Monthly Archives: June 2021

T20 in the dry

Whalers CC vs Lambeth Lambs CC; King’s House Sports Ground; Sunday 27th June 2021

The Whalers were looking to make it two wins in a row and keep up their unbeaten home record, as Lambeth Lambs made the trip to King’s House. They have been a regular opponent over the last few seasons, but it was unclear as to whether the weather would allow us to get a game in- it was dark, gloomy and only predicted to get worse as the day wore on. As such, it was agreed to play 20 overs per side to try and get a full match played. A discussion between the two captains occurred and an agreement was made for the Whalers to bat first.

With a side more favoured towards bowling, it was crucial that the top order delivered, and delivered fast. Dean soon set into a rhythm with some trademark drives and pulls, which surely would have resulted in some more boundaries if it wasn’t for the slow outfield. At the other end, Amit was looking in good touch, with some especially nice dabs down to third man. He was the first man to fall though, a big drive down the ground was well held on the boundary and the 2020 Player of The Season had to depart for 19. This brought Fraser to the crease, who was looking to build on last week’s innings where he hit the final ball for 6. Dean continued to play his shots and reached his 50, although this was missed by the scorers and thus it went acknowledged. He was dismissed not long after, a slightly miscued drive to cover meant he had to walk back to the (still miraculously dry) benches. Dan was the next man in at 4, partly for his speed between the wickets, but mostly due to Geoff’s lateness and subsequent demotion down the order. It wasn’t to be a long innings sadly, as a back injury forced him to retire hurt for just 2 runs.

Paul was the next man in at 5 with the Whalers looking to kick on after a good start. Paul, in search of his 1000th Whalers run, initially struggled to get bat on ball and with Fraser also taking a bit of time to settle, the innings could have gone either way. I’m glad to report that the last 5 or 6 overs were very fruitful ones- Paul got some nice pull shots away and Fraser was really beginning to find his range. He motored towards 50 with some huge hits around the ground. The penultimate over was particularly enjoyable, it went for 21 including two sixes down the ground. Fraser was out to the final ball of the innings attempting to go big again, to end on a very impressive 70, ably supported at the other end by Paul who finished on 20*. 

170 was generally considered to be slightly above par, however we knew that our opposition had some useful batsmen who would not be afraid to give it a swing. We started the day with lots of bowling options and skipper Josh was trying to work out how to fit everyone in. However, with Dan unable to bowl and Paul also having a bit of a niggle, it was more veering towards ‘where are we going to find 20 overs from’. Nick made it very clear that he only wanted one spell and the captain was happy to oblige, especially as his neat and tidy, edge beating bowling only resulted in 15 runs conceded from his 4 overs. Amit Kumar, not so fresh from quarantine, was trusted with the new (but not very good ball from Sports Direct) ball from the other end and it was he that got the breakthrough- a lovely delivery that found it’s way through the batsman’s defence and into the stumps. Lambeth’s number 3 looked useful and was immediately into his stride with a couple of 4s, he was the next man to go though as Russell first delivery clipped the top of off stump.

With Lambeth behind the run rate, it was obvious that they were going to have to take risks. Their running was aggressive, borderline suicidal and this was the method of the next wicket. A drive to Josh was thrown back to Geoff and with both batsmen at the bowler’s end, he had all the time in the world to whip off the bails. The Lambs continued to attack, with Suhaib in particular coming in for a bit of punishment. We had no option but to go more defensive, but this left lots of opportunities for easy 2s to be taken. A way was needed to slow the run rate and this was helped by another run out and then a second wicket for Russell thanks to a well taken catch from Dean. With 5 overs to go it was looking tight, Amit was brough into the attack for his first bowl in several weeks and Josh also gave himself a go and delivered a surprisingly economical two over spell, which also included the wicket of their wicketkeeper batsman. It was slightly more frantic at the other end, with a stumping, another run out and an all run 4. With 21 needed off the final over, we knew we just had to avoid doing anything silly. Amit did better than that by taking the final wicket and wrapping everything up, with the Whalers going home/to the bar victorious.

