Whalers Succumb to Extraordinary Gentlemen

Whalers CC vs GWLCC; Sunday 3rd July 2022; Kings’s House Sports Ground

The Whalers were comfortably beaten by the Gentlemen of West London on a sunnier-than-forecast afternoon at King’s House. 
Winning the toss, newly mustachioed and recent Glastonbury returnee Josh chose to bat on what looked a pretty flat Pitch B wicket with an alluringly short boundary on one side. Having regaled the team with memories of Paul McCartney’s Saturday night performance on the train down, the stage was set for the Whalers to ‘Get Back’ to winning ways. 
Openers Dean and Amit began steadily, taking advantage of anything loose and a very fast outfield to score 30 off the first 9 overs. Dean was the first to go, chipping to cover for 18. Amit followed soon after LBW to first change bowler Nilesh. 
Enter the Singh brothers, Aman (making his Whalers debut) and Raman to repair the Whalers’ innings. The partnership was just starting to build when Aman was adjudged LBW for 15, bringing to an end a promising first outing in the maroon and leaving the Whalers 62-3 in the 15th over. 
Enter season debutant and fractured clavicle survivor Will, who, along with Raman began to consolidate after the earlier wickets. The pair gradually began to up the scoring rate, including a couple of cracking shots from Raman, taking a particular liking to the Gents’ spinner. Raman was eventually bowled for a well-made 40, ending a 67-run partnership. 
Geoff, fresh from the ignominy of discovering Crowded House were officially known as an Australian band, hit a couple of boundaries before being well caught for 15. Josh joined Will and with some gentle encouragement persuaded the latter to complete a second run off the final ball of the innings to bring up his 50 and get the Whalers up to 178-5 from their 35 overs. The tea-time consensus was this was 20 runs short. 
And so it was to prove. Some aggressive batting from the Gents openers, coupled with what can only be described as some very ordinary fielding from the Whalers raised 50 within 7 overs. Thankfully Russell, bowling first change, trapped the Gents opener for 26 to get a foothold back in the game. 
But any joy was short lived as the Gents continued to find the boundary with ease, including a couple of massive sixes. It took Kamal to dismiss their hard-hitting opener, well caught behind by Geoff after just passing 50 and leaving the Gents 100-2 after 16 overs. Another quickly followed when Raman removed the new batsman for 0, gaining reward for some accurate and sharp-turning legbreaks. 
That was as good as things were going to get for the Whalers, however. While the run rate slowed, some excellent batting from Gents’ No.3 Kota guided them to their target in the 31st over to complete a comfortable victory. Some thirsty Whalers trapesed off to find the Kings House bar had shut at 6pm. Water and fines it would be.

MoM: Will for his 50*

Champagne moment: Special’s wicket with his second ball

Muppet: Raman for having to ask how to use the clicker  

No Result at the Inn

Whalers CC v Clapham Inn CC 18th June; King’s House Sports Ground

Rain affected the end of the days play against Clapham Inn, bringing a somewhat unsatisfactory end to what had to that point proved a close contest. Shaking hands on a draw under the eaves of the clubhouse as the rain tipped down, the swings and roundabouts of the game hitherto hadn’t quite got the finale they had probably deserved.

The Whalers batted first, having been put in by the opposition after skipper Suhaib lost the toss and agreed on a 40 over contest. Some side glances at the weather forecast hinted at trouble to come but with the sun shining well enough in the early afternoon, all hoped for the best. Partnering Amit, Nick was elevated ‘a place or two’ up the order to open the batting, who soon settled into a rhythm of some watchful defence combined with the more familiar, natural-game, golf-swing defence. The first opportunity for Clapham Inn came early doors but Whalers had had the good sense to have their own captain fielding in the covers, having lent the opposition 3 players to help field for the start of the game while latecomers trickled into the King’s House ground. Suhaib’s good sportsmanship won out though, evening this drop with another one later in the game for his own side. The oppo bowling was more than accurate enough to keep our batting honest, with careful run accumulation the order of the day. Well, that and wickets falling to edges behind, apart from Nick who kept things fresh being bowled for 2.

