Believers CC V Whalers CC 14th Sept 2014
Believers (110ao) beat Whalers (69ao) by 41 runs
The Whalers gathered for what they hoped would be a winning end to the season. A winning season. A season which would end with over 2000 runs, 117 wickets, 57 catches, 3 centuries, 5 half centuries and an unspecified number of ducks.
Our opposition for the day were the Believers, location deepest darkest Morden. It would be a timed game so the onus would be on the bowling team to get quick wickets and put the game to bed early.
Skipper Dan won the toss and elected to bowl in what looked like perfect weather for a bit of swing.
The Whalers were not to be disappointed. Opening with Khalil and Nick the Whalers got two quick wickets within three overs. Both Khalil and Nick were extremely efficient and the run scoring was down to one or two an over.
When Lucas and Kamal were brought on the weather had improved somewhat and the believers dug in. Luckett and his heavy balls were brought in to replace Lucas. A sharp catch in the field by Osgood saw the high scoring opener leave the grounds while Luckett basked in glory. Despite the heroics he was replaced soon after by El Presidente. Al immediately had an impact when the number four looped one up in the air. Calls of ‘catch it’ brought a slumbering Gilo alive and her thundered to his right taking a very good running catch. A huge Monty Panasar style celebration ensued.
Seeing the President steal the glory must have inspired Kamal as he took the number five’s wicket after another sharp catch in the field, this time by Howes. With Nick holding onto this catch unlike his last five efforts in previous games the Whalers were having a good day in the field.
The pressure was on the Believers who were 70 for 5 of 20 over. El-Presidente was not done. Oh no. Not by a long shot. He struck again, this time bowling the batsmen clean out. Tariq replaced Kamal at the other end and was soon dancing down the wicket when the number 7 batsman was caught plumb LBW. The Believers were 90 for 7. Dickenson was up again and took a very decent caught and bowled taking his tally to 3 wickets for a mere 14 runs of 4 overs.
Enough was enough and Lucas was brought in to finish the Believers innings. He didn’t disappoint after bowling the number 10 for a duck and then dismissing the number 11, who edged a sharp catch to Channa who was at second slip.
The Believers were all out for 110 off 43 overs.
With a relatively low score to get, and almost unlimited overs to get it in, the Whalers settled down to a very good tea prepared by the Believers. It was the last game of the season and it would be good to go out on a high.
The Whalers took to the crease with El-Presidente Dickenson and Luckett opening the batting. The light was poor and staring into the glare of the waning sunlight, something truly horrific happened. In the first over, Al miss-timed the ball and gave their opening bowler (Hawkes) a simple caught and bowled. The very next ball Channa, who couldn’t see the ball due to the glare, heard the death rattle of his wicket. The sound was drowned out by the rapturous celebrations of the Believers. Tariq came to the crease and managed to dig out the remaining balls of the over. Next over, Luckett takes a mighty swing only to hear his wicket smash to pieces behind him. The Whalers were 2 for 3 of 2 overs. That’s almost the worst start in the history of cricket.
Anton, on loan from the Believers managed to hold out for a while and Tariq on the other end started chipping out the runs. In the ninth over, after an epic amount of dots to his name, Anton was bowled by Hawkes. Osgood who replaced Anton, only managed three runs before he too was bowled by Hawkes in the 12th over.
Unlucky over 13 was a repeat of over 1. Hawkes first took Gilo’s middle wicket out of action, then got Khalil to edge one to slip. A few overs later, Hawkes managed to temp Matt into driving and a good catch in the slips saw the Whalers tumble to 27 for 8.
Tariq was still at the crease and there was a slight resurgence when Nick joined him there. They stayed together for a record 5 overs, stealing the odd one or two. Eventually this partnership ended when Nick was bowled by the first change bowler. Whalers were 38 for 9.
Tariq and Kamal spent even more time together and with the ones and twos flowing well the Whalers looked like they were going to get past 50. Kamal hit two beautiful boundaries, one of which was a lovely square cut.
Eventually though, we ran out of luck. Tariq, who had made a gritty 42, was bowled while trying to late cut a straight ball.
It was all over. The Whalers were all out for 69. The Believers jubilant after only their second win of the season.
Clearly the pick of their bowlers was skipper Hawkes who took 6 wickers for 12 runs of 11 overs.
Apart from the tail end wag and Tariq’s 42, the Whalers batting had been abysmal It was mentioned by one or two of the batsmen that the glare made it difficult to see the ball but whatever the reason, it was a tough day in the field. Never mind. Cricket is a cruel and unusual mistress. No doubt we will all be back next year to suckle on the teat of victory!
Bring on 2015!
MoM – Tariq for a gritty 42
Champage Moment – Gilos running catch and monty’esk celebration.
Muppet Moment – Anton fielding the ball with his balls. Awarded by proxy to Geoff Judd who is back in the country and came along to catch up with the Whalers.