Monthly Archives: July 2013

Salix thriller: Part trois

Whalers CC Vs Salix CC, Harlington , 21st July 2013 (35 Overs)

 Whalers win by 10 Runs

The Whalers have enjoyed some superb matches against Salix over the years and in particular the last two had been thrillingly close encounters with the Whale finding a way to snatch an unlikely victory out of their hands. This latest instalment played under a fiercely hot sun was no different.

Winning the toss Rich elected to bat but raised some eyebrows with his choice to promote James Gould the full length of the lineup  from 11 to 1. James and Khalil started steadily for the Whalers (worth noting at this point that despite arriving very early for the game usual opener Pip had decided to go for a romantic pub lunch and arrived at the ground only as the match started). The salix bowling was accurate in the main and Gouldy went caught behind for 4, Khalil made some good progress, mainly dealing in 4’s thanks to aggressive fields and the lightning fast outfield.

Dan came in 3 and made a decent 15 but after him and Khalil (a stylish 23) had departed things were looking slightly perilous at 60/3. Enter Pip English and Matt Boucher, Pip (43) has been reliable all season and Matt seems to be in excellent form. The two of them increased the run rate and looked steady. Matt made a top scoring and highly useful 57 before being bowled and then JT was run out (strop, stropier & stroppiest) off his 4th ball for 8. There followed a fairly typical whalers collapse with Nick Howes contributing 13 from No.10 to get the Whalers up to 198, very nearly the 200 that was reckoned to be a par score. It was noted that the with most of the runs coming from the top order and single figures below, for once the scorecard looked like a “proper” one.

Every week Khalil says he won’t be able to play only to volunteer when we are short of players. Playing in this heat (well over 30 at nearby Heathrow) without any food during Ramadan is a great feat. Bowling 7 tight overs on the bounce at the top of the innings (7-1-17-1) is easily overlooked but once again he delivered for the Whale. With Nick bowling 4 fast and threatening overs at the other end Salix made a very slow start to chasing 199 to win. With Ben Blane contined to keep things tight they were going at less than 4 an over after the first 15.

Ominously however they had only lost 2 wickets and old adversaries CK1 and Salix captain Padders were still at the crease (despite a very confident appeal for a caught behind which the whole team went up for). These two hung around and were then able to take advantage of the change bowling, Rich and Kamal going for over a run a ball in their spells. They seemed to be well in control of the contest and trying for a breakthrough with English and Gould having a bowl only made matters worse. With the run rate very managable and 8 wickets still left Nick H came back into the attack to have one last go at breaking the partnership and with some more fast and accurate bowling (the beers seemed to have helped) he got rid of both of them for 74 and 75 finishing with figures of 7-3-12-3. The game was suddenly back up for grabs with them needing around 20 off the last 3 overs; crucially Nick had no overs left to bowl.

Thankfully for Whalers Ben Blane continued to bowl with accuracy, Rich came back for one over and picked up a wicket and the new batsmen just couldn’t get the ball away for boundaries. Perhaps it was the pressure of the previous two defeats but suddenly the Salix challenge fell away and the Whalers won by 10 runs with only 1 run coming from the final Blane over.
The Whalers celebrated wildly and asked themselves how they had won once again. Salix took the defeat in typical good grace and the cold drinks in the pub as the sun set were even more satisfying than usual.
WHALERS 198 (33.2) beat Salix 188/5 (35) by 10 Runs

MUPPET MOMENT                  
Pip going for a romantic pub lunch as the game started
Kamal Hook for 4
              Nick Howes (13 & 7-3-12-3)

Whalers scorched by weather and Cricketers

Match report – Sunday 14th July

On a beautiful afternoon at King’s House, an intrepid Whalers side first watched England win, lose and finally win the first Ashes test match before setting about trying to beat a decent Cricketers outfit with just nine players. The opposition kindly helped us out by letting us have one of their players (thanks Sohail) so at least we had a nearly full complement of fielders to cover the outfield in the 30 degree heat. Nick and Khalel bowled a good opening spell and were unlucky not to pick up a wicket. Their openers laid a good platform for the rest of the team and each Cricketers player made a solid contribution to set a decent total of 248 from 35 overs. Quick mention to Kamal for a solid spell with two good wickets and a decent turn from the Dragonslayer before he ruined it with a baseball style over (i.e. all full tosses) which went for 20

Chasing down the total, Whalers lost a couple of quick wickets before Sandy and Kev put on 60 odd for the third wicket. Sandy then contrived to get himself out as usual, and Nick Howes saw off the Dragonslayer lbw to a delivery which was a no-ball by about 2 yards. That left Kev, together with Khalel, to take us up above 140 with a great partnership before we lost both of them in quick succession. Good little knocks from Matt, Nick and an injured Rob got us above 200 before we ran out of batsman as the run rate increased.

