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)

 

Whalers Wilt in the Sunshine

Whalers vs Isleworth Wanderers; King’s House Sports Ground; Sunday 18th June 2017

A combination of Fathers Day, the Champions trophy final and temperatures pushing past 30 degrees could not stop the Whalers XI making their ways to King’s House to play Isleworth Wanderers.

Winning the toss it was a grateful Whalers team taking the chance to bat, relax in the shade and let Isleworth toil in the field. Joe, dressed for the occasion in shorts due to “lending his whites to a friend for a stag do” and Dean opened up against a solid pair of opening bowlers. Dean watchful and picking up singles alongside one huge six and Joe offering a little catching practice between boundaries. For 9 overs and 41 runs all was well and multiple appeals for LB, run out and caught behind had been ignored but then Joe was given LBW (a little chuntering suggesting it may have been harsh) and Josh being yorked by a good ball first up.

In came Captain Stu to steady the ship and just needed nothing controversial to happen. Dean then pushed a ball round the corner to leg slip via the ground, cue another appeal and after an unprecedented conversation between umpires (Dan and Will) he was given out with disregard for the bump ball. Stu quickly followed giving catching practice to point and leaving us 65-4 at drinks. Isleworth continued to bowl well and It was left to Mark and Pete to push the score along past 100, Mark taking a little time to find his range, accurately placing the ball in the air between fielders before falling for a well made 20 and Pete almost walking for his own LBW for 34 (telling the umpire it was plum made the decision easier). The tail gave a little wag with Jiff, Paul and Dan hitting a few boundaries but all ending up being caught and even Kamal got to bat for average and 1 not out making the final score 151 – something to bowl at least.

During tea we saw India failing in their run chase against Pakistan and hoped this may inspire the Whalers. By this stage Joe had a new pair of trousers delivered which he decided not to wear and the bowling opened up by mixing youth and “experience” with Will and Paul. Both picked up early wickets with Dean and Stu taking catches to put Isleworth at 8-2 but this brought Sunny and Kishan to the crease and a combination of aggressive batting and good placements kept the scoreboard ticking over. Josh on the deep mid-wicket boundary was in constant action which must have had some reaction as after the drinks break we restarted a player short as he was requiring an urgent comfort break. Jiff, Kamal, Dan and Pete all tried to break the deadlock but even the tried and tested wide, wide, longhop trap was not working.

With 7 overs remaining and 6 required Will was given one last chance and as Kishan launched the ball to the long on boundary we thought that was game over and we all looking forward to a beer. However Dan had other ideas taking a stunning one handed on the run with a least one juggle and celebrating like a veteran Alan Shearer with the other arm. Whilst only prolonging the inevitable it was a great catch. Isleworth made it home with 152-3 after 29 overs.

 

Man off the Match – clearly the weather was the winner on the day.

Champagne Moment – Dan’s great catch

Muppet Moment – Joe forgetting trousers

 

Aussies to the fore in thumping Whalers win

Whalers CC vs Cricketers CC; King’s House Sports Ground; 10th June 2017

On a bright, sunny and windy afternoon 10 Whalers assembled for our annual home match against tough opponents Cricketers. The assembling was a bit haphazard as the skipper (yours truly) was 20 minutes late with several others later still. After a confusing toss (blame the skipper for this one too) the Whalers were batting on a good looking strip.

Against some accurate bowling the Whalers made a tentative start and found themselves 37/3 after 13 overs, the game may have turned shortly after when Dean slapped a regulation catch to mid off only to be reprieved by a bad drop, after which Dean went on the attack (including one straight six into the scoreboard), and well supported firstly by Pip and then Mark D, Dean started to dominate passing first 50 and then 100, eventually finishing on an impressive 120no form a Whalers total of 186/4. Although a good recovery this seemed like a par score on a good pitch.

After tea the Whalers took to the field, Jack opened up with three full tosses… a masterstroke as it turned out as the third one was sliced high into the air, the skipper took the catch and the Whalers were away, exceptional bowling, particularly by Nick (4/13) and fielding soon had the Cricketers at 18/5 and the Whalers change bowlers (Kamal/Andrew) continued to turn the screws. Perfect catching for the day and a rare Whalers stumping soon had the Opposition all out for 78, all the bowlers taking wickets well supported by a top fielding effort.

It was noted by some that it was nice that some Aussies had cricketing success on the same day as England were knocking Australia out of the Champions trophy….

