Philistines won by 7 wickets
After the wash out against Morden Corinthians, the Whalers rocked up, ready to compile their third win of the season against a Philistines team playing their first game of the season, and avenge a five wicket defeat against the same opposition, on the same pitch, in similar conditions, 52 weeks prior. Despite excuses varying from “time needed with the missus”, and “my girlfriend wants to watch the FA cup final with me”, Duncs successfully scraped together a team of 11 allrounders, won the toss, and sent Stu and Will VDP out to bat.
The message was clear; Duncs wanted runs from the top 4. Bolstered by an exceptional turn-out of 5 supporters including one still inside his/her Mum’s tummy*, the top order started as ordered. 10 overs in, the score was 61 for 0 with Stu flying along, and Will VDP just behind. A moment later though, Stu missed a straight one on 42 and Al was in, promoted to number 3. With one wicket usually comes another, but not this time… Runs continued to flow and the 100 was reached after just 17 overs. Will eventually fell for 41, but this brought no relief for the Philistines as Duncs came in chasing runs. Off the mark with a four, Duncs then hammered the first Whalers six of the season and followed it with a few more fours. The 150 was reached in 24 overs with just two wickets down.
The Philistines had a secret weapon though… Slow loopy bowling! Duncs’ eyes lit up, the bat raced through the air, the eyes followed the imaginary path of the ball over cow-corner, the ball hit the pads. Rich was too amused to raise the finger and just laughed Duncsback to the pavilion. Andy Nelson came in and then quickly returned, swinging the bat with all his strength but missing the ball completely, before Toby skied one and gave the bowler his third wicket. At the other end, Al batted his way to his second successive fifty, eventually falling for 57. Rich hit a quick fire 12, while James finished on 9 not out despite choosing to chest down a beamer from the Philistines opening bowler. The Whalers finished on 207 all out from 49.3 overs.
After tea, James and Rich set about taking early wickets. Try as they might, James failed to take advantage of downhill with the wind, while Rich battled vainly against the conditions. Still, after 10 overs, the Philistines were only just past 40. Ed made the breakthrough, bowling one of the openers, but this brought in an equally proficient batsman, while at the other end, Clippy bowled a good spell into the wind. Although the scoring remained fairly slow, the Whalers weren’t able to take the wickets needed, while the fielding was a little sloppy with too many quick singles run.
Stu replaced Clippy and quickly raised Whalers hopes by getting an LBW against the other opener for 56 and Ads, playing his first game of the season tried his luck with a few overs. However, a couple of tough catches went down and the Whalers watched the Philistines move towards the target. Without ever really needing to dominate the bowlers, the batsmen drove with the wind behind them, and scored quickly past deep square leg when the wind was against.
James came back on, and after an expensive first over, took the third wicket courtesy of a sharp catch from Toby. Clippy bowled two more tight overs to finish with 7 overs for 27, the tightest figures of any bowler on the day, but it proved to be too little too late. The Philistines number three made his way to 50, and they finally finished the match with five balls to go to win by seven wickets.
*Congratulations to the Terrell’s on the birth of their daughter! Zoe Miranda was born at 00:56 on Monday 28th May, weighing 8lbs 9oz.
Whalers 207 all out – Al 56, Stu 42, VDP 41, Duncs 27
Philistines 209 for 3
Man of the match: Al for his 50
Champagne moment: Clippy’s boundary saving dive in the field
Muppet moment: Duncs for probably the worst head in the clouds heave and miss dismissal ever.