Whalers Out of Energy vs Exiles

Whalers CC vs Energy Exiles CC; King’s House Sports Ground; 13 August 2017

The Whalers put up a brave fight at Kings House against Energy Exiles in a see-saw game, but were ultimately beaten by the better side on the day. Only having 9 men didn’t help, although credit the Exiles for lending us a fielder throughout.

Bowling first, Matt and Dennis opened up well, getting lots of movement through the air, and their opener was soon castled by a jaffa from Matt which swung back through the gate to hit middle. Unfortunately, this brought their number 3 to the crease, who set about the bowling with some destructive hitting – including three sixes in one over, earning the unlucky bowler a “devil” fine. In no time he had raced to his 50 and things were looking bleak, before he missed a slow long-hop from Dennis and was triggered LBW, to a collective sigh of relief.

The other opener went the same way (but to a better ball), and tight bowling from Pip and Kamal pegged the scoring rate back. Two more quick wickets followed – one with some not-very-champagne cricket (another long hop, slapped to Andrew at point who took the catch) and the second the day’s champagne moment (a smart slip catch off Kamal by Matt), and at 112-5 the game could have gone either way. However, despite two more wickets for Dan including a sharp caught-and-bowled, the Exiles batted sensibly to see through the overs, held together by their number 4 who finished on 74*. Their final score of 204-7 was probably about 20-30 runs above par, but the talk at tea was the usual “if we bat the 35 overs we’ll be competitive”.

In reply, the Exiles bowling was tight and scoring was slow at first, with Andrew caught early in the gully. Dario and Channa got things moving with some hard-run 3s which had Channa gasping for water, until he worked out it was easier to hit boundaries instead. But just as we were starting to get back into it, they were both out and Luke followed shortly afterwards. The game then swung back again with an excellent partnership between Matt and Pip, which kept us just about in touch with the run-rate to the delight of the capacity crowd (Mr English senior + company).

Needing 60 off the last 6 overs, Matt was out and the end then came quickly. After 13 overs bowling and 35 overs keeping wicket between them, Dennis and Dan contributed a grand total of two minutes and 1 run with the bat. And so the only question was whether last man Kamal could see Pip through to a well-deserved 50 – but sadly this was not to be, leaving Pip on 49*. The Whalers had lost by 38 runs.

Ultimately it was a great team effort to keep it competitive for so long, but the Exiles were better than us on the day, and the lack of players didn’t help us particularly in the field.

Champagne moment was Matt’s sharp slip catch, with an honourable mention for Dan’s self-protecting caught-and-bowled.
Muppet moment went to Kamal for a misfiring throw in from the boundary, with an honourable mention for Channa’s fielding antics.
Man of the match was clearly Pip.

Nice Weather for Whales

Whalers CC Vs Lambeth Sports and Social Club (T20)

Whalers 139/6 (20) lost to Lambeth 140/4 (18.1) by 6 wickets

King’s House Sat 29th July 2017

 

 

As an Australian captain in England it is easy to make a bad decision that will haunt you for the rest of your days (Edgbaston 2005), good ones will typically just be forgotten. It was therefore even more apposite that as captain for this clash Jiff suggested and arranged with the opposition that we would play a T20 before the predicted downpours arrived, have tea and if possible then play another.

The last 20 minutes of the first game was played in heavy rain that had the test players further down river at the Oval scampering for cover but Whalers are made of stern stuff (and used to getting wet) so we continued to a finish. It was obvious that it wouldn’t be possible to play after tea and we had done very well to get a game in at all. That said we did lose comfortably so perhaps a rain enforced draw would have been kinder to the season stats.

