Monthly Archives: June 2013

Rich denied certain ton but Pip and Tom guide Whalers to timed victory

Sunday June 23rd 2013

Whalers 200-6 beat Uxbridge Casuals 62 ao by 138 runs

Possibly the furthest pilgrimage most Whalers will have to make to get their cricketing fix within the M25 this season, the Uxbridge ground of Middlesex CC has, as you would expect, a high quality batting surface and an immaculate outfield. Even the secondary pitch, which the Whalers were relegated to, had covers and looked very true and even. Skipper for the day Dan was keen to get the Whalers back to winning ways after a midweek game which saw another skipper join Mr Giles in the losing captains club. Agreeing to a timed game in blustery but mild conditions, he then won the toss and elected to bowl. At this point, he was swiftly advised by the opposing captain that it was really in our interest to bat first in order to make a game of it.

So decision made; Whalers were going to set a score and be faced with the prospect of having to make a strategic declaration in order to secure victory. With Pip English running late after allegedly spending another night in an abandoned petrol station, Dan was forced to open the batting with Pete. This unusual opening pairing seemed to affect Pete and after 4 balls of the first over he was back in the pavilion (wooden shed) bowled by Richard for 4. Pip then emerged (staggered out) to join Dan and they duly set about the bowling until Dan edged the same opening bowler to the keeper for 8. With the score at 16-2, the skipper must have feared another infamous Whalers collapse and with it, his unblemished record for the season! JT then joined the fray and assumed his usual off stump guard indicating his intent to get after the bowling. That he did with a quick fire 27 in 7 overs with some crushing boundaries a la Dragon Slayer (Mr. P. Luckett for the uninitiated). He was then bowled by Abag, one of several colts on the opposition’s team, and was quickly followed two balls later by Tom who was also bowled but for no runs (73-4). Rich Giles then came to the crease and he and Pip started to steer the Whalers towards a respectable score – Gilo not appreciating some of the running between the wicket that Pip was pushing for. At one point Gilo hit a full toss to midwicket, who duly caught it, but he was saved by the ball being judged to be over waist height. The alcohol from the night before obviously wore off and after reaching his half century Pip was eventually caught for 66 – again off the opening bowler – with the score now at 135-5. Rich was then joined by Vish who provided a cameo before being stumped for 13 followed by Rob (caught behind for 9). As tea approached, Rich reached his half century with some lovely shots to the boundary and the Whalers eventually made it to 200 with Rich achieving an exhausting 55 not out and Khalil scoring 1.

Sadly, there was no Cook style waving the batsmen off of the field from the boundary. With the skipper having complete faith in the opposing captain’s statement regarding their batting at the toss, Dan decided that 200 was a sufficient total to defend and promptly declared during tea. This was met with some disdain by a now slightly less sweaty Giles who had expected to be allowed to go on and complete his century after the break.

The 2nd innings started at 4.30 and with 20 overs to be bowled after 5.30 and only 10 men in the field, the game appeared in the balance and required a good start by the Whalers bowling attack. Khalil and Rob opened the bowling and Rob duly delivered by bowling their number 2 in his first over for a duck. Khalil followed this up with some tight bowling from the other end and eventually had their number 3 caught behind by Dan (standing in as wicketkeeper). A small partnership then formed although the run rate remained low and it appeared as if Uxbridge were aiming for the draw by taking their time and not looking to hit out. Bowling changes ensued with Kamal and Vish coming on for some spin action and eventually their opening batsman powerfully hit to short extra cover off of Vish and Khalil held on for a very good catch. At this stage, although there were many wickets remaining, the Whalers were definitely in the driving seat. The Uxbridge innings never really took off from there with wickets falling quickly punctuated by a rare catch for Kamal at backward square who also took 2 wickets. One batsman of note did take a liking to some of the bowling on offer and hit a couple of sixes but eventually succumbed to a sublime piece of fielding by Rob Lothian. Pip, who had come on to bowl now, set the trap by bowling a tempting full toss towards leg and the batsman swept to the square leg boundary with the ball travelling at some pace. Rob aware that he was on the ropes parried the ball forwards with his hands above his head and then, as the team looked on thinking he was going to let the ball fall to the ground or fall backwards over the rope for six, he managed to pluck it out of the air and remain on the good side of the boundary for a well taken catch.

