Monthly Archives: May 2013

Kamal downs Hawks

Whalers CC vs Hawks CC; King’s House Sports Ground; 26th May 2013

Whalers 91-3 beat Hawks 90ao by 7 wickets

The Whalers convened at Kings House in good ‘cricket’ weather for the first time this season in their sixth match. The Bank Holiday weekend had had a negative impact on numbers and the Whalers could only muster 10 players however this was 2 more than the opposition Hawks. Indeed at the 1pm start time the Hawks only had 6 players so it was decided that they should bat to get the game started and in the spirit of cricket their 2 lowest scoring players could bat again and they would be lent one of the cat like Whalers fielders.

Lucas and Kirkness were the opening bowlers and both took a wicket in tight first spells. It looked as though the Hawks batting wouldn’t be too strong so Lucas took himself off after 3 overs to ensure the full repertoire of bowlers could be used. Nick H  replaced him and bowled an excellent spell  proving too quick for the Hawks batsmen and after a lot of playing and missing eventually ended with excellent figures for 2-6 from his 6 overs. . At the other end Paul Luckett was bowling his slow swinging loopers which did cause the batsmen some problems but he couldn’t make a breakthrough.

A double bowling change was made after drinks with debutant Paul Clappison called into the attack and he took his maiden Whalers wicket with his second ball. At the other end Kamal was bought on. Proving too wily for the Hawks batsmen and bowling unchanged for 7 overs he ended up with the superb bowling figures of 4-14. At the other end it was now Dario turning his arm over and he was unlucky not to take a wicket when a smart chance was put down behind the wicket. Kamal’s fourth wicket bought the Hawks innings to an end however with them all out for 90 after 32 overs and also prevented Al getting a run out and showing why he still has the best strike rate in the club.

After an al fresco tea Pete N and Al strode purposely to the crease while Kamal confident of a Whalers victory and happy with his work for the day headed to a family function. Pete started in his normal style with a powerful pull through midwicket however a couple of balls later a strong straight drive was plucked out of the air by the diving mid-on fielder when everyone else was looking at the boundary. That bought Paul Luckett to the crease to display his swashbuckling style. After some very big swings failed to connect he eventually caught one very sweetly only to pick out the Long On fielder who again took a good catch. It was now Kev’s turn to try and get his season off and running and he seemed keen to get the game over quickly as a flurry of boundaries (including a big six) got the scoreboard moving until he was well caught/juggled going for another big shot for a quick fire 28. All the time Al was steadily accumulating at the other end and with Paul Clappison joining him they took us over the line after 18 overs with the winning runs coming comically off a Paul Luckett mis-field whilst fielding for the opposition.

All in all the game was a bit of a mis-match but it was a beautiful day, provided some of the Whalers a chance to improve their seasons averages and continued their winning run, now up to 5 matches.

Hawks 90 all out (32 overs) – Kamal 4-14   Nick H 2-6

Whalers 91-3 (18 overs) – Kev 28    Al 24 not out

M-O-M – Kamal, beautiful bowling

Champagne – Paul Clappison’s first Whalers wicket followed by exuberant celebrations

Muppett – Nick H dropping an absolutely dolly or a ‘Howesler’

Special mention for Paul Luckett, bringing the game into disrepute by mis-fielding the winning runs



Fifty from Gould sets up thrilling last ball victory

Whalers CC vs Salix CC; King’s House Sports Ground Sunday May 19th 2013

Whalers 159-8 (40) beat Salix 158ao (40) by one run

A superb encounter against old foes Salix in which the result wasn’t decided until after the full 80 overs of the game. A contest which twisted and turned but ended magnificently with the Whalers narrowest victory in history by just one run.

There were late changes to the team, with Channa withdrawing the night before, perhaps already noting the Salix team news and not wanting to be CK2. He was replaced by Kamal who was to play a pivotal role in the final denouement. Also selected as normal was the scorebook – surely Paul couldn’t forget it again? Well despite looking at it through the morning it failed to make the journey to the game. Perhaps in the absence of such key data Dan had forgotten the most recent nine and ten wicket victories and on winning the toss decided to resort to more traditional Whalers tactics of batting first.

