Whalers CC vs Milwall Stars CC; Saturday 18th August 2018; King’s House Sports Ground
After last week’s loss away at Energy Exiles, the Whalers returned to their familiar King’s House setting and to form with a comprehensive 8 wicket win over first time opponents Millwall Stars. The temperature was at bearable levels and it was also good to see some green grass on the outfield, something that had been missing for a good few weeks. Captain for the day (and most of the season) Will lost the toss and the oppo unsurprisingly decided to bat although with the overhead conditions potentially favouring the seam bowlers there were certainly worse tosses to lose. The Whalers lined up as follows: Dean, Luke, Channa, Will, Geoff, Nishan, Chris (debut), Josh, Dan, Russell, Kamal.
Dan and Russell were the opening bowlers for the Whalers. Dan struggled a bit with his line and whilst not many runs were being scored off the bat, the wides were beginning to add up. Russell was having more success up the other end as he bowled tight to an attacking field. He produced the first wicket of the game as their opening bat flicked the ball into the air and succumbed to a diving Geoff at short midwicket. The second wicket soon followed- poor running between the wickets was to become a theme for Millwall (not helped in part by a severe lack of spiked shoes) as their other opening bat departed after being run out by a combination of Chris and Russell.
Millwall’s number 3 was playing some nice shots and particularly took a fancy to the bowling of Nishan who replaced Dan coming down the hill. The 3rd wicket fell again from the other end though- Geoff with a little 3 over cameo proved too much for their number 4 who lofted a drive into the grateful hands of Josh at mid on. The wickets were now coming at regular intervals now as Nishan joined the party thanks to Chris taking a good catch. Kamal also nabbed a wicket with Channa taking a fairly straightforward catch (something that he sadly wasn’t able to replicate again as he walked home with the muppet moment). Josh was the next man to be thrown the ball in what was to be an action packed 2.3 over spell. The first ball created a chance that was dropped, the second and thirds balls despite being rank long hops managed to produce catches for Dan and Chris respectively. Alas, a first Whalers hat-trick didn’t happen for Josh but the Whalers now only needed 3 more wickets. That soon became 2 when Josh got another wicket- this time bowled. Kamal got his 2nd thanks to a theatrical effort from a diving Will before another mix up in the running department saw another run out and Millwall being bowled out for 148.
149 looked a chaseable score, but after being bowled out for less than that last week, the Whalers didn’t want to be losing early wickets. Dean was in no mood to hang about as anything short disappeared over midwicket. His opening partner Luke also hit some early boundaries albeit in not such a glorious fashion (predominantly/exclusively past the wicket keeper/slip), but as Josh’s bowling proved earlier it doesn’t matter how you get them, as long as you get them. Luke’s innings however came to a fairly swift end for 12 runs as he was bowled. Channa was the next man in but unfortunately he was also bowled, but not before he had hit a lovely 4 down the ground.
With the Whalers 2 down and 60 on board you would still have backed the home team, especially with Dean at the other end scoring freely. Will stepped out to the middle and he also looked in good touch with an array of shots all around the ground. The rattled off the remaining 89 runs needed with relative ease and a full 15 overs to spare. In the end a relatively comfortable win but with the season about to draw to a close a win going into the final two games is a bonus.
Millwall Stars 148 all out. Josh 3-4, Kamal 2-32
Whalers 152-2. Dean 83*, Will 41*
Champagne moment: Geoff for an athletic diving one hand catch at short midwicket
Muppet moment: Channa for his drop at cover and his subsequent admission that he “wasn’t concentrating”
MOTM: Dean for his score of 83*
Fine of the day: Channa