Overall, a real team performance. Several contributions with the bat, the wickets shared around and a good effort from all in the field that resulted in runs saved and more run outs than I can every remember in one innings. We go again next week, where hopefully the rain stays away once more…

Whalers 170/3 beat Lambeth Lambs 154 by 16 runs


Champagne moment: Russell’s first ball hitting top of off stump

Muppet: Nick’s dropped sitter

MOM: Fraser (70 runs)

Whalers win vs Clapham Inn

Whalers CC vs Clapham Inn CC; Sunday 20th June 2021; King’s House Sports Ground

After a disappointing defeat the week before, 10 Whalers gathered at Kings House to get things back on track against Clapham Inn. There was no sign of either Dan or the team kitbag, currently battling their way across south London, but by the time Russell and the opposing skipper had had a long chat about the weather (overcast but dry), the journey up from Southampton (in their skipper’s case), and Priti Patel’s progressive immigration policies (in Russell’s case), all 11 Whalers were present and correct and we could get on with the game. Russell won the toss and in an unusual but proved-right move, decided to bowl first.

Nick and Dan opened the bowling and kept a lid on the run-rate initially with some accurate bowling against the CICC right-hand left-hand opening partnership. After 10 overs, the oppo were only on about 30-odd, and some themes for the day had already been set. The outfield was damp and very slow, anything pitched short just sat up and said “hit me” (most Whalers bowlers decided to test this theory, but got the same results each time), it turned out to be a good day for left-handed opening batsmen, and while the Whalers ground fielding was generally ok our catching was terrible.

After a couple of fairly simple chances were grassed, Matt eventually got the first wicket by bowling their right-hand opener. Will picked up another bowled and Russell rotated the bowlers well, and despite having wickets in hand and another couple of drops CICC weren’t ever really able to accelerate. Dean got some good turn and Ross was unlucky with a couple of edges flying through the slips “cordon”, and special mention to ball-magnet Josh and to Roland for their work in the field. Eventually the CICC innings closed at 161-2 with their opener carrying his bat for 86*.

Dean and Al opened up against some accurate bowling but looked fairly secure, before accelerating against the change bowlers. It also looked like the CICC bowlers hadn’t read the script either about not bowling short on this wicket. As Dean repeatedly dispatched loose deliveries through mid-wicket, or the batsmen jogged through for another gentle two, speculation on the boundary turned to whether Roland (down at 4 in the book) would get to spend another whole innings warming his pads, or why biology teacher Nick didn’t seem to know the name for any of the muscles in the human body.

Drinks came and past, and when Dean got his hundred his offers to retire and protect his average were rejected on the grounds that we only needed 20 runs off 12 overs, so he and Al might as well finish the job. So it came as a bit of a surprise when Al chipped one to mid-off – bringing an end to an excellent and chanceless opening partnership of 145 (of which Al scored 32). After a bit of debate between Fraser and Roland as to who should bat next, Roland trotted to the middle. But when he missed a straight one and then so did Dean, there was a sudden flurry of looking for pads etc before Fraser and Ross steadied the ship. At one point it looked like we were trying to score all the remaining runs in byes and edges, until Fraser hit a six off another short delivery to bring an end to proceedings and let us escape to the bar and their slick new beer-ordering app (not).

In the end a comfortable 7-wicket victory. Man of the match was Dean for his 103, champagne moment there wasn’t really a stand-out so it went to Al and Dean for their 145-run opening partnership, and muppet moment went to Russell for taking 12 minutes to complete the toss.