Geoff was the first to climb into double figures but just when it was looking like 40 overs and rain would be the least of anyone’s concerns, Josh came to the crease and provided some stability to the Whalers innings. Through a combination of watchful defence and the occasional meaty boundary, Josh put on a partnership with the captain, making 36 himself before also succumbing to an edge to the keeper (vain attempt to hold his ground notwithstanding). Saurabh came in at no9 and held fort for a while before unsettling the close fielders with a drive to the boundary. It was not much longer before he was joined by last man Russell with the score on 119. Hope was not high among the Whalers but the final partnership proved its worth, save for some notably odd and amusing running between the wickets, not least with Russell shouting for ‘ONE’ when the ball had actually already been edged to the rope for four, or his cry of ‘WHAT’ when Surabh had the temerity to ask for a second run. Russell was 15no by the time Saurabh had lofted a drive to mid-on for 12 in the 38th over. The final score was 143, almost certainly shy of par but with a veneer of respectability. Tea-time entertainment consisted of Suhaib regaling anyone who hadn’t yet been told (not many) about his match-winning 50 the previous day for a different club.

Post-tea, Russell opened the bowling and found that the left-hander facing him took an unfortunate liking to knocking him for 4s. Dan at the other end was bowling much more tightly (ending the day on 0-18 from 7). Nonetheless it was Russell that struck first, finally getting a few balls at the oppo Captain and finding a thin edge through to Geoff, keeping wicket. So thin in fact the umpire didn’t give it but thanks to some earnest pleading from Geoff in particular, the batsman was persuaded of his need to leave the field. Vishal was first change and found his radar wayward, offering up a varied diet of wides for Geoff to go fetch. That target of 144 was looking very much in sight for Clapham Inn. However, at the other end Suhaib had brought himself on and duly went about the pick of the days bowling, accurately probing around off stump and ending with figures of 3-12 off 8. Having broken through the first couple of wickets of Clapham Inn, the softer underbelly of the batting line up was there to be had. Raman replaced Vishal and found his leg-spin almost unplayable by the oppo middle order, accruing 3-22 from 6, the highlight being a sharp caught and bowled. Suddenly victory seemed very much in sight for the Whale. Such was the pressure on the oppo, that Josh was asked to come in for a second slip while the leggy was bowling, a move that seemed surprising enough for him to emit an excited little ‘ooooh’. Imagine Winnie the Pooh had just discovered a jar of honey when he thought the larder was empty and you can recreate the moment in your mind well enough.

Lamentably the weather had taken that turn for the worse that had been feared. Having battled through to the end of Dan’s over, the decision was taken to run from the field and take cover from the rain. Dan had decided he had seen plenty and hit the showers almost immediately, which Suhaib took as a hint that the game was up. Hands shaken on a draw, the oppo later declared over a beer they thought they had crept ahead off the last ball on the Duckworth Lewis method. Inconclusive all round perhaps, but an opportunity to get a win remains for both sides when the T20 is played in a few weeks.

Nick Howes remains undefeated in 2022.

MOM: Suhaib for 3-12

Champagne: Raman’s C&B

Muppet: Russell’s calling for ONE, when the ball had been hit (edged) for 4

Cricketers Take First Of Double-header

Whalers CC vs Cricketers CC; Sunday 12th June 2022; King’s House Sports Ground

This week’s fixture against Cricketer’s took place at Kings House with the weather looking fine and fields lush, it was set to be a great day of cricket. (Was) being a particular focal point as you’ll soon realise later in the report. 4 Whalers managed to arrive at Kings House on time, waiting for the rest of the team and any direction from an imminent arrival of Russell, captain for the day. As we approached our 1pm starting point, it looked like all Cricketer’s had arrived, however there were drips and drabs of Whalers turning up, but no Russell. We soon received a message on the Whalers whatsapp group to say he had missed his train and that we needed to get changed and ready to start play. We were eventually joined in the change room by Russell and the rest of the Whalers team and it seemed we were at a full team to get started.

It took some time thereafter to get boundary flags put out, stumps hammered in and a toss to take place, but we were soon on our way with Russell losing the toss and opposition electing to bat first. Ross and Bilal kept things tight at the top of the order, but it took a few overs from both sides to finally get a breakthrough, Ross bowling a slightly back of a length delivery which caught the edge and well pouched behind by Geoff.

Cricketers were getting into a solid flow and runs were starting to come from both sides, until Whalers decided on a bowling change and Amit K struck a good line to find another edge and Olly was back in the hut for 17. Elwell then joined Badders at the crease who was going well and swinging across the line on anything short. He middled a few fours until eventually Bilal struck on the front pad LBW for 34.

Cricketers continued some heavy scoring with the next two batsmen who pounced n anything short or wide and put stand together of about 70 until Amit Kumar found an edge and caught well behind by Geoff. Young Louis then came to the crease and smashed about 36 off 12 only to miss a straight one from Ross who was brought back into the attack. A few extras were added by the next batsmen and Cricketers finished their innings of 198 which we thought was good, but achievable on a good batting wicket. Change of innings and everyone retreated to the clubhouse for a great lunch!