Ignoring the already recalcitrant Giles, Dan then turned to the unknown quantity that was Tom to see if he could wipe out the tail. After bowling some looseners, a couple of which shot over not only the batsman’s head but also the wicket keeper’s, he managed to find his length and took wickets much to his surprise. He ended up taking 3 wickets for 9 runs off 2 eventful overs and took the last wicket with Uxbridge on a miserly 62.

So the Whalers form seems to have returned after the T20 no show. Let’s hope it continues this week!


Man of the Match: Pip English 66 ct (Honourable mention to Rich Giles 55 not out)

Champagne Moment: Rob Lothian’s catch on the boundary (Trott could learn something from him)

Muppet Moment: Tom Brownrigg for his Sreesanth style beamer that almost went for 6 byes


Mallorca June 2013; The ‘Send a Radio!’ Tour: Report and Photos

Majorca 2013 – The ‘Send A Radio!’ Tour.



When Chekhov saw the long winter, he saw a winter bleak and dark and bereft of hope. Yet the slumbering Whale knows that winter is just another step in the cycle of life; for winter turns to spring and the hibernating Whale girds itself for another year of gladiatorial jousting on the green fields of Chiswick.

The highlight of each year for our mightiest of mammals is the annual Tour – back in the mists of 2013 the knowing eyes of our patriarchal cetacean were set on the parched isle of Majorca and from the ranks of the Whale a hardy fellowship assembled.

Well, hardy apart from Osgood who provided a note from matron that his twisted sock was keeping him home in bed. Bless. So – 10 stout fellows, firm of thew and mighty of sinew stepped forward to be counted:

Al ‘El Presidente’ Dickenson

Paul ‘Dragonslayer’ Luckett

Khalil ‘Spearhead’ Ahmed

Special K the Magician, master of potions.

Richard ‘Lost Explorer’ Giles, the ‘Gilo’ aka the Gyronator.

Pete ‘Slips’ Nichols.

Sandy ‘Steely Eyed Death Tiger’ Bhogal

Rob ‘The Executioner’ Eberstein –

Kev ‘Guardia Civil’ Albery.

And finally

Pip ’Radioshack’ English

(Special mention to Channa – ‘The Chair’, missing tour member and once upon a time known as a ‘good lad’, albeit no more)

Well, with all great tours it begins in the assembly of protagonists from their feudal estates. Arranging to meet with the keeper of wicket Albery the evening prior for a sensible plan of a shared journey to the airport, Luckett was subject to a night out with Albery’s motley collection of work colleagues who were all apparently high-achieving alpha males – but maybe this is just relative to Kev himself…Luckett remained unconvinced. Nevertheless, when a flaming mojito is offered it’s rude to say no…

Luckily Sandy was promptly on time at 430am the next day at Kev’s domicile for the cab ride to the airport; Kev – surprisingly chipper albeit clearly not sober – managed to remember his Perudo set and we were away for our ridiculously early start. A midday arrival in Majorca allowed for a leisurely afternoon by the pool for some relaxing imbibitions and allowing the group to grow as arrivals trickled in whilst Pip absolutely nailed the poolside quiz.

More on the social report later – first, to business and the match reports.

Match 1 – Saturday (40 overs)

A short trip from our hotel found us at Majorca CC – a friendly, picturesque, club run by some accommodating ex-pats with a charming club-house with a vista of the glorious game of cricket unfolding against the rolling Majorcan skyline. The runes looked favourable with a strong Whalers line-up (on paper) – batting first in the scorching Spanish midday heat, the day started poorly with Vickers bowling Al for a duck; however, a recovery followed with Nicholls (35) and Albery (46) forging a stand against bowlers accustomed to maximising the facilities of the artificial pitch. It was all to end too soon and a dubious lbw for Albery saw the tides of fate turn against us and it was only a fine rear-guard action by English (36no), marshalling the tail, that saw the Whale to anywhere near respectability. Unfortunately no one could stick with Pip and an under-par 188 gave the upper hand to Majorca .

