Whalers CC vs Wenlock Arms CC; 29 April 2018; King’s House Sports Ground
It has become a bit of a Whalers tradition for the first game of the season to take place in sub-Arctic temperatures, and the 2018 season was no exception. A fine (in every sense of the word) selection of non-Whalers thermals, hoodies, down jackets and even scarves were on display as the team gathered at Kings House. New captain Jack lost the toss, and the Whalers were bowling.
Khalil had a sabbatical for the 2017 season, but in his first game back showed he hadn’t lost his touch by firstly bagging the end with the wind / downhill, and then bowling a testing line and length. At the other end Dan’s approach was a bit more varied, but he took the first wicket with some dross which the batsman guided to Pip in the gully. Khalil soon bowled the other opener, and the next batsman was run out by Geoff, and at drinks it was all a bit sedate at 60ish for 3. And cold. Did I mention it was cold?
Jack and Geoff continued to keep a lid on the scoring, although their number 5 unleashed a few shots on his way to a top-scoring 35. And when the slow-bowling tandem of Special K and the other K (Kamal and Kieran) were unleashed, the scoring slowed further and the wickets suddenly began tumbling. Will took the first of two catches, Dean took another two (one after some juggling), and Kieran denied himself a debut 5-for by dropping one off his own bowling. Despite some late hitting, Wenlock Arms finished on 115-8 from their 35 overs, with Kieran finishing with 4-13.
Tea was indoors and warm, and so it was a reluctant and very well-wrapped up Whalers who trudged out to see Dean and Will take on the Wenlock bowling. On a slow pitch and with the potential for some early-season rustiness, early wickets could have made for a nervous afternoon. However, the opposition dropped Dean in the first over, and with both batsmen particularly harsh on anything short, we were off to a flyer. The bowling tightened up after that but we were still well ahead of the run rate, and Dean proceeded serenely to his first 50 of the season. Drinks were declined on the grounds it was too cold, and with the next men in looking less and less keen for the opportunity to pad their averages, it wasn’t until Will was triggered for 31 that the first wicket fell. A big six from Dean and another boundary to get him to 75* saw the Whalers home by 9 wickets with 12+ overs to spare. And the showers were hot, which was great.
With so much non-Whalers kit on display (you have all been warned), the fines committee got off to a flying start, with Al’s collection of new kit and Lords-branded gilet earning him fine of the day.
Muppet moment – Roland, for missing a run-out despite only standing a couple of feet away from the stumps, but appealing anyway. Not that it really mattered as it was the last ball of the innings
Champagne moment – Khalil bowling the opener, middle stump
Man of the match – Kieran for figures of 4-13 from 7 overs on debut. Honourable mention for Dean for his 75* and two catches
Wenlock Arms – 115-8 from 35 overs (Kieran 4-13)
Whalers – 118-1 from 22.2 overs (Dean 75*, Will 31)