Whalers CC Vs Cricketers CC; Marble Hill House Sunday 21st April 2013
Cricketers 220/6 (35) Bt Whalers 140 a.o. (34.3)
The last time Whalers played The Cricketers away it was on Richmond green at a similar time of year and thermal underwear was essential kit. This time round we were at the maginificient Marble Hill House and the sun was shining without a cloud in the sky. It was an idyllic scene to start the new season.
The new captaincy merry-go-round / shared leadership system was being tried for the first time with Rich at the helm, the first action of the season saw him losing the toss and the Cricketers electing to bat. Before the action began in earnest Khalil was presented with a match shirt to commemorate his 100th game for the Whale.
The pitch is matting at Marble Hill house so conditions were always going to suit the batsmen who as usual with the Cricketers all looked to have reasonable techniques. Matt and Paul Mildon opened the bowling and kept things tight for us the vigilant batsmen seemingly playing within themselves. Mildon who bowled a remarkable tight and accurate spell having missed all the nets got the first wicket with a good ball that bounced from a length, found the edge and was pouched by Ed Kirkness behind the wicket.
The surprise package in the Cricketers innings was the bowling of Rob Lothian who was returned from his year of (unauthorised) sabbatical to produce some unplayable long hops that kept being missed by the opposition or guided into waiting Whale hands. It was very much a game of two spells for Rob as his first collected him @4/25* with the score 80/5 off 19 overs. UNfortunalty the two in batsmen now laid anchor and took control of the game. At first refusing to take any risks and then once they were in hitting some enormous boundaries, one collected a well deserved 100 and the other a big 50. Robs figures took as much of a battering as the ball and he ended with 4/75 *off 7.
Some vital catches were dropped and the Cricketers ended up with a very good score that was going to be hard to chase down.
Al and Khalil (who had not opened the bowling after his presentation in case he still had misty eyes) walked out to face the first balls of the innings and it soon became clear that we were going to be up against it. Al perished early for 2 and while Khalil stuck around longer it was not easy going against well directed and pacey (for us) bowling. We were never really in the chase and by the time Rich had collected a first ball primary we were 4 down for not many and struggling to bat out the overs. Rob Eberstein did a good job of taking on their best bowlers and ended up with a well made 40 but other than that and a typical Ed Kirkness innings (some huge hits, crazy quick running) who was run out by a direct hit from mid on there was little to write home about. Matt and Rob Lothian did strike a few blows to restore pride but only when the game had been decided. Kamal played with an impecibly straight bat as we attempted to last our 35 overs but it was not to be and Matt found the eager grasp of short fine leg to end the game. We had been beaten by 80 runs but it was an enjoyable game against decent opposition who always seem to play the game for similar reasons we do (albeit often slightly better than we manage against them). We all decamped to the local pub for pizzas and beer with spirts high.
Man of the Match: Paul Mildon Tight bowling, one wicket, decent contribution of * with the bat.
Muppet Al, 3 drops.
Champagne Moment: Paul Mildon Taking the first wicket of the season with a decent ball, finding the edge, caught behind