Waverley fall short
Tale of two collapses as Shalford edge home.
After months of expectation and excitement, the cricket season funally got underway in earnest on Sunday when Waverley travelled to Shalford on a perfect day for cricket. Those making the cut for the first match (most sporting Waverley's brand new club kit) were Ian 'IV' Verrinder, Stuart 'Rafa' Webb, Mike 'Topps' Tiley, James 'Jim Jam' Wright, Simon 'KV' Brewer, Russ 'Raoul' Golding, Sam 'Sausage' Vass, Adrian 'Mog' Day, Jamie 'DJ Teabag' Harris, Bob 'Sponge' Moxham and Adam 'AC' Carmichael.
Having taken a look at a very green wicket, Waverley were pleased to be bowling first and opening pair Teabag and KV bowled with both pace and accuracy. Teabag in particular was having a lot of joy with the short ball and it was responsible for his first wicket, a hook shot gone wrong that was pouched by Raoul at mid-wicket. He struck for a second time in his next over, dismissing the other opener when AC pouched a mis-timed drive at mid-off. KV's six over spell for just thirteen was worthy of a wicket, but there was no such luck for the skipper. AC replaced Teabag and although he didn't bowl too badly, Shalford's big hitting number three took a liking to his line and length. From the other end, Mog maintained the high standard of bowling by picking up a double wicket maiden. His first was a sharp chance bagged by Sponge Bob at first slip, and he clean bowled another poor unfortunate a couple of deliveries later. Sausage came on for AC and settled into a steady rhythm that induced a run out. The big hitter who'd taken a fancy to AC had made 82 by this stage, before attempting to run a two to Rafa who appeared to have no idea where the ball was having fielded at long-on. This, however, was nothing more than a cunning ruse to fool the batsman into taking on an incompetent fielder, as Rafa's throw to Sausage saw the big hitter run out by a couple of yards. With Mog bowled out, Jim Jam also joined the wicket party with a rising delivery knicked behind to IV. He was rewarded with a second wicket in the final over of the innings when he knocked back middle stump, leaving Waverley chasing 195 to win from their 40 overs.
The mockers were put on the Waverley innings from the moment Teabag declared that Waverley "should have no problem" chasing down less than 200. In fairness, IV and Rafa started off solidly and looked fairly untroubled in the opening stages. However, the issues arose when Waverley attempted to force the issue. Four wickets went down for six runs, as Rafa, IV, Topps and KV were all caught to leave Waverley on 37-4. However, there were still plenty of overs left and Raoul steadied the ship with some lovely stroke play. He'd made 24 before he too mis-timed a shot on a springy pitch, dollying it up to square leg. Jim Jam and Sausage kept up some momentum and even with five wickets down, Waverley only needed about five an over to win the game. But the pitch was causing problems and Sausage was next to fall victim, playing through a cut shot too early and lobbing it to gully. Jim Jam then claimed that he'd injured his shoulder, forcing him to play almost exclusively with his bottom hand (not that anyone in the pavilion noticed any difference). His knick behind for a well made 45 sparked the second collapse that Waverley never recovered from, as first Teabag and then Sponge Bob came and went without troubling the scorers. With Mog and AC at the crease, the required rate was still around about five overs. However, some good bowling from the home side soon saw this increase to over eleven an over. With three overs remaining, and having made the herald, AC threw caution to the wind and tried to force the pace. His plan lasted two balls as he got a thin edge behind to the keeper, meaning Waverley were all out for 162 and defeated by 32 runs.
Having decided that Jim Jam was to blame for jug-evading on 45, the match awards made a welcome return. The Supporters' Egyptian Hieroglyph T-Shirt Award (this week awarded by the skipper, but in future to be awarded by Waverley's long-suffering supporters) went to PB, who didn't make himself available because of a potential hangover from the Farnham Beer Festival. The Man of the Match Hat went to Mog for his efforts with the ball and the brand new pink t-shirt was awarded to Topps, who minced out of the way when Teabag bowled a off-stump half volley. No Comments from the Clio this week, as AC was left devasted when Teabag jilted him in favour of a lift from Topps...