Sunday provided a spectacular Whalers performance as they defeated Wandham by 147 runs to record their first victory of the season in considerable style. Keen to redress last year’s debacle at the same ground the Whalers arrived in Ewell East under cloudy skies and were asked to bat after the start was delayed until 3.30pm due to the World Cup.
Openers Hanmer and Osbourn started brightly, with Osbourn in particular looking in great form as Richie Williams, starring for the opposition, was plundered for a series of early boundaries. At the other end wickets began to fall as Gibbins was once again left wondering if he’d made the right choice of footwear and was caught leg before. By the time Humphreys fell to a good catch, Osbourn had passed fifty, and was joined at the stumps by Dickenson. The fourth wicket stand that followed took the game conclusively away from Wandham as 93 runs were added. Despite the captains best attempts to steal the strike, and provide occasional catching practice, Osbourn’s commanding innings continued as it had begun bringing up the Whalers first century in history with another huge 6. Dickenson departed for 36 and Osbourn finally perished for a career best 123. Hall and Cave continued the blitz adding 26 in 5 overs with Hall empowered by his goatee beard and defying previous form scored! a personal best 18 including 2 notable boundaries off Wandham’s opening bowler. A flurry of late runs and late wickets enabled the Whalers to post a record score of 228-8 off their 40 overs.
Not content to rest on their laurels, the Whalers bowled and fielded with aggression from the off. The opening partnership of Mildon and Osgood bowled with pace, and troubled all of Wandham’s top order. Both achieved crucial early breakthroughs, gaining 2 wickets apiece in their seven over spells. Indeed Osgood, labouring up the hill on a hangover might have had 3, but in bizarre circumstances withdrew an appeal for lbw after it had been given out, with the rest of the team watching elsewhere as they swooped on a run out chance. Tight fielding increased the pressure on the Wandham batsmen as change bowlers Clipsham and Sherratt both put in excellent spells despite Sherratt’s usual early difficulties in finding the pitch, forcing Humphreys behind the stumps into a series of athletic ‘saves’. Clipsham finished with 1-14 from seven and Sherratt the pick with 3-13 as the tail was duly mopped up with catches held in the best fielding performance of the season.
An emphatic win then as at last the Whalers managed to play consistently well throughout the match rather than drifting in and out of games. The standards the team can reach have now been established and need to be brought forward to the next game before the rigours of international touring at the end of the month. And no Brazil shirts permitted next week.
|Man of the Match:||Paul Osbourn|
|Champagne moment:||Dan Hall’s first boundary of his innings|
|Muppet moment:||Dan Osgood’s withdrawn appeal|