Whalers CC vs Energy Exiles; Sunday 7 July; King’s House Sports Ground
Energy Exiles beat Whalers by 27 runs
Hot hot hot. Sunday the 7th July was a scorcher and the Whalers were facing the Energy Exiles. Allocated pitch-A at Kings house this would be an exhibition match. Ideal batting conditions were in the offing and with a fast outfield plus a hard deck this would be a toss to win…Never mind Skip, better luck next time.
The Exiles chose to bat (surprise, surprise) and the already sweaty Whalers took to the field. With the opening pairing of Mildon and Christos, we were certain that a wicket would soon come our way soon. It didn’t. Seems that both openers were of the Geoff Boycott school of batting and the overs just rolled by. No chances came our way and the batsmen scrounged for runs. Oh there was the one that Kev dropped, but that flashed by him so quick that it was surprising that we even saw it. Tidy bowling by both Christos and Mildon ground the scoring down to the odd single. The Exiles trickled on painfully and the overs were zooming past. First change of bowling as skipper Dan turned to Khalil. Similar tight bowling…but still no wickets. A random boundary slipping past Kevin’s gloves was the only notable occurrence. Fielding was tight but onward the Exiles trooped.
The Exiles seemed happy to conserve their wickets so Dan turned to the dragonslayer Luckett to try and make a dent. It didn’t work. The run rate increased, but we were eating up the overs. Off came Khalil, preserved for the final overs and on came Aussie JT. No impact. The runs were still restricted, but that elusive first wicket didn’t come. We were in the latter half of their allocated overs and the Exiles were still on 70.
In the meanwhile we were starting to cook. Getting hot and bothered. Roasting.
Skipper Dan turned to himself in desperation. It worked. It only cost a few wides but Geoff Boycott no 1 swiped and edged a sharp one to Kev who took it at around the level of is ear [Champagne moment].
The remaining overs stumbled on. The runs were restricted but now the wickets were starting to fall. A sharp run out by Dan and Kev saw Geoff Boycott no2 depart. Khalil came back on and took a well deserved wicket.
The Whalers were looking good. Sharpness in the field and decent bowling had restricting the Exiles to a low score. We were down to the last 7 overs of this 35 over fixture and the Exiles were on 120. Then… their number three bat started to hit out. Boundary followed boundary. The Whalers panicked. Wide followed wide. The heat got to the fielders and mistakes started to happen. The last two overs conceded a whopping 35 runs with some comedy fielding out on the boundary, a half a dozen wides and two huge sixes.
The final score was 193 for 4. 40 of those runs had been conceded in extras! The score was much higher than initial tight bowling deserved but a good batting wicket and the fact that the Exiles kept their wickets intact gave their middle order batsman the freedom to hit out.
Tea and a quick catchup of the Murray game. Some of the Whalers had showers (well atleast one did) and the rest plotted and schemed and agreed that 194 was gettable on this pitch.
Opening for the Whalers would be Nicholls and Pratt. Unfortunately for Pratt his innings never got started as he was dismissed for 2. Nicholls on the other side had been hitting out and was racking up the boundaries when Channa joined him at the crease. Channa and Pete soon settled into a boundary centric partnership. The opening bowlers were not doing much and the Whalers were soon on 58 in the 7th over. However complacency got the best of both batsmen as Pete was bowled for 32 and Channa for 20. Albery, who had replaced Nicholls, was out soon after for 1 and the score with Boucher and Mildon at the crease was 61 for 4 from 11 overs.
What followed was some well needed protection of the lower order; but it came at a cost. Boucher and Mildon knocked the ball to the fielders for the next 8 overs. 83 for 4 of 19 overs.
Mildon eventually got worried about the low run rate and after a might swing, watched the ball almost go for six. Almost wasn’t enough. Caught!
Luckett next. To be fair the dragonslayer got a sweet boundary. He even ran a few, but his wait for the elusive big score is still on hold. Enter JT. Now some of you will recall that he hit his high score of 67 against this team last season. However it wasn’t meant to be this time around as the Exiles cheered and whooped in jubilation having dismissed a long standing wound in their side.
Whalers were in the doghouse. 102 for 7 of 23. Next up was Khalil.
Meanwhile Boucher was improving the run rate. Boundaries started to flow and he reached a well fought 50. The partnership ended when Khalil was caught out for 5. Boucher was out for 54 in the next over.
The Whalers were 138 for 9 of 28. 56 more runs were needed to win. Seven overs remaining.
Dan and Christos at the crease. Luckett was still saying that we could win. The rest of us were sceptical. Murray was playing his third set.
Dan and Christos batted really well. Pushing for almost non existing runs they kept the game moving. Alas the Whalers were only scoring at 3 or 4 an over. Not enough. Finally Dan holed out for 12 and with Christos’s 12* that gave us a final score of 166. Unlucky boys. Post match analysis blamed it on the 40 extras we gave away…amongst other things!
Muppet: Dan for getting hit for 22 of his last over (4,4,2,6,2,4) and losing the toss.
Champagne: Kev for taking a sharp catch behind the wicket. Ps: The ball was rocketing straight at his face!
MOM : Matt Boucher for his collapse stopping 54.