Monthly Archives: August 2020

Whalers Defeat Journeymen To Extend Unbeaten Run

Whalers CC vs Journeymen CC; 23rd August 2020, King’s House Sports Ground

After a washout the previous week, 11 Whalers gathered at Kings House for the final home game of the season against new opponents The Journeymen. Captain Dean won the toss and elected to bat with a keen eye on a very short boundary on one side of the ground. 

Dean and Al started the innings at a rapid rate raising 50 within 5 overs, Dean in particular taking a liking to some short-pitched bowling. Having motored past his own 50 in only the 8th over, Dean was eventually bowled by their opening bowler for 61, bringing Fraser to the crease. 
A partnership of 38 runs followed, the highlight being a couple of lovely straight drives from Fraser, who unfortunately departed for 14 after hitting one straight to cover to leave the Whalers 115-2 after 20 overs. 

Channa was in no mood to hang around, hitting a couple of boundaries in his first few balls, completing an all-run four, and to much amusement, vaulting the opposing wicketkeeper in an attempt to complete a quick single. At the other end Al was beginning to find his range with a couple of nice drives to keep the scoreboard ticking. The Whalers were well set at 143-2 after 24 overs. 

Then the inevitable collapse. Channa was well caught by Hayes off his own bowling for 10 (although he claims it was 12), a skittish innings from Will was ended by a tumbling one handed catch and then Al was bowled having just raised a 50 of his own. A comedic run out of Roland followed by much chuntering, left the Whalers 162-6 after 29 overs. 
Some measured lower order biffing, coupled with some good running from a combination of Amit, Dan and Matt saw the Whalers finish on 203-9 off their 35 overs. 

A circumspect start from the Journeymen openers was ended by the in-form “I’ve recently-retired from bowling” Amit Kumar getting one to shoot low and pin Dixon for 4. He soon struck again, bowling the other opener for 10 to put the Whalers in a good position after the first 10 overs. 
Jounerymen’s No.3 Turner looked in good order, hitting a couple of lovely drives and with their skipper started eating into the total. Step up first change bowler Matt to dismiss their skipper on the stroke of drinks, caught by Fraser at mid-on. 

The drinks break magic helped the Whalers again with Suhaib dismissing the No.5 batsman for a duck almost immediately after the restart. Soon after Matt produced a beauty to dismiss the No.6 batsman. The Whalers were well on top. 
Turner passed 50 but was cleaned up by Amit Kushwaha with the first ball of his spell. No Whaler was more relieved to see the back of him than Channa who had put him down earlier in his innings. 

The Journeymen’s No’s 7 and 8 struck a few lusty blows to keep things interesting, before Amit took 3 quick-fire wickets including a good catch from Matt and a couple of yorkers to leave him on a hat-trick to end the game. Needless to say, neither the hat trick or the 5-fer were achieved and the Journeymen finishing their 35 overs 163-9. 

So another win for the Whalers and the unbeaten run extends to September. 

Whalers 203-9 (Dean 61, Al 50) Journeymen 163-9 (Amit Kushwaha 4-18). Whalers win by 40 runs

Man of the Match: Amit Kushwaha for his 4-18 

Champagne: Amit Kushwaha’s delivery to dismiss their N0.3 from the first ball of his spell

Muppet: Channa’s Steeplechase vault of their wicketkeeper attempting to complete a run 

Winning team in the evening sunshine

Whalers Bask In Hot Sun

Whalers vs Salix 9 August 2020; King’s House Sports Ground

On one of the hottest days of the year, the Whalers gathered at Chiswick to face old foes Salix. Many thanks to Josh’s mate Sam, Amit Kushwaha playing despite being injured (a “cricket-related injury” but mysteriously not one acquired playing for the Whalers…) and to Tim from Salix for helping us out. We were all begging Will to win the toss, so inevitably he didn’t and we were fielding.

During the week Amit Kumar had informed the captains that he wanted to retire from bowling to focus on his batting. This ambition lasted precisely 6 balls, before Will told him he was opening the bowling from the other end. And he bowled very well, claiming the first wicket with an excellent catch behind the stumps from Geoff and then two more in consecutive balls to finish with great figures of 3-25 from a marathon 7-over spell. This brought Salix’s danger man Yov to the crease who set off with intent. But the scoring was kept in check by another excellent bowling spell this time from Dean who bowled a great length throughout to finish with 2-13 from his 7 overs – including a slow-motion dive to take a dolly caught-and-bowled.