All in all an excellent win over tough opposition who were gracious in defeat.

Whalers 186/4

Cricketers 78ao

Whalers win by 108 runs

Mom – Dean, 120no, honourable mention to Nick, 4/13

Champagne moment – Deans six down the ground into the scoreboard

Muppet – Sam signalling a wide that then wasn’t given

Always Take The Weather With You

Whalers v Energy Exiles; Sunday 28th May 2017; Nursery Ground,  Morden

The Whalers convened on an extremely hot (and at that stage sunny) Bank Holiday Sunday down in South Wimbledon to the news that due to a very late withdrawal we were again playing with 10 men. Various players remarked that they hadn’t played in a team of 11 yet this season so that wouldn’t be an issue. We also welcomed Jack back from his travels to bolster the Whalers attack against a normally strong Energy Exiles side.

Geoff, making his captaincy debut for the season won the toss and batted. The inform Dean along with Marcos (borrowed from Cairns Fudge) strode to the crease and after a circumspect start against some fairly disciplined bowling start to hit their straps after 7-8 overs. Boundaries began to flow on the large and fast outfield and when the change bowlers came on Dean launched an enormous 6 over the train tracks and the scoring rate accelerated further. Unfortunately after exactly a 100 run partnership Dean misjudged a short ball and lofted a catch to mid-on for 46. Marcos followed next over nicking one behind when he flashed at a wide one, initially thought to be for 47 but soon revised to 51 when it was realised that a 4 was missing from the batsmen’s total. That meant a new batting partnership of Dario and Matt (promoted to the dizzy heights of number 4) who steadied the ship against some much tighter bowling. Just as Matt started to get going however he missed a looping outswinger and lost his off stump for 14. Mark didn’t trouble the scorers and the next cab off the rank was Dan who got things moving with a some big shots and plenty of hard run 2’s. Dario was strangled down the leg-side for 15, sportingly walking as no one else had noticed a nick let alone appeal. It was now raining fairly steadily as Nick walked out and Dan’s quick running was causing Nick some problems with Nick initially refusing an easy run to then sprint to the other end before almost tripping himself up and slipping on the wet grass. Both were now teeing off (Nick literally with his golf style swing) to get us up to a defendable total on a fast scoring ground. Unfortunately the rain got too heavy so with the Whalers on 166-5 after 30.2 overs we took an early tea.

The rain lasted over an hour so Geoff and the Energy Exiles captain Shane agreed that the Whalers would declare and that Energy Exiles would have 28 overs to chase the 167 needed for victory. Jack and Nick opened the bowling however the very wet field and ball certainly didn’t make their life easy. A spongy ball and slippery foot holes meant there were quite a few full tosses bowled and the Exiles batsmen were also quick to punish anything loose. The wet outfield was also proving to be quite unpredictable for the fielders with one ball leaping up after pitching from a firmly hit drive to catch Geoff square on the side of his head. A valiant fielding effort that saved 4 runs but also left him with a swollen ear/jaw and he retired to put the only cold thing he could find on it (a can of Coke Zero). After only 5 overs the rain returned this time much heavier so we again took shelter in the shed. Cue a big debate between those who wanted to go the pub and those who wanted to wait and see if we could get a game in. With a variety of weather apps, meteorological knowledge (Dean), chat about all pitches being laid North-South all going on, plus safety discussions it wasn’t an easy decision. The weather sites and apps did seem to indicate that clearer weather was on its way so once the rain had stopped we decided to give the game one more go.