As can sometimes be the case when tour sides face each other not knowing the other, the home team had appeared to field a team composed of their stronger player and Vickers, a former school acquaintance of Kev’s, proceeded to dominate the match after his uncomfortable spell of bowling (2-22 from 8) had already put Majorca into pole position. Vickers proceed to smash 98 from 40 balls, showing just how batting friendly the surface was, and ensuring our now increasingly modest-looking total was chased down in a paltry 18 overs. It turned out that Kev’s mate used to play county crick and the gulf showed – a real spanking for the humbled Whale.

Not our finest hour and the Whale retired to the club-house to nurse beers whilst basking in the evening Balearic sunshine. Morale remained buoyant and plots were hatched to snatch victory from the gaping maw of defeat the following day…

Match 2 – Sunday (35 overs)

The Whale is a gentle and beneficent creature as befits a giant of the oceans, but the shame of capitulation – our aquatic totem enjoys it not and he sounded back to the stygian depths, leaving the freshly appointed captaincy of Luckett to issue the clarion call for victory. Luckily the opposition now no longer featured Vickers and a much more even contest ensued.

For some unknown reason Luckett was given the moniker of ‘Dragon Slayer’ after flailing a couple of boundaries the previous day and was bantered into opening. Not one to disappoint his fans, a breezy 7 was scored before going for the crowd-pleasing ‘big shot’ that was his downfall. A solid batting display nevertheless saw a strong all-round contribution from English (35), Albery (34), and Dickinson (47) building a solid foundation for a fine acceleration at the end from Giles (40no) and Eberstein (42no) – Rob in particular letting loose with some lusty blows to up the run rate nicely after being bantered from the pavilion to get a move on, which prompted a cheery wave back from him – or a death-stare – depending on your point of view. 223 was a clear improvement on the day before, but possibly still looked under-par; nevertheless, confidence now started to ripple around the team and, despite some evident dehydration amongst certain personnel, the bowlers set about their task.

Khalil, the metronome of the attack, set the standard with 1-24 off 7 – bearing in mind there was little help from the bowlers on this surface, or indeed outfield, a fine set of figures to be sure. Luckett’s Brierly-esque captaincy was all about empowering his team so it was unfortunate that English failed to set himself either a mid or long on or off, and had to field his own bowling on the boundary. Lessons learned all round. Nevertheless, Eberstein’s deliberately clever mix of beamers and length deliveries kept the batsmen guessing and snaffled him 3 wickets; the Whale was now well on top of the Majorcan middle order.

The capricious mistress of Fate was not to let the Whale bask too long in premature glory though and an apparent game-changing knock of 78 from oppo Mark, ably supporting by Steven, saw Majorca on the brink of back-to-back victories with some punishing shots going aerial with alarming frequency over the ropes; nevertheless, despite both falling in the final push to Khalil and The Explorer respectively – there were few runs to get and wickets in hand and the Whale was still facing the ignominy of a consecutive tour defeat. A cricket game is never over until it’s over though and a run-out via the English/Albery combo saw the tension ratchet back up a further notch. Luckett, a modern thinking captain of his generation, appraised the situation and saw the coiled presence of Sandy, waiting for his moment of glory…on comes Bhogal – and despite getting smacked for 26 runs in his first over showed his mettle and deceived the last Majorcan bat into a false shot pouched by Nichols at deepish mid-wicket. Sweet, Sweet victory by 15 runs – a score-line more comfortable on paper than it was in the flesh.

Social report

Well, it’s amazing what you can fit into 3 days and 2 nights that also feature 2 full days of cricket – but the following all happened plus huge amounts more I’m sure.


  • Sandy destroying at least 1 toilet.
  • Sunday sponsored post-match victory swim – much like the walrus, Gilo is very graceful in the water…
  • Perudo – It takes real presidential swagger to throw not 1, not 2 – but 3! – dice away.       Bravo Al.
  • Fives in Spanish. Cultural richness being spread around the world.
  • Pip getting inexplicably lost on the way home, and texting Luckett to ‘Send A Radio!’ at 3am. If I could have done, I would of Pip. Truly.
  • Casino trip – I don’t remember this at all.       Fairly sure money was lost.
  • Kev jumping all some cars whilst being eyed balefully by the cops – not really sure how you didn’t get arrested there chap.
  • Kev getting into a fracas with a bouncer.       Standard.
  • Whalers dominating the pool-side entertainment on Friday – quizzes, air-rifles et al.
  • Late arrival Al on Friday finding the touring party was absolutely hammered.
  • Tour Phrases – Ubiquitous, Cornu copia, Sanguine.


