Russell guides Whalers to Pitch D glory

Salix CC vs Whalers CC; King’s House Sports Ground; Sunday 10th June

It was another hot Sunday afternoon as the Whalers reconvened looking to make it 3 wins in a row. Although this was an away game the game was played at our regular King’s House venue and so the only extra travelling was the long walk to Pitch D. The opponents were Salix and they didn’t appear to be too confident in ending the Whalers’ winning streak as they requested a non timed, time game (a maximum of 70 overs to be bowled) due to a perceived gulf in quality between the two sides. Will (captain) was happy to oblige and duly won the toss and elected to bat. The Whalers lined up as follows: Al, Channa, Will (c), Geoff, Dan, Jordan (debut), Josh, Jack, Russell, Nick and Kamal.

From the onset it became clear that the pitch was going to be low and slow. This combined with a large outfield meant it looked like the boundary count was going to be on the minimal side. Salix’s two opening bowlers started well and it was obvious we were going to have to work hard for our runs. Channa, filling the rather big shoes of Dean was unable to produce any of his fellow left hander’s big hitting as he lofted a straight drive into the air 3rd ball to depart for a duck. Will came in at 3 and together with Al was able to get the scoreboard moving with lots of 2s and 3s and the occasional 4. Al departed for a dogged 20, succumbing to their first change bowler, Padmore. Will was joined at the crease by Geoff who wasted no time at all in getting stuck into the attack. After bludgeoning a couple of 4s and also a six his entertaining but brief stint after he mistimed an Ellis delivery on the leg side and was caught at midwicket. Dan was the next man in at 5, slightly higher than he is normally accustomed to but the long boundaries suited his game and he soon set about scampering between the wickets. Will was then bowled for 33 to leave the Whalers at 92-4 and debutant Jordan striding out to the middle. Dan and Jordan put on a good partnership but with the Whalers looking to up the tempo having reached the 30 over mark Dan was caught in spectacular fashion at deep mid off to walk back for a well crafted 35, leaving the Whalers at 139-5. A combination of Josh, Jack, Russell and Nick the combined to get Whalers to a respectable score of 166/8 from 36 overs before Will decided that was enough and declared.

Needing 167 to win against a Whalers attack with a variety of options, you felt that Salix needed to get off to a good start to win or draw the game. This wasn’t to be the case though as Nick took care of their two openers, the first a nick well held at slip by Geoff and the second a fairly hefty drive that managed to find Josh at his customary mid off position. This however brought their number 3 (Yovan) to the crease and it soon became apparent that he could play, hitting some powerful shots all around the ground. Kamal in particular was on the receiving end of fierce hitting but his patience was rewarded as he bowled Yovan out for 37. Salix’s hopes now appeared to rest with Grant (mistakenly misheard in the scorebook as Crufts) but after being dropped behind by Dan who was deputising as WK, Russell eventually got his man bowled. He then proceeded to get two more, one with the assistance of a diving Jack, to leave Salix 5 down. Josh was then given the ball and surprised most people including himself by occasionally pitching the ball somewhere near the stumps and managing to grab a couple of wickets. Jordan made it a fine all round debut by taking his first Whalers wicket before Jack finished things off after their number 10 generously left a straight one.

Whalers: 166-8 declared. Dan 35, Will 33.

Salix: 95 all out. Russell 3-19, Josh 2-9, Nick 2-16.

All in all a good team performance.

Champagne moment: Kamal- for taking the most important wicket of the day.

Muppet moment: Josh- for a premature slide about 3 metres from the ball.

MOTM: Russell for 3 wickets

Fine of the day: Nick Howes

All round contributions seal close victory

Whalers CC vs Clapham Inn CC: Saturday 2nd June 2018; King’s House Sports Ground
 
On a sunny Saturday afternoon Whalers gathered for our annual match with Clapham Inn which has always proved to be a good battle, and this game proved no different. The Whalers 11 featured Amit on Whalers debut and 4 other season debuts, Josh, JT making a long awaited return and our friends from Cairns Fudge, Andrew and Marcos helping us out again.
 
