If the great, late Roy Castle was with us he would have been doing his nut by 8.30pm on what was a glorious Sunday evening as records tumbled quicker than the cry of ‘Football fielding’ is called out during a Whalers fines session.
Yet the day started in typical Whalers fashion. Team members turned up late, with Cave the culprit this time as he claimed to have got lost en route to the Whalers home ground. However post match allegations pointed to his lateness being attributed to a stop at the Manicurists around the corner for a quick polish and file after the despair he revealed after breaking a nail after spilling a catch at long-on. Gibbo turned up hungover, apparently due to consuming a large number of sherbets in Brighton. Reports that he was yet again caught by the paparazzi with a UFGO (Unidentified Fat Ginger Object) were firmly denied by Skipper Dickenson in the post match press conference.
The normality continued as Club Tosser Dickenson failed once more to identify the difference between a head and a tail (maybe he has been hanging around Gibbo for too long?) and the Whalers were dutifully put into bat. After a patient start Hamner perished, showing his match rustiness after a brief promotional tour to the Far East where, it is rumoured, he lined up overseas signing O.Rangutan to bolster the clubs shaky mid order next season.
This brought to the crease crowd favourite Nelson. With his personal fan club looking on Nelson started with four immaculate forward defence shots and looked set for an Athertonesque knock. However the fifth ball had sausage rolls, sandwiches and cakes written all over it as Nelson’s eyes lit up. He obviously swung and missed it and was clean bowled by a full toss. He spent the rest of the afternoon trying unsuccessfully to explain the difference between a four and a six to his girlfriend.
Enter last seasons leading run scorer Osgood, reunited with his favourite bat and obviously devoid of any Whalers kit whatsoever to join Osbourn at the crease whilst skipper Dickenson due in at five donned his pads awaiting the middle order collapse. However miracles do happen. Witness Mildon playing a match and not getting injured (Ed. – this has yet to happen). Witness DuckFreys getting off the mark (Ed. – this has yet to happen). Witness Oz being the first to finish his pint (Ed. – this has yet to happen). Witness a Whalers third wicket unbroken partnership of 237 runs (Ed. – You’re kidding me??!!).
Yes readers, 237 runs. It was quite sensational. The commentary box was purring as Osbourn repeatedly smashed the ball through the offside off the back and front foot, whilst Osgood smashed the ball back over the bowlers head and crashed the ball through the legside field. Both surpassed 50 with ease and it was Osbourn who turned his 50 into his second ton of the season. With overs running out, and the skipper baying for retirements to enable him to bat for average, Osgood struck a boundary to take him to his maiden Whalers hundred.
And so it was that Whalers took to the field to defend a score of 257 for 2, after scores of 109 Not Out and 113 Not Out by Osgood and Osbourn respectively had given Whalers their highest ever score.
However Wanderes got off to a decent start (primarily due to Whalers opening the bowling with Wicketkeeper/Non-Batsman Duckphreys) and were soon putting on the pressure as they reached the 100 with only a couple of wickets down. An impressive and tight spell by Kumal earned him a well deserved debut wicket, but it was clear that the oppositions danger man was still at the crease, and that with him still at the wicket this game was still very much on, especially given the Whalers apparent inability to hit a double decker bus, let alone three cricket stumps with an over-arm throw from 10 yards.
When things are not going your way, you turn to your special bowler. Someone who can put pressure on the oppo, slow their run rate down and prize out the key batsman. Captain’s are judged on their ability to pick this special bowler. Cometh the moment, cometh the man is the old phrase, so with seasons figures of 7.4 overs, one wicket at a cost of 76 runs (even Enron accounting makes that about 10 runs an over) the skipper brought himself on.
On a day of Whalers miracles, this was not to be one of them. In all fairness Dickenson bowled decidedly better than figures of 4 overs for 38 runs suggests, and the two sixes he was smacked for were all in a good cause as his hard earned 20p’s went to Sport Relief.
So with the game finally poised it was time to turn to the century makers. They continued their great form as Osgood earned a couple of wickets, but it was Osbourn who got the crucial breakthrough, clean bowling the number three for Wanderers who had compiled a great knock of 125, before wrapping up the tail and finishing with figures of 4 for 4 off two overs.
The result was a Whalers victory by 45 runs in front of a record crowd including Ollie Baynes’ relatives and their ‘lunch guests’ and four gorgeous ladies who unfortunately forgot their cheerleading outfits.
|Men of the Match:||Oz (x 2)|
|Champagne moments:||Osbourn Cover Drive (1)
Osbourn Cover Drive (2)
Osbourn clean bowling Wanderers Century maker
|Muppet moments:||Ollie self impaling himself on the stumps
Gibbo tipping the ball over the boundary and into the jungle
Osgood/Dickenson run out debacle