Sunday 22 June 2014.
Whalers vs Lemmings at King’s House Sports Ground
Lemmings – 98 all out
Whalers – 59 all out
A warm summers day, familiar & friendly foe, the closest pitch to the pavilion. The omens were good and the scene was set for a crushing Whalers victory. Of course, it was somewhat of an experimental line up, with four debutants, including one that had never previously picked up a cricket bat, and another that last swung a bat in anger a little over 20 years previously and was only 12 hours back from his honeymoon. Still with eleven enthusiastic Whalers present, Skipper Pete was so confident he didn’t even need to look at the pitch before offering the Lemmings to bat without even a cursory toss.
The confidence was for a reason. Khalil and debutant Bernard were opening the bowling. Khalil bowled beautifully on the line of off stump or just outside, and reward for his first four overs was one wicket for a measly 6 runs. Bernard, borrowed at the last minute from Energy Exiles, was a little less consistent with line and length, but more than made up for it with the hand of God. Twice, Lemmings hammered drives destined for the boundary, leaving the umpire diving for cover, but Bernard snuck out a hand and the catches were held. Behind the stumps, Channa got in the act to give Bernard a third wicket. Once removed from the act, Bernard refused to be left out and secured a tidy run out, while Sandy bowled out the number 7. The odd catch was missed (mostly by Pete), including James stabbing himself in his left thigh with his right boot in a desperate forlorn attempt to take a stunner. Kamal, and debutant Frank joined in the bowling fun, and the runs remained tight. The Lemmings were in tatters – 6 down with less than 50 on the board, and the debate was about whether we should permit the lowest scorer to come back in again. A late order flurry helped Lemmings to a respectable 98, with James (yet another blinding catch from Bernard), Pip and Kamal each taking a wicket.
Quite what was in the tea was never fully established, but it worked for the Lemmings and against the Whalers. A promising shot first ball from Channa secured two runs, but that was about as good as it got. He was LBW 2nd Ball to Baker. Pete was bowled in the second over for 0. Newly married Guy successfully jumped out of the way of a nice juicy full toss to be 3rd out in the 3rd over, and second duck of the innings. Pip was bowled on the 7th ball of the 4th over for 0 (better counting required from the on field umpires). After 7 overs, the Whalers had scored 6 runs for the loss of 6 wickets, and Channa’s score of 2 was second only to wides. Sandy chose to make the rest of the Whalers look foolish by casually driving Baker who by now had 5 wickets, playing him off his hips, and through 3rd man. A partnership of 20 odd with James (a workman like 2 runs) took the score up to 30, before Khalil joined Sandy at the crease to rise the score past our record low score (36ish), and once Sandy finally perished for 25 (after “hitting it too well”), Kamal helped Khalil (13*) lift the score to 59, before becoming the 7th duck of the innings. A catastrophe, although perhaps a more positive way of looking at it was that we only lost by 39 runs!
The good news for the end of season bash is that fines were understandably heavy. Bernard was awarded champagne moment for his incredible ‘hand of God catch’, and man of the match for the 3 wickets, 3 catches (including 2 caught & bowled) and one run out, while Guy was awarded muppet for his Chris Read moment.