The Whalers batting innings started in very similar fashion to the bowling one, two or three batsmen padding up with the rest of the contingent either filling up on extra sandwiches, some playing football and some getting lost in the car park (it seems). We eventually had two openers ready to go in Ricky and Amit K and we were looking forward to getting a strong start upfront.

It was immediately noticeable that there was absolutely no pace from the opening attack from the Cricketers and they had clearly opted for a more accurate approach. This led to Amit miss-hitting a slow delivery by Sunil and getting caught for 10. Our number 3, John, then made his way to the crease and looked in good nick coming off an unbeaten 29 two weeks prior. Ricky and John kept a few good deliveries out until Ricky missed a Jaffer off the wicket by Jeff and was out bowled for 6. This brought in Ross and survived an early scare, being dropped by the keeper from a seeming delivery from Jeff. His luck didn’t continue though as he was given out LBW for 0 when the opposition had appealed for an edge onto the pads. It seemed that the collapse had started, however Viren had now joined John at the crease and both looked to get themselves in. Scoring wasn’t quick, but the bowling was accurate and patience was needed. Some slightly dodgy running followed by a few well times fours by both batsmen  until Viren was caught for 19. Geoff soon followed after timing a good boundary but was out for 5.This time it was Bilal who strode to the wicket and looked in good form, flicking anything near his pads and respecting some of the good length deliveries. The partnership between Bilal and John started to grow until John was bowled by a brilliant delivery by Taker. Amit Kumar then came to the crease and looked solid with some good forward defence. Amit’s eyes soon lit up with a half tracker by Carlisle and mis-timed pull went straight to the man at mid-wicket. Russell continued his day to forget by missing a straight one from Louis and was clean bowled for 1. Special came to the wicket, with the main aim of staying in and blocking anything on a length. A few good forward defences, and suddenly decided to pelt a drive passed the bowler for 4! Bilal and Kamal tried to hang on to a very inevitable ending but unfortunately Bilal soon nicked one off to the keeper and that was the game over. Thank god Geoff left a little earlier to pick up some jugs before the clubhouse shut!

Cricketer’s 198 for 5 beat The Whalers 115 all out by 83 runs

Awards

Champagne moment: Three catches behind the stumps for Geoff

Muppet: Amit Kumar giving Ross out LBW when opposition were appealing for caught behind.

Hon. Mention: Russell, overall terrible day out as captain.

MOM: Bilal for scoring 23 and bowling tightly with figs. of 1/27

Video killed… the radio starred!!

Whalers vs Quokkas 29th of May 2022, Kings House Sports Ground, Chiswick. 29/5/22

The Whalers had a good win last Sunday by 78 runs against a valiant Quokka team. The quokka is a small marsupial found only on Rottnest island off the coast Fremantle, WA. Some may question the oppositions founding name considering the team consisted of an Irishman, a Kiwi, an American, some Brits and only one Aussie. To be fair there isn’t a mariner with whaling experience amongst our playing list. None-the-less, the teams gathered at the usual 12.30 on a cold and overcast day at the recently refurbished Kings House sports ground for the battle of the mammals.

Viren and Saurabh arrived very very late which was duly noted by all and recognised later in the fines. Viren gratefully volunteered to make up the number 11 for the Quokkas. The skipper lost the toss and we were surprisingly put into bat on a good batting wicket. With a couple of quick throw downs, the absence of inspirational speech from the skipper Suhaib, Dean and Amit K strode out to the crease and very quickly got the run rate going. Faggie and Frutti bowled well for the Quokkas but both Dean and Amit played some great cover drives and pulls shots punishing anything short or loose. The author having a great advantage point as the umpire and the runs flowed freely. At drinks we had a healthy score of close to 140.

Not too long after drinks Dean got out to an admittedly poorly timed shot but a decent strike rate and score of 50. Geoff came out to the middle and hit two 4s off his first two shots. The runs kept coming with both Geoff and Amit running well between the wickets until Amit K was caught out for 85. Raman came out to make a quick 9 and Geoff mis timed a shot being caught on the boundary for 41 (the first of Radio’s victims) so debutant John, having not played cricket for some time, should have expected some support from the tail…little was he to know what was about to unfold.