A decent effort on a hot day, and a nice evening to have a beer with your team mates before the spectre of Monday morning and work. Kev went home to try find out who stole his hubcaps. Credit to the Cricketers, who were nice lads and worthy winners.

Kamal’s Top 5 destruction outwits Beamers

Beamers CC vs Whalers CC (T20); Wednesday 10 July; North Middlesex Cricket Ground

Whalers beat Beamers by 30 runs

The Ashes had started, the sun shone down on North London, the scene was set for a glorious evening of cricket.

With the teams both nearly fully assembled the toss was promptly lost to the Beamers youthful skipper and the Whalers were sent into bat. The batting line up slightly altered due to late comers Al and Kev strode out to the middle. It wasn’t long before Kev was striding back after playing an interesting ‘shot’ clearly in several minds over what to do with a slow looping long hop. The opening bowlers were giving plenty of opportunities to hit out, but Pete failed to take advantage and soon joined Kev on the grumpy batsmen bench having failed to score. With 7 bowling ‘all rounders’ in the team our batting hopes rested with Channa and Al plus the usual wag of the tail. Thankfully they responded to the pressure and the run rate started to tick up, with Channa scoring freely playing with a straight bat, although exclusively off the back foot regardless of the ball bowled. Plenty of quick twos were turned down in favour of a slow one, but Channa was clearly saving his energy for fours and sixes on a warm evening. Al played a lovely cut shot, with the appreciative applause ringing out from his team mates on the boundary he marched off the pitch. Hit wicket – oh dear! However the score had moved onto a slightly more respectable 60-3 off 8 overs.  Ed failed with the bat bowled first ball. Rob L and Channa continued to score until Channa fell to a good catch.  Rob then proceeded to try and run out the rest of the team. First victim was Matt Lucus who was only able to make it around half way down the wicket before his bails were removed. He then tried to run Dan out, but then managed to get himself out before getting anyone else out. Ben also failed to score, but Dan and Nick kept cool heads and scored well, before Dan fell. The score at this point is unknown due to some lapses in the scoring system.  This bought Kamal to the crease ensuring that we used all 11 batsmen. We finished on 144-9 at the end of our 20 overs.

Beamers had fielded well, held onto their chances and bowled straight. We needed to do the same.

Matt and Nick opened the blowing against two strong batsmen who were not afraid to swing at the ball. With no breakthrough Kamal came onto bowl and immediately made an impact removing their quick scoring. Ben was brought on to replace Nick who had bowled a tight but wicket-less 4 overs. Kamal decided that he wasn’t going to taken off before the end of his four overs and proceeded to remove the entire top 5, 3 of them bowled, one caught and one stumped, finishing his four overs with figures of 5-20.  Dan replaced Kamal looking to build on the momentum, but instead decided to bowl a 4 over spell worth of balls in one over clearly thinking that the game need a bit more suspense and giving them some extras would be the gentlemanly thing to do. Dan was brought off after a 1 over (but many ball) spell and replaced by Ed who bowled slightly less wides but managed to bag the wicket of the opposing captain with the worst legitimate ball of the over. Rob bowled an excellent first over removing 2 batsmen in 2 balls, the field was set for the hat-trick ball but sadly it didn’t come, however he did take another wicket later in the over. Three wickets in an over meant the game was nearly won.  Rob continued, but was spanked in this 2nd over making the result more uncertain. However Ben took the final wicket with the Beamers on 117 25 of which were extras.

An excellent result with the Whalers defending an under par score. With 3 jugs on offer (Kamal 2 for his 5-for and Rob for his 3-for) the Whalers headed to the bar to debate more Muppet moments that I can remember in a winning game

MoM:  Kamal – 5 wickets – removal off all top 5 batsmen

Champagne: Kamal removing opening batsmen.