It had all started so well, under leaden but dry skies the initial Lambeth bowling was innocuous enough and helped by several wides the score moved along as Dean played himself in and Pip (29) watched from the other end. The scoring was not as fast as those observing from the side-lines would have recommended but as is so often the case it was when those advisors  got to have a go themselves that the wheels fell off the innings. The opening pair put on 77 from the first half of the overs which was an excellent start, Dean hit some big 6s before he fell for 44 as better bowling came into the attack. Next in, Rich was down from Yorkshire but commitment exceeded achievement on this occasion as he fell for 1 (2017 season; 3 games, 2500 miles travelled, 1 run) bowled by a straight one. Josh was looking composed but left for 8 which brought Channa and Ed together who had some fun and hit some long balls all the while flirting with danger in front of the stumps (ask for middle, stand on an imaginary 6th off stump, start swinging as the bowler begins run up, copyright Karuneratna) . Channa hit a flat bat straight six but neither of them could make it past 13 runs. Then some solid blows from Mildon 8* and some very committed running from Terry 1* on debut brought the innings to a close with 139 on the board.

 

Defending 140 10 years ago in a T20 would have been considered very achievable but since most of us were at least 10 years older than the friendly Lambeth side we feared their modern approach might make it difficult though we were certainly in it. The rain had started gently by now and the wet ball didn’t help things. Paul M and Dan opened the bowling and in the spirit of fairness began returning all the wides we had been gifted. Dan got the first wicket as Terry took a catch he had a while to think about at mid on, the other opener was looking good though and Kamal came on to try to dislodge him. It was one of those rare occasions where The Colonel didn’t strike as he was taken for 28 from his 4 overs. In the end the Lambeth opener retired for 50 and that gave us an end to bowl at at least. Jiff picked up a wicket to finish with 1-31 and Rich took another for 1-11 from 2 overs including a 2 that became 6 thanks to overthrows. Dan came back into the attack and got another wicket 2-30 but we were never really in with much chance of forcing victory, the run rate was good enough that we would have had to bowl them out and hadn’t taken enough. Ed was brought on when all hope was gone and having cleverly thought they wouldn’t want to win it with a wide bowled a very “legside” line only for the second ball of his second over to be called and the match was over. Lambeth had won reasonably comfortably by 6 wickets with 10 balls to spare.

Despite the sting of the defeat no one was really too disappointed to be coming off the field as the rain was now falling heavily. We made the most of the extra time to buy a couple of jugs and some even carried on in Barnes into the evening. Ed made friends with the opposition and trying to prove he was still young enough to be one of them joined in with a boat race (won). Im sure we would have beaten them in the second match but the rain wasn’t going to allow that, we were lucky to have got a game in at all.

Rich

Man of the Match: Dean for his runs

Muppet moment: Whole team for conceeding 6 thanks to overthrows to a push through mid-on

Champagne Moment: Dan direct hit run out from deep square leg 

Whale outfoxed by Quokka in Pitch D excursion

Whalers CC vs Quokkas CC; Sunday 16th July; King’s House Sports Ground

The rare sight of eleven Whalers was seen at King’s House on a cloudy Sunday full of expectations – a Wimbledon final, England to skittle South Africa and make the test an exciting one, and a Whalers mid-season game. When some of the Quokkas had made it to the ground, the toss was taken and the Whalers were sent out to bowl in what looked like favourable conditions.

Jack and Paul opened the bowling in great style, both starting with a wide. Movement was found early on which looked like it would trouble the batsmen, and Jack soon found the edge of the Quokkas’ opener Chas. Unfortunately Pete couldn’t quite hang on after diving to his right, but the Whalers were buoyed by the prospects of seam and swing. Paul produced a variety of deliveries – some on a good line, some giving Pete plenty to do behind the stumps. The breakthrough came after a few overs when Jack bowled the other opener for 8, and followed up with their number three, Tom, two balls later after he dragged on.