Below par Whalers fall to tight defeat

Railway Taverners vs Whalers (T20); Wednesday 19 June; North Middlesex CC

Railway Taverners 111-6 (20) beat Whalers 101ao (18.5) by 10 runs

The Whalers gathered at the North Middlesex Cricket Ground on a Wednesday evening for a 2nd week running and with the weather humid but dry it looked like we would avoid the weather debacle of 7 days earlier. It all started well Nick and Matt bowling tight opening spells which had the opponents restricted to 13 for 3 early on. . However some wayward bowling allowed the Taverners to recover to make a respectable total of 111 off their allotted overs. The 2 main contributors being their opener who batted the 20 for 47 runs and extras who contributed 36 runs including an astonishing 31 wides.

On a tough wicket Al and Rich started off the chase solidly making 32 without loss off the opening 8 overs. The problems began as the Whale looked to increase the run rate and wickets tumbled. Despite a couple of quality boundaries from Channa and Vish the we found ourselves needing 22 off the last 3 overs with only 4 wickets in hand. Some accurate bowling and sharp fielding ended our chances as we ended all out 100 with an over to spare. The mood after the game was unusually despondent as most agreed it was a game we should have won, however credit must go to the Railway Taverners for their victory and fine post match attitude.

Whalers strong domestic form continues against Drovers

Whalers CC vs Drovers CC; Sunday 16 June; King’s House Sports Ground


The Whalers have yet again continued their winning form this year with a 6 wicket win over the Drovers. The game, played at Kings House, was won under testing weather conditions. Fortunate for us the Drovers choose to bat first. The wet outfield and good bowling from Matt, Ben, Paul M and Khalil slowed the scoring rate. Conversely when the Whale was batting the sun was beaming down and the wet outfield dried quickly to allow Pete, Al and Kev largely reach the runs in 23 overs.



Arguably it wasn’t just the captains’ nous that enabled a quick victory rather an initial poor decision to bat in the rain on the Drovers behalf. Lucas nonetheless demonstrated his unbeaten record as captain happy to not join Giles, in his words, as a “losing captain”, despite some questionable counting of overs and hence allocation of bowlers. The rain fell as the game got under way and despite a brief break Khalil, Matt, Paul and Ben were the cream of the bowling attack.



Matts bowling figures of 7-1-13-3, were exemplary taking the successful captain’s lead by example approach. His best a seaming off the pitch ball catching out the Drovers dangerous Carrington caught behind for 32. Although wicketless, Khalil ended up with solid and economical figures of 7-3-15-0 with great line and length deliveries. Nick finished on 7-1-25-2.  Season debutant Ben with 7-0-32-2 was outstanding. Some great aggressive bowling taking the scalp of the dangerous Epsom (52) with a bouncer inducing caught in first slip by Nicholls leading to a critical wicket.  With 4 dropped catches, Paul M was unlucky to not have taken a wicket. His good bowling going unrewarded. Perhaps the antipodeans in the team could do with some catching practice, Howes 2 dropped catches and questionable footwear, Tippins 3 dropped catches and plenty of theaterical ineffective dives over the ball awarding him muppet moments of the match. Paul L finished on 1-0-9-0…strategically claiming runs hit off his bowling enabled him to bat.