After winning the toss (for the first time this year!) Will opted to bat on another good looking Kings house pitch. Dean and Marcos opened up with a fast start while the opening bowlers were finding their length but once they had things became a lot tougher as the run rate was pegged back. The breakthrough came when Dean received a pearler / jaffa / bonzer delivery from impressive opening bowler Langham which knocked off his off stump bail, by all accounts it was a great ball – Dean agreed but thought that might not quite have done it justice.  38/1 in the 9th over soon became 65/4 as the collapse was on, and the Whalers looked around for someone to halt the slide, step up Andrew who started hitting some lovely shots all round the wicket, including a huge baseball style straight 6, and along with Will added 58 for the 5th wicket. Cue the second collapse as 2 further wickets fell quickly including Andrew for 51. At 138/7 in the 29th over things were delicately poised but first Geoff and then Dan, both with good support from Amit were able to push the score through to 187 before Dan forgot that debutant Amit wasn’t familiar with ‘Dan’ running and Amit was left well short running a third. leaving Jack one ball to show off his cover driving skills, leaving the Whalers with a total of 189, which seemed maybe a hint above par, but early wickets would be helpful.
 
Jack opened up with Dan and with some good accurate bowling they both delivered an early wicket, bowling one opener each., the downside effect of this was it bought in their number 4 Owen who was playing some great shots including a huge effortless looking straight six off Geoff’s first over. Geoff and Amit then just about held things in check, the breakthrough came in the 14th over when Geoff grabbed a smart return catch, albeit with a juggle, and Amit followed this up in the next over with his debut wicket, a super diving catch from josh at backward point. Andrew chipped in with a caught and bowled and the run rate headed north of 8 with 10 overs to go but Owen was still in. With the game in the balance Will came up with a captaincy masterstroke and introduced Dean to the bowling crease with his array of highly effective low full tosses which bought immediate reward with the key wicket of Owen chipping a return catch. Dean followed that up with 2 further wickets and Dan finished things off with the last wicket in the final over for a 22 run win. All in all a great game that ebbed and flowed and was either teams to win until the final couple of overs.
 
M.o.m – Andrew for his key 51, 1 wicket and 2 catches
 
Champagnes – Jack for his cracking delivery to bowl the opener and Josh for his super catch
 
Muppet – Dan for running out debutant Amit.
 
  

Whalers finally bat first in Exiles win

Whalers CC vs Energy Exiles CC: Kings’s House Sports Ground; Sunday 27th May 2018

The Whalers convened at Kings House hoping to get back to winning ways after three rather heavy defeats in a row. With an obligatory struggle for numbers they would have to do this with 9 men (including a loaned player John) however it was a strong 9 packed full of Whalers all-rounders. Although a hot sunny day heavy overnight rain had left the wicket a little soft so after Jack lost the toss again we were invited to bat. 

As our only two ‘recognised’ batsmen Dean and Pip were chosen to open, Jack then seemed to have a little more difficulty with the rest of batting line-up…The Exiles opening bowlers were fairly accurate and on a slow pitch both batsmen started off in a solid fashion although Dean still punished the couple of short balls, pulling them for fours. The change bowlers were also very steady and Dean & Pip continued at around 4 an over reaching drinks at 74-0. The solid base had been set and when a fifth bowler was introduced Dean took a real liking to him and scoring rate immediately increased. Some big overs (including a 23) followed and before long we were celebrating another 50 for Dean and then a 100 first wicket partnership. 

The Exiles then introduced their secret weapon, an 11 year old bowler (Bradshaw Jnr). He bowled a tidy line and length and both Dean & Pip suddenly seemed very circumspect, not wanting to lose their wicket to the youngster. Pip bought up his 50 before becoming the first victim of said 11 year old, being bowled trying to force on through the leg-side. Khalil was the ‘all-rounder’ chosen to bat at 3 however he only lasted a few balls before skying one off the bowling of Hussain for a duck. After remarking to the umpire that due to the loss of two quick wickets he would now look to consolidate Dean then had a big slog and was bowled by Hussain two balls later……Geoff and Matt were the new batsmen however Geoff departed almost immediately as the second wicket of the 11 year old, hitting a slow long hop straight to Cow Corner. 

