Exclusive: Extra T20 fixture added

Excitement is mounting with just 2 weeks to go until the start of the season, and even some sunshine forecast for the week ahead!

The fixtures have now been added to the website – this includes a not previously published T20 against Clapham Inn (thanks to Channa for arranging). The game will be on a Friday night, a Whalers first I think – Friday 22 June in Regent’s Park. Please add this to your diaries.

Still time to order your Whalers kit for the start of the season – there is now a dedicated menu at the top of the website that links to our kit provider.

Please let the Captains know your availability if you haven’t already – we look forward to hosting Wenlock Arms CC for our first 2018 fixture.

Record-breaking Dean ensures Whalers end season on a memorable high

Whalers v Wimbledon Corinthians; 9th September 2017; Raynes Park Sports Ground

Whalers 257-7 (40 ovs) – Dean 152*

Wimbledon Corinthians 125 a.o. (34.5 ovs)

Whalers win by 132 runs

The highest ever individual score by a Whaler drove us home to a thumping win on the club’s final fixture of the season against Wimbledon Corinthians at Raynes Park. A win never really looked in doubt after the ever-prolific Dean amassed a huge 152 not out in a Whalers total of 257-7 off their 40 overs, but nonetheless, a fine bowling performance in wet conditions, spearheaded by Dan (5-21), helped make the margin and nature of the victory all the more pleasing.

Bright sunshine greeted the teams when Geoff, from New Zealand, went out to meet……Geoff from New Zealand for the toss. But with showers forecast for later on, it was perhaps a surprise that when Geoff from New Zealand lost the toss, Geoff from New Zealand asked the Whalers to bat first. Content with the decision, with a long batting line-up, Geoff asked Dean and Pip to open up and we were off.

The opening pair quickly found that the pitch was generally slow and springy with balls losing much of their pace especially if pitched short. Gentle spin from one end and a few wayward deliveries helped the Whalers get off to a flying start. Dean punished anything short and hit several sixes over mid-wicket in a bid to breathe new life into the Captain’s much-vaunted but slightly mythical “6s competition”. At the other end, Pip chipped in by helping see off the slightly more threatening left-arm pace bowlers and grabbing the odd boundary here and there while Dean cut loose. 30-0 after 4 overs became 52-0 after 6 and a strong platform was built. It wasn’t long before Dean passed 50 himself, and indeed it wasn’t until just before drinks, with the score on 104-0, that a change of bowling brought the breakthrough, with Corinthians’ Steve getting one to pop off a length that just grazed Pip’s gloves on the way through. Pip’s dismissal for 28 brought Roland to the crease, who started with a couple of confident-looking shots before being bowled by a swift delivery from the second of Corinthians’ left-armers, Jack. Stu came in but never really got comfortable and was bowled off his pads for a 12-ball duck, putting the Whalers on 138-2. Luke however, found some staying power and held up an end to guide Dean to his hundred, despite being dropped in quick succession playing the same shot by the same fielder, who had previously been injured in the nether regions (painful!) by a slightly more powerful shot that still should have been caught.

Luke however, survived and began to pick off many of the poor balls and keep out the good ones and combined with Dean to put on nearly another hundred runs plundered from the Corinthians’ change bowlers.

Heading into the last few overs, Dean reached his 150 with another huge 6, and having already offered to retire at 100, now offered again and this time, next man in, Al accepted. Dean was clapped off by both sides after a fantastic knock.

By this time, with the over rate not being impressive and with black clouds approaching, there was a general intent by both sides to hurry the innings to a close in order to take cover. Having waited some 14 overs as next man in, Al tried to continue the momentum in order to plunder late runs in the final overs, but was unluckily bowled off his pad for 2, and unfortunately, the Whalers innings fell away, with Will also falling for 2 and then a comic run-out between Dan and Jack on the last ball of the innings, where the pair, in a suicidal moment of positive intent, decided to run a 3rd with the ball already in the wicketkeepers hands over the stumps!

Nevertheless, 257-7 was an extremely challenging scoreline, especially with the impending storm clouds looming overhead. The players hastily retreated to the pavilion as the hailstones began to lash down.

There was some debate as to whether or not the intense precipitation had left too much surface water to continue, but after a cursory inspection and an accumulation of rags and sawdust, it was decided to carry on as quickly as possible, given it was late in the day to be only half-way through. Jack and Dan opened up on a soggy but playable pitch. Both began well and Dan soon had the breakthrough with the No. 2 batsman turning a straight delivery to square leg where it was brilliantly held low down by Luke. At the other end, the other opener looked to start playing some shots and was able to dispatch a couple of length balls to the fence with some meaty hitting. Dan however, made a second breakthrough, via another stunning catch, this time from Roland to dismiss the No. 3 for 5. There followed some sawdust faff, involving a nest being constructed on the popping crease at one end and then Luke taking the sawdust to the wrong end of the pitch, which all added to the unusual nature of the game.

