Whale Resists Gardeners

Whalers CC vs Gardeners CC; Sunday 18th August 2019; King’s House Sports Ground

After a late start due to rain and a wet outfield the Whalers took to the pitch to take on the Gardeners, a team we hadn’t faced in a few years. In the interests of expediency Will conceded the toss and the Gardeners batted first. This proved a masterstroke from Will as Jack and Dan opened up with some very tight and testing bowling on a damp pitch, runs were proving very hard to find, the pressure told and Jack picked up the first wicket getting through the defences of their opener. Dan changed ends and immediately had a double strike, Channa taking a good catch and the other opener edging behind. Russell had taken the ball into the wind and was also bowling some testing lines. After 15 overs the score was in check but the batters were looking settled and when Kamal and Geoff came on the batters looked to accelerate. Kamal bowled well against the aggression and while Geoff took a caught and bowled in his first over, the Gardeners were starting to play some lovely shots, aided by several dropped catches. Jack came on to finish the last over and after some discussion with the skipper eventually sort of agreed on a field, a 4 straight through the gap that was being discussed ‘ruined’ Jacks figures as he finished with 1 for 7 off 5 overs. The Gardeners finished on 145 from their 25 overs.

In reply Dean and Kamal opened the batting, Kamal was the initial aggressor with a couple of lovely square cuts. Dean was playing himself in but soon found his rhythm hitting several huge sixes when the bowlers dropped short. The 50 partnership was bought up in the 6th over before Kamal was bowled. Fraser came in and was aggressive straight away with a couple of sweetly struck fours before missing a straight one. Channa was next in and after playing himself in supported Dean in moving the score along in a partnership of 56 before getting a top edge for 24, These was a late flurry of wickets as the Whalers closed in, including Dean (after being dropped three times previously)  spectacularly caught one handed at mid on for 87. Will settled everyone’s nerves with a classy lofted off drive for the win with a couple of overs to spare.

M.O.M – Jack 7.3.5.1, mention for Deans 87

Champagne – Wills classy lofted off drive for the win

Muppet – The Captains (Jack and Will) fielding calamity which ‘allowed’ the 4 that ‘ruined’ Jacks bowling figures, mention for Kamal who was trying to catch geese in the field.

Whalers Fall Short in Last Ball Thriller

Whalers CC vs Stallions CC; King’s House Sports Ground; Sunday 4th August 2019 

 

Following a washout the previous week, the Whalers returned to action on Sunday vs the Stallions at Kings House. 

 
Buoyed by the return of Geoff after 5 months travelling and his pre-match advice regarding how to respond to a bear attack, skipper Will confidently took the decision to toss up without inspecting wicket choosing to bat first. 
 
The early progress of openers Dean and Tom indicated this was a wise decision, until the latter was caught at cover leaving the Whalers 33/1 in the 8th over. Enter Fraser who quickly injected some momentum into the innings with a number of sweetly struck boundaries (and an all-run 5). More than ably supported by an in-form Dean, the Whalers reached 98/1 by drinks. 
 
Soon after Fraser was out LBW for a well-made 46 to Riaz to bring Will to crease. Dean brought up his fifty shortly after with a six. The pair put on 50 before Will was also out LBW with the score 176/3 with 6 overs left. 
 
This brought Geoff to the crease brandishing a new logo-less bat brought from an unknown maker in rural Essex. Early indications of the bat’s quality were inconclusive as a noticeably rusty batsman preceded to edge all early deliveries faced, including a comical double drop. At the other end a less troubled Dean serenely moved to another excellent 100, although he was caught behind soon after for 106. 
 
Viren joined Geoff and together they upped the rate with some cracking shots taking the Whalers to what seemed like an imposing 257/4 from their 35 overs, a less rusty Geoff finishing 34*. 
 
The Stallions response was dented early when Dan bowled the opener in only the 3rd over, but thereafter the batsmen found their feet and started finding the boundary with regularity, in particular opener Rameez. 
 