A tactical bowling change brought on Dan who started off excellently, bowling their left-handed Skip for a duck with his first ball. The rest of the over was tight, and he was backed up by Kamal at the other end who offered few chances. Quokkas’ number 5 and their opener began to build a partnership with some strong hitting and a couple of lofted drives that just evaded the Whalers in the field. The partnership was finally broken by Matt who enticed their opener into a loose shot that went high over long on. Calls from both Al and Dean went back and forwards until Dean recognised the authority of the president and the catch was safely taken, giving Matt a well-deserved wicket. Dan’s bowling had become somewhat wayward over time, so he swapped positions with Pete behind the stumps to bring in some fresh legs into the bowling attack. At the other end, Kamal was continuing his attack, luring their number 5 into a skip down the wicket, missing the ball and being sharply stumped by Dan. With their top-scoring batsmen back in the pavilion, the Whalers started to turn the screw. Jack and Paul returned to the attack in the hope of finishing things off quickly. Two wickets from Jack – a caught and bowled that Geoff was keen to be involved in, and an edge to the recently moved fielder – and two from Paul (both bowled, one off a full toss that was met with silence from the Whalers) ended their overs for the game. Matt was unlucky not to pick up another wicket after a few edges and near misses, but the game was finished off by Pete who drew their number 11 into a drive that sailed into the safe hands of Josh, leaving Quokkas all out for 118.

Expectations were high for a steady Whalers victory after tea as Dean and Geoff strode out to the middle to start things off. The Quokkas’ bowling attack wasn’t what you would call intimidating, but they were managing to find enough movement to cause some trouble and Geoff was soon given out LBW. This produced some prolonged chuntering about the Whalers’ understanding of the rules of the game, and brought Al into the crease to steady the ship. Unfortunately the ship kept wobbling as Al was soon out having guided a wide-ish delivery to point, leaving the Whalers struggling on 15 for 2. Mark marched in looking to continue his run of ever-increasing scores, but unfortunately missed a straight one and was back relatively soon, bringing in Pete. Hopes were high that shot selection would improve, and for a short while it looked like it might be the case, but Dean had other ideas and hit the ball high to mid-off, to much frustration all-round.

In came Dan, aware that he had to leave in about half an hour but keen not to follow his team-mates in their short-lived innings. He kept things going, supporting some good hitting (and very loud calling) by Pete, until his edge was found and their second slip took a sharp catch. Josh was unlucky to face, as his first ball, a very good delivery which seamed and swung to clip the top of off stump and the Whalers were left on a very precarious 54 for 7. Pete had made his way into the 20s and was looking set until he was caught, and hopes were rapidly diminishing of a Whalers victory. Paul succumbed to an LBW decision (one of many appeals throughout the innings), and Jack and Matt set about trying to keep the strike rotating. More poor shot selection saw Jack caught and bowled, bringing in Kamal for the last wicket stand. By this point Matt had begun to get his eye in, and there were a few good shots which brought 1s and 2s, but still the Whalers were yet to hit a boundary. Kamal kept their bowlers out, and brought out some strong pull shots which resulted in the first (and only) four of the innings, and took the Whalers to within 30 of the target. The final Whalers wicket was taken with another catch, meaning Matt fell for a valiant 22, and the Whalers lost by 24 runs.

All in all a good bowling and fielding performance, but some questionable decision making all round lead to a rare loss to the Quokkas and large fines all round.

Quokkas CC: 118ao (33.2)

Whalers CC: 94ao (30.3)

Man of the match went to Jack for his 4-14 off seven overs, and Kamal picked up the champagne moment for his (glorious) four – the only one of the innings. Muppet moment went to the whole team for a collective batting collapse.

 

Whalers left disappointed with draw against Salix despite valiant batting from Dario

Salix CC vs Whalers CC; Harlington Sports Ground; Sunday 9th July 2017

 

In balmy conditions on Sunday afternoon, the Whalers arrived with a full complement of eleven players ready to take on Salix. The oppo have had a season ravaged by injury and were therefore only able to field 9 players, so a timed format was agreed with the day limited to 70 overs in total. It did not help that a key oppo player had been left injured whilst making up the numbers for Whalers during a previous match, so to level up the numbers Rob volunteered to switch over to Salix for the day, making it a 10 a side game.

With the toss won, Whalers decided to bat. Dean and Dario entered the fray first. Dean hung around for a little while, before ultimately falling to Bala by being trapped LBW for 9. The decision seemed a potentially harsh one, but it was left to Marcos to come in at 3.

Marcos managed to survive one major scare, with the umpire flagging for caught behind. Eventually it was agreed that Marcos should continue. With a few boundaries under his belt, Marcos was given out in the exact same fashion a small amount of time later, caught by the wicketkeeper from Dillan’s bowling.

