Monthly Archives: August 2016

The Whale Triumphs as Exiles Short-Circuit

Sunday 21st August – Whalers vs. Energy Exiles – KHS

RESULT – Energy Exiles 105 all out, Whalers 106 for 1 – WHALERS WIN BY 9 WICKETS

On a warm, blustery day at Kings House, with Barnes Bridge Station once again shut and the Whalers match the only game of cricket occurring, 10 Whalers took to the field against the 8 Energy Exiles that had made it on time (both teams eventually made it up to 11).  Dan, having won the toss, charitably allowed the opposition to bat on what looked a good pitch but as it turned out it was an inspired decision.

The Exiles started slowly and, to be honest, carried on slowly. Towards the end, their rate was, well, also pretty slow. That is not to say they didn’t frustrate. The opening partnership saw off the tight bowling of Pete and Jack, who were then replaced by the equally miserly Khalil (who had spent a good 10 minutes, after arriving 15 minutes after the game had started, warming up on the boundary) and the chuntering Matt who seemed a little frustrated by the strong headwind that had suddenly appeared.

After 10 overs Khalil finally had the breakthrough, with Luke taking a sharp catch to dismiss the dangerous opener Akhtar who was starting to hit some boundaries. The Exiles continued to grind out runs and by drinks had reached 46. The Whalers bowling and fielding was excellent and on a slow, stopping pitch it was difficult to get the ball away.

After drinks things began to change. Kamal fed a few leg side long hops to keep the batsmen interested whilst at the other end Dan began to make inroads into the top order. He bowled the other opener Kent for 13 and then played a part in the run out of their number 3 before clean bowling the number 4. By this stage it was ‘death or glory’ for the Exiles as the run rate, at below 3 an over, was forcing them to play some extravagant and ultimately doomed shots. Khalil and Jack both came back into the attack and took 2 and 3 wickets apiece, with Pete taking the final wicket in the last over of the innings, with the Exiles finishing on 105. Khalil (7-1-12-3), Jack (6-2-12-3) and Dan (6-2-10-2) all bowled exceptionally well in the conditions.

After a tea nominated as the Champagne Moment of the game (ultimately turned down, as it was par for the course and it was felt it would be a sad inditement of the game), Pip and Will went out to quickly knock off the 106 required for victory. However, it was clear that either the pitch was still very difficult, the bowlers were particularly tight or the openers were determined to get their £10 match fees worth of cricket!  Pip in particular scored slowly, at one point it being noted he had scored 3 off 30 balls out of a team total of 37! However, he ended up with a gritty, determined and pretty much faultless 48 not out, meaning he was fined heavily for Boycott batting, batting for average and jug avoidance, despite being told that with 4 runs to win he need a six to get to his fifty!

Will’s was the only wicket to fall in the 27 overs it took to score the runs which is a shame as he batted well for his 26. Luke assisted Pip with 24 not out and the scorecard had a surprising level of pseudo-professionalism about it. The expected collapse did not occur and so the Whalers were victors by 9 wickets.

Due to the somewhat turgid nature of the game it seemed hard to find Muppet and Champagne moments during the fines session. Eventually Will was nominated as Muppet for being the only wicket to fall, and after a long, awkward silence Champagne Moment went to the fact that we managed to finish the game before it rained – something of a sad end really. Khalil was awarded Man of the Match for his superb bowling but Dan, Jack and Pip were all given honourable mentions. Overall a good win but not the nerve-crunching feast of runs and wickets that the Whalers have become used to.

Captain’s XI vs President’s XI 2016

King’s House Sports Ground; Saturday 23 July 2016

With the Whalers convening early and the gazebos given their annual dusting off it could only mean one thing, the annual Captains v Presidents fixture. With some last minute scrambling we managed to get 21 players for the premier fixture of the season and Channa was the nominated choice to lead the Captains XI. With Kev and Munish as the nominated keepers and Kev needing to be in the team that fielded first it was a surprise when Channa won the toss and decided to bat.

