Salix CC vs Whalers CC: Barn Elms; Sunday 18th July 2021
The hottest day of the summer set the stage for a great outing for the Whalers, with skipper winning the toss and elected to bat first on seemingly “used” pitch. All the 11 Whalers arrived fresh in the scorching sun in a not too far away game against Salix. Josh, Vishal and Amit loosened themselves with the football while others were applying sun cream in the shade.
Dean and Pip opened for Whalers and gave the steady start. A few missed chances against Dean was going to be very expensive, little did Salix know about by then. Dean started to deal in 4s and reached his 50. The opening partnership was done when Pip was trapped in front of wickets and given LBW on 26. Amit joined Dean in the middle who started to look good and hit some boundaries.Dean well settled by now, started to deal in 6s, reached to his 90s and celebrated his magnificent 90s as a century – credit to scorer – probably scorer knows the pain of being underscored – he overscored the batter. Not aware of this, Dean went into all out attack and reached his un-clapped 100, and continued to dominate and de-moralizing bowlers. He went to hit 11 sixes, and 14 fours equalizing his own best score of 152 before he was caught on the boundary. Vishal continued to show his DSLR skills on the boundary – Dean’s inning is well captured for the memory.
Fraser walked in to join Amit but did not trouble scorer much and got out on a loose delivery while trying to hit long. Geoff walked in next, soon Amit departed too, losing his concentration and got trapped in front of the wickets on 26. Viren after a long wait went to join Geoff in the middle in a football jersey( more on this later ). Both departed soon leaving Matt and Vishal on the crease. They didn’t disappoint and gave us entertainment with some good shots and good running between the wickets. Vishal’s six over the long off was the highlight of the last part of the Whalers inning where his hitting took the opponents by surprise. Matt was bowled on 15 trying to hit over the covers. Josh and Vishal continued till the last overs and left Whalers on 280 in 35 overs.
With the ongoing rumours of a good batting line-up in the opposition left Whalers bowlers nothing but inspired. Dan and Suhaib started with the new ball. Dan struck first for the Whalers when he wrapped the batter in front of wicket. While Suhaib was struggling to find his line, he was targeted and got hit for boundaries. Dan showing his experience kept the business – run rate – in control with his line-length and pace. VV (Viren and Vishal) were brought as the first change. Viren was quick to get Whalers another breakthrough – clean bowled and gave batsman a send-off with a stare – not a gentleman’s game anymore for him. Vishal too got one by cleaning the wickets. Salix started to leave behind the required run-rate, which started to skyrocket and put pressure on the batsman. Next in the bowling attack, Matt and Amit were brought – Matt immediately got one, as the pressure was mounting on the batsman. While Salix were losing wickets from the one end, their one opener reached his half century. Any hope of chasing it down vanished when Amit clean bowled him, and got the next batsman LBW on consecutive deliveries – and was ready to bowl the hat-trick ball – “not today” he ended up with. Josh brought himself on the attack and soon got the wicket. Batsman skied the ball, Amit failing to realize the trajectory of the ball, started to run for the ball very late with one hand in front (in hope) and luckily got the catch. All that was left was overs to bowl as the required run rate was way over. Finishing 35 overs, Salix managed to get 188.
PS: If you are wondering who was the scorer – Geoff
Whalers: 280-8 from 35 overs (Dean 152, Vishal 29)
Salix: 188-8 from 35 overs (Amit 2-13, Dan 2-19)
Man of the Match: Dean for 152 runs
Champagne: Vishal’s six down the groundMuppet: Viren taking forever to get ready, although warned about the typical Whalers collapse – eventually went to bat with a Tottenham jersey.