Number 7 Ali batted sensibly to keep Yov company and there were a few expensive overs along the way, although the fielding was generally very good despite the heat. Eventually Suhaib broke the partnership and then took another wicket next ball with the day’s champagne moment, bowling the new batsman with one which just clipped the top of the stumps. Salix then managed the strike well with Yov scoring most of the runs, although he was dropped by Dan when he was only on about 60. Both numbers 9 and 10 were run out trying to get the strike back to Yov, with an unnecessary direct hit from Dean and then good work from Josh and Geoff. In the last over Salix passed 200 and then Yov got his ton off the last ball. We were chasing 210 – a run a ball – to win.

After a quick sit in the shade to try (and fail) to cool down, Dean and Tim strode to the crease to open the Whalers innings. Unfortunately Salix had worked out that the best approach was to bowl slow loopy full tosses. First Tim, then Amit Kushwaha (after a couple of nice fours), then Josh all chipped full tosses straight to fielders. At 20-odd for 3, and a player short, things were not looking great. And when next man in Geoff was hit on the hand by another full toss, it wasn’t looking like the Whalers day. However, it turned out that having an injured bottom hand was actually good for Geoff’s batting technique, as he and Dean both started dispatching the bowling to all parts of the ground. Very soon the field was scattered around the boundary, which also made it easy to pick up singles off the good balls, and we were comfortably ahead of the run-rate.

Just when the game was starting to meander slightly, Dean was well caught on the boundary for 58 which brought Amit to the crease with another 90 or so still needed to win. The game tightened up a bit, but Geoff was still striking the ball cleanly and Amit batted sensibly to keep things safe at the other end. With only two runs needed to win, next-but-one man in Suhaib was so confident of victory that he started taking off his pads. Inevitably this brought a wicket, as Geoff skied one to be caught for an excellent 87. Next man Will kept us on our toes with a wild swipe at his first ball, but then drove the next ball for 2 and the Whalers had won by five wickets with four overs left.

Salix 209-9: Yov 103*, Amit Kumar 3-25, Dean 2-13, Suhaib 2-50, two catches for Geoff and Dan

Whalers 210-4: Geoff 87, Dean 58, Amit Kumar 21*

Suhaib got champagne moment for his bowled, Geoff got man of the match for a very controlled innings + two good catches (honourable mention for Amit Kumar for a great all-round performance), and muppet moment went to Amit Kushwaha for forgetting his whites.

Whalers Unbeaten Run Continues into August (still counts, right?!)

Whalers v Cricketers – Sunday 2nd August 2020, Kings House.

Result: Whalers win by 5 wickets: Cricketers 158/9 (35 overs; Abhay 4-28); Whalers 162/5 (31.3 overs; Dean 91*)

A tight bowling performance, in spite of some dropped catches, and a batting chase once again led by Captain Dean ensured that the Whalers earned a prized victory over The Cricketers at Kings House, and began August unbeaten for the first time, albeit in this unfortunately truncated season.

Dean lost the toss and The Cricketers opted to bat first, which seemed like a sound choice. However, opening pair Dan and Russell had other ideas. Russell in particular bowled a couple of highly accurate overs and soon had Elwer trapped for a front-foot LBW. The batsman did not seem to like the decision but he had to depart. At the other end, Dan too was finding some rhythm and pinned the No. 3 batsman plumb in front for 8. The Cricketers were still keen to pounce on anything loose and were able to put away a few boundaries before Russell took a fine reflex return catch to dismiss Wriggles for 8. At around 30/3 after the first 8 overs or so, the run rate did not seem to be an issue for Cricketers, more the wickets column, and so it would prove ultimately. However, Downer and Taker began to fight back and the change bowling combo of Amit 1 and Amit 2(!) found that anything leg-side or short was often dealt with severely. This was not helped by 3 dropped catches from the Whalers and one particularly comical moment where Channa and Amit 2 chased a slowing ball to the boundary, only to seemingly dance around it, leaving it to each other, while the ball trickled piteously over the rope! Cricketers had passed 60 with still only 3 wickets down by drinks and for a short period, it seemed as though it could be a long afternoon in the field for the Whale, with the knowledge that the opposition tended to have a long batting line-up.