Skipper Stu came in at number 4 looking to steady the ship and forge a partnership with the well settled Dario. However, he picked up just 1 run before chipping up the ball perfectly to an opposition player who took the catch. Rob, the player loaned to Salix for the day, was the man who delivered the ball and took great delight in the dismissal and Whalers were left wobbling on 60-3.

Mark came in next at number 5. Despite a few plays and misses to spin bowling, he managed to add 29 to the total with some fairly unorthodox batting. He eventually limply chipped the ball straight back to the spin bowler Dillan who gobbled up the easy catch.

Dennis and Dario started to form a partnership before Dennis was dismissed LBW for 7 by Bala. Russell added 2 runs before being being bowled by the same bowler. Jack came in next.

Throughout all this, the man of the match Dario was quietly and effectively amassing runs. With some beautiful strokeplay, he got up to 85 runs including 14 boundaries, his record score for the Whalers. The innings was vital to the Whalers total. This was all the more impressive given that Dario was still suffering from illness that had put his appearance in doubt. He looked increasingly likely to carry his bat right through the innings, before sadly falling to Darling’s bowling.

With Dan still suffering a shoulder injury from a cycling crash in the previous week, Special K was promoted to number 9 in the batting. The pairing of Jack and Special then saw out the rest of the innings. Jack was the more aggressive of the two, adding 23 whilst Special added 5 runs. When the scoreboard ticked over to 200 and some 37 overs having been played, the captain decided it was time for the Whalers to have a bowl and called time on the innings. Whalers were 200-7.

The oppo required 201 in 33 overs to win. Jack and Russell opened up the bowling, but were stifled by the opening partnership of the opposition. Despite a few close moments, the Whalers were left struggling as the scoreboard went past 50. Special K was brought into the attack along with Dennis.

Dennis was bowling well and had limited the opposition to just 6 runs from his 3 overs, before he was chasing a hoist down to the fine leg boundary whilst fielding. Around 5 yards from the ball, he fell to the floor, with most people initially thinking that he had miscalculated a slide. When he didn’t then get back up, players began to jog over to show their concern. Unfortunately Dennis had a hamstring injury and had to depart the field.

With only 9 Whalers on the pitch, the oppo sent on Bala to bolster the fielding. On the very next ball, an ugly leg side full toss from Special was sent flying towards the boundary. Bala calmly took the catch, making an immediate impression on the game and getting the ball rolling for Whalers, the opening batsman dismissed for 52.

Stu replaced the injured Dennis in the bowling attack, and made his mark immediately, taking a wicket in his first over. In what some described as a slow full toss (perhaps the captain felt it was a stunning yorker), he had the batsman clean bowled. It was Stu’s only over of the day.

The next batsman to come in was Rob, who immediately began to plunder runs and boundaries. With the field sat well back, he suffered the same fate as the opening batsman. Special again picked up a wicket with not his best ball, another leg side full toss being caught on the boundary again by the substitute fielder Bala.

Soon after, a sharp piece of fielding from Dan and a little bit of juggling from Dean saw the next opposition batsman run out for just 1. The Whalers seemed to have the momentum at this stage, with seemingly enough overs left to dismiss the rest of the attack. When Jack took two quick wickets in an excellent spell of bowling, the Whalers were right on top of the game. One of the wickets was an excellent catch from Dan, who moved quickly forward to take a low catch. Dan was also bowling well at the other end and was unlucky to not take any wickets himself.

However, the next partnership navigated the remaining overs, leaving the match to disappointingly peter out to a draw, with the oppo 133-6 and having 3 wickets in hand when the time limit was reached.

 

Whalers 200-7 (37 overs)

Salix 133-6 (33 overs) 

Match Drawn

 

Man of the match – Dario was the standout performer of the day, his 85 runs pivotal to the Whalers.

Champagne moment – Dan’s low catch from Jack’s bowling.

Muppet moment – Dennis doing each hamstring in the two games against Salix this season.