Russell eventually dismissed the No.3 to leave the Stallions 45/2, but Rameez continued his assault taking a particular liking to anything straight or slightly legside, moving quickly to 50. 
 
After some juggling of bowlers to stem the flow of runs, Dean snared the No.4 to bring Stallions skipper Ejaz to the crease. Despite the wicket the runs continued to flow with Rameez reaching a superb hundred soon after. With the prospect of defeat growing ever greater, Will turned to Tom to stop the rot and was repaid a few overs later when he winkled out Rameez caught behind and quickly removed the No.6 LBW. 
 
With 2 overs left the Stallions required 11 runs to win with skipper Ejaz an imposing presence at the crease. Step forward Dan who bowled a fantastic over conceding two runs and taking the vital wicket of Ejaz. 
 
So it all came down to the final over with 9 runs required and a New Zealander selected to bowl it. One briefly wondered how many would be watching were the game made available on free-to-air. 
 
A first ball dot, was followed by a quickly run bye and a third ball boundary. Then it got interesting. Next ball a steepling chance was put down allowing the batsman two runs, but Geoff followed up with ANOTHER dot ball. Two to win off the final ball. The final delivery was bunted down to long on and the batsman desperately tried to come back from a second run which was never there…but a very unfortunate bounce from a bullet throw from Tom saw the ball evade Geoff’s grasp allowing the Stallions to complete the run and secure the win.  
 
Freshly consigned to the dustbin of history, the dejected Whalers dragged themselves from the field to shake the hands of their opponent. There would be no super over, no champagne reception at No.10, no Queen’s birthday honours. Not now. Probably not in 4 years. Maybe never.
 
Some disappointed Whalers regrouped in the clubhouse for a hefty fines session. Thanks to the Stallions for a very enjoyable game.  
 
MoM: Dean for his hundred

Tom Shepherds Whalers to Victory

Whalers CC vs Lambeth Lambs CC; King’s House Sports Ground; Sunday 21st July
 
Buoyed by England’s success the weekend before, the Whalers eventually assembled at King’s House for a game against the Lambeth Lambs. The six regular Whalers were joined by a few new faces to make a strong side that were confident of a good game, mainly because Dean was hungry for yet more runs.
 
Jack lost the toss (again) and the Whalers were set the task of bowling first on a pitch with one incredibly short boundary, and one monstrously long one. Jack and Dan started things off, keeping it relatively tight against the Lambs’ opening pair, with a few wides thrown in for good measure. Once Martin had joined us (citing a lack of trains) and slotted into slip, he was given an early opportunity to show the Whalers how to catch, but instead seemed to fit in with our abilities all too well. Russell soon took over from Jack, and the Lambs’ opening bat seemed to take a fancy to his offerings, targeting the short leg side boundary and helping himself to as many runs as he could. New recruit Felix took over from Dan and, having found his rhythm, was soon firing down some testing deliveries. Eventually the reward came as Felix made two breakthroughs to remove the Lambs openers who were getting into their stride. 
 
The Whale continued to keep the pressure on as we headed to drinks, keeping Lambeth to a manageable 88-2 at drinks. Another change in the bowling brought Aseeem and Tom (another newbie) into the attack. While Aseem bamboozled the batsmen from both sides of the wicket, Tom peppered them with a few short balls, before discovering that pitching it up was more rewarding and he claimed a couple of wickets to keep Lambeth in check. While Aseem kept it tight from the other end, Harry (newbie number 3) chipped in with some testing deliveries from the other end and struck to give Dan a catch at point, and the Whalers could sense a chance to finish things off. Dan and Russell returned at the end, the former picking up one wicket, and the latter seeking revenge for his torrid time earlier in the innings. By this stage, the Lambeth batting abilities were starting to dwindle, and Russell was relentless in his accuracy, picking up four quick wickets and ending the Lambs’ innings on 204.
 