Out to open were Pete and Pip. Pip was the first man to go caught deep in gully with a good catch after initially looking very settled with some nice shots. Pete had a point to prove however dispatching the opening bowlers to various parts of the ground. He made a game winning 46 with plenty of 4s, 2s…yet controversially jug avoiding a half century. Kev despite a medical condition induced from his trip to Mallorca managed a gallant 19. His form with the bat also matching his wicket keeping skills. However his rapidly developing facial hair and choice of post-match slippers brought in heavy fines. JT the dragon slayers apprentice made a quick fire 9 brought undone by some good quick bowling. Al was solid with 25 not out. Another steady and reliable innings seeing the team home with efficacy. Luckett (dragon slayer master) composed and reeling from his expensive bowling smashed the winning runs with poise and grace finishing 4 NO



Champagne moment – Ben Blane bouncer caught by Pete Nicholls in slips. Matt Lucas’s bowling

Muppet moment – JT’s fielding

Man of the match – Matt Lucas 3-13

Captain Kirkness leads Whalers to 6th win on the bounce

Whalers v Cairns Fudge, Wandsworth Common, Sat 1st June

Result: Whalers won by 50 runs


Whalers extended their winning streak to 6 matches by what was ultimately a comfortable winning margin of 50 runs against Cairns Fudge, on an unpredictable wicket on Wandsworth Common. The result had not always looked assured, as a strong bowling performance from Cairns Fudge, combined with a spongy surface and some poor strokeplay from Whalers batsmen, left an achievable total of 154-7 for Fudge to chase down. However, another fine performance in the field, where catches were held and aggressive ground-fielding produced 2 run-outs, meant that Whalers were always in the box seat during the run-chase: a position which they refused to relinquish.

Captain Kirk(ness) lost the toss and Whalers were duly inserted on a green wicket that seemed to offer plenty for the bowlers; and so it would prove. In just the second over, Al made the mistake of driving on a spongy wicket and spooned a low catch to cover. The pitch would clearly take some getting used to, but with long grass slowing up the outfield, the Whalers knew they would also have to work especially hard for their runs. The Cairns Fudge opening bowlers kept a tight line and allowed the unpredictable bounce to do the rest, while Pip and Kev tried to build a platform. Going was slow, but having seen off the openers, Pip tried to take his frustration out on the tamer bowling of Davis but succeeded only in cutting tamely to point. Pete followed soon after, bowled through the gate for a single, and the Whalers were 29-3 with more than 10 overs bowled.

For a while the new Terrell – Albery partnership looked to release the shackles, with Kev playing more circumspectly than perhaps he was used to, while Stu looked to wrest back some of the initiative and score quickly. Solid progress was again let down by a loose shot, this time with Stu picking out mid-on with a pull-shot for 17. Channa survived a good early LBW shout to help take the score to 79-4, also bizarrely prodding both buttocks at a leg-side delivery that deflected through to the keeper, thereby once again securing the Muppet Moment award and giving a new meaning to the term “caught behind”. Meanwhile the cricket progressed and having incurred some disgruntled looks and words from the Cairns Fudge team over Channa’s LBW shout, so Umpire English would then incur some unjustified dissent from his own a few overs later.

Having been a team of only ten players just before the toss, Cairns Fudge managed to enlist the help of JJ, a passer-by on Wandsworth Common, keen cricket enthusiast and who could have been, for all the Whalers knew, a former West-Indian speed demon. It was at this juncture in the match that Fudge decided to take a punt on their random, to try and dislodge the battling Kev. JJ’s first delivery, left-arm over the wicket, was full and swinging in the right-hander, hitting Kev on the front pad in front of middle, a ball that would have gone on to ht middle-and-leg. Umpire English looked hard for reasons not to give it but found none and reluctantly raised the finger. Kev had to go, for a gritty hard-fought 31, despite repeated head-shaking, disbelief and whingeing that would last long into the night.

Channa lasted only a few overs more before holing out to mid-on for 12, and the Whalers found themselves in some trouble at 87-6 with 10 overs to go. However, once Rich and Ed came to the crease, the Whalers recovery began in earnest. The scoring rate increased and for once, the Cairns Fudge attack looked under pressure as a few heavy blows were meted out to the change bowlers. It prompted the Fudge captain to reintroduce the opener Lam, a move that met with almost instant success as he pegged back Rich’s leg stump with the batsman looking to whip the ball through mid-wicket. Within the space of 5 overs though, the partnership had eased the Whalers to 119-7 and edging more towards the realms of a respectable total. That this respectability was achieved for the loss of no more wickets in the final 6 overs, is testimony to the depth of Whalers batting that has on many occasions rescued similar perilous situations. Matt joined Ed and pushed and nurdled the ball into the gaps, while Ed continued to land some heavy blows that with a different outfield would have boosted the Whalers score further. The eighth wicket pair did however put on 35 more runs unbeaten, taking the Whalers to 154-7 and a defendable score on a pitch that still had some demons to reveal.