Link to Salix report: HERE

9.5 Man Whalers Overcome Kiwi Fudge

Cairns Fudge CC vs Whalers CC; Sunday 25th June 2017; Battersea Park

Eight Whalers were joined by Thomas from Chelsea Arts Club in Battersea Park to face Cairns Fudge, who scored an early low-blow by turning up in All Blacks shirts. Both teams were expecting another team member to turn up around 3pm, so a 30-over game was agreed and the Whalers decided to have a bat.

Dean and Al headed out and saw off the first few overs with minimal fuss, despite a pitch that gave plenty of surprises. The uneven but fast outfield meant boundaries were fairly easy to come by, and both were able to take advantage of some hit-and-miss bowling. Dean was bowled uncharacteristically early by Zac for 15, bringing in Roland who quickly calmed any nerves with a trio of boundaries through the off side to keep the score ticking along. A bowling change seemed to have been navigated until Al was bowled by a loopy full toss from Andrew, leading to some silent chuntering as he headed off the field. Dennis settled in well with some elegant drives and cuts, and the Whalers were making the most of the fast outfield with plenty of gaps. Roland was well into his stride by this point, and he managed to keep Kamal (who was fielding for Cairns Fudge) on his toes with a few cuts backward of square.

Dennis eventually fell to one of several LBW appeals from the threatening Kartik for 18, but the Whalers continued their march towards what looked like a defendable total as Matt joined Roland for some powerful hitting and plenty of running. After Roland had brought up his maiden Whalers fifty with another drive down the ground, there were only a few overs remaining. Unfortunately he couldn’t see them out, as a mix up with Matt led to Roland being run out for an excellent 65. Jiff tried to take the attack to the bowlers, skipping down the wicket to his first ball. A few balls later he was given out, either bowled, stumped, or caught – to be honest no one is really sure. The scorebook says bowled, but the batsman says otherwise. Matt missed one to bring in Thomas and Jack (eventually, after he managed to get pads on only once Matt was halfway back to the boundary) who had a swipe or two and brought the Whalers to a close on 185.

After tea the Whalers headed out to bowl, knowing it would be a tiring day if batsmen got in. Jack opened the bowling and found some movement before trapping Jim LBW in the first over, and Jiff kept things tight from the other end. After the first six overs Cairns Fudge had struggled to make too many inroads and the Whalers were feeling confident. An excellent bowling change to bring on Thomas and Kamal resulted in a wicket for Kamal, but by this point Andrew was beginning to settle and Drew looked like he was keen for some runs. Some big hits from both batsmen plus several misfields from the Whalers brought their score up to the required rate, and CK from Salix (who had turned up in time to help us field) wasn’t quite able to hold onto a difficult chance and had to go off the field with his finger looking slightly worse for wear. After hitting Kamal for a six, Andrew missed a straight one and the Whalers breathed a slight sigh of relief, especially when a couple overs later Drew hit a ball straight to Jack at long on.

Another excellent bowling change brought a wicket straight away – Dennis produced a fairly rank leg-side long hop as a loosener, which was flicked by Marcos straight to Dean behind the stumps, and the Whalers sniffed a chance. Some good pressure bowling from Dennis and Thomas produced another couple of wickets – Dennis bowling their number 7 and Thomas taking no prisoners with a run out after a mix up from the batsmen. Zac and Kartik found themselves at the crease with 6 overs to go and about 60 runs needed, but some powerful and well placed hitting brought the rate down to around 8 an over – achievable with the field spread. Some tight bowling upped the required rate a bit, but some looser bowling (including an unintentional bouncer) from Jiff gave Cairns Fudge a chance, needing 16 off the last two overs. Jack bowled Zac for 33 with the first ball of the penultimate over, and a few scampered singles left Cairns Fudge needing 11 off the final over. Jiff kept things much tighter this time around, bowling their last batsman with three balls to spare, and handing the Whalers a win by 8 runs.

All round a very good, close game, with both sides having opportunities to win throughout the game. Man of the match went to Roland for his excellent maiden-Whalers fifty, Jack’s catch at long on won Champagne moment, with Matt taking muppet moment for kicking the ball over the boundary.

Whalers CC 185-6 (30)

Cairns Fudge CC 177ao (29.3)