Hoping to lead from the front Channa strode out to open the innings but was on his way 5 balls later as he fended at a ball from Matt that bounced more than expected and gloved it through to Kev. Channa’s namesake CK1 (on a loan deal from Salix for the day) followed shortly after when he tried a risky second run after a James Gould misfield and was well short of his ground. Matt Boucher became the third early wicket for the Presidents XI when he gave a straight forward catch to Al at mid-off off the bowling of Paul Clappison. This left the Captains XI on 14-3 and some re-building was needed. This came thanks to a 73 run partnership between Luke and Geoff, with Geoff particularly dismissive of any loose balls on his way to a quickfire 50 (thus retiring).
Dario was introduced to the bowling attack and shocked everyone by bowling seam up (something not seen for at least 10 years……..). He quickly accounted for Luke, bowling him for 23 and when Kamal had JT caught in the gully going for a trademark heave the Presidents XI started to get back in the game. It was a fantastic catch from Tony (also a loanee from Salix) as he backpedalled and just managed to hold on. Munish and Nick failed to trouble the scorers (in Nick’s case this was due to the 4 pints he had consumed since the start of the game) and the Presidents thought they may be able skittle the Captains for 150ish but they had failed to account for Nick’s mate (ringer) Pat who due to turning up late was batting at number 11. He clearly was used to batting much higher up the order and was soon despatching anything over-pitched to the boundary. Ably supported by Dan they scored very quickly and when Pat was well stumped by Kev off the bowling of Paul Clappison for an excellent 45 they were at 203. This just left the returning Geoff to try and try and get a few more late runs however he could only add a further 6 and was caught by Paul off Dario for 59. Dan was left not out on 31 and the Captains XI had scored 210, a good score but on an excellent pitch with a fast outfield probably par.
A very decent BBQ plus quite a bit more beer meant lunch/tea was enjoyed by all and Number 11 James Gould was given a surprise 9 place promotion in the order to open the President’s XI innings alongside Kev. Again leading from the front Channa chose to open the bowling alongside Nick for the Captains XI. An uneventful first over from Nick was then followed by an array of head high beamers and wides from Channa who in the end was lucky to only concede 12 from the over. Dan then took over however Kev and Gouldy were accumulating steadily. Actually Kev was, Gouldy was mainly watching from the other end. Until a bowling change bought CK1 into the attack this was. After a few sighters Gouldy decided he liked the look of the bowling and launched CK1 5 boundaries in the next 2 overs including a big six over Long On. Geoff was bought on to try and stem the flow of runs, promising to bowl off an even shorter run up (if that is even possible) due to a side strain and only committing to one over. Channa ignored these instructions and in his second over Geoff had Gouldy caught by Sam for 35. Gilo was next in and although hitting some nice shots kept finding the fielders in the deep and in the end was bowled by Geoff for 17 trying to hit out.
Kev had now retired for a well made 52 and the Presidents XI needed the ship to be steadied. Unfortunately the wickets kept falling as Dario was run out for 8, Toby bowled for 5 by JT and Al was caught by CK1 off Munish for 5. Paul Clappison was batting well but when Tony was out for 9 the Presidents XI were on 177 with only Matt and Kamal left to bat and 34 needed off 5 overs. Matt was very keen to get the runs flowing again and after chuntering at Paul for turning down a tight single into the covers was caught on his heels for the next ball which was hit to the same place. Paul called the run (to avoid more chuntering) and Matt was just short of his ground to be run out without facing. Cue more chuntering as he departed the field. It now looked to be a very tall order for the Captains XI, even more so as Paul pulled his hamstring pushing for second run to maintain the strike. Al padded up to act as a runner but it some became obvious the injury would prevent Paul batting at all. As Kev had retired earlier but unable to bat again sue to him being on the M25 and that the President’s XI only had 10 players, the Captains XI made the very sporting decision to allow Matt to take Kev’s place to allow the game to continue. Matt then promptly took a couple of 4’s from Nick and Geoff’s next overs which coupled with some frantic running and good shots from Kamal left them needing 3 from the last over for victory. Nick bowled it very well but thanks to a wide and a couple of leg byes the Presidents XI scraped home with 1 ball left.
A really enjoyable game for all played in excellent spirit as always (despite some drunk heckling from the sidelines). After a brief discussion in the pub and a hasty trip to the offlicense Dario was awarded best bowler of the match with figures of 3-20 (he should bowl seam up more often!) and Geoff was awarded best batsmen for an excellent 59 (despite a side strain). Matt was awarded Muppet of the Day for his chuntering, disastrous run out and more chuntering.

Tigers claws clipped by an aggressive Whale

Whalers vs Judd St Tigers (Winchmore Hill Sports Ground)

Sunday August 14th 2016

Report by N. Howes

Excuse the cliché but what a difference a week can make in cricket. The Whalers turned around last weekends disappointing defeat by beating Judd St Tigers comfortably on Sunday. Judd St were kept to a score of 134 off 35 overs due to tight bowling from Dan, Khalil, Kamal, Jack, and Nick. In reply the Whalers comfortably reached 135 in 19 overs. The stand out batsmen being Ross 58, Kev 25, Channa 12 and Al 13.

