Salix CC vs Whalers CC; Harlington Sports Ground; Sunday 9th July 2017
In balmy conditions on Sunday afternoon, the Whalers arrived with a full complement of eleven players ready to take on Salix. The oppo have had a season ravaged by injury and were therefore only able to field 9 players, so a timed format was agreed with the day limited to 70 overs in total. It did not help that a key oppo player had been left injured whilst making up the numbers for Whalers during a previous match, so to level up the numbers Rob volunteered to switch over to Salix for the day, making it a 10 a side game.
With the toss won, Whalers decided to bat. Dean and Dario entered the fray first. Dean hung around for a little while, before ultimately falling to Bala by being trapped LBW for 9. The decision seemed a potentially harsh one, but it was left to Marcos to come in at 3.
Marcos managed to survive one major scare, with the umpire flagging for caught behind. Eventually it was agreed that Marcos should continue. With a few boundaries under his belt, Marcos was given out in the exact same fashion a small amount of time later, caught by the wicketkeeper from Dillan’s bowling.
Skipper Stu came in at number 4 looking to steady the ship and forge a partnership with the well settled Dario. However, he picked up just 1 run before chipping up the ball perfectly to an opposition player who took the catch. Rob, the player loaned to Salix for the day, was the man who delivered the ball and took great delight in the dismissal and Whalers were left wobbling on 60-3.
Mark came in next at number 5. Despite a few plays and misses to spin bowling, he managed to add 29 to the total with some fairly unorthodox batting. He eventually limply chipped the ball straight back to the spin bowler Dillan who gobbled up the easy catch.
Dennis and Dario started to form a partnership before Dennis was dismissed LBW for 7 by Bala. Russell added 2 runs before being being bowled by the same bowler. Jack came in next.
Throughout all this, the man of the match Dario was quietly and effectively amassing runs. With some beautiful strokeplay, he got up to 85 runs including 14 boundaries, his record score for the Whalers. The innings was vital to the Whalers total. This was all the more impressive given that Dario was still suffering from illness that had put his appearance in doubt. He looked increasingly likely to carry his bat right through the innings, before sadly falling to Darling’s bowling.
With Dan still suffering a shoulder injury from a cycling crash in the previous week, Special K was promoted to number 9 in the batting. The pairing of Jack and Special then saw out the rest of the innings. Jack was the more aggressive of the two, adding 23 whilst Special added 5 runs. When the scoreboard ticked over to 200 and some 37 overs having been played, the captain decided it was time for the Whalers to have a bowl and called time on the innings. Whalers were 200-7.
The oppo required 201 in 33 overs to win. Jack and Russell opened up the bowling, but were stifled by the opening partnership of the opposition. Despite a few close moments, the Whalers were left struggling as the scoreboard went past 50. Special K was brought into the attack along with Dennis.
Dennis was bowling well and had limited the opposition to just 6 runs from his 3 overs, before he was chasing a hoist down to the fine leg boundary whilst fielding. Around 5 yards from the ball, he fell to the floor, with most people initially thinking that he had miscalculated a slide. When he didn’t then get back up, players began to jog over to show their concern. Unfortunately Dennis had a hamstring injury and had to depart the field.
With only 9 Whalers on the pitch, the oppo sent on Bala to bolster the fielding. On the very next ball, an ugly leg side full toss from Special was sent flying towards the boundary. Bala calmly took the catch, making an immediate impression on the game and getting the ball rolling for Whalers, the opening batsman dismissed for 52.
Stu replaced the injured Dennis in the bowling attack, and made his mark immediately, taking a wicket in his first over. In what some described as a slow full toss (perhaps the captain felt it was a stunning yorker), he had the batsman clean bowled. It was Stu’s only over of the day.
The next batsman to come in was Rob, who immediately began to plunder runs and boundaries. With the field sat well back, he suffered the same fate as the opening batsman. Special again picked up a wicket with not his best ball, another leg side full toss being caught on the boundary again by the substitute fielder Bala.
Soon after, a sharp piece of fielding from Dan and a little bit of juggling from Dean saw the next opposition batsman run out for just 1. The Whalers seemed to have the momentum at this stage, with seemingly enough overs left to dismiss the rest of the attack. When Jack took two quick wickets in an excellent spell of bowling, the Whalers were right on top of the game. One of the wickets was an excellent catch from Dan, who moved quickly forward to take a low catch. Dan was also bowling well at the other end and was unlucky to not take any wickets himself.
However, the next partnership navigated the remaining overs, leaving the match to disappointingly peter out to a draw, with the oppo 133-6 and having 3 wickets in hand when the time limit was reached.
Whalers 200-7 (37 overs)
Salix 133-6 (33 overs)
Man of the match – Dario was the standout performer of the day, his 85 runs pivotal to the Whalers.
Champagne moment – Dan’s low catch from Jack’s bowling.
Muppet moment – Dennis doing each hamstring in the two games against Salix this season.
Link to Salix report: HERE