5 May 2007
Whalers win by 56 runs
The second game of the season saw the Whalers up against old foes, the Cricketers. However, this did not appear to be the usual Cricketers team packed to the rafters with Aussie ring-ins, and we drew some comfort from the distinct lack of convict brogue from the visitors. Things got even better when stand in skipper, Big Al, drew on his vast experience to call correctly and, as usual, elected to bat.
However, we got off to shaky start, and with Pip falling LBW in the third over and Ollie bowled in the fifth, the Whalers soon found themselves at 19 for 2. But VDP on season debut had been composed yet assertive at the other end, and together with Big Al, set about turning things to the home sides’ advantage. An excellent stand of 121 followed with both players pacing their innings well – picking up ones and twos as well as wheeling out the big shots for anything wayward. When both passed their 50s in quick succession, the team looked on for a king sized score. However, we had our usual wobble when VDP was finally caught for a Whalers best of 64. New man Will claimed only to have played cricket once before, but was able to club a hasty few runs before departing for 9. Unfortunately Al had caught the bug too and fell the very next ball (for 74), making that mammoth score rather more challenging. But Toby, ably supported by not out specialist Mildon (employing, as usual, the late cut to great advantage), used his powerful shoulders to batter the ball around for a quick fire 26 before also being caught. The final total: 205 for 6 on 35overs.
With the pace attack of Khalil, Osgood (both off the back of top performances the previous week), Mildon and Gould, not to mention spinning fiend Special K, it was a score we backed ourselves to defend. But the Cricketers had other ideas and came out in attacking mode. They tried to hit the fearsome Whalers opening pair to all parts but it was only a matter of time before their (considerable) luck ran out. Both met their fates at the merciless hands of Khalil – the first wicket a well taken catch by Paul M. But the visitors were not deterred by the setback, and the third wicket pair continued the attacking style – with rather more success. There then followed an increasingly menacing passage of play as they kept up with the rate and took advantage of anything loose. However, they had not reckoned on the guile of Kamal, introduced after 18 overs, and the No 4 paid the price of over confidence as he was comprehensively bowled by the Sri Lankan spin wizard. When Mildon followed this up with a double wicket maiden, control had been firmly wrestled back by the Whalers. The visitors’ collapse continued as Pip, on bowling debut, took 3 quick wickets and with Ollie and James Gould both opening their accounts for the season, the Cricketers were all out for 149.
Another powerhouse performance from the Whalers to keep the winning start of the season going – a match-winning partnership from Will and Al backed up by some late order striking and solid all round bowling.
Man of the Match: Al (honourable mention for Will)
Champagne Moment: Kamal’s partnership breaking clean bowled
Muppet Moment: Pip’s run out attempt