Russell guides Whalers to Pitch D glory

Salix CC vs Whalers CC; King’s House Sports Ground; Sunday 10th June

It was another hot Sunday afternoon as the Whalers reconvened looking to make it 3 wins in a row. Although this was an away game the game was played at our regular King’s House venue and so the only extra travelling was the long walk to Pitch D. The opponents were Salix and they didn’t appear to be too confident in ending the Whalers’ winning streak as they requested a non timed, time game (a maximum of 70 overs to be bowled) due to a perceived gulf in quality between the two sides. Will (captain) was happy to oblige and duly won the toss and elected to bat. The Whalers lined up as follows: Al, Channa, Will (c), Geoff, Dan, Jordan (debut), Josh, Jack, Russell, Nick and Kamal.

From the onset it became clear that the pitch was going to be low and slow. This combined with a large outfield meant it looked like the boundary count was going to be on the minimal side. Salix’s two opening bowlers started well and it was obvious we were going to have to work hard for our runs. Channa, filling the rather big shoes of Dean was unable to produce any of his fellow left hander’s big hitting as he lofted a straight drive into the air 3rd ball to depart for a duck. Will came in at 3 and together with Al was able to get the scoreboard moving with lots of 2s and 3s and the occasional 4. Al departed for a dogged 20, succumbing to their first change bowler, Padmore. Will was joined at the crease by Geoff who wasted no time at all in getting stuck into the attack. After bludgeoning a couple of 4s and also a six his entertaining but brief stint after he mistimed an Ellis delivery on the leg side and was caught at midwicket. Dan was the next man in at 5, slightly higher than he is normally accustomed to but the long boundaries suited his game and he soon set about scampering between the wickets. Will was then bowled for 33 to leave the Whalers at 92-4 and debutant Jordan striding out to the middle. Dan and Jordan put on a good partnership but with the Whalers looking to up the tempo having reached the 30 over mark Dan was caught in spectacular fashion at deep mid off to walk back for a well crafted 35, leaving the Whalers at 139-5. A combination of Josh, Jack, Russell and Nick the combined to get Whalers to a respectable score of 166/8 from 36 overs before Will decided that was enough and declared.

Needing 167 to win against a Whalers attack with a variety of options, you felt that Salix needed to get off to a good start to win or draw the game. This wasn’t to be the case though as Nick took care of their two openers, the first a nick well held at slip by Geoff and the second a fairly hefty drive that managed to find Josh at his customary mid off position. This however brought their number 3 (Yovan) to the crease and it soon became apparent that he could play, hitting some powerful shots all around the ground. Kamal in particular was on the receiving end of fierce hitting but his patience was rewarded as he bowled Yovan out for 37. Salix’s hopes now appeared to rest with Grant (mistakenly misheard in the scorebook as Crufts) but after being dropped behind by Dan who was deputising as WK, Russell eventually got his man bowled. He then proceeded to get two more, one with the assistance of a diving Jack, to leave Salix 5 down. Josh was then given the ball and surprised most people including himself by occasionally pitching the ball somewhere near the stumps and managing to grab a couple of wickets. Jordan made it a fine all round debut by taking his first Whalers wicket before Jack finished things off after their number 10 generously left a straight one.

Whalers: 166-8 declared. Dan 35, Will 33.

Salix: 95 all out. Russell 3-19, Josh 2-9, Nick 2-16.

All in all a good team performance.

Champagne moment: Kamal- for taking the most important wicket of the day.

Muppet moment: Josh- for a premature slide about 3 metres from the ball.

MOTM: Russell for 3 wickets

Fine of the day: Nick Howes