Saturday 1st XI vs East Horsley CC (04/06/2016)

It was an overcast Saturday afternoon and after a wet week condition’s looked perfect for bowling. Old Woking won the toss and elected to bowl first. It looked an excellent decision after the 4th ball of the innings as Dean Stenning was on a hat-trick after dismissing Launder and Brown both for zero. This gave old Woking a lot of confidence as the number 4 batsmen came to the crease in the first over. Due to some accurate bowling from Tim Dalton the batsmen struggled to score for the next few overs. Slowly as the weather warmed up the wicket seemed easier to play on and a partnership between O. Davies and A. Drake began to build as they moved to 60-2. Then Abilash Panicker produced an excellent delivery to bowl Drake, this brought in N. Cooper who stuck with O. Davies until Panicker again produced a surprising delivery which had Davies caught behind for a well-played 41.

This lead to the introduction of Foster who struck a fast flowing 36, which with Cooper scoring freely at the other end piled the pressure on Old Woking. Eventually Sirman (1-48), bowled Foster. As the innings continued Cooper began to take the game away from Old Woking scoring a fantastic 111, Stenning eventually bought his innings to an end having him caught by Sirman but not before he had helped East Horsley mount an excellent total. With help from the numbers 7 and 8 East Horsley declared on a fine total of 261-6 after 42 overs.

Old Woking began their innings in a similar vain to East Horsley as Collin was dismissed for 4 in the first over. This began a shocking collapse as the next 8 batsmen were dismissed for 19 runs in 15 overs including 5 batsmen scoring 0, leaving Old Woking on the embarrassing total of 26-9. This was due to fine spells from Launder and T. Drake who finished with figures of 5-20 off 10 overs and 2-18 off 9 overs respectively. At this point Old Woking believed the game would finish quickly with a thunderous defeat and their worst batting performance of the season so far. However, there was a fantastic last wicket partnership of 107 between Adam Mascarenhas who struck a hard hitting 74 not out and Abilash Panicker who anchored the partnership and stuck with Mascarenhas with a well worked 15. This enabled Old Woking to achieve a more slightly more respectable 133 all out as Panicker was caught behind off R. Brown with 15 overs to go. This secured an easy win for East Horsley.

Saturday 2nd XI vs North Holmwood CC (04/06/2016)

Branningan is Back!

This week saw the Saturday 2nd XI welcome North Holmwood to the ground, with the Woking side looking to make it three wins in three. Once again, captain Matt Coomber won the toss and elected to bowl first.

With North Holmwood’s openers at the crease, the Old Woking openers Jain and Brannigan were allowed to apply a lot of pressure early on, restricting the visitors to a run rate of less than two an over after 16 overs. The break through eventually came as Tyers (7) was caught in the covers by the skipper and Brannigan took his first wicket of the day, a nice return to the side for the young seam bowler. A change in the bowling attack saw more wickets fall and Dom Prisco continue his fine bowling form, finishing with figures of 2-27. Opener Chris Hall dug his heels in and frustrated the Old Woking bowlers before finally falling victim to the swing of Stephens (1-24) for 48. With wickets starting to come thick and fast, the ‘golden arm’ of Grant Dean was introduced into the attack (1-4) and Brannigan came back on to clean up, claiming figures of 4-19 and claim a very nice run out. The visitors were bowled out for 130.

The battle was far from over as the openers of North Holmwood came out firing, Homewood (1-24) managed to dismiss the inform batsmen Ray Oliver (4) with a peach of a delivery, well taken behind the stumps by keeper Tyers. Conor Hockley (23) and Matt Prisco (37) batted very well together to set the chase in motion and find the gaps in the field. But it was the older Hockley brother, Lewis, who stole the show, batting very sensibly under the circumstances, hitting 7 fours and 1 six, to finish with an unbeaten 47. He combined well with Coomber to knock off the winning runs and claim another win for the Old Woking 2nd XI who secured maximum points for the second successive game. The Old Woking side chased the 130 target down with 12 overs to spare.

Saturday 2nd XI vs Capel CC (28/05/2016)

Old Woking clinically dispatched their mid-table opposition, Capel CC, in what was, admittedly, a somewhat mismatched encounter.

Facing a young side Captain Matt Coomber had no hesitation in bowling first upon winning the toss as Old Woking sought to keep up momentum after last weeks win against Shere.

The strategy worked as Capel could only muster 96 runs before being bowled out in the 34th over.  Joe Martin accounted for the first wicket of Hilldrup (12) as Capel’s inexperienced line up managed to reach a promising 40 from the first 8 overs.

Harris (18) and Spreadbury (15) battled hard but once Old Woking introduced their change bowlers the innings fell apart.  Spinner Dom Prisco kept tight control from one end, conceding just 9 runs from his 10 overs and accounting for the wickets of Harris and Levy (0).  However, it was the pace of Matt Coomber and Grant Dean that put paid to Capel’s hopes of posting a competitive total.  Coomber continued his impressive form with the ball as he picked up 4 wickets for 16 runs while Dean once again showed his golden arm bagging 3 for 5 as Capel’s lower order collapsed with six batsmen contributing just two runs between them, including four ducks.