Muppet:  Al hit wicket, honourable mentions to Kev’s ‘shot’ to get out, Rob L’s Jimmy Saville tendencies


Whalers Exiled

Whalers CC vs Energy Exiles; Sunday 7 July; King’s House Sports Ground

Energy Exiles beat Whalers by 27 runs

Hot hot hot. Sunday the 7th July was a scorcher and the Whalers were facing the Energy Exiles. Allocated pitch-A at Kings house this would be an exhibition match. Ideal batting conditions were in the offing and with a fast outfield plus a hard deck this would be a toss to win…Never mind Skip, better luck next time.

The Exiles chose to bat (surprise, surprise) and the already sweaty Whalers took to the field. With the opening pairing of Mildon and Christos, we were certain that a wicket would soon come our way soon. It didn’t. Seems that both openers were of the Geoff Boycott school of batting and the overs just rolled by. No chances came our way and the batsmen scrounged for runs. Oh there was the one that Kev dropped, but that flashed by him so quick that it was surprising that we even saw it. Tidy bowling by both Christos and Mildon ground the scoring down to the odd single. The Exiles trickled on painfully and the overs were zooming past. First change of bowling as skipper Dan turned to Khalil. Similar tight bowling…but still no wickets. A random boundary slipping past Kevin’s gloves was the only notable occurrence. Fielding was tight but onward the Exiles trooped.

 The Exiles seemed happy to conserve their wickets so Dan turned to the dragonslayer Luckett to try and make a dent. It didn’t work. The run rate increased, but we were eating up the overs. Off came Khalil, preserved for the final overs and on came Aussie JT. No impact. The runs were still restricted, but that elusive first wicket didn’t come. We were in the latter half of their allocated overs and the Exiles were still on 70.

In the meanwhile we were starting to cook. Getting hot and bothered. Roasting.

Skipper Dan turned to himself in desperation. It worked. It only cost a few wides but Geoff Boycott no 1 swiped and edged a sharp one to Kev who took it at around the level of is ear [Champagne moment].

The remaining overs stumbled on. The runs were restricted but now the wickets were starting to fall. A sharp run out by Dan and Kev saw Geoff Boycott no2 depart. Khalil came back on and took a well deserved wicket.

The Whalers were looking good. Sharpness in the field and decent bowling had restricting the Exiles to a low score. We were down to the last 7 overs of this 35 over fixture and the Exiles were on 120. Then… their number three bat started to hit out. Boundary followed boundary. The Whalers panicked. Wide followed wide. The heat got to the fielders and mistakes started to happen. The last two overs conceded a whopping  35 runs with some comedy fielding out on the boundary, a half a dozen wides and two huge sixes.

The final score was 193 for 4. 40 of those runs had been conceded in extras! The score was much higher than initial tight bowling deserved but a good batting wicket and the fact that the Exiles kept their wickets intact gave their middle order batsman the freedom to hit out.

Tea and a quick catchup of the Murray game. Some of the Whalers had showers (well atleast one did) and the rest plotted and schemed and agreed that 194 was gettable on this pitch.

Opening for the Whalers would be Nicholls and Pratt. Unfortunately for Pratt his innings never got started as he was dismissed for 2. Nicholls on the other side had been hitting out and was racking up the boundaries when Channa joined him at the crease. Channa and Pete soon settled into a boundary centric partnership. The opening bowlers were not doing much and the Whalers were soon on 58 in the 7th over. However complacency got the best of both batsmen as Pete was bowled for 32 and Channa for 20. Albery, who had replaced Nicholls, was out soon after for 1 and the score with Boucher and Mildon at the crease was 61 for 4 from 11 overs.

What followed was some well needed protection of the lower order; but it came at a cost. Boucher and Mildon knocked the ball to the fielders for the next 8 overs. 83 for 4 of 19 overs.

Mildon eventually got worried about the low run rate and after a might swing, watched the ball almost go for six. Almost wasn’t enough. Caught!

Luckett next. To be fair the dragonslayer got a sweet boundary. He even ran a few, but his wait for the elusive big score is still on hold. Enter JT. Now some of you will recall that he hit his high score of 67 against this team last season. However it wasn’t meant to be this time around as the Exiles cheered and whooped in jubilation having dismissed a long standing wound in their side.

Whalers were in the doghouse. 102 for 7 of 23. Next up was Khalil.