The runs kept flowing after the resumption including some big hits from their opener Taylor and they raced to 48 off the first 6 overs. Geoff had now rid himself of the Coke Zero and bought himself on to bowl and removed Taylor for 25 with a ball that nipped back off the seem to take the off stump. He then removed the other opener Patel in his next over with an excellent catch from Dario diving forward from cover. Kamal was now on at the other end and was causing them problems inducing their number 4 batsman Ng to loft one to Geoff at Mid-On for a simple catch and bowling their number 3 Krueger. The runs were still coming at the same time however and number 5 batsman Leuvenink played some lovely drives off Kamal and one big 6 onto the train tracks off Geoff. This actually turned out to be a masterstroke from the skipper however as it meant they could have a new (and much more importantly dry) ball to bowl with. A couple of overs later and Kamal had Leuvenink stumped by Dan with a lovely piece if bowling for 23 (Kamal finishing with 3-37). Matt was now on at the other end and with a short run to negate the wet foot holes he was enjoying bowling with the dry ball on a now tacky wicket. With some accurate bowling and pitch assistance he stemmed the runs and took the wickets of the number 7 and 8 batsmen and ended with figures of 2-6 from his 5 overs. Jack was also enjoying the drying conditions having been brought back into the attack and was also bowling much more accurately getting an outside edge to dismiss their number 6 Wingfield and then with the help of Mark on his Whalers debut removing their number 9 batsmen Krueger for a duck. Facing his second ball Krueger swiped across the line hitting a fizzer just to Mark’s left at Square Leg which he plucked out of the air with great reactions. It was all over for the Energy Exiles now needing 51 from the last 5 overs and only 1 wicket left. Jack finished things off in his 6th over by bowling their number 11 Ling (finishing with 3-20) and the Whalers had remarkably won the game. This was a triumph for persistence in the face of some pretty average weather and when we were well behind the game for the first 8 overs of their innings. Due to the bank holiday weekend we stayed on for quite a few beers and to digest the days play and more importantly everyone’s meteorological knowledge.

Whalers – 166-5 from 30.2 overs

Energy Exiles – 117 all out 23.3 overs

Whalers win by 49 runs

M-O-M – Matt – Bowling spell of 2-6 from 5 overs started to turn the game

Champagne – Mark’s catch (special mention to Dario and Dan also for excellent catches)

Muppett – Nick’s running between the wickets, especially the moment where he almost tripped himself up

Whalers drop winning run

Whalers vs South Hampstead; 21 May 2017; Kings’s House Sports Ground

 

Whalers lose by 23 runs

 

The Whalers winning start to the season came to an end against a very good South Hampstead team. Things didn’t start off too promisingly with only 10 Whalers and 3 opposition present, but it turned out the rest of the opposition were at the Fullers ground next door and so arrived fairly promptly. Less prompt was Luke, who had misread the email and was at South Hampstead wondering where the rest of the team was. That was muppet moment sorted before we even began.

 

Once things did get underway, Nick and Geoff kept things very tight initially with Geoff taking two wickets – both caught, one by Will and the second by the sub the oppo had lent to us to cover for Luke. Geoff was denied a third wicket when your author put down a fairly regulation chance off their opener, who was on about 30 at the time. We paid for this big time, as he then proceeded to hit anything full, short, or in between out of the park, quickly passing first 50 and then 100. The first three balls after drinks all disappeared for six, along with plenty of others, and by the time he finally played on he had scored 130 out of 170ish.

 

In the circumstances, the bowlers did well to keep plugging away and eventually we managed to peg them back a bit – getting them out in the last over for (only!) 247 felt like quite a good result. However, it must also be noted that we didn’t help ourselves by dropping a series of further chances,  including two in two balls off Ross, and one that ended Luke’s day with a possible dislocated finger. But eventually the bowlers worked out that relying on the fielders for help was overrated, with the last eight batsmen all bowled. Geoff (2-19) and Nick (3-31) finished with the pick of the bowling figures.

 

The mood at tea was that we’d given ourselves a chance, and Dean and Paul Clappison got us off to a steady start against some accurate bowling, before Dean was caught for 36 trying to force things. By drinks we were only a bit behind where they had been and still had eight wickets in hand. The downside was that we also needed to score at 10 an over for the rest of the game. Stu scored a speedy 49, but the rest of the middle order processed fairly quickly, and when Dan joined Geoff the task was a mere 105 in 8 overs. Some Whalers-style hoicking followed and, despite Geoff’s refusal of a surefire all-run 5, a bit of respectability was restored. Unsurprisingly, the 32 needed to win off the last over proved a bit too much, but at least we had the moral victory of the opposition bringing their first-teamer into the attack to bowl it, just to be on the safe side.

 

The post-game fining was exceptionally severe, particularly on the catching. Geoff took man of the match for his all-round contribution, and the champagne moment temporarily escapes me but I can remember it had been downgraded to cava by the time it was awarded. We were left to ponder what might have been if we’d got their topscorer earlier (their number four got a fifty, only one other batsman got double figures), but the general view was that we’d rather have games like that than an easy win every week.

 

South Hampstead: 247 all out (Nick 3-31, Geoff 2-19)

Whalers: 224-7 (Stu 49, Dan 41*, Dean 36, Paul C 33, Geoff 32*)