The first part of the Whalers innings did not start well. A decent opening spell from Winston picked up the wickets of Al for 4 (bowled off his pad) and Kev for one (hit his bat into his pad, bouncing off creating a perfect gate). Ads did a little better frustrating Salix with a series of ‘carefully placed’ leg side chips, but eventually misjudged one and was out caught. Enter and exit Paul Luckett for a two ball duck and we were 30-4 and yet to see a boundary.

James Gould on season debut was hanging around though with some solid defence and he was joined by Gilo who at last found the boundary. However after a highly risky leave early in a CK1 over Gilo decided to try the same again only to be bowled flush on off stump. That was drinks and 41-5 off 19.

After the break Rob was out for one and Khalil joined Gouldie for a very fine partnership. James started to open up more including some impressive cover drives, while Khalil got his eye in and unleashed some of his trademark leg-side flicks. A crucial aspect to the partnership was the consistently high scoring rate with overs going for 8 and 9 with regularity. When Khalil was finally out for 46 the pair had added 87, and the momentum of the game had shifted.

Gouldie had passed 50 by this point but was out shortly after chasing quick runs at the death. Some scampered singles from Dan and runs from Nick despite losing his sunglasses from his head when playing a shot gave the Whalers 159-8 from their 40 overs. With a big outfield this was worth perhaps more than it looked and certainly much better than we dared hope from our inauspicious start.

Khalil and Rob opened the bowling for the Whaler and started tidily and Khalil claimed the first wicket of Henig bowled for a duck. The second wicket proved harder to come by. Especially after a missed opportunity for a run out where with one Salix batsmen overcommitting to an early dive ended up, to steal a Whaling pun, beached several yards short. Kev unsighted foolishly decided to listen the shouts of bowlers end and sent the throw there where the batsmen was safely in and on his second pint. A couple of middling to sharp chances went down and it looked like maybe it wouldn’t be our day after all, but Khalil picked up a caught behind courtesy of Kev, and Kamal snaffled  a well deserved LBW.

There followed long passages of play where Nick bowled and the Salix number 4 Jolly played and missed, but at the other end Darling was looking dangerous but was crucially bowled by Nick with the last ball before drinks and it was well poised at 72-4 after 20 overs.

Shortly after Nick finally dismissed Jolly, finishing with 8-3-16-2 and Dan joined in the wickets with a well taken catch of the no time to think about it variety by Paul at mid off and Salix looked out of it at 80-6 with the required rate rising rapidly. However some solid hits from Lumsden and increasingly Padmore kept the rate at a manageable six an over and despite Gilo (2-23) and Gouldie (1-13) contributing to the wickets column there were some expensive overs thrown in.

And so it all came down to 18 off 3 overs with two wickets left, and one over each from Khalil, Gilo and Dan due to a minor miscount by the skipper. Khalil bowled over 38 and conceded just two (finishing with 2-20) and when Rich trapped Winston LBW with the first ball of the penultimate over Whalers were favourites, but some wides and well run twos reduced it to eight required off the last.

When the first ball from Dan was short and clattered to the fence for four by Padmore Salix were back in the ascendency, but single, single, dot, dot followed and it came down to the final ball with two for the win and one to tie. So Dan to Padmore, who could only find The Special One at short mid on who kept his cool and threw to Dan at the bowlers end who broke the stumps and left the unfortunate Padmore run out a few yards short for 41.

So much jubilation for the Whalers, and thanks to James and Khalil for their decisive batting stints, and fantastic all round contributions in the field to gain a win by the narrowest of margins. Thanks also to Salix, always friendly and enjoyable opponents, for such a competitive game, which could have so easily gone the other way.

