fifth time of asking, W&H's 3rd string took to the field, confident of a game of cricket without distraction from the weather. Issues have been bubbling all week. Would we get the points from the Chertsey win? Would Mouzoures get a bat in the 2's? Who else from the 3's would be playing for the 2's this week? How do I change my fantasy cricket team? Can the 3's carry on from last week to win again? Des, so calm and collected - how best to ruffle his feathers? Will Derek Underwood win the contract to build the W&H nets?

Friday night passes without incident worth of comment. Saturday morning comes. The sun is merely creasing the horizon and it happens. The half ring that the phone makes before the full blown 'ring ring.' Surely not, no it couldn't possibly be, not on Saturday morning, and surely not at this time on a Saturday morning.

You all know what happens next. For anyone with any doubt, well stick around a few more weeks.  Des promoted to the 2's. The call is placed to Walshy, who's equally gobsmacked. A further call placed to Matt Allan - who's out, so no * on this occasion.

And so to the game. Purley for the 1's and the 3's. The new members greet Matt with curiosity. Usman on time. All the kit there. The scorebook arrives. The scorer arrives, complete with parasol. Tea, new balls, scoreboard, sunshine. All the advice is 'Skip, good toss to lose' so that should be easy.  Shake the other blokes' hand  stroll out there, comment on the bikini clad spectators, so preferable to having the Mentallist giving you jip. Nice shiny £2 coin, the flick.....' Heads' he calls. Heads? What the hell is that? Suffice to say, it came up tails and in true championship fashion the 3's took the field, but not before the Purley scorer had taken the parasol.

How many blokes wanted to put out the boundary markers. How many blokes wanted to field at 3rd man. How many blokes wanted Dunbar to open so we could justify a man on the fence at Cow and deep mid on. Lots. Lots and Lots that's how many.

Purley were bowled out for 144. Jayson has clearly picked himself in his fantasy team as the shoved team mates out of the way to secure two caught and bowled chances. Peter Allan secured an interesting, although uncontroversial stumping where two goes were required. Van Der Walt recovered from a ropey first over to secure 4-29 and Jayson finished with 3-21 to secure a South  African 7-50 return. Usman fielded as we are coming to expect with tremendous energy and athleticism and Worgan had his usual game of not touching the ball for 25 overs before taking another excellent catch in the slips. Another good performance in the field on a dreadfully sticky day, punctuated with comedy moments such as:

Mattocks bowls. It's full toss. The batsman crashes it to mid on. The umpire calls wide. I mean.....

Gihan. 'This English weather. It's so dry'

Matt and Usman sneaking a quick puff att he fall of a wicket, with their backs turned in a van attempt to avoid detection

Ian attempting to intimidate the umpire with a serious of appeals 'on the charge' - and finally getting one!

organ trying to be cool by rolling his sleeves right up to his shoulders. Don't bother mate, they were all 20 years too old for you.

The W&H innings: Taget 145 from 55 overs. Plenty of time. Cheets and Worgan put on sixty for the opening partnership. A really well done job as really it was the new ball that extracted the variable bounce from the pitch. Cheets bowled by
one that in the nets you'd pick up and toss gently back to the completely embarrassed bowler, and Worgan LBW and given from the pavilion. Gihan chases a wide one and get's snaffled up well at slip.  Drinks followed soon after and the Purley tactics are revealed 'We need to bowl some more shit balls.'

Matt Allan and Usman at the crease. Game over. Purley dropped a couple of catches, but much as last week, the conditions improved and the boys just hit the bad balls wherever they wanted. Matt finished with 43, and a *, with Usman on 22*, and for the second week running, the middle order sat in their pads. Some of the showers worked and the scorebook was immaculately completed in purple, as if to prove that Bronwynne was back.

We had a lot of spectators and are considering offering a crèche facility to pay for more jugs - of beer. Bronwynne naturally brought her lad, and half her ante-natal class to chat behind the bowlers arm. The skipper's wife and daughter
came. To balance things up, Cheets brought his parents and borther and Worgy his dad. Ian brought his wafe, their friends and their friends lad. Helen came along again and helped Worgy with the washing up (thank you). Trying to leave was like rush hour on the M25.

A cursory examination of the table shows we were unlucky to play Whitgiftians in the rain. Another two overs would surely have been enough to secure the win. The only four points they have are the ones they took from us. Weybridge, next weeks opponents have chased well and won as have we and toss may be crucial. The 3's have a good balance about them just now and we must hope that availability continues to be good.

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