The Whalers converged on Winchmore Hill from all parts of London for their annual North London clash against the Judd St Tigers. Most arrived on time and managed to watch some play of the Day 4 England v Pakistan. As they calmly sat around discussing the Olympics and the weeks events, the skipper decided to break the relaxed ambience by stating it might be a good idea to get changed and get play started. Eager to get the upper hand the skipper inspected the pitch with the opposition captain and then promptly lost the toss..we were bowling first. Eager to be more energetic and cohesive the Whalers under the direction of the skipper got some catching practice in, got a feel for the pitch and oval and were good to go. However to everyones surprise and the skippers muppet demise it was soon discovered we were practicing on the incorrect ground. We subsequently moved kit and bags to the correct ground,de ja vu cue more catching practice, the clouds parted, the sun beamed down and play was started.

Judd St came out firing scoring some nice fours off Khalils first over. Khalil followed up with tight bowling for consecutive overs unlucky not to have taken wickets. Nick tempted the opening batsman from the clubhouse end with combinations of some aggressive bouncers and good line and length. In over 3 he bowled a yorker removing the middle stump clear out of the ground..following this he managed to induce the other opener to hole out to Luke in midwicket. He finished his spell with 2 maidens 2 for 26 off 7 overs. Jack came on to replace Khalil and was unlucky not to claim the wicket of batsman number 3 Kev putting down a difficult chance behind the stumps. Kev made amends later on catching Wright off Jacks bowling.

Kamal replaced Nick and bowled easily his best spell for the season. He took 3 wickets for 18 off 7 overs with 1 maiden. Special was unlucky not to get 4 wickets as Nick put down an easy chance. The pick of his wickets included bowling the Judd St batsman around his legs, for which he won ‘champagne moment’, and removing the dangerous Johnson confusing the batsman with flight and spin into holing out to Dan. Osgood came on to remove some of the rest of the batsman aggressively bowling with pace an purpose. He finished on 6 over, 2 maiden 2 for 15, the pick of which was removing the off stump clear from the ground for batsman number 7. It should be noted that the skipper showed a lot of conviction with his field placements and was very vocal in firing up the Whale into an outstanding bowling and fielding performance.

With that in mind however Ross was asked to come on to bowl by the skipper. After bowling a great maiden, the skipper claiming that “it was all in his head” realised he had made a mistake in calculating the order of the bowlers. After great confusion to the bowlers and the rest of the Whalers, it was decided that Khalil and Jack would finish off the last 5 overs. Jack finishing 7 overs 1 for 35 and Khalil, 7 overs 0 for 25. Ross was unlucky not to continue with his bowling (evidently numeracy isn’t the skippers strong point). With some late resistance from the Judd st Tigers, the Whalers managed to restrict the scoring to 134.

Unlike last week their was fortuitously a number of established batsman to choose from. Post lunch, Ross and Will opened the batting and initially found the bowling of Mike difficult to contend with. Will after some promising strokes got out caught behind. Al came in and steadied the ship making numerous singles. This allowed Ross to get his eye in and eventually bludgeon the odd ball increasing the scoring rapidly. Al looked good and was very unlucky to be caught after middling the ball to midwicket. This enabled North London’s own Kev Albery to come to the crease. The partnership of Ross and Kev rapidly increased the Whalers score. Both hit some nice 6s, the pick of which were Ross’s straight drive down the ground clearing the clubhouse and a great 6 over backward point. They similarly hit numerous  4s and singles and on the approach of drinks the Whalers only needed 14 runs to win. Ross sped past his 50 and in enacting his inner Nostrodamus speculated he would either get out or retire. It was the former being bowled by the Judd Sts opening bowler out for 58. Drinks were had

The skipper approached the middle with blind optimism. He previously had entertained all with tips of his pre-season batting lesson at the Oval. Surprisingly in not following his own advice the skipper electing not to play the traditional block and get your eye in approach, hit 3 4s before mistiming a shot to be caught mid on.  Luke came on with 3 runs needed but promptly got caught behind surprising Osgood into rushing to get his pads and gloves on and finally hit the winning runs. Albery, a local, calmly supported the batting line up and was not out 25. Ross deservedly winning the man of the match for his great batting and bowling.

NB: Special thanks to Lou and Kev for hosting a great relaxing BBQ dinner in their backyard garden post game. In attendance Kamal, Al, Nick and Channa got to see the strength of future Whaling lineups as a happy and healthy Milo entertained all with his hand eye coordination. They have however set a dangerous precedent for future returning games at Winchmore Hill!

Man of the match – Ross (honourable mention to Kamal’s bowling)

Champagne – Kamal bowling someone around his legs.

Muppet – Channa losing the toss, electing  the wrong pitch to play on and confusing bowlers number 1 and 3.

Honourable mention to Nick’s dropped catch off Kamal’s bowling.