In reply Old Woking punished a spirited bowling display to cruise home by 8 wickets.  Ray Oliver led the charge, picking up from his half century last week, posting an unbeaten 44, looking untroubled along with a welcome return for Old Woking veteran Lincoln Lambert (18) at the top of the order. After Lambert was run out Conor Hockley smashed 20 from 8 balls before a smart low catch on the boundary saw him depart with just 5 required for victory. It fell to George Smith to hit the winning runs, sweeping his first ball for four, as Old Woking cantered to victory and thoughts now turn to the promotion spots.

Saturday 2nd XI vs Shere CC (21/05/2016)

Everybody loves Raymond!

Half-century from Ray Oliver guides Old Woking to victory in tough conditions.

In testing weather that would probably give the touring Sri Lankan Test side even more headaches than at Headingly, Ray Oliver’s well-crafted 55 paved the way for Old Woking 2nd XI to secure their first league win of the season over table-topping Shere.

Skipper Matt Coomber won the toss and elected to bowl first in order to capitalise on the blustery winds and significant cloud cover that was to last all day. New ball bowlers Anthony Stephens and Priyank Jain started well with the ball, with Jain in particular giving nothing away to the Shere opening batsmen, who did well to survive the initial overs. Each bowler took a wicket a piece before a change of bowler from each end paid dividends. As the rain showers arrived, Coomber brought himself on and the wind blowing across the pitch, in conjunction with his left-arm over action, posed all sorts of problems for the Shere middle-order as he collected three deserved wickets. From the other end, Dom Prisco took a wicket with his first ball and the turn off the pitch slowed the Shere run rate. All the while, Andy Smethurst battled on and the left-hander scored a classy 51 before being one of three victims for Grant Dean. Dean made full use of the wet conditions to skid the ball off the wet pitch before Shere finally posted 159 for 9, a competitive total with the pitch and weather set to deteriorate further.

A slight delay at tea caused by a flurry of heavier rain meant that Shere took to the field with every chance of defending their total. However, Oliver was able to read the pitch well and set the foundations of a successful run chase with some well-timed, clean hitting and six 4s. Connor Hockley and Tom Outteridge were less successful, both scoring 8 runs before the bowling of Paul Weller proved their undoing, Weller ending with figures of 2-23. Coomber came in and formed a solid partnership with Oliver, scoring 28, before Smethurst returned to take both wickets and collect figures of 2-42. Oliver and Coomber’s partnership allowed the returning Jeremy Rayne and in-form Monty Milbourn to take the game away from Shere. Rayne scored 13 off 12 balls, including one 6, while Milbourn reached 32 not out from just 14 deliveries, including six 4s, in a display of powerful stroke play from both batsmen. 

Old Woking completed the chase with more than an over to spare and will hope that their first win of the season will propel them up the table. 

Saturday 1st XI vs Ockham CC (21/05/2016)

With an impressive performance the week before, Old Woking went into this week’s game in high spirits hoping for their first away win of the season.

After winning the toss, the Old Woking skipper had no doubt but to bat first on an extremely good and hard pitch. The two openers N.Collin (28) and Pope (28) got off to a flying start hitting 60 of the first 8 overs, Pope was the first to go bowled by Greenwood. A couple of wickets fell which brought Sirman (31), Arthuru (21) and Freeland (28) to the crease, playing some nicely timed shots and well deserved boundaries on a wet and increasing difficult pitch. After the fall of Sirman and Freeland with the score at 150. The lower order batsman continued rotating the strike, whilst hitting very important boundaries. Dalton (14), Panicker (20), Bashar (16) all contributed to a final score of 210 for 9 of the 40 over innings.

With Ockham’s innings starting and rain in the air, Old Woking knew that they had to get off to a great start. Enter D.Stenning with figures of 8-1-14-3, once again tearing a hole through the top order batsman with accurate and quick pace bowling with Panicker (8-43-1) keeping it tight and controlled at the other end. With both Old Woking opening bowlers doing a great job, A.Collin (5-22-2) continued impressing with some very accurate swing bowling, taking a couple of valuable wickets. With the weather looking more and more critical, G.Sirman with figures of 5-14-3 once again bowled brilliantly with some very outstanding spin bowling. Old Woking finally had the game won on the 26th over when Ockhams no 10 (Watson) was caught with a superb diving catch from skipper (Pope) of the bowling of Sirman which no doubtingly gave G.Sirman the man of the match but also gave Old Woking maximum points from the game.

Vice-captain and man of the match Sirman commented “I personally thought our fielding and bowling was the best we performed out of all the three league games so far, our team morale is at an amazing high. In regards to our batting I think we are extremely close to making a big score. And we are not far from where we want to be.”