From 147-0 the Whalers were suddenly 155-4 (a remarkably similar collapse to England’s earlier in the day). Dan joined Matt still with almost 9 overs left and on a good pitch with plenty of space in the outfield they were still a fair way short of a competitive total. Cue an all run partnership of 53 which came to an end with Matt being bowled for 36 off the last ball of the innings. Not being able to time or hit the ball hard enough to reach the very long boundary Matt hit 4 all run fours (including 2 in one over) plus 2 threes and multiple two’s and in the process turned bright red and needed an extended lie down at tea. The hard running had got the Whalers to a competitive total of 208-5 off their 35 overs however.

Khalil and Jack opened the bowling and both started well. Jack took the first wicket in his second over, finding the edge of Bradshaw Snr’s bat with Pip taking a very smart catch in the gully. Hussain came out next and it didn’t take him long to get going with a big six off Jack and some wristy flicks off Khalil. The other opener Roberts was much more circumspect however and survived numerous LBW appeals (at least 4 bowlers were convinced they had him plum). Dan & Geoff were now bowling and Dan had Hussain LBW only for him to be called back when it was judged that he had hit it first. The bowling was still very tight however and at drinks the Exiles were on 59-1. This meant they would need 150 off 18 overs at a touch over 8 an over so would need to up the scoring rate.

Roberts was out shortly after drinks, a genuine edge being caught by stand in keeper John off Dan’s bowling. Number 4 Alouysius didn’t last too long before having his middle stump removed again by Dan. Hussain at the other end was still scoring however and after he was dropped by Matt off Geoff’s bowling Geoff took matters into his own hands a couple of overs later catching an enormous skier from Hussain off his own bowling. A double switch of bowling then bought Kamal and Matt into the action. Now recovered from his batting and utilising his new 3 step run up Matt took a wicket with his first ball as Muskatel hit one straight to the covers for Geoff to take a juggling catch. Matt had another one next over with Wingfield picking out Khalil at mid-off for a straight forward catch. Kamal was also causing problems at the other end and had Ahmed caught by Dean at mid-off and Patel caught by Dan at square leg. 

With wickets continuing to fall and the run rate not increasing Geoff was bought back to bowl the penultimate over with the Exiles still needing 80. After a few big swishes Ling played on to the last ball of the over which left Kamal to bowl the final over at Number 10 batsmen Patel and Bradshaw Jnr. Bradshaw Jnr was clearly very keen to have a bat and somehow took a run when Patel hit it straight back at Kamal. He did end up getting a single with the Exiles finishing on 137 for 9 giving the Whalers a 71 run victory in an excellent all round performance.

Whalers 208-5 off 35 overs – Dean 81, Pip 51, Matt 36

Energy Exiles 137 – 9 off 35 overs – Matt 2-15, Dan 2-23, Geoff 2-24, Kamal 2-33

M-O-M – Shared between Dean & Matt

Champagne Moment – Geoff’s excellent caught & bowled when their best batsmen hit an absolute skier

Muppet Moment – Geoff for hitting a slow long hop from an 11 year old bowler straight to a fielder for a Golden Duck (special mention that Geoff was extremely unhappy at this being deemed the Muppet Moment following the shiny ball incident in the previous game)

Biggest Event of Weekend sees Cricketers Defeat Whalers

Cricketers CC vs Whalers CC: Richmond Green; Saturday 19th May 2018

A glorious summers day and a distinct buzz across London could only mean another Whalers game (not some pommy bloke marrying a yank), this time against the Cricketers in front of a packed house at Richmond Green. The teams assembled surprisingly promptly and with the Whalers short a couple and Cricketers with a couple extra, the Whale welcomed Geoff (of Australia), Steve and Rich as honorary Whalers for the day. With Geoff, a bowler, needing to depart early and the Whalers short on bowling it was agreed by Nick (as skipper for the day) that the Whalers would bowl first.

