At long last the a break in weather provided more typical English conditions for this match away at Old Woking’s tree lined ground, and a faint but persistent drizzle and concerns about light under the overcast sky led to a decision to shorten proceedings to a thirty over match. Old Woking batted first, Agney Das and Lewis Hockley opening the innings against a new Wimbledon bowling attack for the season of Adeel Nadeem and Sameer Khan. Adeel struck as soon as the first ball of his second over, bowling Hockley for just 1, but number three, Lee Goodchild then smote ten off the rest of the over, having been dropped at slip off his first ball which then went for four. That very much set the pattern for the next six overs, as Das and Goodchild laid waste to the Wimbledon bowling attack, clubbing fours here there and everywhere as well a selection of sixes, one of which landed in the river and another in the adjacent back gardens (neither to reappear – thus starting a desperate search in the kit bags for replacements). Goodchild was dropped in the sixth over and nearly run out in the seventh as the score rattled along. Alex Herbert had taken over from Adeel in the ninth over and after wincing at the aforesaid sixes next ball had Das caught behind by Gary for 42. Woking’s score at this juncture was 71 for 2. Tim Smith, in at four, was then bowled for a golden duck – 71 for 3.
His replacement Lee Stenning lasted ten balls for one run before becoming the victim in Imran’s second over, a wicket maiden, but the next five overs yielded another 32 runs before Goodchild’s luck eventually ran out and he was well caught at mid-wicket by Alex in Rowan’s second over for 41. A mini collapse then saw Harry Maddali run out thanks to a fine throw by Sameer for a duck and Brendon Stewartson caught at mid-off by Jonathan Williams for another duck, this set back leaving Woking on 108 for 7 In the 19th over. The not out batsman, Shanker Giridhar, who by this time had made 19, and the number nine Ethan Maher then added 16 runs for the eighth wicket, which fell to the returning Adeel, Maher caught by James Flannery at mid-off for just 1. However this brought G Smith to the crease and another bout of formidable hitting ensued, taking the Woking score in the last five overs to 164 at the close, which was marked by the dismissal of Giridhar for 38, caught by Rowan off the last ball of the innings, giving Greg his only wicket of the day.
This would be a tough ask, requiring over five an over for the win, and with tea not quite ready Wimbledon went in to bat, Alex and Jonathan settting out to see what inroads they could make. Alas things went pear shaped almost from the start. Alex was dismissed in the third over, caught by Das at extra cover off Marwaha for 3, and Jonathan, after a typically pugnacious but brief cameo (2 / dot / 1 / 4 / 1 / 4) went in the next over caught by Maddali at deep point off Smith for 12. At this point tea was declared ready for consumption and the sides retired to the pavilion to enjoy the usual excellent Woking fare. No sooner had Wimbledon resumed their innings than Sameer was bowled by Smith for 4 and James was caught at second slip by Hockley off Marwaha for 1 as United’s wheels fell off and the score limped to 23 for 4. However, as the evening gradually turned to hints of pale sunshine, there then ensued a long and productive partnership between Imran Mangral and Mitesh Patel, the pair batting with a mixture of commendable concentration and judicious hitting, taking runs off first Stewartson and Hockley and then Goodchild and Stenning and finally Das and the returning Marwaha and Smith. This took the score from 23 for 4 in the 7th over to 132 in the 26th over, at which point there was another decisive intervention, this time by Smith.
First Imran was caught at mid-wicket, having just reached his fifty, an excellent knock against some good bowling, following which new batsman Adeel scored a single off his first ball. Mitesh was then dismissed next ball, caught at extra cover by Maddali for 44, leaving Wimbledon enticingly close to the target on 133 for 6. However the 32 runs required to win with just four overs left proved beyond the tailenders’ capabilities. Two overs later Adeel was caught on the boundary by Stenning off Smith for 3 and Gary perished in the next over, bowled by Hockley for 1. At 142 for 8 and with an over to go the maths were safely on Woking’s side and the final over finished with Shoab Hayat (making his first appearance for many a year) not out on 11 and Rowan not out on 7, Wimbledon finishing nine runs short of the home side’s total.
So a first defeat in quite a while had to be taken on board – Woking are a strong, well equipped side, so there was no disgrace in losing. The Man of the Match accolade this week rewards Imran for a fine half century as well as some tidy bowling.
|Innings of Old Woking C. C.||Innings of Wimbledon United C. C.|
|Batsmen||How Out||Total||Batsmen||How Out||Total|
|1||A Das||c. Saxby, b. Herbert||42||1||A Herbert||c. Das, b. Marwaha||3|
|2||L Hockley||b. Nadeem||1||2||J Williams||c. Maddali, b. Smith||12|
|3||L Goodchild||c. Herbert, b. Wije’dena||41||3||J Flannery||c. Hockley, b. Marwaha||1|
|4||T Smith||b. Herbert||0||4||S Khan||b. Smith||4|
|5||L Stenning||b. Mangral||1||5||I Mangral||c. Goodchild, b. Smith||52|
|6||S Giridhar||c. Wije’dena, b. Dean||38||6||M Patel||c. Maddali, b. Smith||44|
|7||H Maddali||Run out (Khan)||0||7||A Nadeem||c. Stenning, b. Smith||3|
|8||B Stewartson||c. Williams, b. Wije’dena||0||8||S Hayat||Not out||11|
|9||E Maher||c. Flannery, b. Nadeem||1||9||G Saxby (c)(w)||b. Hockley||1|
|10||G Smith||Not out||32||10||R Wije’dena||Not out||7|
|11||R Marwaha||11||G Dean|
|Extras W5 NB1 B1 LB1||8||Extras W2 NB6 B3 LB5||16|
|Total (for 9 wickets) (30 overs)||164||Total (for 8 wickets) (30 overs)||154|
|Fall of wkts: 1-9(2); 2-71(1); 3-71(4); 4-75(5); 5-107(3); 6-108(7); 7-108(8); 8-124(9); 9-164(6)||Fall of wkts: 1-12(1); 2-17(2); 3-23(4); 4-23(3); 5-132(5); 6-133(6); 7-140(7); 8-142(9)|
|Bowling Figures: Nadeem – 6/036/2; Khan – 4/0/32/0; Herbert – 3/0/18/2; Mangral – 3/0/7/1; Wije’dena – 5/1/15/2; Dean – 6/1/38/1; Hayat – 2/0/7/0; Patel – 1/0/9/0||Bowling Figures: Marwaha – 6/2/11/2; Smith – 6/0/26/5; Stewartson – 4/0/27/0; Hockley – 5/2/9/1; Goodchild – 4/0/33/0; Stenning – 3/0/27/0; Das – 2/0/13/0|
Result ~ Win for Old Woking C. C. by 10 runs
~~ Wimbledon United ‘Man of the Match’ – Imran Mangral ~~