Clapham Inn: 161-2 from 35 overs (Matt 1-20, Will 1-24)

Whalers: 165-3 (Dean 103, Al 32)

Hot Northern Journey

Whalers vs The Journeymen; 13th June 21; Highgate

Its coming home, its coming home, its coming…but how fast? A hot one in north London, as the journeymen invited the Whalers to the St Aloysius sports ground in Highgate on a sunny day in the high 20s. And as the opposition marked out some lengthy boundaries, all but guaranteeing a need for some sharp running in the middle, thoughts turned to sun cream and hydration. If that led anyone to think there was a bit of a beach vibe to the day, they would find that was heightened even further by the presence of a lot of sand on the outfield, ensuring that 4s were at a premium throughout. To add all the more to this sunny idyll of an English summer day, the clubhouse was booked out by a hundred or so booze (and whatever besides) hungry football fans watching the England game v Croatia, lending the day a somewhat festive atmosphere

Josh lost the toss and we were up for 40 overs in the field. Nick and Dan opened the bowling, each finding sharp pace in the first 10 overs but, facing some careful batting, drew no wickets from costa del Highgate, despite creating a couple of sharp chances. Russell came on first change and took the first wicket in his opening over, finding some slight movement off the pitch so that the batsman played on from an inside edge. Not long after the second wicket fell as a rank full toss from Russell was pushed into the off-side for a single which only one of the batsmen wanted, a run out being the ultimate conclusion. Vishal was bowling the other end at this time, keeping the batsmen honest with a tight spell, catching the remaining opener with an lbw so plumb he was resigned to his fate long before the finger went up. And so flowed the remainder of the Journeymen innings, with wickets falling at fairly regular intervals. Suhaib bowled well, bringing the wicket keeper, by this time Geoff having taken over from Ross in this role, into the game for a caught behind from their top scoring batter (31). Suhaib finishing on 1 for 19 off 6 overs. Viren took a few balls to find his range, looping a beach-volleyball like beamer through to the keeper at one stage, before suddenly getting everything very right and picking up 2 wickets for 25 from his 6, getting another caught behind by Geoff and a bowled. Ross took another wicket and Josh, clearly scenting blood, brought himself on to pick up 2 for 9 in 2 overs. Vishal came back on for a one ball spell, picking up the last wicket and finishing with figures of 2 for 9 off 5.1. There had been 25 extras, with some wides clocking up. The journeymen had scored 139, target set.

By this time England had evidently secured their 1-0 victory in the Euros and the gathered masses had decided the only sensible response was all out hedonism. A carefree attitude that perhaps spilled over into the batting performance of the Whalers. Hot as it may have been, Suhaib was bubbling over with excitement at the chance to get out of the shade and go umpire. One may well ask why: the answer being to give his newly acquired speed gun a go. Finally, the Whalers have the means to decipher if they bowled that last one at 62 or 63 mph, though obviously the main beneficiaries in this instance would be the oppo. Whatever the speeds of the Journeymen bowlers (with respect, not high) they proved quite adequate enough to pick up wickets even more regularly than we had. Fraser was the first to go, eyes lighting up at a half tracker before spooning it up to be caught at point for a duck. Ross and Amit both tickled behind cheaply before Josh was castled. By this time one of the football revellers was well into a relentlessly paced, loud and breathless recount of his various dating endeavours, which chipped away at the souls of all who heard it. Even a (all too brief) sojourn in the middle offered no relief from his tales. The Whalers scores do not make for pretty reading and it wasn’t until the 7th wicket partnership of Viren and Vishal that some stability looked on the cards, coming together as they did with the side on 56. By the time Vishal’s flashing blade swung its last with the score on 93, the deed was all but done, Russell getting caught at bat stop for 9 before Nick was run out for 0, wrapping up a 34 run loss in the 34th over. Viren finished on 19 not out but top scorer was extras on 22. The decision was taken by the team to downgrade the champagne moment this week, perhaps all feeling the combined effects of the sound loss and the energy sapping sun.