 

The honour of the new ball was conferred upon Geoff and Jiff, with Geoff starting with great line and length for a maiden first up. He was rewarded in his second over clean bowling an opener for the first wicket. At the other end Jiff was struggling for control with his second over yielding a number of full tosses which were dispatch appropriately by the other opener Grace who was now getting his eye in and looking dangerous. At this point a conversation ensued between Nick and Jiff, the exact details of which will doubtless be debated for decades by Whaler historians, the result being that Jiff was out of the attack after 2 overs after struggling to control the new ball because “it was too shiny”.

 

Will replaced Jiff and the run rate was brought back under control but wickets were not coming, after Geoff finished his 7 overs (going for just 18 runs and the one wicket) the Cricketers had moved on to 64. Steve (also filling in for us from the Cricketers) got the breakthrough in the 15th over with the number 3 out caught for 34. Will having gone for a few in his last couple of overs, was replaced by Nick and with Steve copped some well hit shots from Grace and new man in Marsh. In the 19th over just before drinks, what was looking like a dangerous partnership was broken when Marsh was caught at long off by Dean for a quick fire 17 off the bowling of Steve for his second wicket. After drinks numbers 5 and 6 followed in quick succession out bowled and lbw respectively to Steve in a double wicket maiden. His next and final over brought his 5th wicket, with number 7, Stokes out for 8 after being well stumped by specialist wicket keeper Dave on his Whalers debut. Steve finished with 5-38 from his 7 overs.

 

Special replaced Steve and some uncharacteristic full tosses were dispatched brutally by Grace who brought up a very well made 100. Some late hitting of some wayward whalers bowling saw the Crickets pass 200 in the 32nd over. Jiff was brought back for one final crack and bowled Grace for 123 off his inside edge. An innings appreciated by both sides and a couple of the more observant spectators and the only wicket to fall to a regular Whaler for the innings. The Cricketers finished 7/221 off their 35.

 

A quick change over and it was Dean and Al who went out to face the Cricketers attack. It was Wiggles who started and with good line and length bowling scoring was difficult. At the other end Dani started with a number of long hops and full tosses which the Whaler batsman struggled to put away. Al was out in the second over for a duck after spooning a full toss back to Dani for the first wicket. Roland then joined Dean and a partnership began to form with both batsman getting a couple of shots away (a few byes and wides helped as well) before Dean slapped a long hop straight to square leg and he was out for 8 with the score on 22. Roland was out sooner after, caught behind for 6 and Dani had his 3rdwicket. Rich and Steve both of the Cricketers steadied the ship briefly but both were out in quick succession with Rich caught for 15 and Steve bowled for 2 and the Whalers were in trouble at 5/53 after 15 overs.

 

Will was joined in the middle by Jiff and with Will pushing singles and twos, it was Jiff who took up the attack plundering several 4s from wayward deliveries from the Cricketers change bowlers. Nick, who as next man in was telling the assembled crowed of his batting prowess after actually scoring runs last week, was soon put to the test after Will was caught for 14 ending a hopeful 44 run partnership for the 6th wicket. Perhaps predictably, Nick’s golf swing didn’t live up to the hype and he was well caught in the gully for a 2ndball duck. Enter Will’s mate Dave who made the trek from Wiltshire for the game. With Jiff still plundering 4s including some particularly nice straight hits which sent groups in the crowd scattering, Dave was able to sneak some quick singles and lofted a couple of 4s himself. Jiff brought up a well made 50 as the Whalers pushed towards 150. Dave was eventually out caught behind for 12 ending a very handy 40 run partnership with Jiff. Next in was a confident looking Special who’s forward defence was never in doubt. It was his 4 through cover though that particularly impressed the watching Whalers, even if it was the result of overthrows. With Special holding up an end, Jiff continued his plundering right to the end with a particularly impressive 6 over backward square leg in to a crowed of distracted female spectators. He made it to a very well-played 64 not out (50 of which came from boundaries), but the Whalers had left too much to do and the final score was 8/158 off our 35 overs.

