Whalers vs Salix. Sunday 3 August. Glaxo Ground.

Whalers won by 6 wickets
Salix 127ao (32.5 overs) Whalers 128-4 (28)

For the second year running this fixture delivered a scorching double drinks break type of day. The team assembled from far and wide, including Hanmer from East Angular proving to Gibbo that there is some form of life east of East Ham. However it was the relatively local boys that were by far the latest as no less than four Whalers regaled the skipper with tales of shopping trolleys, men on crutches and stray dogs on the A40 that just about shaded the increasingly prevalent Robbie Williams Knebworth traffic jam stories. Although their co-ordination of such an original ‘excuse’ was admirable they were still late in the eyes of the Fines Committee. The half dozen who were there for the start time did not waste their time as a particularly energetic fielding practice took place. Some fielding exercises are of more benefit than others and this one definitely had one clear product. Dan Hall injured his finger.

Anyway back to the game itself. The pitch looked a belter (but later turned out to be a low bouncer instead) and Mildon, having defied calls for a Nasseresque resignation following the previous weeks thrashing at the hands of international representative opposition, lost the toss and we were unsurprisingly asked to field. Opening the attack Mildon found his line and length early on. On his third ball the Salix opener thrashed a good length ball back over his head for four. Mildon was to have the last laugh though – he would only concede four more runs all day. At the other end Kirkness started his first over and carried on for quite some time. The crowd was certainly getting value for money; there were four balls before there actually was one in the scorebook. Not such a good start then and Salix continued to score quickly at well over 6 an over but a wicket apiece for Mildon and Kirkness stemmed the flow and permitted the introduction of Duckfreys and the resurgent Hanmer. Duckfreys bowled tightly and well (6-1-14-0) and was unlucky not to get a wicket. After a shaky start Hanmer destroyed the middle order amidst some cavalier batting in a slow bowling masterclass and at drinks Salix were 65-5.

The initiative turned conclusively towards the Whalers first ball after the break as a calling mix-up, and a tidy throw from Dan Hall to keeper Osbourn resulted in a first ball run-out for the opposition captain. Salix then decided to attempt to bat through their overs and the pace slowed. Hanmer finished with 4-26, only denied 5 by the missing of the sharpest slip chance by Dickenson. The skipper sensing that slow bowling was the key to success brought on Kamal from one end, and perhaps surprisingly after last week’s marathon 1 over stint Dickenson from the other. Kamal bowled tightly for figures of 7-2-13-0 while Dickenson bowled his usual mix of Sherratt wannabes and double bouncers, throwing in the occasional good ball took 2-15 from 4 including an excellent catch diving forward from Kirkness. Mildon (4.5-2-8-2) came back to claim the final wicket and Salix concluded on 127ao off 32.5 overs – a good performance in the field given the hot hot hot weather.

A run rate of less than 4 an over it seemed a relatively easy task but a few overs into their reply the Whalers found themselves in familiarly rocky territory at 14-2 with Osbourn and Gibbins back for some early sunbathing. Vanderpump and the in-form D Osborne put pay to any concerns as they added 71 for the third wicket. Vanderpump looked particularly good with some well-timed shots square of the wicket on the off side. In one over he seemed determined to show up Duncan for the slow prodder that he isn’t really as a 6 and 4 were hit within the space of 3 balls. Osborne perished to his first ugly shot of the day for 34 and Vanderpump soon afterwards for a career best 41. That left Dickenson (21*) and Hall (1*) to guide the ship home in solid if unspectacular fashion with the odd paddle from Dickenson and some intriguing running between the wickets from Mr Hall to keep the crowd amused. The Whalers wrapped up the game with seven overs to spare, and retired to the bar for Ed K to vent his bowling frustrations with every single non-regulation clothing fine conceivable and quite a few that weren’t conceivable.


Man of the Match: Will Vanderpump
Champagne moment: Will Vanderpump’s six
Muppet moment: Hanmer’s double boundary misfield ‘cheating’ incident


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