Meanwhile Boucher was improving the run rate. Boundaries started to flow and he reached a well fought 50. The partnership ended when Khalil was caught out for 5. Boucher was out for 54 in the next over.

The Whalers were 138 for 9 of  28. 56 more runs were needed to win. Seven overs remaining.

Dan and Christos at the crease. Luckett was still saying that we could win. The rest of us were sceptical. Murray was playing his third set.

Dan and Christos batted really well. Pushing for almost non existing runs they kept the game moving. Alas the Whalers were only scoring at 3 or 4 an over. Not enough. Finally Dan holed out for 12 and with Christos’s 12* that gave us a final score of 166. Unlucky boys. Post match analysis blamed it on the 40 extras we gave away…amongst other things!

Muppet: Dan for getting hit for 22 of his last over (4,4,2,6,2,4) and losing the toss.

Champagne: Kev for taking a sharp catch behind the wicket. Ps: The ball was rocketing straight at his face!

MOM : Matt Boucher for his collapse stopping 54.

Twickenham 5ths edge out the Whalers

Sunday June 30th 2013; Kings House Sports Ground

Twickenham 5ths beat Whalers by 6 wickets

The weather was hot and spirits were high as 10 man Whalers arrived at the Kings Ground to entertain a Twickenham 5th opposition. On the warm up walk to the middle pitch, Pete was heard to say that time was running out for him to get his 100 this season, hopes were high.

Whalers won the toss and took to the crease first with Al and Pip opening the batting. The medium swing bowling of Singh, aka ‘the child’ started to rip through the Whalers top order, with Pip succumbing to an edge from the Child and then Pete being caught at mid off. Al also edged to the Child and by the time yours truly received his 3rd ball duck with another edge, the top 4 had amassed 26 runs, with 21 going to big Al.

With the heat shimmering across the surface and wickets falling faster than the 747’s lining up above us for Heathrow, Dan stepped into the fray with his trademark bowler hat and ‘get through this if you can’ stance and the temperature cooled. When he was joined by Rob, the run rate picked up and ‘the Child’ did look more like a child. Rob scored a calculated and controlled 31, but was sadly picked off by ‘the Child’ who was obviously jealous of Robs manly beard. Dan was joined by Khalil who was in fantastic form and playing some textbook cover drives and the boundaries picked up. After some great shots and good hat time at the crease, Dan was given out LBW on 38 by ‘not very popular with Dan now’ Rob, see fine book for appropriate punishment. Nick took the game on with some strong shots and Khalil continued onto 24 before yes, you guessed it, ‘the Child’ struck again, Khalil caught out. Mr Experience, Kamal, began a demonstration of the straight bat and how long have you got ‘Mr Bowler’, and many of his shots were what we needed earlier in our top order, and once Nick had been caught out for 6, Matt Lucas arrived and played some great shots, only to be caught on 12. We totalled 159 runs, with the middle order standing out. A thought for reflection was 7 of us being caught out.

After a good tea and talk from Matt L, we took to the field. Nick and Khalil opened with controlled aggression and good use of the new ball. Nick was particularly boosted by the sound of ‘Advance Australia Fair’ coming from a nearby party. Khalil struck first with a good edge, removing the oppos most dangerous batsman and Nick had a clear LBW turned down. Their number 3 started to connect and Matt L came into the attack, pinging the oppos feet and drawing him into an LBW, this was somehow turned down by the Umpire. It proved to be a turning point in the match, as he went on to amass a significant score. Matt’s LB shout was also confirmed out by the non strike batsman who apologised for it not being given.

As the field lulled slightly, 2 pieces of fielding brilliance from Nick and Rob threatened to change the game. Both were run out throws from the same fine point area of the field, the wickets exploding out of the ground with instinctive Whalers accuracy. This injected some energy into the field as Kamal and Rob mixed up the bowling. In the end though, 159 was not enough and Twickenham completed the job with 6 wickets to spare.

Strange decisions continued from the oppo, who also bizarrely refused to pay the full tea amount, which will be followed up with the Board and no doubt the Karma police.

So, in the heat, the Whalers showed resilience in the face of controversial decisions, and there were some positives to take away. Summer is here and the cricket is good!


Man of the match: Dan on 38 and badgering as wicket keeper.

Muppet moment: Rob giving Dan LBW.

Champagne moment: Bubbles shared between Nick and Rob for 2 outstanding throws.