After tea, it was the usual affair – watch Dean pad up, and try to figure out who was going to open with him. Martin was volunteered to go out and show us how to bat, and for the first few innings he and Dean did just that, playing a watchful innings and picking off the poor bowling. The Lambs’ preference for Last Man Stands showcased itself when the bowlers were asked to bowl more than two overs in a spell, but that soon brought on their key left-hander Ari. He set about moving the ball a dangerous amount, and lured Jack into questionably giving Martin out LBW for 17. In strode Roland, keen to seize the chance for some runs. That chance didn’t last too long as he was pinned plumb LBW for a duck. Amit, beginning the process of remodelling himself as a batsman and promoted to number 4, was next up. Similarly to Roland, his chance to make a dent in the total didn’t last too long as he played down the wrong line and was bowled for 1.
 
Dean was still at the other end, peppering the boundaries and hoping there were enough batsmen to keep him in the game. Luckily, only one more was needed, and Tom came in to steady the ship. He and Dean set about rebuilding, and soon were well and truly on top of the Lambs bowling attack, punishing anything short and keeping the strike rotating nicely. As Dean soon raced past 50 and neared yet another century, Tom was also building a nice score and soon got himself on the honours board with a maiden half century for the Whale. Once Dean had hit three figures, it was only a matter of time before the total was chased down, the Whalers reaching 205-3 off 30 overs.
 
Man of the match went to Tom for his excellent all round bowling and batting display (61* and 2-22). Champagne moment was picked up by Felix for knocking back the top of off stump, and Tom completed a day by taking muppet moment for kicking the ball over the boundary for four.
 
All in all, a good team performance for the Whale.

Fudge Crunches Whale

Whalers CC vs Cairns Fudge CC; Sunday 14th July 2019; King’s House Sports Ground

A bit of morning rain didn’t dampen the spirits of the 9 whalers who assembled (eventually) for a 10am start, to take on the Cairns Fudge who lent us Andrew to make it a 10 a side game. With 5 whalers present the toss was promptly won by the fudge and the Whalers were batting. An order of some kind was determined and it was Dean and Dan who strode to the wicket which looked quite green and likely to be on the slow side.

The bowlers decided that a generally short length was the way to get at the Whalers, however this theory proved ineffective as several balls were sent to the boundary in the first few overs. With pace not looking threatening, spin was introduced in to the attack and after a couple of looseners, was able to drag Dan forward and beat the bat resulting in a stumping. Debutant, Thomas, was in at 3 and got his Whalers career off to a solid start playing a couple of nice drives off the spinner. The score soon passed 50 but in the 10th over Dean drove a ball straight to mid off and was out caught for 33.

Special was next in and continued to rotate the strike with Thomas. Eventually though, with the score on 74, Thomas was out for 11 after being bowled by left armer Oli who was causing a few issues. Andrew was in at 5 and went on the attack, punishing anything short or straight. Special was next out, bowled by Oli for 5 and Jeh followed in the same way for a first baller in his first game for the Whale. At the other end Tejas was out stumped, also in his first game without scoring and with the Whalers on 82 and 6 down, a couple of good partnerships were needed.

Debutant Harpal set about rebuilding the innings with Andrew, but with the score on 100, Andrew was bowled by opening bowler Stu for 18. Nick replaced him, and after playing some cricket shots, including a bottom edge cut shot for 4, was out caught and bowled after (possibly unwisely) chipping a forward defensive shot back to the bowler. Harry (5th debutant for the day) was in last and with Harpal playing confidently, held up an end, pushing the singles with some great running between the wickets. The odd swipe from Harpal for 4 and the excellent running got the score to 138 before Harry holed out to mid off for 7, leaving Harpal not out on 22. The partnership yielded 33 valuable runs for the last wicket. Whilst considered a bit below par, if we bowled well and got a couple of early wickets, we’d be in with a shout.

Dan and Nick opened the bowling, but went for plenty in their first few overs, the kiwis were keen to get the target chased down so that they could get to the bar to watch the world cup final. Dan got the breakthrough after one opener played a shot too many, holing out to Thomas at long off who held on to a tough catch. Next over Nick knocked over the other opener with the score on 45, if we could jag a couple more quick wickets, we’d be right in the game.