However, the drinks break brought a result soon after, as Dean and Abhay began to tighten the screw and apply some pressure back on the batsmen. Abhay induced Downer to drag on to his stumps for a pugnacious 31. No.6 Mahesh was also in no mood to hang around, but after some strong shots, he too was deceived in the air by Abhay and edged a drive to short third man where Pip took a neat, low catch, tumbling to his right. The trickle of wickets had returned and continued, ensuring that the Cricketers would not regain the fluency of the Downer-Taker partnership again. Dean, ably supporting from the other end, bowled No. 7 Paul for 12 and No. 8 Johnny soon followed by skying a good-length ball from Abhay straight up for Pip to jog in and take a comfortable catch. Unfortunately, another comedy fiasco then entailed, as Pip pulled his thigh muscle tidying up a …. erm…slightly below-par throw from Channa, and was confined to slip-fielding for the remaining few overs. At the other end, Taker had been accumulating steadily since Downer’s departure and had taken Cricketers beyond 100, but he too, succumbed to spin, trying to take the attack to the persistently accurate Abhay. He lifted his back foot and at the second attempt, Geoff removed the bails to end a fine innings of 42. Dean picked up a second wicket when the experienced and dangerous Sohail edged to wicket-keeper Geoff, but there was still time for a nasty sting in the Cricketers tail, as No. 10 Louis carved 16 from Dan’s and the Whalers’ final over, leaving the Cricketers on 158/9.

After a swift self-provided tea break, Dean re-jigged the order to bump the injured Pip out of the way and a slightly surprised Channa went out to accompany Dean at the crease. As expected, the opening bowling pair of Wriggles and Taker kept things tight, with few scoring opportunities meaning that the score was only 6/0 from the first 4 overs. However 4 wides and a boundary from Channa eased the pressure, before the latter missed a straight ball from Taker and was given out LBW with the score on 22. Roland then joined Dean, who remained watchful at the other end, but when the change bowlers came on, runs began to flow more freely, with both batsmen playing some fine shots. That was, until the lack of pace on the ball from Boydey induced Roland to lunge forward, lose his balance and fall over, to be stumped for 12. Amit 2 soon followed, looping a return catch to the same bowler and after 11 overs, Whalers were 50-3 and in a similar position to where the Cricketers had been, with the run-rate very healthy, but the wickets column becoming a concern. Geoff came in at No. 5 and promptly hit Boydey for 3 fours in an over, as both he and Dean looked to accelerate, scoring 22 off 2 overs. Nevertheless, over-confidence perhaps once again pegged the Whalers back with Geoff being bowled by Boydey with a “head-in-clouds” moment, for 13, and Whalers were 74-4, and looking more nervous.

One felt that if someone could get in and occupy the crease to keep Dean company, the Whale would emerge triumphant. Thankfully, Suhaib seemed to know what to do, and although he only scored 11, batted for 11 overs with Dean, during which time, Dean was able to push the score along without concern for the wickets column, increasing the boundary count whenever the change bowlers erred in line and length. The pair accumulated nicely and took the score to 118/4 after 25 overs, with Dean passing 50, before the crucial 26th over, which effectively killed the game off as a contest. Ward began his 4th over of seamers, but Dean had decided he had seen enough and promptly launched him down the ground, with the ball travelling up and over, with unerring certainty, to the scorer’s table. Whalers scattered in all directions except for the injured scorer, Pip, who just sat and prayed for a near miss, which thankfully happened, by half-a yard. This six, the first and only one of the innings, was followed by several other crunching shots and some wides, to ensure 19 came from the over. Suddenly, Whalers were 137/4 from 26 overs and the win was firmly in sight. There was still work to do though, and when Suhaib dragged on to the returning Wriggles, to end a vital partnership of 53, Abhay came in and batted calmly and sensibly to ensure no further wickets fell. Dean then clattered the winning runs with 2 boundaries from the first 3 balls of the 31st over, to finish with a fine Captain’s knock of 91 not out.

As always, a competitive and well-spirited fixture against our friends, the Cricketers, and we look forward to another round next season.

MoM: Abhay Ganga-Nair (4-28)

Champagne Moment: Russell’s entire over culminating in dismissal of opener LBW

Muppet Moment: Channa & Amit 2 for boundary dance / miss fiasco