Monthly Archives: May 2016

Whalers vs Cricketers, Sunday 29 May 2016

Thanks to some excellent recruitment work by Stu in the staff common room, we had a typically well-balanced Whalers team (with no less than 9 bowlers) for what is usually one of our toughest games of the season, against Cricketers.


Having won the toss, Dan (controversially) decided to bowl first and (even more controversially) had agreed to a 40-overs game. When the first over disappeared for 11, the Whalers team thermometer was set to “long hot day in the field”. However, Jack’s first ball (uphill, into the wind) was a rank wide full toss, for which he’d already apologised by the time it reached the batsman. Who promptly slapped it to Ryan in the gully, where he pouched a very smart catch which set the tone for an excellent day in the field. A few balls later, Geoff took another catch off Jack, and when Khalil clean-bowled their number 4 and Dan got another wicket caught behind by Rob, the Cricketers were four down for about 40 and needing to rebuild.


Tight bowling kept a lid on things until drinks, but we needed to break their partnership and eventually Geoff got one of them caught and bowled. However, their opener had scored the bulk of the runs and was looking well-set. Cometh the hour cometh the man etc, and Paul Luckett’s first legitimate ball was edged into Rob’s crotch, eventually finding its way into his gloves. But despite another wicket for Jack, the Cricketers clearly batted very deep and some big hitting in the last overs saw them to a good total of 207-7 from their 40 (yes, 40) overs.


In reply, Rich and Stu got things going, and in a very un-Whalers-like fashion we were soon ticking along at the required run-rate with very few chances given, and with both batsmen displaying their full range of shots. By drinks we’d put on a century partnership. However, the slower pace of the Cricketers 5th bowler soon caused panic in the ranks: Rich and Stu were both out shortly after passing 50, and when Dario was LBW we’d lost three wickets for not very much and the game was back in the balance. However, neither Rob nor Geoff was in the mood to hang around, and some excellent clean hitting saw us to the point of victory. With two runs needed, Rob was caught for 42 and – for the second time in the day – enter the Dragon Slayer, who chipped his second ball over the fielders and the Whalers had won.


Overall, an excellent team performance to limit the Cricketers on a good track, and well-paced batting. Jack got man of the match for his bowling (3-19 from 8), and muppet / champagne moment went to Jack for his wicket with dross and to Ryan for his catch.


Cricketers: 207-7 from 40 (yes, 40) overs (Jack 3-19)

Whalers: 208-4 from 35.5 overs (Rich 52, Stu 52, Geoff 43*, Rob 42)

Whalers caught in the Beamers’ headlights

Whalers CC Vs Beamers CC T20 Evening game

22/05/2016 Beamers win by 25 runs


A Whalers team of old, new, and sporadic appearances eventually made their way to the depths of north London for the first of this season’s Twenty20 fixtures. Ignoring all the rules and electing to bowl first, Captain Nick was keen to get on with the match despite the last two Whalers yet to appear. Debutant Pete Cooper opened the bowling, finding some good lines but giving the openers the occasional opportunity to score. From the other end, Nick produced some impressive movement which drew the batsmen into several uncertain shots. Unfortunately the edges weren’t always held, with latest-of-them-all Matt unable to cling onto a chance or two. Some continued pressure brought an early couple of wickets, including a catch behind (much to the surprise of all involved) and a clean bowled giving the first demonstration of the flashing bails after their opener tried some ambitious inventive shots.


The next few overs oscillated between some good tight bowling, with some less good, fairly loose deliveries. Matt got rid of their number 3 thanks to some good field placing of the immobile Adam, but unfortunately their number 5’s unorthodox technique allowed him to score freely off Kamal, including dispatching two balls into the gardens of the overlooking houses. The batsmen continued to score freely in part thanks to a fast outfield and some slightly sloppy fielding, but Andy managed to restore some control on his return to the team after a 15 year absence. A quick wicket-keeping and bowling change for the final overs brought a few further wickets, including Jack bowling one batsman off his pads from a fairly average delivery. With the light fading the Beamers finished on a very competitive 170, mainly thanks to some big hitting from their number 5 who finished with 59.