The number 4 was soon bowled, to give Dan his 3rd wicket, while Geoff replaced Jack at the other end, and was fined on the spot by Stu and Pip behind the stumps for each delivery that he bowled in his cap, although I fear it could have been worse had the fines session correctly identified it as a non-Whalers cap.

Corinthians’ Number 1, Moore, was beginning to look like he might be at least a thorn in the Whalers side and continued to hit some lusty blows before taking on Dan once too often and skied a catch to Dean who took a well-held catch. The Corinthians’ keeper, in yellow pads, managed to help bring the sunshine out after the rain showers but could not breathe renewed life into their innings and slashed at one outside the off from Dan and was taken comfortably by Stu. Dan finished with 8 overs straight, 2 maidens, 5-21 in what on another day would have been a man-of-the-match performance.

With the score at 46-5, Dan was replaced by Kamal, while Will replaced Geoff. Both seemed to struggle to find their length at times, not helped by the slippery run up conditions, with Will bowling a little short and Kamal unusually bowling several full tosses. The Corinthians’ batsmen began to milk the bowling somewhat without ever really cutting loose, but their No. 6 Manish, was at least giving the chase a decent go and the pair put on 48 for the 6th wicket. This was also not helped by a series of dropped catches from the Whalers, as concentration levels seemed to waiver. However, growing Corinthians’ confidence turned to over-confidence and No. 7 tried to dance down the pitch to Kamal and was bowled.

Manish moved to 50, but after that 6th wicket stand was broken, the end seemed close. Geoff bowled the No.8 before Kamal induced Manish into one big shot too many, in a last vain attempt to regain some initiative, and was safely held by Pip at mid-on. Geoff finished matters off, taking the last two wickets in successive overs, including appropriately, his namesake, Geoff from New Zealand, LBW to finish with strong figures of 5.5 overs 1 maiden, 3-14. Corinthians all out for 125 and Whalers with a victory margin of 132 runs retired to the bar to celebrate with some of the many jugs earned on the day.

Overall, an excellent win, capped by an outstanding innings by Dean to achieve a new highest-ever Whalers individual score, and another successful, winning season. Bring on 2018!

 

Man of the Match: Dean – 152 not out (Whalers record), Honourable mention to Dan for 5-21

Champagne Moment: Luke’s low catch for the first wicket

Muppet Moment: Jack and Dan for Kamikaze run-out at the end of the innings

 

 

 

Whalers’ belief defies rain

Believers CC vs Whalers CC; Sunday 3rd September; Morden Playing Fields

It was a wet and windy day in South Morden and for once the Whalers had 11 men. The skippers had thankfully agreed to reduce the game to 30 each and first upto bat were the Believers.

Matt Lucas and Dan Osgood opened the bowling and were successful almost immediately when Dan rocked back the number 2 batsman’s off stump. Batsman 3 and the remaining opener and kept the scoreboard ticking, causing some initial concern, but the run rate was kept down with some sharp fielding. There was a sharp edge to slip, which was unfortunately put down; Matt unable to claim his early scalp.

Paul Clappison was the first change bowler and found some variation in the pitch. Unfortunately the batsmen started to express themselves with some good cutting and driving. Tariq Mohammed joined Paul from the other end and kept the batsmen guessing with his darting off-spin. Andrew Sheridan replaced Clappison and was successful in his first over when the number three bat skied one to Lucus who was lurking in the outfield. Drinks and at the halfway mark the Believers were on around 65 for 2 of 15 overs.

Back in to bat and a few overs later Sheridan was back in the action as he bowled the number four bat and next ball got the number five bat who dollied up to skipper Stuart in the covers. The hat-trick ball was a whizzer, and the batsman almost dragged the ball onto his stumps. In the chaos of the recovering the ball no one noticed that one of the bails was on the ground. A late appeal, which was ruled Not Out. It must have been the wind was the call. It was the right call said wicket keeper Roland, later.

By this point the Believers were struggling. Twenty overs or so had passed and they were still on around 85. The pitch was still variable, though for the most part it behaved itself.

Sheridan got straight back in the game a few overs later when the remaining opener (now on 58) fizzed a ball high to where second slip would have been. Al was standing at 1st slip and took a brilliant outstretched catch followed by a jubilant celebration ala Panesar. Next ball and Sheridan took another wicket, with another spooned ball to Lucas. Unfortunately his second potential hat trick was not meant to be. He ended his spell with 5 for 22 (of 6).

The Believers struggled to get going again. There was one more wicket to fall. Dan Osgood claiming his second, with another flying off-stump. The Believers saw off the remaining overs ending on 114.

A quick turn around and the Whale returned to bat. Opening batsmen Al Dickenson and Channa Karu were facing windy and drizzly conditions, against a determined oppo. The instructions were simple – we only need 4 per over.

Both batsmen had some early jitters, a caught behind appeal for Al and a potential LBW for Channa. The Believers got some early swing and some decent accurate bowling meant it was a slow start. After a few false starts the Whalers were away as Al and Channa started to rack up the runs. They went from 10 runs of 5 to 42 of 10 and then onto 71 of 15.