Champagne Moment: Kamal / Dan run out to win the game off the final ball

Muppet moment: Rich’s ‘leave’

Man of the Match: James Gould #gould54

Salix report can be found here

Quickfire 79* from Pete Nicholls despatches Merton 2nd XI by 10 wickets

Whalers win by 10 wickets
The Whalers kept this season’s winning run going with a very one-sided game at Kings House against Merton.

Matt lost the toss and we were bowling. The openers kept things tight, and Dan picked up a couple of wickets bowled. Kamal and Gilo (described in their scorebook as a “tall blonde”) were also very economical, with Kamal continuing this season’s excellent form with some unplayable deliveries and Gilo taking a couple of catches off his own bowling. After 22 overs Merton were only on 38-4, but they started to accelerate a bit to eventually reach 101-7 from their 35 overs with another couple of wickets to Matt both bowled off their pads.

The general feeling at tea was that this was very gettable provided the steady drizzle didn’t get any worse. Yes we had fielded very well (the highlight was Rob Eberstein and Kev combining for a run-out) but the catching had been pretty ordinary (again!) and the bowling hadn’t been that special despite some fantastic-looking figures.

And so it proved. The first two overs of the Whalers innings were both maidens, and in the third over Pete Nicholls miscued a drive straight to mid-on… who dropped it. Carnage followed, with Pete bludgeoning the bowling to all parts to race to his 50 while Pip played the anchor role at the other end, when he got to face a ball.

A mere 10 overs later it was all over – Pete was on 79* including a six into the sightscreen and Pip had got 21* mainly off the outside edge. We retired to the bar (those of us who hadn’t already spent the whole Whalers innings there) to fine Kev for his socks and sandals combo, and Paul Luckett for forgetting the scorebook.

Overall, the batting especially was clinical and unWhaler-esque, and the oppo stuck things out well, but in truth this was probably a bit of a mismatch. Still, at least we got a game in despite the weather. A tighter contest is expected next week against old foes Salix. Can the Whalers keep their winning run going until Gilo’s next game in charge?

Merton 101-7 from 35 overs  (Gilo 2-9 from 7, Dan 2-11 from 6, Matt 2-17 from 7)

Whalers 102-0 from 12.2 overs (Pete 79*, Pip 21*)

Man of the match: Pete

Champagne moment: Rob E / Kev’s run out

Muppet moment: Paul for forgetting the scorebook (with a late bid from Gilo, who had locked his bike to Matt’s for added security, and then couldn’t find the key…)

Five wicket Riff for Captain Lucas

Saracens Riffs XI vs Whalers CC XI – Saturday 4th May 2013 – Quinton Hogg Memorial Ground, Chiswick

Whalers 45-1 beat Saracens Riffs 44 a/o by 9 wickets

The world’s media had gathered for this classic match….

“They streamed through the turnstiles in the morning with the intention of watching Sachin TendulkarAl Dickenson and Virat KohliAnthony Pratt, the past and the future of Indian Whalers batsmanship. By day’s end, the thousands two or three at Chepauk Quinton Hogg Memorial were on their feet to applaud MS DhoniMatt Lucas, the present captain, whose stunning unbeaten 206 5 for 5 gave India the Whalers a stranglehold on this game. With two days 25 overs left to batleft to play, India Saracens Riffs were 515 44 for 8all out, a lead of 135likely not nearly enough.”

Gambhir Giles played the match-winning knock, but his job was made easier by the way Delhi’s Whalers’s bowlers had performed in the first half. Among Bengal’s Riff’s batsmen, Tiwary alone no-one showed the class and application necessary after Rajat BhatiaLucas, the Delhi Whalers captain, had chosen to make first use of a pitch that was expected to aid seamers initially.”

Plagiarising reports by inserting names is harder than I thought, so here goes.

Whalers turned up in dribs and drabs on an overcast morning in West London. Setting a presidential example, Al was there early to get the early thoughts of the groundsman (“Stay off that wicket else you’ll ruin it for the season”) his likely input given the amount of rain that morning once the covers had come off.

