As the Whalers reconvened in Richmond on a fine Sunday afternoon, spirits were high (or perhaps that should be Nelson was high on spirits) following last weekends fine victory.
Our optimism lasted about as long as it took us to inspect the pitch and lose the toss, with the Whalers asked to bat first.
Openers Osbourn and Osborne strode purposefully to the middle and Duncan signaled his intent with a glorious cover drive off the opening ball. That proved to be pretty much the bright spot of the opening 20 overs. Both Ozzies offered chances in the first couple of overs and after a couple of lusty blows Paul toe ended a straight drive to present a routine catch to mid on and the Whalers were 11-1. This quickly became 11-2 and 13-3 as wickets started to tumble to a solid if unspectacular opening attack and a somewhat uneven and unpredictable pitch. Too many Whalers once more gifted their wickets with head in cloud shots and daft cross bat slogs to straight good length balls, resulting in the Whalers being put into the all too familiar 30 odd for 7 position which is so embarrassing. Credit should go to the Exiles first change bowler who proved too hot to handle for the whalers middle order, and to the exiles skipper who, recognizing the danger of a game which could have been over inside an hour, provided the Whalers tail with some charity bowling to donate us a total and save our blushes. Osgood and Clipsham both took good advantage to record a number of boundaries and Clipsham’s straight six was a particularly powerful shot. Osgoods complaints about the middle of my bat didn’t stop him from racing to a top scoring 39 before being caught leg before by their returning opener, who managed to end with the remarkable figures of 5.5 overs and a couple of wickets without conceding a single run, though Mr Sherratt was complicit both for providing his second wicket and failing to call a quite clear wide in the opening over. The Whalers had subsided to 86 all out without much to shout about leaving no less than 16 of our available 40 overs unused.
The Exiles openers came to the crease fully prepared for the vagaries of the pitch with one even wearing a helmet and Osgood opened with a fiery spell to prove their fears justified, with Sherratt keeping the scoreboard ticking over from the other end despite some good balls, intent as he was in making as much use of the pitch as possible. Clearly he’d learnt his lesson from the batting collapse and his previous pitch avoidance tactics. The batsmen showed few of the Whalers failings and Osgood was hoiked for several boundaries before pitching a fuller length ball which drew a heavily sliced edge and provided the Whalers with the breakthrough slip catch. Runs continues steadily thereafter prompting the double bowling change of Clipsham and Osbourn. Clipsham successfully tied up the one end, with only four runs coming from his four over spell, but Osbourn was unable to manage the same form the other end despite making a leg before breakthrough, as the Exiles number four showed a willingness to brave the bouncers and play his shots. These two took the Exiles through to victory without undue alarm and demonstrate that the pitch was not the unplayable mess that the Whalers batting had suggested.
All in all a disappointing performance after last weeks heroics, and we expect much better on next weeks tour.
|Man of the Match:||Dan Osgood|
|Champagne moment:||The Andy Clipsham straight six|
|Muppet moment:||Nelson failing to field because “I thought the umpire would field it”.|