MIGHTY WANDERERS CC VS WHALERS, 13 JUNE 2004, HEATH EXTENSION.
35 over match.
|Dickenson||Ct Sozi||G Mathias||29|
|Osborne||Ct Sozi||R Winter||2|
|TOTAL||248 for 8|
|B Page||Ct Wkt||Osgood||4|
|B Gardener||Ct Wkt||Kirkness||3|
|TOTAL||170 for 9 All Out|
|Mighty Wanderers lost by 78 runs.|
|Man of the match: Paul Sozi|
Honour at the Alamo
The Wanderers returned to the sun-kissed paradise that is the Hampstead Heath extension to face the awesome prospect of playing our perennial nemesis, the Whalers, on a Heath lifter, shorn of several of our key players.
We were however in for a few pleasant surprises. The most significant of which was the unexpectedly fine performance of the groundsperson, who produced a strip of impeccable quality. True, Whalers quick Dan Osgood did manage to rattle the Wufferelli ribcage with a short one - but then he was bowling at something approaching the speed of light.
Whalers batted first and as was to be expected accumulated ruthlessly, but the Wanderers put the brakes on with a string of outstanding bowling changes by Captain Gaf. Having brought himself on to break the opening partnership, with a trademark flipper and a smart leg-side catch by rookie keeper Paul Sozi, he introduced the Wufferelli and debutant Mark Devey into the attack and the Whalers batting wilted (Mark taking a particularly fine c&b to get rid of their top man). Had it not been for a sturdy spell of end-of-innings hitting by their numbers 8 & 9 they would have struggled to reach their customary 250-odd total.
As it was, Bob and Jonny strode out to the crease with something of a mountain to climb. A particularly tough prospect for Bob's-your-uncle, who had just bowled an unprecedented 8 overs in the hot sun. As seems to be a regular feature of this particular fixture, we lost early wickets and quickly found ourselves in a seemingly hopeless position at 16 for 3 after 8 overs with Wozi and the Club Captain at the crease. And yet - at this point the tide turned and the assembled multitude of dog-walkers, picnickers and nearly naked women playing badminton were treated to another virtuoso performance by the Wizard of Woz, who smashed 80 runs off the hapless Whalers attack, with a series of flashing drives and pulls. The Wufferelli belatedly got in the act by carting the part-time leg-spinner to all four corners of the mid-wicket boundary for an improbable 18 runs in one over and for a delicious moment, it looked as if we might actually be in with a chance. The Whalers however had learned the Ways of the Wanderer and brought on their eigth-choice bowler, who proceeded to run through the tail in short order.
It was a decent enough attempt but we didn't have enough strength in depth in either batting or bowling to seriously threaten. Alas! Alas! Maybe next year we'll behead them...Best dressed man award: ringer Ben Gardener in vintage shirt and loafers reminiscent of the young Robert Mitchum.*
*Jimmy Page was also popular. Ed.