The Whalers regrouped on a wet Sunday afternoon with a simple game plan. Defeat the opposition and end our unwanted losing streak.
Things started in the usual fashion, that being Big Al losing the toss and the Brixton captain seizing the opportunity to keep warm and dry in the pavilion at our expense.
Despite the rain which continued throughout play, the Brixton openers appeared unconcerned as they blasted their way through the opening overs with a display of strong clean hitting, despite the dogged persistence and probing bowling of the Whalers openers, Paul Mildon and Ed Kirkness. The Whalers plugged away though and keeper Dave Humphreys ensured that no quarter was given in a much improved Whalers fielding effort.
This persistence finally paid off when the Brixton big hitter went for one uppish drive too many and drilled a penetrating on drive straight at Ollie Bayne’s head off Mildon to give the bowler the reward his performance richly deserved. Fortunately Ollie inserted hands into the firing line at the last moment to take a good catch and the Whalers were back in the game.
This set the tone for the coming overs with the strong Brixton batting line up making some fantastic shots and the Whalers taking some fantastic catches, the champagne moment of Mildon’s full length diving catch off the bowling of Andy Clipsham being particularly noteworthy.
Clipsham took (or bought) three wickets which were ultimately to seal the man of the match award with his variation of good length straight balls and wide long hops to put the Whalers in a good position to capitalize. Osbourn contributed his usual combination of the quick and the wayward rubbish to ensure Humphreys was kept in the game and ensure that the purchase of a washing machine became his top priority in the coming days.
The tone of the game was clearly changing as wides became the main means through which the scoreboard ticked along and the Brixton middle order struggled to make much progress. Following a strong appeal for leg before which was turned down to Ozzie’s incredulity, another good catch by the Whalers through the drunken Duncan Osborne, and the bowling of the Brixton skipper by Oz, Brixton were called in as the rain maintained its steady downpour and the ball and pitch became treacherously wet.
Following tea the decision was taken to call a halt to proceedings with the game nicely poised with Brixton on 110-5 off 26 of their 40 allotted overs, and the Whalers claimed their draw to gain at least the comfort of halting the four game losing streak.
Having nothing more to add from a cricketing perspective, the team retired to the bar to perform a fines session notable for the generous (and unexpected) let off of Osbourn’s efforts to bring the game into disrepute, the almost unheard of result being that Dickenson, Nelson or Osbourn failed to be the heaviest fined participants with Humphreys (somewhat harshly) hammered for his early departure with the changing room key (complete with 5 kilo block of wood designed to avoid such events) on his highly efficient season debut behind the stumps.
Lets hope the weather behaves better for the rest of the season given the high cost of paying to watch the rain pour down. From now on we are only to book the pitch for sunny days!
|Man of the Match:||Andy Clipsham|
|Champagne moment:||Paul Mildon’s catch|
|Muppet moment:||Dave Humphreys roughing up the middle of the wicket on his arse|