Monthly Archives: August 2013

Lemmings topple Whales

Whalers V Lemmings; 18 August 2013; Kings House Sports Ground

Lemmings beat Whalers by 65 runs

The last time the Whalers played the Lemmings it was the Sunday match of the Oxford tour. Needless to say we were very hungover, didn’t produce our best cricket and lost accordingly.

The re-match was again on a Sunday and JT and Nick obviously hadn’t read the Whaler’s history books and were suffering severely from 11 pints the previous day. Nevertheless it was a warm day with sunny spells and a stiff breeze and (almost) everyone was keen to get started promptly for a 40 over match. Dan won the toss and elected to bowl so the Lemmings padded up to start their innings and get the match going.

We started with Khalil and Nick who looked sharp at the start but couldn’t make the break through despite some clear chances for Khalil. Nick lasted about three overs until the adrenaline failed him and his hangover really started to show, so he soon made way for Kamal.

Their number 1 was proving stubborn, being dropped twice off Khalil and Matt’s bowling, he was starting to look comfortable and made his half century soon enough. As the overs ticked along the whalers were wondering where and when the first wicket was going to come. It wasn’t until the 18th over that finally it came with a very cool caught and bowled from Kamal to dismiss their number 2. It was an uplifting moment to finally get the break-through but at 70 for 1 the Whalers still had a lot of work to do to prevent the Lemmings piling on a big score.

After a couple of overs Gilo stepped up to the mark with fire in his eyes and promptly bowled a long-hop which the batsman hoicked to Dan at mid-off and we had another wicket. Things were starting to look up but we still needed the crucial wicket of their number 1.

Kamal continued the party with a slick stumping by Kev but the Whalers really got excited when the key wicket of their number 1 batsman went as he flashed at one from Gilo which Dario took comfortably at fly slip. Although wickets had been hard to come by at the start, the Lemmings had never really hit out hard so with two new batsmen at the crease with the score at 124 for 4 after 28 overs there was a chance the whalers could keep the Lemmings to a below-par score.

And indeed the Whalers managed to keep the Lemmings in check with a solid performance in the field (except for one rush-of-blood-to-the-head by Dario, see below) and Dan, Khalil and Nick taking another five wickets between them. However a disappointing 33 extras on the score made the Lemmings total of 184 a lot healthier than it should have been.

Nevertheless in a 40 over match that score was easily within the Whalers grasp, all they had to do was “bat out the overs”…


Dario and Matt started the reply facing a tricky opening combination of probing accuracy from one end and pace and bounce from the other. Matt soon fell to a wicked ball with plenty of bounce and just enough movement to get an edge onto his stumps. Dario didn’t last much longer and Paul went for a duck so the Whalers were in trouble already and the target of 184 was looking a long way away. Gouldy was the one shining light in a dull opening order display but he was caught out after a smart 22 and it was 36 for 5 when Khalil strode into bat and we desperately needed someone to steady the boat. . Kev was looking comfortable at the other end and hope started to grow as the runs slowly ticked over and the wicket tally didn’t increase. But Khalil holed out with the score on 74 and when Kev went soon after any hope in the Whalers camp of winning this game was gone.

Gilo continued to bat with freedom, with assistance from Dan, Nick and Kamal, but his wicket was the last with the score on 119 and the whalers losing by 65 runs.

The headline for this game is the whalers batting capitulating despite a solid bowling and fielding performance restricting the Lemmings to a gettable 40 over score. But that takes nothing away from the Lemmings who batted steadily and bowled well and with depth to earn a well won victory.

Champagne moment – Kamal for his cool caught and bowled to take the first wicket.

Man of the match (joint) – Gilo for his bowling of 2-31 and leading run scorer with 32, and Kev for taking three catches and a very sharp stumping.

Muppet Moment – Dario’s rush-of-blood-to-the-head with a chance of a run-out at either end he duly sent it skyward to the middle of the pitch

Matt leads way in tense Barnes Common victory

Whalers vs Barnes Common

Barnes Common – 5th August 2013

Road closures, police cordens and huge crowds could mean only one thing, Whalers were playing at Barnes Common and Boris’s cycling legacy was causing a few logistical problems. The main one being that the tea ladies were stuck in Surrey and we had to bring our own !