The batsman though applied themselves well and continued to hit our bowlers around. Harpal was in the action again with the score on 78, getting a direct hit run out from square leg but this was the last piece of good news for the Whale. Nick bowled well and finished his 7 overs straight through, going for 31 with 1 wicket despite beating the bat numerous times. Thomas was introduced in to the attack and bowled with pace but the batsman were able to hit anything miss directed. At the other end, Andrew had an over and got hit comprehensively. Special was tried as was Harry, but both struggled with lines and were also expensive. Eventually some good batting ran our total down in the 20th over.

So a tough loss for the Whale but a big thanks to the 5 debutant Whalers who turned out and made a good game of it.

Man of the Match: Harpal for his much needed 22* and direct hit runout

Champagne Moment: Thomas’s catch at long off to break a dangerous opening partnership

Muppet: Nick for pushing for an early start, then turning up an hour late

 

Whalers: 138 all out (Dean 33, Harpal 22*, Extras 27)

Cairns Fudge: 3/142 (Nick 1-31,  Dan 1-34)

Whalers Gent-ly Subside to Defeat

Gents of West London CC vs Whalers CC; Sunday 7th July 2019; Syon Lane

The Whalers took a variety of different routes to the leafy west London suburbs of Syon Lane for our first game against new opposition the Gents of West London. Some (i.e. Kamal) turned up early and in full Whalers kit, before hitting the bar for a sneaky pint. Others (i.e. Nick) turned up complaining about the distance between east and west London, and having got lost somewhere in Osterley Park on the way. Before also hitting the bar.

Once the changing rooms had been unlocked and the groundsman had finished rolling the square, things got underway. Despite the use of the heavy roller, the pitch was surprisingly two-paced with the occasional ball popping up all day. The Gents openers started quickly before Nick got them both, including a good catch from Whalers debutant Gaggan. But the Gents continued to roll along at 5-6 runs an over, with their number 5 looking especially dangerous until Kamal got him to lob up a simple catch. Amit also picked up a couple of wickets including a lovely ball which clipped the top of off, and Nick got his third and at 130-odd for 6 it could have gone either way.

However, their numbers 7 to 9 all batted very sensibly – number 9 top-scored with 40 – to push the score over 200 despite three wickets for Dan and one for Dheeraj in a good second spell. Despite the heat and the humidity the Whalers generally held up well in the field, with excellent work from Will and Gaggan in particular, and Kieran revealing his secret wicket-keeping past. Lowlights included a couple of dropped catches, and an all-run four when the fielders decided that the ball was clearly going to go over the boundary.

Tea was excellent despite the absence of the much-promised curry, with pasta and homemade cakes. Will and Gaggan then started well against tight bowling, until Gaggan got one which popped and then Will ran himself out for 32.  Dillen and Kieran then kept things going, with Dillen hitting some fine fours in between a few dropped chances and Kieran displaying a range of legside flicks – his wagon wheel resembling more of a traffic cone.

At drinks we were a bit behind but with lots of wickets in hand, and were still in the game. However, a few tight overs saw the run-rate climb to 9 an over, and once Dillen and Kieran were out, the rest of the batting line-up were unable to get going on a difficult pitch or to deal with the offspin of Kota. A number of straight ones were missed, Viren and Nick were stumped, and Dan probably should have been (see muppet moment), as the Whalers quickly subsided to defeat – with Kota finishing with 5 wickets for 8 runs.

Overall a reasonable team performance against very friendly opposition, and we did well to stay in the game until the last few overs. Muppet was Dillen chatting to the square leg fielder while umpiring, Champagne moment was Kamal deceiving their best batsman, and Man of the Match was Kieran for his Whalers highest score.

 

Gents: 207 all out (Nick 3-37, Dan 3-38)

Whalers: 136 all out (Will 32, Kieran 31, Dillen 24)