The long and wet outfield played a huge part in the game with expected boundaries being denied, causing both batsmen to run plenty of 3s. Exhausted Channa focused on rotating the strike while Al continued to hit the bad balls to the boundary. Al reached his 50 in fine style as the pair continued on to make a solid 100 run opening partnership. A few encouraging words from the president and Channa was back on the hunt for his fifty. There were plenty of cat calls from the wet and bored looking Whalers who had been sitting impatiently. Yes the running was lacklustre at times, but that was ok, the Whalers were dominating.

Unfortunately for Al he edged one towards the end of the game, which was sharply taken behind. Dickenson out for 59. Josh joined Channa at the crease, but with a mere 10 to win it was looking unlikely that Channa on 43 was going to get his 50…..which was the case, Channa finishing on 48* having batted for a total of 25 overs.

Whaler went home having won by an impressive 9 wickets.

Believers 114-8 (30)

Whalers 115-1 (25)

Man of the match was Andrew Sheridan for is 5fer
Champagne was Al Dickenson for his flying out stretched slip catch
Muppet was Paul Clappison / Dan Osgood missed runout opportunity. The non-striker was half way down the pitch before realising his partner wasn’t running. He turned to scrambled back the crease – we all thought he was gone. Paul, in the covers, had a mild panic, juggled the ball a few times, and despite having a fair amount of time managed to throw the ball the wrong way

Whalers’ Regal Victory

Whalers CC vs Prince’s Head CC; King’s House Sports Ground: 19th August

A fine team effort saw the Whalers breeze their way to a well deserved victory against the visiting Prince’s Head team. A 35 over-a-side contest of 9 vs 9 to round off the August fixtures, in the end the game was won at a confident stroll which somewhat belied any simmering concerns the uncertain start to batting had aroused.

Indeed, even before a ball had been bowled some uncertainty was felt in the Whaler ranks on account of some ‘laidback’ timekeeping. Russell rolling up a couple of minutes after the game had been due to begin was cast instantly into a distant memory by the news that Tariq was at that moment…somewhere in London. Evidently some error on the communications front had led to no one actually telling Tariq when and where the game was. Most of the team came to the conclusion that this was probably the fault of the absent Channa, though this match reporter has not had time to test the veracity of this claim at the time of going to press. No matter, as Whalers batted first and Tariq could join the line up whenever he arrived. Each side agreed to lend a man to the opposition so that there were 10 in the field.

Pip and Dan opened the batting and soon found that the brisk cross-wind surging across the King’s House ground could turn the honest medium paced deliveries of Prince’s Head into virtually unplayable swingers. Dan’s early demise brought Luke to the crease, who would find himself operating as the rock at the centre of the Whalers innings, albeit one that provided a chance or two to the opposition along the way. Pip skipped to 17 before a very full ball rearranged his stumps and saw him replaced by Mark. Mark startled the opposing side with an on-side drive so sweetly struck that the nearby geese did well to restrain themselves from applauding before promptly startling his own side by leaving a delivery that the wind took from a trajectory aimed somewhere near Barnes Bridge to an inch or two outside leg stump. 14 wides in the innings attested to the wind’s capacity to toy with judgement. Luke’s partners came and went at a jaunty pace until Jiff joined him for a nerve settling 5th wicket partnership of 59.

Jiff hit some hefty boundaries, including a couple of 6s, before departing for 35 and Luke followed a short while after for the high score of 44, having fallen as another victim to the prolific Whaler-catcher Josh, who was fielding for the opposition at the time. By this time Tariq had fought his way across town in traffic, parked up and padded up so that he had a minute or two spare before coming in as 8th man. A sprightly 26no saw him through to the end of the innings alongside Russell (8no) and assured a healthy total of 171.

The opposition started their reply after the break and Whalers found themselves battling to control their bowling line with that cross-wind. Dan and Matt opened the bowling, with the latter taking first blood. Jiff decided that was more than enough success for Matt and promptly removed him from the attack, though not before Pip had run out the Prince’s Head no3. Dan would continue his good run of bowling performances by completing 7 overs with 3 wickets for 19; while at the other end Russell bowled tightly and was duly rewarded with his first scalp for the Whalers, ending with 2 wickets for 19 from 7. Some amusement was had from Dan, Jiff and Mark charging toward a ball in the field only for the three of them to engage in some sort of spaghetti western-style stand off when they all converged at the same spot. Imagine a sort of The Good, The Bad & The Ugly, only one where no one wants to claim responsibility for a cricket ball and the film rights remain unclaimed.

Josh claimed the final wicket with his off-spin with 14 overs to spare, stranding the Prince’s Head opener on 24no. The second highest scorer was wides on 11 (did I mention there was a breeze?) and Whalers won by 106 runs.

Russell

Man of the Match: Luke (retained even after proving unable to recognise his own towel in the showers)

Muppet moment: The Convergence

Champagne moment: Russell’s first whalers wicket

 

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.