Some pictures from the day:

IMG_0120 IMG_0118 IMG_0117 IMG_0115 IMG_0114 IMG_0109 IMG_0110 IMG_0112 (1) IMG_0112

Lacklustre Whalers fall short against Village CC

Whalers CC vs Village CC (Saturday 6th August 2016) Report by N. Howes

Lacklustre Whalers fall short against Village CC

On a glorious Saturday at Kings House, the Whalers fell short by 67 runs after  Village CC had made 187 for 6 from 35 overs. Village CC backing up last years convincing win against the Whalers but this time on the Whalers home turf.

At the start of the week, we had 13…somehow this plummeted down to 9…Gilo emailed to say he was injured so went back to 8…  then we went back up to 11 thanks to Jack and his friends…Pip texted on  Saturday  morning….”I’ve come down with a virus”…bugger we’re down to 10…quick text to Jack “you are in luck – one more onboard”… back up to 11. Cheers Jack for the support! Can I also add that Dan, Al and Dario have been fantastic throughout the year largely organising our team and fixtures…often a thankless task and without whom the Whalers would struggle to get a game. Sincerely cheers gents!

Perhaps the ominously fluctuating numbers should have been taken as an omen for the game ahead.  Moreover Dan had confessed to me during the week that Village CC were undefeated after he checked  their website. Psychologically this may have permeated the skippers mind as there was a definite lack of energy in the field, bowling and batting throughout the game.

We met as usual at 12.30 eager for a competitive game. Fielding a strong team including 2 Kiwis and 2 Aussies… the skipper was full confidence but was wary of the strength of the opposition. “I’ve been rear ended!!” announced JT as he arrived explaining his unfortunate journey to the ground. Now fielding  a rear ended injured Kiwi and missing Khalil, the skipper lost the toss, forgot to make an inspiring speech and the Whalers went out to bowl perhaps lacking focus.

Khalil finally made an appearance and Jack and Dan opened the bowling. Both bowled well with Ed putting down a difficult chance of the bowling of Jack early on. Dan battling an injury from a previous week gallantly bowled on before he decided to take himself off. Village chanced their bats and the runs started to flow. The first wicket surprisingly came from a 4 person team runout induced by Jiff after the Village openers made some mistakes calling between the wickets. Kamal put in a short spell and was unlucky to be taken off early before Nick and Khalil briefly stemmed the scoring. Nick picked up the wicket of the number 3 inducing him to play on to his stumps then was unlucky to not get the number 4, Dan putting down a difficult chance in slips. Pat came on post drinks and took two good wickets..the pick of which was bowling the batsman around his legs. He was on a hatrick but was unsuccessful and then pulled his hamstring. Charlie came on to bowl his only over. He took a good wicket confusing the batsman and the rest of the Whalers in between  his deceptive wides and no balls. Jiff, Dan and Jack finished off the bowling trying to restrict the villagers decent batsman. The pick of the bowling was Khalil, economically bowling 7 overs , 1 maiden 0 for 20; Jack 7 overs 0 for 27; Nick 7 overs 2 for 32 and Pat 3 overs (injured) 2 for 14. Special mention to Ed for doing a great job behind the stumps. Also the Cuban ball magnet fielding on the boundary with some zest. However, collectively a number of dropped catches, and poor fielding throughout the game provingly costly as the Village CC finished 6 for 186.

“So who fancies opening” queried the skipper to stunned silence over lunch. Dan and Joe eventually putting their hands up to have a crack despite a lack of conviction from the skipper. Joe played some nice shots and was looking good with 2 fine 4s before being yorked by a cracking ball from the opposition skipper. Ed came out and tried to get himself in but the pace of Nick from the villagers proved too much being caught behind for 3. Dan battled but  was unlucky to pick out the only fielder caught at deep mid wicket for 13. JT,Jiff and Khalil similarly tried posting the highest scores of 22, 20 and 19 amongst the Whalers. Charlie, Nick, Kamal and Pat went cheaply. Nick after castigating Jiffs poor stroke selection promptly went out in exactly the same way and headed quickly to the showers to avoid the smirking G.Judd (definitely deserving muppet moment of the match). Jack offered some resistance and was not out for 18. The unfortunate Whalers falling 67 runs short. Every cloud has a silver lining as both teams headed to the bar….early…to have a couple of beers in the nice weather.

Champagne moment – Pat bowling batsman around his legs…giving himself and opportunity for a hatrick but narrowly missing.

Least worst performance – Unfortunately no-one. The weather was the man of the match.

Muppet – Dan picking out the only leg side fielder to be caught on the boundary.

               – Nick for berating Jiffs cheap dismissal and then promptly replicating the same shot a couple of overs later.