Monthly Archives: May 2022

Video killed… the radio starred!!

Whalers vs Quokkas 29th of May 2022, Kings House Sports Ground, Chiswick. 29/5/22

The Whalers had a good win last Sunday by 78 runs against a valiant Quokka team. The quokka is a small marsupial found only on Rottnest island off the coast Fremantle, WA. Some may question the oppositions founding name considering the team consisted of an Irishman, a Kiwi, an American, some Brits and only one Aussie. To be fair there isn’t a mariner with whaling experience amongst our playing list. None-the-less, the teams gathered at the usual 12.30 on a cold and overcast day at the recently refurbished Kings House sports ground for the battle of the mammals.

Viren and Saurabh arrived very very late which was duly noted by all and recognised later in the fines. Viren gratefully volunteered to make up the number 11 for the Quokkas. The skipper lost the toss and we were surprisingly put into bat on a good batting wicket. With a couple of quick throw downs, the absence of inspirational speech from the skipper Suhaib, Dean and Amit K strode out to the crease and very quickly got the run rate going. Faggie and Frutti bowled well for the Quokkas but both Dean and Amit played some great cover drives and pulls shots punishing anything short or loose. The author having a great advantage point as the umpire and the runs flowed freely. At drinks we had a healthy score of close to 140.

Not too long after drinks Dean got out to an admittedly poorly timed shot but a decent strike rate and score of 50. Geoff came out to the middle and hit two 4s off his first two shots. The runs kept coming with both Geoff and Amit running well between the wickets until Amit K was caught out for 85. Raman came out to make a quick 9 and Geoff mis timed a shot being caught on the boundary for 41 (the first of Radio’s victims) so debutant John, having not played cricket for some time, should have expected some support from the tail…little was he to know what was about to unfold.

With about 6 overs left the oppositions ‘Radio’ proceeded to harpoon the whales tail. Radio bamboozled the proceeding 5 batsmen and bowled really well taking 6 wickets for 6 runs off 3 overs. His action resembling our presidents. This also included a hatrick victimising Kamal (bowled), Matt (stumped) and Surabh (bowled). Nick also only lasted a single ball given LBW by Amit. He however graciously left the ground and did not mention the incident again for the rest of the day. The skipper made 2 being bowled by Viren. The combined last 6 batsmen contributing 4 runs to the Whalers total of 232. Special mention to John who had to watch the demolition, finishing not out on 29.

With a quick tea break, Suhaib and Nick opened the bowling confident that 233 would be a difficult total to reach. Both kept the run rate low with Suhaib breaking the drought trapping Driver LBW for 11 and getting the dangerous Faggie out caught behind. Vishal and Matt replaced the openers and kept the run rate low. Vish bowled a jaffa hitting the top of middle stump taking out number 4 and Matt got Scott out caught behind by Geoff (his second caught behind for the day).

Post drinks the run rate looked tricky and Dean and Kamal took advantage of the pressure both bowling well. Matt continued to bowl some tight overs and had Viren under pressure inducing a retired hurt (pulled shoulder socket). Dean bowled Yak and had Jatin soon after caught out by Suhaib. He also ran out the tail and contributed greatly to the field. The same could not be said to be true of some mis fields from Raman and Amit K. Amit being singled out by Matt in particular for refusing to put his knee down to save a boundary. Debutant John bowled really well and claimed a wicket and Suhaib cleaned up the tail. Best bowling figures – Suhaib 6 overs 3 for 25, Matt 6 overs 1 for 20, Dean 3 overs 2 for 10, John 3 overs 1 for 14. The Whalers winning by 78 runs.

Champagne Moment – Nick’s football flick into hands trickshot and celebration thereafter

Muppet Moment – Amit K’s terrible fielding on the boundary

Man of the Match – Amit K’s Ponting esque batting

Fine of the day – Nick for largely not accepting his method of dismissal

Whalers unbeaten start to the season ended by Lambs

Whalers v Lambeth Lambs. Barn Elms, 22.05.2022

It was a beautiful May day for cricket, the pitch looked good and for the first time in what feels like ages we won the toss and chose to bat against Lambeth Lambs in a 30 overs a side contest. Things were feeling positive. Dean and Pip went out to open and were faced with some testing and quick bowling from the Lambs opening bowlers. Dean was the first to go well caught on the fine leg boundary pulling a short one. Then followed a slow spell of consolidation as runs continued to be hard to come by. The change bowlers came on and continued to bowl well, Pip departed caught behind and Fraser joined Amit. At drinks we were around 40/2. It was roundly agreed we needed to pick up the pace. Amit took the call to arms and in the first over after drinks and hit a couple of boundaries but fell soon after lbw for 24. Geoff came and went quickly, also well caught on the boundary pulling a short one. Fraser hit one huge six but was then the next to go. Bilal joined Ross and with the help of some more bowling changes started to pick up the pace with a flurry of boundaries and good running. The opening Bowlers came back on but couldn’t stem the flow as both batsman continued to score all around the ground. Ross finally fell for an excellent 40 in the penultimate over, again well caught on the boundary after getting a leading edge to a waist high full toss. Bilal finished on a very well played 28no as the Whalers posted 157/6, a good recovery from drinks but a score that still felt a little short.