Journeymen CC 139ao

Whalers CC 105ao

Asti Spumante moment: Ross’ bowled top of off

Muppet moment: Fraser’s top edging of some dross to start the collapse

MoM: Viren

Whalers Slay Dragons

Whalers CC vs Southall Dragons CC; Sunday 6th June 2021; King’s House Sports Ground

On a warm humid day with the threat of rain around the Whalers stood around waiting for the opposition. Despite coming only from Southall they went to another ground after an hour delay the Toss was finally made and Josh Sent Dean and Pip out to bat. The first 4 or 5 overs saw as many different bowlers used. After a tight couple of overs the Dean starting
hitting a few pitched up deliveries. Pip soon joined in the fun backed up by plenty of good running.

The opposition captain Daman then brought himself back on to stem the flow. Bowling off about 5 strides he had a whippy action and was bringing the ball back nicely into righthanders by quite a distance on a green looking wicket. Soon Pip was bowled offering no stroke. Then Ross quickly followed out for a duck again bowled by the same bowler. Roland strode to the wicket and thought attack was a good option and after a couple of good strikes was out LBW to another inswinger.

Whalers stood at 50 odd for 3 and Geoff stepped to the wicket offering some chances but hitting loose deliveries, Dean started peppering up the hitting off the other bowlers and then a few drops starting to occur some or them regulation which would later hurt Southall. Just when Geoff looked set he was bowled for 20 and the middle/late order looked exposed.
Whalers Secret weapon Amit appeared and after a few singles started to punish loose deliveries. Dean soon passed 50 and then accelerated his hitting and it included some lovely 6’s plus 2 more drops. . On 85 run’s his luck was used up and he was eventually caught but what a valiant innings.
Amit was looking to pull a few deliveries and then the fielding started to get a bit ragged as Sohaib and Vishal gave support and fresh legs. Amit was run out just passed his 50 trying to squeeze runs in the last few overs and Daman came back and claimed Vishal Bowled and Sohaib caught to claim a nice five for. Josh came out to face one delivery and amongst much teammate mirth preserved his average . At 217 for 7 off 35 Overs looked a daunting total and a score Whalers have not reached for a while but could we defend this.

Nick and Dan opened the Bowling and Nick was economical as usual. After 2 or 3 overs the run rate was low and adding extra pressure on Southall. Dan starting to push a few leg side and was pulled away quite nicely and then was soon slapped for a Six!!

Nick asked for a field adjustment and bought Roland in close to the opener who took a slick one handed diving catch to set Whalers on their way. Their number 3 Bat sure knew how to hit and started to accelerate the run rate. Vishal was bough into the attack and was offering plenty of variation and some containing stuff. Their other opener was caught by Ross the wicket keeper and Whalers look set to determine the pattern of play. Their Number 3 only knew one way to bat was punishing anything short or wide. Shoaib had replaced Nick by now who bowled a very measly 5 over for 15 runs and also was asking some good questions.

At Drinks 18 overs left, Southall looked set to attack our target with wickets in hand. We had a changed of bowler with Ross taking the pads off came onto to Change the Game starting with a simple catch to mid off . With each of Southall batsmen in attack mode outside edges past 2nd slip area was their value runs area!.

Ross’s Medium pace and accuracy was bringing rewards and in the 5/6 and balls he had both of their next batsmen bowled trying aggressive shots. Josh had also bought himself on and looked very tidy as well. In Ross 4th Over he had a chance for a hat trick with seemed to passed our Skip’s consciousness and a tight field wasn’t set which resulted a bunted ball in the air landing in a very catchable area .!!!!

However the game clinching wicket was a smart team run out of Batsman 3 who was on 55 at the time and showed the all round fielding didn’t let up. Dean replaced Josh after 3 overs and produced a fast straight fizzing ball that resulted a dead cert LBW. More team Catches off Ross another to Pip and a Dolly to Josh meant that Southall innings ended on 160 and 57 runs shy of our total. Ross finished for 5 wickets off 5 overs.

Whalers retired to the bar to give Josh the fines off the day. Despite Dean’s 85 Runs and 1 wicket or Amit’s tidy overs and 55 the Man of the match went to Ross for his five for
Champagne went Roland’s Smart one handed Catch
And Muppet went to Geoff loud appeal for LBW when clearly the loud clunk was a leading edge.