As the Whalers arrived, the oppo trickled in and the 2pm start time had passed most Whalers had already scoffed their pies before Gilo and Pip had made it to the square to open the batting. Three balls later as Gilo returned having missed a full toss and JT finished his smoking warm up.  At 0-1 after 3 balls veteran and even new Whalers feared the worst. With good accurate bowling on a pitch offering bounce and the ball seaming around it could only go one way. Pip soon edged a good delivery behind and at 9-2 we had JT joining Channa in the middle. With a airshots to midwicket coming thick and fast JT finally managed to get off the mark with a 5, followed by another boundary, followed by another airshot and flattened stumps….19-3. Kev managed 5 of a partnership of 5 with Channa before edging another good ball behind sending Dan to the middle. Channa was starting to look good and hitting some attractive boundaries before another edge behind for 19 brought number 11 James Gould in at number 7. After a 4 which he claimed he did not hit (although was a blatant edge) he hit another one to the keeper which he claimed he did not hit (although was a blatant edge) and Whalers were 64-6.

Dan Osgood and Paul Mildon hoped to find a weak link in the Barnes common bowling but it was not coming and whilst runs started to come the introduction of a leg spinner bowling outside leg stump did not really play into ”late cut Mildons” strokeplay whilst Dan was unable dab the full length medium pace from the other end. Eventually Dan fell to a superb catch behind for 19 and 3 balls later Paul holed out to mid wicket in a volley of expletives for 18. At 99-8 and what was required was a skipper s inning from Matt which was exactly what we got. Some great strokeplay, strong running and a fantastic 6 supported by Khalil (16)in a partnership of 43 and Ben Blane in a partnership of 20 who ran very well for 0 not out without facing a ball finally saw Matt make 45 before being run out in the last over.  Whalers score – 164 all out.

As most had already had tea 2.5 hours earlier an intense warm up commenced until it got a bit hot and we sat in the shade. Khalil and Ben Blane got given the new ball and the simple instructions if you use the pitch something may happen. Khalil again bowled well with little luck but beating the bat regularly but Ben got the first wicket as the opener sliced a catch to point. This brought Barnes Common destructive number 3 to the crease. It did not take long before his eye was in and the ball started disappearing to the boundary. A change in bowler brought Paul Mildon to be dispatched immediately for four before dropped catches started to make us fear luck was not on our side. Fortunately Kev was in chirpy mood and after a run out request was turned down the banter started to flow. This distraction seemed to unnerve the batsmen who was bowled next ball by Matt with a great delivery hitting the top of off stump. With Matt also dismissing the opener just before drinks Whalers were back in the game. Paul who had been taken off 30 seconds before Matt got his wickets was allowed to carry on bowling and when Gilo came into the attack a couple more wickets fell. All that was needed now was cool heads which was summed up by JT when fielding the ball at square leg to be told “hold hold hold” decided to shy at the stumps and watch the ball fly to Khalil on the boundary who in anger flicked the ball up with one foot, controlled with the other and fired it back to Kev. As the run rate started to rise Barnes Common started to take more risks and Dan Osgood was brought on to bowl wides and “run out” deliveries. He delivered well on both fronts with 2 run outs coming from his 6 overs along with a LBW shout. In the final over with 11 required to win Matt picked up the final wicket to finish with 3-16 from 6 overs. Whalers won by 9 runs and Matt was rightly voted Man of the Match and Champagne moment.


Whalers find the right length to just see off Lionels

Whalers CC vs Lionel Length CC; Sunday 28 July 2013; King’s House Sports Ground

Whalers ( 155 all out) defeated Lionel Length (146 ao) by 9 runs

The Whalers scraped home to another “too close for comfort” tight win at Kings House, this time at the expense of a South-African infused Lionel Length. With neither side gracing the former Civil Service Ground with classic stroke-making with the bat, it proved to be a battle of the bowling attacks, and ultimately the Whalers’ strength in depth was the difference. That, and a decisive innings from Channa.

With some overnight moisture still in the pitch and a short shower before the start, both sides were clamouring to bowl first. Dan lost the toss however and the skipper was thus resigned to putting his faith in his “powerhouse” batting line-up.  The Whalers innings did not begin well, losing Pip to a fine delivery on the second ball of the day. Kev soon gloved one through to the keeper from the same opening bowler, Cochrane, walking despite umpire Luckett being oblivious to the glove. Both Cochrane and Pretorius at the other end were proving hard to get away, and although Sandy and Matt Boucher were able to take the score up to 26, a change of bowling provoked the Whalers’ batsmen to lose their way again. Matt B and Al were dismissed in successive deliveries to Mandarata and the Whalers found themselves in that all-too-familiar “powerhouse batting line-up” scoreline of 26-4.