Eventually we were all there, even Luckett, making his weekly pilgrimage into London and the heady smell of feverish anticipation was in the air. Either that, or perhaps it was more likely a hungover Pete too close to the rest of the Whalers. With a bit of luck, Saracens Riffs were inserted on a pitch that could be described as a Double Decker – fluffy on the top, with the consistency of a rocky road for underneath.

The pitch showed it was up for a scrap, Khalil’s first ball skittling past the off stump before spitting nicely onto my forearm behind the stumps. Whalers kept up a good line, but remained wicketless until Dan bowled his magic ball – a slow, wide long hop down the leg side which was cheerfully gloved and pouched behind. This began somewhat of a procession, as all 4 bowlers used (sparingly) picked up wickets. Khalil and Dan bowled quickly but with little luck, both ending with solid figures. Kamal also bowled well at first change, bamboozling a few of their batsmen with flight and drift, snaffling too wickets, one edged behind and one caught in front of the wicket. They were all upstaged however by skipper Lucas, nostrils flaring, eyes reminiscent of Ben Johnson ca. 1988 as he charged in with the scent of blood in the air. Bowling dead straight sometimes works, and at one stage Matt had the frankly ridiculous figures of 5 wickets for 1 run off 4 overs, with the Riffs wilting in front of him. Figures finally ruined, he ended up with 5 for 5 – a decent 10 minutes’ work as Riffs were all out for under 50 in less than half their overs.

With a score of 44 to defend the Riffs looked crestfallen as Pete and Anthony strode out to bat. It looked for a minute (literally) that Pete would finish the game in a couple of overs, beginning with 444. However, having cleared his hangover with lusty blows, he then went to sleep on his bat, failing to score from the next 10 deliveries before holing out. The game was up and with Gilo knocking off the winning runs we won by 8 wickets.

The early finish left us with more than enough time for a 10 over slogathon, and after a quick trip by the Riffs to the off licence (thanks guys), we each had a beer and batting first carried on with the batting order. Contributions came all through the order, with Kev retiring on 25 (forced) and Dan retiring on 19 (sheer laziness) to bring up almost a hundred. Riffs were never really in it as we turned the screw in the obligatory one over spells, eventually finishing about 20 runs short. The match was notable as the only time in the history of cricket that a man called Paul Luckett was entrusted to open both the bowling and batting. Swish Swish Swish Wicket (batting) was followed, remarkably, with the most economical figures in the innings. Mark my words, it will never happen again!!

Star batting turns from Toby and Rob L lead Whalers to first 2013 victory over Quokkas

Quokkas XI vs Whalers CC XI – Sunday 28th April 2013 – Regents Park

Whalers 237-8 beat Quokkas 136 a/o by 101 runs.

The Whalers met outside the café in the centre of Regents Park for the second match of the season, and the second on an artificial wicket. The area was a hive of cricketing activity, with kids everywhere, nets (absolutely crammed) and matches with coloured kits going on all around us. Most of the Whalers were there, and most of the Quokkas – just a couple of important people missing: the Skippers. To be fair, Dan O was only a few minutes late, unlike the Quokkas skipper who was significantly late, then disappeared again to get their kitbag and teas (more on this later).

We made good use of his absence with a wide range of fielding drills, which were immediately put to good use, as when the toss finally took place, Quokkas won and inserted us.

So the opening pair of Pete and Channa strode out to the middle, and one ball later Channa was striding back. Apparently they’d changed their minds halfway out as to who was going to face the first ball, and this had confused Channa enough that he checked his drive and gave a well taken catch to mid-off. Diamond Duck.

Pip joined Pete at the wicket and they played out the first few overs, seeing off the opening bowler, Alex, and scoring a bit more freely off Evil Dave. Pip went caught behind off Alex, getting a thin edge to an attempted cut. This brought JT to the wicket, who had a few wafts before falling for a duck after 10 balls. The Whalers were 26 for three and only 5 and a half overs gone. Quokkas thought that they were going to see us off quickly.

