Howes-zat! A win for debut skipper…….just

Whalers CC vs Salix CC; Sunday 8 May 2016; Kings House Sports Ground

On a beautiful May day Whalers resumed their rivalry with good friends Salix – always a highlight of the calendar. Late last year Salix got home on the last ball with their last pair at the crease, this time once again it came down to the last ball but this time it was the Whalers, with their last pair at the crease, who pinched victory in a game that swung in both teams favour during the course of the day.

It all started with new skipper Nick eschewing the traditional coin toss on the pitch, in fact the toss was made without either skipper getting within 100 yards of the strip but Salix, after winning the toss chose to Bat. This probably wasn’t a bad result for the Whalers as they boasted possibly their strongest ever bowling line up, and Jack set the tone in the first 3 balls, play and miss, play and miss, play and off stump destroyed. Matt followed up by bowling the other opener and when Khalil and Ross took over there was no respite for the batters. Khalil grabbed 2 more and Salix were 4 for cheap but then the game started to swing, some good batting and some dropped catches saw Salix claiming the ascendancy, Kamal and Geoff couldn’t wrestle it back so Nick came into the attack and found the breakthrough, followed up with 2 more wickets while the returning Matt and Khalil tied things back down – Salix finished on 156, probably a par score but the Whalers, despite a number of excellent catches looked back on 4-5 dropped ones and thought it was probably a few runs more than it could have been.

In reply Gilo and Channa started well but like debutant Luke and Ross who followed, all made good starts but got out between 15 and 20. As the middle order got tied down and the run rate rose to around 7 an over the Whalers were crying out for someone to make the telling contribution, it came from Matt batting at 7, after a watchful start he unleashed a series of lap pull shots and boundaries started to flow. As the run rate dropped back to around 5 and the target came into view the Whalers started to come unstuck as several quick wickets fell – including the unfortunate Dan who was well held in the gully in the penultimate over. Entering the final over Whalers needed 5 to win with 2 wickets left. On the first ball Matt guided one into gully and another smart catch was taken but Matt had contributed a vital and excellent 41. Enter skipper Howes at number 11, after a slash for 2, several balls were then hit firmly but straight to the field. With 3 runs required for the win off the final ball Nick squeezed one through the on side into the deep and 3 scrambled runs later the Whalers had snuck home by the narrowest margin.

This report cannot be completed without mention of an incident late in the game, with things very tight an LBW shout was given but when it became apparent that there was a big inside edge, Salix had no hesitation in recalling the batter in a great display of sportsmanship.

So another excellent and hugely enjoyable battle with our good friends and old foes. We all look forward to the return match later In the season.

Salix 156-8 (35), Whalers 157-9 (35). Whalers win by 1 wicket

Man of the match : Matt, 41 and 1 for 12 off 5

Champagne : Spirit of cricket – Salix recalling batsman

Muppet : Dan, 3 drops behinds the stumps (to go with 3 catches, when was the last time there were 6 catches to a keeper in a game?)

Other mertitable muppet moment, Luke for taking out the umpire and Khalil for giving the LBW.

Salix report: HERE