Salix CC vs Whalers – 29th July 2007

Salix CC won by 69 runs

The annual Salix fixture traditionally delivers a scorching day and a run fest. This has been no ordinary summer though, and heavy rain on Saturday had left both pitch and outfield looking distinctly on the soft side. It certainly wasn’t to be a run fest either, especially where the Whalers were concerned, but more of that later.

With the pitch looking like a bit of a sticky dog, the toss could perhaps have been filed as a ‘good one to lose’ and lost it duly was by Captain Hanmer, and we were fielding. And it started very well for us with probing opening spells from the Osgood and Gould. An early wicket for Osgood provided the first breakthrough, and change bowlers Kirkness and Clipsham carried forward the good start, with Ed in particular bowling an excellent spell picking up an lbw and a tidy catch by Dario in the covers. At drinks Salix were 45-3 off 18 overs and struggling.

The slow bowling options of Hanmer and English were introduced after the break, and as Salix looked to push the rate along, runs began to flow more freely for the first time in the game. Ads picked up one courtesy of a running catch from Ed, culminating in a hurdle of the stumps and a bear hug, and Pip after taking some initial punishment found some impressive control and two classical leg-spin wickets with a bowled and a sharp catch from Dario at first slip.

At the other end however Salix’s Rayner was starting to accumulate runs nicely and played a decisive innings in the context of the game. He took a particular liking to the captain’s fourth over. After a return catch was put down off the first ball (off own bowling, their highest scorer, football fielding)Rayner proceeded to take the next five balls for 20 runs. Gould returned to take three wickets, two with long-hops both lackadaisically caught by Hanmer, and one with a beauty that finally got rid of Rayner for 64. With Dan tidying up the tail Salix were all out for 147.

At tea the consensus was that the target was definitely achievable, especially as the pitch looked to be drying out nicely. A solid start was required though, and it wasn’t to be as the top three of Terrell, VDP and Forte managed only 8 between them, and when Child was run out without scoring we were in deep trouble at 27-4. Dickenson and Hanmer looked to nurse the Whalers to drinks and regroup, but it wasn’t to be as Ads perished for 10 with a non-textbook stroke just before drinks and at 18 overs Whalers were 50-5.

Credit must go to Salix here for their outstanding bowling, extremely consistent and accurate. They bowled only one wide and no no balls compared to our count of 7 and 11 respectively. Pip and Al made a solid start after drinks, but with the pressure mounting on the run rate Al was caught at mid-on for a boundary-less 21 and Pip followed soon after run out by a direct hit for 15. The game was pretty much up by then, a few lusty hits from Ed’s Powerbow delayed the end slightly, but Dan and Clippy failed to trouble the scorers leaving Gouldy stranded and wondering if he’ll ever get an average this year.

And so the Whalers second scorebook came to a very disappointing conclusion, as the Whalers were beaten by Salix for the first time since 2001, and comprehensively at that. Not for the first time the Whaler’s batting couldn’t deal with the pressure of accurate bowling. Food for thought for the rest of the season.

Match stats:

Salix CC 146 – James 3-30, Dan 2-16, Ed 2-17

Whalers CC 77 – Al 21

Man of the match:                 Ed – 2 wickets, a great catch, and some runs

Champagne moment:           Dario’s one-handed slip catch

Muppet moment:                   Ad’s final over.

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