Whalers CC vs Stallions CC; King’s House Sports Ground; Sunday 4th August 2019
Following a washout the previous week, the Whalers returned to action on Sunday vs the Stallions at Kings House.
Buoyed by the return of Geoff after 5 months travelling and his pre-match advice regarding how to respond to a bear attack, skipper Will confidently took the decision to toss up without inspecting wicket choosing to bat first.
The early progress of openers Dean and Tom indicated this was a wise decision, until the latter was caught at cover leaving the Whalers 33/1 in the 8th over. Enter Fraser who quickly injected some momentum into the innings with a number of sweetly struck boundaries (and an all-run 5). More than ably supported by an in-form Dean, the Whalers reached 98/1 by drinks.
Soon after Fraser was out LBW for a well-made 46 to Riaz to bring Will to crease. Dean brought up his fifty shortly after with a six. The pair put on 50 before Will was also out LBW with the score 176/3 with 6 overs left.
This brought Geoff to the crease brandishing a new logo-less bat brought from an unknown maker in rural Essex. Early indications of the bat’s quality were inconclusive as a noticeably rusty batsman preceded to edge all early deliveries faced, including a comical double drop. At the other end a less troubled Dean serenely moved to another excellent 100, although he was caught behind soon after for 106.
Viren joined Geoff and together they upped the rate with some cracking shots taking the Whalers to what seemed like an imposing 257/4 from their 35 overs, a less rusty Geoff finishing 34*.
The Stallions response was dented early when Dan bowled the opener in only the 3rd over, but thereafter the batsmen found their feet and started finding the boundary with regularity, in particular opener Rameez.
Russell eventually dismissed the No.3 to leave the Stallions 45/2, but Rameez continued his assault taking a particular liking to anything straight or slightly legside, moving quickly to 50.
After some juggling of bowlers to stem the flow of runs, Dean snared the No.4 to bring Stallions skipper Ejaz to the crease. Despite the wicket the runs continued to flow with Rameez reaching a superb hundred soon after. With the prospect of defeat growing ever greater, Will turned to Tom to stop the rot and was repaid a few overs later when he winkled out Rameez caught behind and quickly removed the No.6 LBW.
With 2 overs left the Stallions required 11 runs to win with skipper Ejaz an imposing presence at the crease. Step forward Dan who bowled a fantastic over conceding two runs and taking the vital wicket of Ejaz.
So it all came down to the final over with 9 runs required and a New Zealander selected to bowl it. One briefly wondered how many would be watching were the game made available on free-to-air.
A first ball dot, was followed by a quickly run bye and a third ball boundary. Then it got interesting. Next ball a steepling chance was put down allowing the batsman two runs, but Geoff followed up with ANOTHER dot ball. Two to win off the final ball. The final delivery was bunted down to long on and the batsman desperately tried to come back from a second run which was never there…but a very unfortunate bounce from a bullet throw from Tom saw the ball evade Geoff’s grasp allowing the Stallions to complete the run and secure the win.
Freshly consigned to the dustbin of history, the dejected Whalers dragged themselves from the field to shake the hands of their opponent. There would be no super over, no champagne reception at No.10, no Queen’s birthday honours. Not now. Probably not in 4 years. Maybe never.
Some disappointed Whalers regrouped in the clubhouse for a hefty fines session. Thanks to the Stallions for a very enjoyable game.
MoM: Dean for his hundred