Dandeliongate… Sat 27th May v Staines v Laleham
Match Report by Keith Dimond
All you had to do, Ket, was win the toss and leave it to El Capitan to make the call – oh, and for a few of us to bat straight…
It was a Cabbage Patch of a pitch. I am no cricket purist and love agricultural cricket with the best of them but when the bowlers are aiming to pitch the ball on the dandelion leaves even I get a bit snobby.
However we didn’t bat well, and S&L bowled medium pace line and length and let the pitch do the rest which indeed it did… and very quickly at that.
It’s hard to find any redeeming points about the batting performance this week and when only one batsman gets into double figures, I think it is best we move on as quickly as our innings did.
We were out for 50 before they had even started cutting the Pork Pies into quarters.
So it was on to a quick turnaround, with David dreaming of a nice early start up the M4 to Cardiff to see his Mum, and I can’t lie but I did suddenly realise that a birthday BBQ for the Wife’s Birthday and the opportunity to watch the FA Cup final had suddenly become a real possibility…
The WVCC 3XI went out to field with real purpose, we are either over-keen (pleased to still be playing etc..), stupid or (as I would prefer to think) totally committed to the cause that we could still do this… Rumours were rife that S&L would have been fearful had we made 3 figures and if we could just get that early break through…
We sort of did, but not quite (had them 3 wickets down for 15), and then the game drifted out of reach all too quickly, with a total that was just too small to defend -and, yes, if we had made 3 figures, it could have been very different.
The fielding highlights were: Kets taking a decent stumping, David looking like he had caught the ball between his teeth, and Satish taking a fine catch off Joseph out deep.
The Boy Hads was, I think, the pick of the bowling but, alas, his best balls just outside off stump were too quick for S&L, and so it was that we only knocked over the wood once. I hope, Hads, you did at least got some light relief from your ‘A’ Level studies, and a few extra hours’ revision in…
The spirit and endeavour was there in the field but the number of runs to defend wasn’t.
Special thought goes out to Paul who looked like he was taken out by a Staines Massive (Staines Upon Thames) Sniper when his calf muscle popped at point… Good luck with the recovery.
Quote of the day goes to my son who is abstaining from cricket until GCSEs are out of the way. ‘If I had known you would be home this quick I would have played…’ (Is it wrong to whack a 16 year old over the head with a cricket bat?).
Lastly.. If anyone has an old ‘A-Z’ , can you lend it to Matty P. , Google Maps is not quite cracked up to what you think it is…
Saturday 20th May, Whitely Village 3rd XI vs Putney CC
Hereafter known as the Saturday of Beautiful Moments (BMs).
Beautiful Moment 1: Being awarded 20 points for our league match against Weybridge Vandals without a ball being bowled due to opposition unable to field a team.
BM 2: A double father / son combo taking the field for the mighty Whitely 3’s, Darren and Oliver Heather, Dominic and Harry Wood, against a stand-in opposition Putney CC 3rd XI.
BM 3: Following a slightly leisurely start from us in the field, Captain Roberts exclaiming after a slightly higher tempo passage of play, “I think some cricket nearly broke out there!”
BM 4: Yours truly getting an identical catch chance to last week, off the first ball of the first over of the Welsh Wizard’s bowling, and an opportunity therefore to redeem myself for last week’s fluff, fortunately safely taken this time, thank goodness.
BM 5: Darren “I don’t bowl” Heather ripping out middle stump with a laser guided in-swinging missile. BOOM!
BM 6: The complete and utter obliteration of all 3 stumps as Billy attempted a run out with a large swipe of his wicket keeping gloves (not out, 3 yards in for the record).
BM 7: Big Harry appealing loudly from deep fine leg for LBW. Given not out. Turned out the ball hit wicket keeper Billy’s pads stood 3 yards behind the batsman.
BM 8: Proud as punch Wood Snr as 11 year old Wood Jnr took 2 wickets and a run out in his 2.3 over spell to finish off the Putney team. Go on my son!
Putney 171 all out. Particularly committed fielding from the 3 H’s: Harris, Heather, and Herzog. 2 wickets each for Heather Snr and Wood Jnr, 2 catches each for Heather Snr and Wood Snr.
Not too many BMs in the batting as we were all out for 138, but to finish off this report…
BM 9: Heather Snr (30 n.o.) batting with Heather Jnr for the last wicket partnership.
Beautiful moments, guys, beautiful moments.
Saturday 13th May, Whitely Village 3rd XI vs Shepperton
(by Dominic Wood)
To quote Zayn Malik, formerly of One Direction, “it’s our paradise, it’s our warzone”.
And what a warzone it was out there. Peter still carrying the dodgy quad from last week, Matt developing a gammy hammy in the first over of his spell, Billy developing something problematic in the leg area during his second over, and yours truly landing heavily on my ribs saving a 4.
But what a paradise. The sun shining, some fine bowling, some top fielding, and some great batting saw us home with wickets and overs in hand.