Dan and Suhaib opened the bowling and found good lengths and a bit of movement. One of the openers went on the attack and hit a couple of 4’s before Dan got the first wicket with a well placed yorker on off stump. The other opener was looking in control but then got a leading edge playing a touch early, it looked like it might fall into a gap but Dan took a one handed catch on the dive to complete the caught and bowled. The next 10 overs or so saw the Lambs batters start to take control with a series of good shot all round the ground. The bowling remained good but anything slightly loose was punished. Drink saw the Lambs well in control at 91/2. After tea Dean came on to bowl some spin but it was Bilal who got the breakthrough with an lbw, good reward after bowling well through a difficult time of the game. Kamal then on to replace Bilal took a wicket and hope lifted further when Dean got the edge of their Number 4 who had played really well and he was caught behind. Runs were running out however and when Josh came on and got a wicket first ball with Dean taking an excellent running catch on the long on boundary there 10 runs needed. It wasn’t to be for the Whalers though as the Lambs got home with a couple of overs, and 4 wickets to spare but it was good effort in the field and all catches were held, including several tough ones.

MoM : Ross, 40

Champagne : Dan’s diving one handed catch.

Muppet : Josh, failing to retrieve the ball after it had gone under the covers.

Whalers and Village defy rain in last ball thriller

Whalers CC vs Village CC; Sunday 15th May 2022; Kings’s House Sports Ground

The day dawned wet and broadly continued in the same vein as the optimistic forecast of earlier in the week continued to deteriorate. Still there was much to look forward to for the eager crowd (rising to 2 at some points) with an unbeaten season record to maintain, and Suhaib’s captaincy debut to look forward to.

With the threat of rain a 30 over game was agreed on. The toss was lost, but it wasn’t a bad one to lose as the Whalers found themselves getting first use of seemingly favourable bowling conditions. There was plenty of early movement for Ross and Suhaib who were very economical early on but it took the introduction of Barney to make the breakthrough with an excellent delivery to bowl one of the Village openers. Nick started well at the other end,  but the scoring rate was good in the conditions and without wickets it was starting to look like hard work for the Whalers.

Drinks were taken after 15 overs and after a long faff involving rain radar, bowler landing spot analysis, and a fruitless search for sawdust it was agreed to carry on with the rain easing slightly. Things started to go downhill fast thereafter for the Whalers as anything short was ruthlessly despatched by Village number 3 Tom and an increasing number of mis-fields and dropped catches (including 2 drops off 2 balls from Fraser) not helping the general mood. Whalers weren’t without success at this time with a wicket for Nick and Kamal and a direct hit run-out courtesy of Dean making up for his initial fumble.  Village number 3 Tom carried on regardless though including attempting to reverse sweep Nick’s medium pacers, and despite wearing a Fraser ripper on his face off the penultimate ball eventually finished on 98 not out as Village set an imposing 198-5 off their 30.

If the Whalers were to get close they needed a good start and with positive intent Dean despatched the first ball on the innings for a one bounce four over the longest boundary off Bilal. Thompson bowling from the other end bowled very well and Al offered an early chance behind, but thereafter a mixture of big boundaries (Dean) and scampered runs (Al) we were up with the rate early and asking questions of Village. The change bowlers took some punishment as Dean got going, but he missed a straight one and was bowled for a quickfire 58. Pip joined Al and the run a ball rate was maintained and Whalers reached drinks at a healthy 110-1 needing 89 off the last 15.

A solid start after drinks came to an end with Al bowled for 61 with the score on 145. Scoring slowed thereafter as the new batsmen struggled to settle with Fraser out for 1 and the returning Thompson despatching Pip for 33 and Amit for 5 in his final 2 overs (figures were pick on the day 6-0-10-2). Village sensed victory as Whalers needed 25 off the final 2. Ross had other ideas though as he hit 2 massive sixes off the penultimate over to leave 8 required off the last to win

First ball was a scrambled single by Barney bringing Ross back on strike, but his attempt at another big hit skied one calmly taken under pressure by the bowler and he was on his way back for 20. Whalers ‘finisher’ Josh made his way to the crease keen to further establish his credentials but initially from the non-strikers end as Barney negotiated a dot ball, but then a 3 to return Josh to strike. He managed a single to make it 3 off the last for Barney to win it. A short ball was hooked to the deep but to a fielder and while it was a comfortable two a third was never really on so the game ended in a tie in the best weather of the day.