So with a need to score at about 8.5 an over, Pete C and Dario strode out into the middle. A cautious start made the tough ask even more so, and Dario fell early on to bring in Seth (sporting an interesting hat-and-sunglasses combination) and a chance to up the run rate. Pete fell for 17 after looking like he was settling in, but Sam started well with a couple of crisp boundaries. Seth’s quickfire 9 brought in Peter Richards (though Nick insisted on calling him Peter Handsworth so something that definitely wasn’t Richards). After a slow-ish start, Peter began to get his eye in and unsettled the Beamers’ bowlers, including one very crisply struck straight 6 back over the bowler’s to get into the 20s. A couple more wickets gave Matt a chance to give the other Whalers a fitness lesson with some good striking and relentless running. A lack of boundaries had taken the required rate upto around 11 an over and, with 3 overs to go, a couple of run-outs all but ended the Whalers’ chase. Matt’s gallant 34 was not enough to salvage a win and the Whalers ended around 25 runs short of the target.


Man of the match went to Jack some tight bowling at the end and for stepping up to keep wicket (although there were a couple of dropped catches, apparently off Nick’s bowling), with an honourable mention to Pete C for some good hitting and solid bowling. Peter Richards picked up the Champagne moment for his straight six back over the bowler’s head, and Matt Lucas’ backseat umpiring, dropped catch, relentless chuntering and a number of other reasons earned him the Muppet Moment and fine of the day (but well batted).


Howes He Do It?

Whalers CC Vs Quokas CC

Sunday 22nd May 2016, KHSG; Whalers win by 20 runs

Captain Nick Howes had little hesitation in losing the toss and being invited to bat by the Quokas on a green pitch under a cloudy sky at Kings House. The Quokkas openers started tightly and Rich and Pip played very watchfully to see off the new bowlers.  40/0 from the first 10 was reasonable but unfortunately Pip took the instruction too literally and was out caught behind off the first ball sent down by first change Kieron who was fourteen. To be fair Kieron bowled reasonably fast on an annoyingly good line.


Pip was exhausted just watching Seth & Stu running

Roly in at 3 didn’t last long but debutant Seth, batting for the first time in 11 years visibly loosened the rust off and rediscovered shots he had forgotten about. Rich went for 38 which was probably for the best as Seth and now Stu looked to increase the scoring rate with persistent scampering. It must have been very frustrating in to field against and totally exhausting to be involved in. When Seth fell for 31 they had put on 106 in 15 overs to provide an excellent platform for some lusty blows from the specialist boundary hitting lower order and those interested in winning the (non existent) 6 hitting competition. Unfortunately the dragon slayer had already rescued his princess for the day and Luckett managed only 1 but Stu started to find the boundary well before he was caught for a brisk and excellent 73.

That left Nick and Jiff together with around 4 overs left to give it a real thump and they did just that, Nick with a 13 ball 34 and Jiff hitting  dealing with young Kieron harshly including a big six back over his head. His bowling did not deserve such abuse but he was left with figures of 2 – 42 after his last over went for 17. Jiff made 15* and we had posted a very good total of 215 which with the slowish outfield was probably worth a few more.

Our experiment with an antipodean captain is old enough now for some clues as to his style to have emerged. A relaxed approach can give individuals the space and authority to take responsibility for their own actions and thus improve performance. Presumably his pre session team talk of “Right I’ll open the bowling because no one else wants to but I’m only bowling a couple” was with this in mind.

Jiff opened from the other end and the tone of the innings was set when a leading edge went a long way up the air, Stu & Roland (with the gloves) both called for it, both attempted the catch. Stu got closer to taking it than Roland but neither was sucesfull. In all 7 dropped catches were remembered over beers. At least 3 of those were fairly simple behind the stumps but Roly did take some good ones and no one was harder on him than himself.

Jeff ended up with 2 – 18 from 5 and Khalil kept things tight as well as usual with just 18 coming from his 7 overs.

The Quokkas played Kamal well and he never really settled in to that rhythm that can be so devastating, going for comfortably over a run a ball although he did remove one of the lynchpins of their innings who was very well caught at square leg by Jiff, the ball travelling at some speed.


Despite some effective rebuilding Quokkas were left needing around 100 from their last 12 overs and should not have got close. Stu, Paul & Rich all went for a few runs as the batsmen hit out, riding their luck and using the size of the field against us to just about keep up with the rate. The skipper persuaded himself to bowl a couple more though and his extra pace was too difficult to hit.