But cometh the hour, cometh the Channa. At the other end, Sandy was ticking over nicely and he and Channa took the score up to 49, before unluckily dragging a full-toss onto off-stump. Paul “dragon-slayer” Luckett strode out to the crease and paid heedful attention to the advice offered by Channa and umpire Kev. However, after a couple of overs, Kev advised him to take a new guard and he was promptly bowled for 2.

At 56-6, the Whalers were now in pretty deep trouble, but there then followed a fine partnership between Channa and Rich to get the Whalers out of gaol and up to the realms of respectability. Channa was particularly brutal when Matthews and the other Lionel change bowlers dropped short, but also drove with confidence. At the other end, Rich kept the scoreboard and strike ticking over and found some nice boundaries of his own. The two managed a partnership of 71 before Rich was bowled by McCarthy. Channa continued the good work with Khalil and reached a fine fifty, not without its lucky moments, but an important and responsible innings nonetheless.

Unfortunately however, the Whalers innings subsided rapidly once Channa had been caught off McCarthy for 58. Dan missed a straight full toss first ball and despite being a little way down the pitch was given out LBW by Umpire Bhogal, and Kamal was controversially given out LBW the following over, prompting looks of derision from the batsman, and a disappointed Whalers finished on 155 all out with 5 overs still left to bat.

As fortune would have it, another rain shower preceded the start of the Lionel response, ensuring batting conditions were comparable for both sides. Khalil and Rich opened the bowling and Khalil especially bowled with fire and accuracy, using the added bounce from the pavilion end to great effect. McCarthy and Visser were both induced to nick behind to give Khalil his just rewards and wicketkeeper Kev the first of a record haul of “assisted” dismissals. Khalil could have had more too, but ball-magnet Dan could not hold on to two more edges at first slip. Lionel Length thus recovered slightly as their innings began to mirror that of the Whalers, with the score reaching 28-2 before the introduction of Kamal brought two more quick wickets: the first a fine delivery to trap Van Royen LBW and then Pretorius inexplicably decided to bat outside his crease with Kev standing up to the stumps. Inevitably, he eventually missed one and Kev concluded the formalities of removing the bails before he could get back. With their other opener being run out soon after, the Whalers found themselves right back in the game with the opposition on 35-5.

As with the Whalers innings however, Lionel fought back into the game as Whelan and Cochrane took the fight back to the bowlers, launching a few lusty blows off Kamal and the “dragonslayer” that kept them well up with the required run-rate. Luckett though was getting some good lift off the pitch and eventually induced Cochrane into a big top-edged swipe to leg. As the ball ballooned high in the air, most eyes looked to Gilo at square-leg, but not willing to be kept out of the action for any length of time, Kev made the executive decision that as the man with the gloves, he would go for a catch that the Whalers really needed in the circumstances. Kev slightly misjudged just quite how far towards the boundary he needed to run to reach the rapidly descending ball, but around three-quarters of the way to the deep backward square-leg boundary, he sprawled forward and grabbed the ball in the mits a couple of feet from the ground. A vital wicket that broke a dangerous partnership and left Lionel in a position where they had to look at preserving wickets as well as maintaining the run-rate.

Matthews provided good support to Whelan for a while, while the Whalers kept things quiet and slow with Pip and Luckett bowling in tandem. The score trickled up to 102-6 before Paul and Kev combined to have Matthews stumped (perhaps controversially). The game was still in the balance however as Lionel Length looked to use the full 35 overs to chase down the modest 155 target. And when Jones joined Whelan at the crease it seemed as if the balance had swung towards the visitors. Giles and Osgood were returned to the attack and the ball began to come off the bat a little quicker. However, with the knack of taking wickets at crucial times, Rich trapped Jones LBW for 21 and Lionel length needed 25 to win off about 3 and a half overs. Dan was then able to use pace, lift and greater accuracy to bowl a succession of dot balls that put the Lionel tail under more pressure than they could handle. . A tight penultimate over from Rich left Lionels needing at least 2 runs a ball off the last over and with Dan’s pace too much for the tail-enders, two suicidal runs were attempted – one to Kev at keeper, who is still trying to claim it as a stumping with the batsmen half-way down the pitch. The final run-out was with 2 balls remaining and left the Whalers victorious by 9 runs.

Another tight match – we do love tight matches – but special mentions to Channa for his crucial runs and to Kev for a record-breaking performance behind the stumps and a particularly fine catch. However, the batsmen will need to find their form if we are to win matches without giving the Whalers’ fans as many heart palpitations as this match.