 

The result then was victory to the Cricketers by 63 runs. A special thanks to the Cricketers for hosting in front of literally hundreds of people on Richmond Green and lending us Geoff, Rich and Steve, as well as to Will’s mate Dave for coming up to London from Wiltshire.

Cricketers 221-7 (35)

Whalers 158/8 (35)

Man of the Match – Jiff for his 64 Not Out (also his highest score)

Muppet Moment – Jiff for refusing to bowl after 2 over because the new ball was “too shiny”

Champagne Moment – Jiff for his 6 in to a crowd of people

Fine of the Day – Jiff

Quokka defeats Whale

Whalers vs Quokkas – 13th May 2018; King’s House Sports Ground

Having thawed out from the first game and ‘fresh’ from the tour, the Whalers gathered ready for their second home game of the season. After a bit of a delay, new captain Will was keen to bowl first on a pitch that looked like it was only going to get drier and flatter as the day wore on. Thanks to the oppo captain winning the toss and choosing to bat, the game seemed to be setting off on the right foot.

Nick opened the bowling with some tidy lines and encouraging pace, joined by Jack from the other end with some untidy lines to test new keeper Jiff. After edging behind off a no-ball, opener ‘Fruity’ waved at a wide one which flew to Pip in the gully. A spectacular catch was followed by an energetic celebration, and the Whalers were off to a good start. The Quokkas were clearly here to have a go at the bowling, and began to up the run rate before their second opener fell in similar fashion to the first, thanks to an excellent catch from Will. Evidently frustrated by these two early wickets, the Quokkas began to find the boundaries as Khalil and Russel came on. A quick-fire 35 for Satin was ended by some good pressure bowling from Khalil, but unfortunately this didn’t stem the flow of runs. The Quokkas fourth wicket partnership began to build, much to the frustration of the Whalers as they watched the ball just evade the fielders (either through good placement/luck or the occasional drop).

With the score on 97-3 at drinks, either side could have seized control. Fate evaded the Whale, as another couple of dropped catches aided the Quokkas continued quick scoring, despite the attempted slow-bowling-K-pairing (Kamal and Kieran). The sun (and lots of chasing in the field) was starting to take its toll on the Whalers, and the Quokkas quickly passed 200. Once ‘Baggy’ and ‘CMES’ had passed 100 and 50 respectively, it seemed it was going to take a heroic batting effort from the Whalers. CMES was bowled in the 34th over, but the damage was done and the Quokkas finished on 251-4.

Tea was fairly sedate, and Al and Pip padded up, buoyed on by the prospect of being able to score some runs thanks to an opening position vacated by Dean (hopefully temporarily). Tight bowling from Dack and his opening partner kept the pressure on, and Pip’s departure in the third over felt ominous, rightly so as Will followed him back to the sidelines the next over, leaving the Whalers on 1-2 off two overs. Jiff, promoted to number 4 and excited by the opportunity to showcase his batting prowess, managed to find the rope before being bowled and returning after his predicted 4 or 5 balls. Khalil and Al steadied the ship and began to hit out, with some (almost) energetic running between the wickets.

At drinks things were looking less bad, with the Whalers on 69-3, and the Quokkas’ front-line bowlers had used all their overs. Al and Khalil kept the score ticking along until the 22nd over when Al was caught for 38. Kieran’s Whalers batting debut brought 5 singles before being ended by some accurate bowling from ‘Fruity’. Nick and Khalil continued to push the runs, more in an effort to save face rather than save the game, before Nick slapped a return catch back to ‘Baggy’ for 22. Russel supported Khalil, who looked to tried to hit out but only managed to hit up and was caught for an excellent 54. With a few overs remaining, Russel and Jack gave it a go, but tired running and ballerina-esque batting from Jack meant the end was nigh. The Whalers finished on 157-7 and promptly found the bar to rehydrate and relive the multiple muppet candidates.

Champagne moment went to Pip for his catch (and celebration), Jiff took muppet moment for endless commenting on the ‘variable’ bounce, and Khalil’s took man of the match for his batting (but definitely not for his bowling).

Quokkas CC 251-4 (35)

Whalers CC 157-7 (35)

Quokkas win by 94 runs