In the end we ran out comfortable winners by 20 runs but had our excellent batting to thank for that. A good game against decent opposition. What Sunday afternoons are made for.


Champagne moment:    Jiff huge 6 back over bowlers head

Muppet moment:           Stu / Roland both attempting skied catch first ball

MOM:                                   Stu Terrell 73



Seven off the last ball just too much for valiant Whalers

Whalers v Clapham Inn CC; 15 May 2016; Barn Elms Sports Club

The Whalers convened on a bright sunny day with a cool breeze at the Barn Elms Sports Club, just down the road from our home pitch. It was a good day for cricket.

Without too much messing around Channa tossed up, but lost, and Clapham Inn CC decided to bat.

Khalil and Dan opened the bowling. The batsmen were watchful and not giving much away, but also the run rate was slow and they weren’t dealing in boundaries. Although Khalil and Dan bowled tight, they couldn’t make the break through and the first bowling change brought on Jiff and Pete.

The Whalers were sharp in the field today and although Clapham Inn hadn’t lost a wicket, the pressure to score more runs seemed to build on the batsmen. Finally Jiff made a difference as their No1 tried to hit through cover but didn’t quite get hold of it and Paul took a fine catch. It was a relief to get the first wicket.

Not long after their No2 reached his 50, and seemed to be playing well, until Pete banged in a short one which he top-edged to Khalil at fly-slip. Now we had two new batsmen at the crease and the score was probably still a little low for Clapham Inn’s liking, so they needed to push on if they were to get a good enough score to defend.

Roland joined the attack and bowled some “interesting” lines at the start, but as it turned out it was all part of the plan. It was actually a cunning strategy to put the batsmen into a false sense of ease, only to fire in a straight ball right onto the stumps to clean bowl their number three – his first Whalers wicket after over a decade at the club (he does keep wicket a lot!).

We were heading into the later stages of the innings when they really started to push things along, but they pushed it too far when they went for a second run and Jiff fired it to Stu behind the stumps who scooped it up and flicked off the bails. Khalil and Dan returned to bowl the final overs when things became frantic with some desperate fielding to keep the runs down. The runs kept leaking despite Kahlil taking another wicket. Into the final over and the final two balls, Khalil took two wickets to earn himself a hat-trick ball at the start of his next match.

Clapham Inn finished on 179 for 7.

The Whalers thought that this was a gettable target on this pitch, as it was behaving and the weather was good. The caterers were running late and the teas were not ready so we agreed to switch around straight away and play the first eight overs.

We started things off against their opening pair who were an interesting mix of fast and sharp and very (very) slow.  Dario and Paul were careful to not lose their wicket and both seemed a little rusty with a bit of playing and missing, but the run-rate kept moving in the right direction, if not quite up to the right level. The first bowling change brought on “Wildman” who was not wild at all, but steady and bowled a consistent line. Nevertheless we got to eight overs without losing a wicket, only to find that there was still a wait for the tea. Eventually it was ready and we tucked in.

After tea Clapham Inn introduced “Whaley”, their leg spinner, who changed the tone of the attack. He was turning it hard and Paul survived well until he fell to a superb leg-break, this brought Stu to the crease. At the other end Dario played and missed to Wildman and couldn’t get back to his crease in time before being stumped, so that brought Luke up to bat with the score at 55 after 15 overs. The whalers were behind the run rate and needed a good partnership to get going. Luke and Stu duly delivered with some hard running between the wickets and some boundaries for a stand of 58 before Luke was caught. Pete injected some more urgency into proceedings with some positive hitting until his old shrapnel injury to his shoulder re-visited and he almost retired, but convinced himself to stay on. As it happens he was he was run out a little later but Stu was in his stride now and ably trying to keep the scoreboard ticking along. Unfortunately he took one chance too many as he was clean bowled on 46.