The dry theme continued as we retired to the bar only to find it had closed sometime earlier. Instead Whalers were left to reflect on initially how fortunate we were to get a game in, let alone a topsy turvy tie with nearly 400 runs in 60 overs in mostly dubious conditions. Credit to Village for their part in a very competitive game. As we sat around sans drinks for fines and awards, with Nick reading chosen extracts from last week’s report the final analysis of the day was around a game that had no finishers at all and also no beer, a combination that was a certain Whalers first.

Village CC 198-5 (30)

Whalers CC 198-6 (30) – Al 61, Dean 58, Pip 33

Match Tied

MOM – Ross for his all-round contribution (4-0-12-0 and 20)

Champagne – Ross for his second 6 in the penultimate over

Muppet – plenty of candidates amongst the fielding but in the end Dean’s drop

Hard Fought Exiles Victory

Whalers CC vs Energy Exiles CC; King’s House Sports Ground; Sunday 8th May 2022

Regular opponents Energy Exiles made the trip to a recently developed King’s House as the Whalers’ looked to build upon their opening day victory at Highgate. There was a new hockey pitch, car park and even an impressive spread at tea. Some things never change; however, a combination of train problems and other factors meant the 1pm start time came and went without the toss being conducted. Eventually it was agreed by virtue us having more players on show, that we would field first and try and get the game underway.

After an impressive start to the season, Bilal was handed the new ball with Suhaib steaming in from the other end. We kept things tight, Suhaib taking a little while to find the right lines but he got the first wicket, getting the opener prodding and the edge of the bat was found (according to the umpire at least) and it was duly smartly caught behind by wicket keeper Kishan. A second wicket quickly followed, this time it was Bilal’s turn to receive the plaudits as he trapped the number 3 for what I think most of us considered to be a fairly generous LBW. We weren’t complaining though, or at least everyone but Nick- brought on to replace Bilal and try and dismiss their number 4 who was beginning to look dangerous with a couple of big hits down the ground. He was confident that he would soon mistime one and he did- however Josh couldn’t hold on to the relatively simple chance and Nick’s search for his first wicket of the season continued.

Thankfully it didn’t prove too costly- skipper Russell brough himself on at the other end and had him bowled. The next two batsmen in tried to play in a similar vein, attempting to whack every ball. Fortunately for us the next skied chance did not fall to Josh and Bilal took a good catch. The other opener was on a slightly different vibe- happy to stay in and try and protect his wicket as chaos developed all around him.  He wasn’t able to hang around too much longer though as Russell had him bowled for his third wicket of the match. The pressure was on but the Exiles were able to spark a bit of a comeback- helped by the bowling of Kamal and Josh (although they were able to combine for the champagne moment – please see below) and some good lower order batting. Nick and Suhaib were brought back on and were able to get the final four wickets in fairly quick succession to leave the oppo on 142 a/o.

The sun continued to beat down and we were all happy to have a break and sample the new food, generally considered to be an upgrade on previous offerings. Sandwiches were eaten, fluid was taken on board and we were treated to Suhaib’s review of Amit’s wedding. Again, no one seemed in a particular rush to get going but with the bar shutting at 7 we had to get on with it. Al and Ricky were once again the opening partnership, Ricky continued where he finished last week with some crunching drives through the off side, in fact one was so powerful that the bat broke and a new one had to be brought on. The fun didn’t last too long though, their opening bowler from the pavilion end was finding some nice areas and was able to get Ricky caught behind. Geoff was the next man in, fresh from his unbeaten 50 in the first game. He looked in good nick from the off, putting the bad balls away and even some of the good ones. Al was also looking solid and with the run rate being healthy, it was all beginning to look a bit too easy. We are the Whalers though, and a batting collapse is never too far away. Geoff skied one to mid-on for a well-played 31, Kishan and Suhaib then came and went without impacting the scoreboard dramatically. Al was continuing to tick along nicely and got his 50, despite the best efforts of debutant Ronish who almost had him run out on 49!

Al couldn’t quite see it through to the end and Josh strode out to the middle with 10 needed to win. When we talk about the best finishers in modern cricket it’s often the same names who get mentioned- Dhoni, Pollard, Morgan etc. men who are able to go out and immediately get going with a strike rate of 150. Maybe it’s time to add Curtis to that list- a couple of well placed fours before taking a single to allow Ronish to get on strike at hit the winning run.

Overall a good win- we bowled well, took some catches and looked comfortable enough in the chase despite us definitely having more of a bowling focused XI. That made it two wins from two and we were also able to get a couple of jugs in from the bar before it closed- what more could you ask for?

Whalers 143/6 beat Energy Exiles 142 by 4 wickets

Awards

Champagne moment: Josh’s athletic catch off Kamal’s bowling

Muppet: Josh’s not so athletic drop off Nick’s bowling

MOM: Al (54 runs, anchored the innings)