Toby joined Pete, and they continued to see off Alex and started hitting out at Evil Dave and his replacement. KC. The first ball of KC’s second over (and of the new umpiring pairing of Pip and Channa’s stint) saw a moment of controversy: a high full toss took the shoulder of Pete’s bat, hit his elbow and looped to slip. Pete assumed no ball, but Pip said it was a fair ball (and in the opinion of this correspondent, I agree), but had to ask Pete whether he had hit it! Pete left the pitch, and as the Quokkas gathered, there were murmurings of calling him back, but the decision stood. (Editor’s note – see Quokkas report: Next ball was a wicket as Paul L was comprehensively bowled. Rob E survived the hatrick ball (and we ‘stole’ a couple of cheeky runs). But we were on a typical Whalers score of 55-5.

However, there were plenty of overs left and we had reckoned before the match that a par score would have been 180. Rob and Toby took things slowly, with only a few plays and misses – hitting the bad balls, mainly to the very short boundary. They slowly took the score to 96 off 20 overs. Acceleration was needed and it came when Quokkas’s 5th bowler joined the fray in the 22nd over. 6,4,6 set the tone as Toby started to hit out, mainly in an agricultural style, with some nice straight drives thrown in for good measure. Rob E departed to be replaced by Khalil, but the Whalers were putting together good partnerships. Toby fell for 71, picking out Cow Corner off the first ball from Egg.

In the closing overs, Quokkas surprisingly didn’t bring back their opening bowler, Alex, and a range of late, later and lastest cuts from Dan O and Rob L, along with some outrageous walking around his crease from Rob L, saw the Whalers to a fantastic score of 237.

Tea was brilliant – simple. Homemade sandwiches, pies, quiches, a choice of three different cakes, a choice of drinks. Just brilliant. And they had brought some beers for afterwards too! They have really set the bar high, not just for the rest of the season, but for the rest of time. Captains/Presidents tea has something to live up to!

Now was the time to put all that fielding practice into action. Khalil and Rob E opened the bowling. Khalil was quick and probing outside off, beating the bat on several occasions. Rob was as beguiling as ever, frustrating the Quokkas openers with his unplayable length. We hadn’t taken a wicket, but were tight in bowling, and supported really well in the field. The first wicket was a well deserved LBW for Khalil, quickly followed by a run out due to some great reactions from Pip, and some pretty comical running from Quokkas, as both players ended up at the striker’s end. Following a quick discussion, the Quokkas no. 2, Snoop, trudged back.

Quokkas were now 34 for 2 after 11 overs. The next four wickets fell in relatively quick succession. Pete took an absolute cracker at slip off Kamal which earned champagne moment, then Toby caught the dangerous Skip off a corker of a ball from Rob L. Channa made up for his batting with a fantastic catch in the deep, and Toby got a stumping off Paul, who was in turns bamboozling and very hittable.

At 67 for 6, we still had to work hard to take the last few wickets, with the Quokkas number 5 holding up one end and eventually scoring 54 not out. Pip took another good catch (this time off JT), and Dan and Khalil cleared up the tail with three bowled.

This was a disciplined performance which showed the value in keeping your head when batting, even when wickets are falling, and putting pressure on whilst fielding, even when wickets are not falling. A really good win, with the whole team having an input.

There was just time for some beer provided by Quokkas, and a quick fines session out of the wind, before Pip took us completely the wrong way to Baker Street despite claiming that he used to play here regularly.


Toby 71

Rob L 37*

(both Whalers highest scores)


Khalil 3-18 off 5.3

Kamal 2-25 off 5

Rob L 1-8 off 4

MOM: Toby, (71, no byes, 1 catch, 1 stumping and part in run out) honourable mention for Rob L.(37*, 1-8 off 4)

Muppet: Channa – Diamond Duck