Captain Roberts won the second toss of the season, putting Sheperton in to bat and calling on Ben Painter and Billy to open the bowling. Billy’s cameo was short but hostile, 3 overs, 2 maidens, 1 wicket for only 3 runs. Ben bowled tightly, only the occasional nick for 4 kept the score board ticking over. A lovely moment showing the breadth and depth of the club, as a few successive deliveries were clipped off the legs fine down to my son Harry Wood, stepping in last minute to field as Sandy had stepped up to the 1’s who were a player short. The COMBINED age of the Ben bowling / Harry fielding combination a mere 26 years!! A very proud moment for me and hopefully more father / son games to come.
Matt supported Ben at the other end, bowling injury-enforced variation instead of the pace we saw last week but nonetheless as effective, taking another wicket and bringing batsmen 3 and 4 to the crease.
As their middle order looked to get settled, Peter and Chris, with a combined age slightly higher than that of Ben and Harry, pegged them back to only a handful of runs and then skittled them out, Peter “middle order destroyer” Roberts finishing with figures of 9 overs, 2 maidens, 3 for 25 and Chris “unplayable” Shuter finishing with 9 overs, 3 maidens, 0 for 8.
A late surge from batsman 7 hitting 47 off 48 saw them finish on 159 for 8, despite the valiant efforts of Keith and David, the latter who should have taken a wicket with the first ball of his over, had yours truly not dropped a sitter. Apologies Dave.
Special mention should go to the aforementioned Mr Herzog, who apparently had both Weetabix and Ready Brek that morning, and whose fielding was as good as any seen on a 3rd XI pitch.
And so it was our turn to bat, Matt looking to build on his success from last week and Ben stepping in at the other end to open. Ben did a good job of taking the shine off the ball, seeing out the early overs, whilst Matt set about building a score, surviving a couple of early dropped catches but subsequently making them pay with a faultless display thereafter, finishing unbeaten on 84 and carrying his bat. Supported after Ben had departed by Ket Kothari, returning from a 4 year absence from the game, Chris who was unlucky playing on to the stumps, and Keith, before Peter came in and knocked off a quick fire 32 off 31 to finish the game with 8 overs to spare.
In summary a ruthless display, showing we’ve got bowling, fielding and batting depth, 20 points in the bag.
Saturday 6th May, Whiteley Village 3rd XI vs Chertsey
(by Dominic Wood)
As they say in football, it was a game of 2 halves. And as they say in cricket, it was a game of 2 innings (and 2 halves).
Being the first game of the season and playing the team who were runners up last year, we knew it was going to be a tough first outing, but the first half of the first innings went absolutely our way.
We pinned Chertsey back with some superb bowling from each end. Dobzey beat the bat time and again, flight and guile too good for the Chertsey openers, and should really have had more return for his efforts, but equally a spell of 9 overs, 4 maidens, 1 for 14 runs were fantastic figures and no less than he deserved. Joseph Horsey backed up admirably at the other end with consistent line and length, giving little opportunity for the batsmen to get a start, and saw them scoring at less than less than 3 an over in the first 10 overs. Captain Roberts, injured in a 3rd ball dive in the slips and missing for a couple of overs to get his leg strapped, then stepped up with the ball and delivered a crushing spell that tore into the Chertsey heart, at one point taking a wicket an over, and finishing with 4 for 33 runs off 9 overs. Imagine what he’ll do off a proper run up instead of a “hobble-up”! At the half way point Chertsey were 89 for 4.
The second half of the first innings saw Chertsey fight back, batsmen 5 and 6 slashing this way and that, scoring 49 and 50 respectively, bringing respectability to their score line as they finished on 210 for 5.
So we started our innings knowing the score was in reach with positive batting and no better example of that than Matt Rowley who cut the second ball of the innings for 6, followed the next ball with the same stroke for 4 and again for 4 on the next, punishing the wayward length of the opening bowler.
Backing up Matt in the opening partnership was Ken who frustrated Chertsey’s other opening bowler by nonchalantly playing and missing and heard by yours truly umpiring at square leg responding to the bowler’s vocal discord with a calm “I think you think I’m a better batsman than I really am!”. Also heard at one point from Ken was a song about sailing up the Ganges which I couldn’t really work out but nevertheless Ken did his job well, taking the shine and hardness off the ball and scoring 24 valuable runs.
As if his bowling hadn’t been good enough, Smiler arrived at the crease and backed up Matt admirably with good positive stroke play, putting away the bad ball with some delightful shots and keeping the scoreboard ticking over nicely.
As Smiler departed with the score at 137-2 but with Matt still looking strong and with plenty of overs in hand, confidence was high for us to finish off the game. However, as is so often the case, momentum is crucial and as Matt’s superb innings of 72 finally came to an end, we entered the second half of the second innings and never quite managed to get fully back in control, losing some cheap wickets and staying only just in touch with the run rate, never ahead of it. And so it was that with Paul Taylor batting at 10 and Joe at 11, the final over came with us needing just a few precious runs for victory, and the final ball came with us needing just 2. “Bat on ball and run!” was the cry from the boundary, exactly what the boys did, and were desperately unlucky not to clinch it, Paul run out by a whisker on the second of the 2 required runs, leaving us with a draw but feeling in the end, as they say in football, like we was robbed.
Some great individual performances, a great all round team effort, and certainly plenty to look forward to for the rest of the season.
Man of the match – Matt Rowley