With about 6 overs left the oppositions ‘Radio’ proceeded to harpoon the whales tail. Radio bamboozled the proceeding 5 batsmen and bowled really well taking 6 wickets for 6 runs off 3 overs. His action resembling our presidents. This also included a hatrick victimising Kamal (bowled), Matt (stumped) and Surabh (bowled). Nick also only lasted a single ball given LBW by Amit. He however graciously left the ground and did not mention the incident again for the rest of the day. The skipper made 2 being bowled by Viren. The combined last 6 batsmen contributing 4 runs to the Whalers total of 232. Special mention to John who had to watch the demolition, finishing not out on 29.

With a quick tea break, Suhaib and Nick opened the bowling confident that 233 would be a difficult total to reach. Both kept the run rate low with Suhaib breaking the drought trapping Driver LBW for 11 and getting the dangerous Faggie out caught behind. Vishal and Matt replaced the openers and kept the run rate low. Vish bowled a jaffa hitting the top of middle stump taking out number 4 and Matt got Scott out caught behind by Geoff (his second caught behind for the day).

Post drinks the run rate looked tricky and Dean and Kamal took advantage of the pressure both bowling well. Matt continued to bowl some tight overs and had Viren under pressure inducing a retired hurt (pulled shoulder socket). Dean bowled Yak and had Jatin soon after caught out by Suhaib. He also ran out the tail and contributed greatly to the field. The same could not be said to be true of some mis fields from Raman and Amit K. Amit being singled out by Matt in particular for refusing to put his knee down to save a boundary. Debutant John bowled really well and claimed a wicket and Suhaib cleaned up the tail. Best bowling figures – Suhaib 6 overs 3 for 25, Matt 6 overs 1 for 20, Dean 3 overs 2 for 10, John 3 overs 1 for 14. The Whalers winning by 78 runs.

Champagne Moment – Nick’s football flick into hands trickshot and celebration thereafter

Muppet Moment – Amit K’s terrible fielding on the boundary

Man of the Match – Amit K’s Ponting esque batting

Fine of the day – Nick for largely not accepting his method of dismissal

Whalers unbeaten start to the season ended by Lambs

Whalers v Lambeth Lambs. Barn Elms, 22.05.2022

It was a beautiful May day for cricket, the pitch looked good and for the first time in what feels like ages we won the toss and chose to bat against Lambeth Lambs in a 30 overs a side contest. Things were feeling positive. Dean and Pip went out to open and were faced with some testing and quick bowling from the Lambs opening bowlers. Dean was the first to go well caught on the fine leg boundary pulling a short one. Then followed a slow spell of consolidation as runs continued to be hard to come by. The change bowlers came on and continued to bowl well, Pip departed caught behind and Fraser joined Amit. At drinks we were around 40/2. It was roundly agreed we needed to pick up the pace. Amit took the call to arms and in the first over after drinks and hit a couple of boundaries but fell soon after lbw for 24. Geoff came and went quickly, also well caught on the boundary pulling a short one. Fraser hit one huge six but was then the next to go. Bilal joined Ross and with the help of some more bowling changes started to pick up the pace with a flurry of boundaries and good running. The opening Bowlers came back on but couldn’t stem the flow as both batsman continued to score all around the ground. Ross finally fell for an excellent 40 in the penultimate over, again well caught on the boundary after getting a leading edge to a waist high full toss. Bilal finished on a very well played 28no as the Whalers posted 157/6, a good recovery from drinks but a score that still felt a little short.

Dan and Suhaib opened the bowling and found good lengths and a bit of movement. One of the openers went on the attack and hit a couple of 4’s before Dan got the first wicket with a well placed yorker on off stump. The other opener was looking in control but then got a leading edge playing a touch early, it looked like it might fall into a gap but Dan took a one handed catch on the dive to complete the caught and bowled. The next 10 overs or so saw the Lambs batters start to take control with a series of good shot all round the ground. The bowling remained good but anything slightly loose was punished. Drink saw the Lambs well in control at 91/2. After tea Dean came on to bowl some spin but it was Bilal who got the breakthrough with an lbw, good reward after bowling well through a difficult time of the game. Kamal then on to replace Bilal took a wicket and hope lifted further when Dean got the edge of their Number 4 who had played really well and he was caught behind. Runs were running out however and when Josh came on and got a wicket first ball with Dean taking an excellent running catch on the long on boundary there 10 runs needed. It wasn’t to be for the Whalers though as the Lambs got home with a couple of overs, and 4 wickets to spare but it was good effort in the field and all catches were held, including several tough ones.

MoM : Ross, 40

Champagne : Dan’s diving one handed catch.

Muppet : Josh, failing to retrieve the ball after it had gone under the covers.