Salmon swallowed by mighty Whale

Sat. June 4th 2011, Little Knavesmire.
Burton Salmon 169-6 (40 overs)
Ovington II 173-9 (J. Whale 57*)
Ovington won by one wicket.

In an excitingly tense finish to a game that had, to be honest, rather meandered along for most of the afternoon, Ovington 2nds defeated Burton Salmon by one wicket.  Number eleven Dave Adie, who'd come in to face a hat-trick ball with two runs still needed for victory, hit the winning boundary, but it was opener Joe Whale who deserves the plaudits, carrying his bat for an excellent (and critical) half-century.

The sun was shining as the game got underway, but the cloud soon rolled in and the wind picked up.  This rather matched our performance - briefly enthusiastic before turning drab and uninspired, with a fair bit of whining.  Ironically, perhaps, we failed to catch a Salmon all afternoon, despite numerous straightforward opportunities, and the visitors didn't need to bat especially well to rack up 169-6.

The pitch was playing fine, though, so there was no reason we couldn't overhaul that total, and Joe started nicely.  The wickets of Sam Prangnell and Craig Theaker fell early, but a good partnership with Andy Cole (21) steadied the ship.  It also helped that the Salmons were giving away extras by the bucketload, mostly beamer no-balls and byes, and we were way ahead of the required run rate.

When Andy was dismissed, Bobby Clapham didn't stick around for long, but I managed to hit a few boundaries and we were on our way again.  I was bowled for 26, but Benjy Busby came in and carried on, and Joe was still motoring along nicely, reaching his fifty with a quick single.  With the winning post in sight, however, Benj was bowled, and then Alistair Souch suffered the same fate, and we were now seven wickets down.

The next over seemed to have turned it back in our favour once and for all, with a load more extras and another boundary for Joe.  We were now 168-7.  Almost there.

Except, unfortunately, Joe was at the non-striker's end for the start of a new spell by the opening bowler, and when he had Matty Dalton plumb lbw to the first ball, and James Pratt clean-bowled by the next, there was a fair probability Joe would have the disappointment of carrying his bat in a one-run defeat.  Thankfully, Dave survived the hat-trick ball, and a couple more, and then swung lustily to top-edge a single over the infield.

With the scores level, and Joe still off-strike, Burton Salmon brought on a slow bowler at the other end, hoping to at least tie the game.  Dave responded by clubbing him back over his head for four.  Game over.  But it was only thanks to Joe that we got that far.