Ed finished on a fine captain’s knock of 27* with Matt also not out on 17. The players retired to the boundary for a self-made tea of ham and mustard sandwiches, sausage rolls and tea, kindly provided by Kev and the ubiquitous Channa.

The Cairns Fudge reply began with what would prove to be the Champagne Moment for the Whalers, as the opening pair chanced a tight run to “Terrier Terrell” at mid-off. Stu steamed in, picked up and hurled near-perfectly to the ‘keeper’s end, leaving Kev a comparatively simple formality of removing the bails before the despairing batsman’s dive. This was a warning-sign if ever there was one that the Whalers would be taking no prisoners in the field in defence of their score. Nick and Matt more than matched the Fudge opening bowlers by keeping tight lines and extracting variable bounce that even troubled ‘keeper Kev, let alone the batsmen.

Soon after, Matt produced what must have felt like a nerve-shredding delivery for the batsmen still to come, by bowling Kenny with a back-of-a-length delivery that skidded straight through and hit the base of off, having never left the ground. A big wicket that left Fudge on 8-2 after 6 overs.

At one end, Nick plugged away a nagging line and bowled his seven overs straight through to unluckily finish wicketless but having given only 11 runs away. At the other end, the equally miserly Matt was replaced by Rich and although a few wides were slung down, delaying the drinks interval for everyone, he was able to trap Dean LBW for 4, reducing Cairns Fudge to 26-3 off 14 overs. With a painfully slow start, Fudge could not afford to lose wickets as well, and something had to give. Thus, following the drinks break, the batsmen came out with more intent and looked to take on both Rich and Kamal. However, Kamal was once again proving to be almost unplayable at times and was rewarded with two stump clatters in an over, prompting a new, strutting celebration, palms to heaven, that can only happen when a bowler simply knows that he’s the nuts.

At 64-5, the work was not yet complete for the Whalers, but the real killer for Fudge now was the run-rate, as with 23 overs played they were not even half-way to their 155 target. Ed replaced Rich at one end and was able to remove their Number 3, Rob, courtesy of a steepling catch by Rich. Despite being up against it, the Fudge lower order continued to chase the total but by now needed 2-a ball. Kamal was miserly to the last, taking 2-18 from his 7 overs in another fine spell, and although the lower order were able to take some runs off Pip’s two overs, and Ed’s 5th over, they were pegged back with wickets before any partnership could threaten the mammoth run-rate needed. Two wickets fell in Ed’s fifth over, thanks to another, albeit nonchalant, catch from Rich and another from Al, while Al and Pip then combined to run out their number 10.

It was however left to Matt to finish the innings with who else but Channa there to take the final catch and leave the Whalers victorious by 50 runs.

Another dominant display in the field had won the day after more fragile batting, but barring some tough missed stumpings and edges for Kev, the bowling and fielding was something the team could be proud of.

Both sides retreated to the pub for beers, fines and post-mortems, with a select few taking full advantage of the Saturday fixture by trekking on to Kev’s flat for Table Football, pizza and some eighties dance-classics.

Kev continued to whinge about his LBW and there were even rumours of him boycotting the forthcoming tour of Majorca in protest, with Channa being drafted in as a replacement, but ultimately common sense prevailed and Kev just admitted he was wrong.

Congratulations to us all for 6 wins out of 7. Now on to the sunny climes of Majorca!

Man of the Match: Ed Kirkness – 27* and 3-22

(Honourable mention to Matt for 17* and 5.3 – 1 – 6 – 2)

Champagne Moment: Stu’s run-out of the opposition opener in the first over

Muppet Moment: Channa for presenting both buttocks to a delivery instead of just leaving it, or even hitting it with the bat

Team with Whalettes and first experience of Whalers cricket for Lottie Kirkness and Thomas Giles

Team with Whalettes and first experience of Whalers cricket for Lottie Kirkness and Thomas Giles

Channa and Thomas Giles (looking impressed)

Channa and Thomas Giles (looking impressed)