Now it was the Whaler’s turn to feel the pressure as we needed 29 more runs to win off 24 balls. Clapham stepped up to the mark by bowling well at the death as Channa tried valiantly to hit out but to no avail as he was caught, which brought Dan to the crease. Dan understood the urgency of the situation and decided to sacrifice his wicket in an attempt take two runs when really there was only one…trying to put pressure on the fielders. Meanwhile Roland was doing his best at the other end to get the ball away. Dan’s departure brought Khalil in with 9 runs to get from 4 balls. But he and Roland could only manage two more singles so that it was 7 runs off the final ball…all Clapham needed to do is bowl it down the middle and they had won…but they couldn’t manage that at as their bowler wobbled and gave the Whalers a life line by bowling a wide.

So it was down to Khalil to hit a six off the last ball and he tried his best to get it skyward to the boundary but it went too high and not far enough and he was caught. The Whalers lost by 5 runs.

It was a well-earned victory for Clapham Inn. They batted and bowled well in the final overs, which was probably the difference. The Whalers were left to wander “what if”…where were those 5 runs lost? But the truth is we never really managed to get a good partnership going to get on top of the run rate, despite Clapham Inn giving away 32 extras.

Clapham Inn 176-7 (35)

Whalers 171-8 (35)

Clapham Inn win by 5 runs

Muppet Moment – Dario for unnecessary stumping

Champagne – Roland’s debut Whaler’s wicket

Man of the match – Stu for 46 runs and one catch

Howes-zat! A win for debut skipper…….just

Whalers CC vs Salix CC; Sunday 8 May 2016; Kings House Sports Ground

On a beautiful May day Whalers resumed their rivalry with good friends Salix – always a highlight of the calendar. Late last year Salix got home on the last ball with their last pair at the crease, this time once again it came down to the last ball but this time it was the Whalers, with their last pair at the crease, who pinched victory in a game that swung in both teams favour during the course of the day.

It all started with new skipper Nick eschewing the traditional coin toss on the pitch, in fact the toss was made without either skipper getting within 100 yards of the strip but Salix, after winning the toss chose to Bat. This probably wasn’t a bad result for the Whalers as they boasted possibly their strongest ever bowling line up, and Jack set the tone in the first 3 balls, play and miss, play and miss, play and off stump destroyed. Matt followed up by bowling the other opener and when Khalil and Ross took over there was no respite for the batters. Khalil grabbed 2 more and Salix were 4 for cheap but then the game started to swing, some good batting and some dropped catches saw Salix claiming the ascendancy, Kamal and Geoff couldn’t wrestle it back so Nick came into the attack and found the breakthrough, followed up with 2 more wickets while the returning Matt and Khalil tied things back down – Salix finished on 156, probably a par score but the Whalers, despite a number of excellent catches looked back on 4-5 dropped ones and thought it was probably a few runs more than it could have been.

In reply Gilo and Channa started well but like debutant Luke and Ross who followed, all made good starts but got out between 15 and 20. As the middle order got tied down and the run rate rose to around 7 an over the Whalers were crying out for someone to make the telling contribution, it came from Matt batting at 7, after a watchful start he unleashed a series of lap pull shots and boundaries started to flow. As the run rate dropped back to around 5 and the target came into view the Whalers started to come unstuck as several quick wickets fell – including the unfortunate Dan who was well held in the gully in the penultimate over. Entering the final over Whalers needed 5 to win with 2 wickets left. On the first ball Matt guided one into gully and another smart catch was taken but Matt had contributed a vital and excellent 41. Enter skipper Howes at number 11, after a slash for 2, several balls were then hit firmly but straight to the field. With 3 runs required for the win off the final ball Nick squeezed one through the on side into the deep and 3 scrambled runs later the Whalers had snuck home by the narrowest margin.

This report cannot be completed without mention of an incident late in the game, with things very tight an LBW shout was given but when it became apparent that there was a big inside edge, Salix had no hesitation in recalling the batter in a great display of sportsmanship.

So another excellent and hugely enjoyable battle with our good friends and old foes. We all look forward to the return match later In the season.

Salix 156-8 (35), Whalers 157-9 (35). Whalers win by 1 wicket

Man of the match : Matt, 41 and 1 for 12 off 5

Champagne : Spirit of cricket – Salix recalling batsman

Muppet : Dan, 3 drops behinds the stumps (to go with 3 catches, when was the last time there were 6 catches to a keeper in a game?)

Other mertitable muppet moment, Luke for taking out the umpire and Khalil for giving the LBW.

Salix report: HERE