Fifty from Gould sets up thrilling last ball victory

Whalers CC vs Salix CC; King’s House Sports Ground Sunday May 19th 2013

Whalers 159-8 (40) beat Salix 158ao (40) by one run

A superb encounter against old foes Salix in which the result wasn’t decided until after the full 80 overs of the game. A contest which twisted and turned but ended magnificently with the Whalers narrowest victory in history by just one run.

There were late changes to the team, with Channa withdrawing the night before, perhaps already noting the Salix team news and not wanting to be CK2. He was replaced by Kamal who was to play a pivotal role in the final denouement. Also selected as normal was the scorebook – surely Paul couldn’t forget it again? Well despite looking at it through the morning it failed to make the journey to the game. Perhaps in the absence of such key data Dan had forgotten the most recent nine and ten wicket victories and on winning the toss decided to resort to more traditional Whalers tactics of batting first.

The first part of the Whalers innings did not start well. A decent opening spell from Winston picked up the wickets of Al for 4 (bowled off his pad) and Kev for one (hit his bat into his pad, bouncing off creating a perfect gate). Ads did a little better frustrating Salix with a series of ‘carefully placed’ leg side chips, but eventually misjudged one and was out caught. Enter and exit Paul Luckett for a two ball duck and we were 30-4 and yet to see a boundary.

James Gould on season debut was hanging around though with some solid defence and he was joined by Gilo who at last found the boundary. However after a highly risky leave early in a CK1 over Gilo decided to try the same again only to be bowled flush on off stump. That was drinks and 41-5 off 19.

After the break Rob was out for one and Khalil joined Gouldie for a very fine partnership. James started to open up more including some impressive cover drives, while Khalil got his eye in and unleashed some of his trademark leg-side flicks. A crucial aspect to the partnership was the consistently high scoring rate with overs going for 8 and 9 with regularity. When Khalil was finally out for 46 the pair had added 87, and the momentum of the game had shifted.

Gouldie had passed 50 by this point but was out shortly after chasing quick runs at the death. Some scampered singles from Dan and runs from Nick despite losing his sunglasses from his head when playing a shot gave the Whalers 159-8 from their 40 overs. With a big outfield this was worth perhaps more than it looked and certainly much better than we dared hope from our inauspicious start.

Khalil and Rob opened the bowling for the Whaler and started tidily and Khalil claimed the first wicket of Henig bowled for a duck. The second wicket proved harder to come by. Especially after a missed opportunity for a run out where with one Salix batsmen overcommitting to an early dive ended up, to steal a Whaling pun, beached several yards short. Kev unsighted foolishly decided to listen the shouts of bowlers end and sent the throw there where the batsmen was safely in and on his second pint. A couple of middling to sharp chances went down and it looked like maybe it wouldn’t be our day after all, but Khalil picked up a caught behind courtesy of Kev, and Kamal snaffled  a well deserved LBW.

There followed long passages of play where Nick bowled and the Salix number 4 Jolly played and missed, but at the other end Darling was looking dangerous but was crucially bowled by Nick with the last ball before drinks and it was well poised at 72-4 after 20 overs.

Shortly after Nick finally dismissed Jolly, finishing with 8-3-16-2 and Dan joined in the wickets with a well taken catch of the no time to think about it variety by Paul at mid off and Salix looked out of it at 80-6 with the required rate rising rapidly. However some solid hits from Lumsden and increasingly Padmore kept the rate at a manageable six an over and despite Gilo (2-23) and Gouldie (1-13) contributing to the wickets column there were some expensive overs thrown in.

And so it all came down to 18 off 3 overs with two wickets left, and one over each from Khalil, Gilo and Dan due to a minor miscount by the skipper. Khalil bowled over 38 and conceded just two (finishing with 2-20) and when Rich trapped Winston LBW with the first ball of the penultimate over Whalers were favourites, but some wides and well run twos reduced it to eight required off the last.

When the first ball from Dan was short and clattered to the fence for four by Padmore Salix were back in the ascendency, but single, single, dot, dot followed and it came down to the final ball with two for the win and one to tie. So Dan to Padmore, who could only find The Special One at short mid on who kept his cool and threw to Dan at the bowlers end who broke the stumps and left the unfortunate Padmore run out a few yards short for 41.

So much jubilation for the Whalers, and thanks to James and Khalil for their decisive batting stints, and fantastic all round contributions in the field to gain a win by the narrowest of margins. Thanks also to Salix, always friendly and enjoyable opponents, for such a competitive game, which could have so easily gone the other way.

Champagne Moment: Kamal / Dan run out to win the game off the final ball

Muppet moment: Rich’s ‘leave’

Man of the Match: James Gould #gould54

Salix report can be found here