Whalers vs Salix 12th July 2015 (Kings House)
Few things encapsulate summer more than men’s Wimbledon finals day, a successful start to the ashes and the sense of rain in the air as Whalers take on their old rivals Salix. As ten Whalers gradually made their way to the ground there was hushed excitement that we may actually have a starting XI. Unfortunately the toss, innings and result were known before our 11th man was finally given up as missing.
Geoff won the toss and based on the BBC weather department predicting a dry afternoon elected to bat and in a team of alleged bowlers it was Ross and Stu who opened up. With a combination of solid striking and good running the run rate started at an impressive rate with 40 up of the first 5 overs. Unfortunately Stu managed to pick out deep extra cover when on 14 sending Dan O to the crease in the auspicious number 3 role. Having clearly been watching Shane Watson he was soon triggered by Paul Luckett for 5 (playing around a straight one) and Ross followed in the next over for a quickfire 38. Roland was slowly coming to terms with batting for longer than one ball and joined by JT who despite one lofted straight drive suggesting he was playing his natural game was soon caught behind playing a defensive shot suggesting he was not playing his natural game.
At 75-4 the early optimism was waning but Roland and Nick soon pushed the score beyond 100, Roland accumulating in ones and twos, Nick in 4s and one huge six. The partnership though had its challenges, mainly in the running department, as Roland’s idea of a quick single, calling and backing up were slightly at odds with his team-mates. As Nick went for a quick single it was clear Roland had other ideas and Nick was run out for 19. Paul M came in and the run rate slowed as middle order consolidation, farcical running and good bowling from the Salix bowlers reduced opportunities.
Paul M was caught at cover for 19 bringing Paul L to the crease against Padders who had been bowling straight, yorker and good length deliveries all match. Deciding to take the upper ground he charged his first ball and was bowled and Roland followed the first ball of the next over for a well managed 29 and giving Padders a hat-trick.
With final pair Geoff and Jack at the crease it was a case of surviving the overs and accumulation. Geoff doing this in his style with some lovely straight drives and Jack with some classical strokeplay. Geoff was finally bowled in the 33rd over and Whalers had scored 177 all out.
Tea was taken watching Djokovic and Federer before the battle resumed. Paul M and Jack were given the new dry ball and a tight opening spell saw the Salix openers limited to 30 off the first 8 overs but with all wickets in hand. Jack was soon replaced by Ross who quickly returned his captains faith with two wickets including a sharp caught and bowled and Nick who’s tight spell kept the pressure on. This left CK and Spurr batting for Salix and then contrary to the Met office, BBC and Geoff – the heavens opened.
Battling on against the weather JT was given the wet ball but straying down leg side, Spurr made sure the ball got to the boundary quickly whilst Geoff and Jack also had problems with direction and were punished for the occasional full toss produced. At drinks it was tight with Salix at 70-2, however 3 balls later after Geoff delivered another waist high full toss dispatched to the boundary it was agreed for safety sakes we should hide under the trees for a bit and wait for the rain to stop.
Whilst never really stopping it eased and ten minutes later we were back on and Salix resumed in compiling runs at a regular rate. Both batsmen soon reached 50 but it was the introduction of Nick who bowled Spurr for 74 with middle stump falling over in the process and with Salix still needing 36 off the last 9 overs.
It soon felt like 2003 as Dan and Paul M were bowling and a regular fall of wickets saw Salix fall from 136-2 to 163-7. Paul M picking up 2 and Dan O 3 wickets with Stu who had been peppered by balls flying through and falling short all afternoon taking a couple of catches behind the stumps.
Heading into the last over Salix required 2 runs with 2 wickets in hand. Geoff took the ball and after a single off the second ball and a run out off the 5th ball it came down to the final ball. CK hit it to mid on, Paul L slipped on the wet surface and the Salix got through, CK ending on 63 not out.
This is what summer afternoons are all about !
Man of the Match Ross – quickfire 38 batting and 2-10 bowling
Champagne Moment Nick – Bowling Spurr and knocking middle stump out the ground
Muppet Moment Paul L – charging down the wicket for a Golden Duck