Monthly Archives: August 2022

Whalers woes continued with the ball

Whalers CC vs Extras CC; Sunday 21st August; King’s House Sports Ground

Whalers were back to their home ground Kings House on a lesser hot day to the disappointing news that the bars are closed and no tea is available during the break. Availability suffered this week as well, and Whalers played the game with 10 while Extras made their journey with 9 players. It was a “Preet Family” outing – thanks to Aman’s wife Darshan who made her debut for Whalers CC. After some wait – the toss happened, Extras won the toss and chose to field first. The match was decided to be 30 overs. With the opposition running one short of their already 9, the game was postponed to start in the next 15 minutes. Amit and Dean head to the nets with the Whalers premium bowlers Nick, Matt and Saurabh.

The wicket was a green top, and their opening pace bowler Barrat was arguably the fastest Whalers have faced in recent times. After a watchful start from Amit and Dean, Whalers were 40 when Dean was judged LBW by Nick. Dean didn’t shy away to show his disagreement with Nick’s decision. In the same over, Amit chased down a wide and slow ball to give the point fielder a catching practice. An innocuous-looking over saw Whalers openers back in the shed.

Geoff and Raman found themselves in the middle with big responsibility and avoid a classic Whalers collapse. Geoff took a blow on his chest while facing his third ball – a quick medical checkup gave green to him to continue and he continued with a purpose. Woken up by the blow – he started to give some catching practice but soon boundaries started to flow. Raman other than one strong shot in the cover couldn’t find his last match rhythm against the Extras. Whalers were cruising at the run rate of 6 before the drinks. After drinks, Raman was cleaned by a full-length delivery. Matt joined Geoff in the middle. Soon Geoff completed his 3rd 50+ score of the season. Matt started to time the ball nicely from the beginning. Geoff(56) was cleaned up soon after his celebration, and Aman joined Matt in the middle when 9 overs were still to go and the score was around 140.

Matt started to rotate the strike and Aman began to take on the bowlers and did a master class on cut-shot. During the partnership – Aman was found to be super quick for doubles to keep the strike and particularly slow for doubles when Matt would hit the ball to avoid being on the non-strike end. But overall, both did amazing running between the wickets resulting in the Whalers scoring more than 10 an over in the last 9 overs. Aman(52) completed his half-century on the last ball, Matt finished on 41* and Whalers posted a total of 239 in 30 overs.

Captains decided for a quick turn-around, and start the second inning in 15-20 minutes given there is no tea – thanks again to Kings House. Amit and Nick were given the new ball responsibility. Extras started their inning with caution but Nick got their opener in front and gave Whalers an early break, the pressure was on, Extras number 3 – Von Stumm started in a very discreet fashion without giving a single sniff what he is up to. Just when the second wicket partnership started to look dangerous Nick clean bowled the batter from around the legs. Celebrations were on – it seemed like this will be a chase that will never pose any challenge to Whalers. Nick completed his spell with 2 wickets in 6 overs, and Amit did an economical spell of 15 in 5 overs. Extras were struggling at ~ 40-2 in the first 10 overs.

Saurabh and Russel were brought into attack and Extras started to score easy boundaries of loose deliveries from both. Russel was especially targetted by the Extras batter – while on the hunt of easy boundaries, Extras number 4 miss-hit one straight to Dean. Matt replaced Saurabh and got their no. 5 for 0 with a brilliant top-of off-stump length ball. With 4 wickets down – playing with 9 players – Whalers were sniffing a victory. Barratt joined Von in the middle, and Raman replaced Russel after being expensive in his spell of 4 overs.

The required run rate was mounting, climbing up to 10, Extras batter didn’t let Raman find his length – and went for 28 in two overs before he was replaced by his brother Aman. Extras batter continued the flow of runs and scored boundaries consistently. Dean was brought into attack replacing Matt. Von completed his century before he was dismissed by Dean. Aman took two quick wickets from the other end and the game was poised to be a close one – needed 18 runs in the last two overs. Aman bowled the amazing penultimate over and just gave 3 runs – down to the last over now and Extras needed 15 of it to champion the chase. Barratt came on top in the last over – hit the first two balls for boundaries on the longer side ( we are talking 80m long ones!) and completed his half-century. 7 runs of the last 3 was never a challenge anymore – a lofted extra cover drive – and Extras chased down a mammoth total in a fashion.

During fines: Whalers members found out about the “lunch-gate“ which happened during the break involving Preet’s family enjoying a delicious lunch. An enquiry is in place already.

Thanks to Geoff who was the saviour – brought pack of beers/soda for the whole team.

Champaign Moment: Aman’s two wickets of consecutive balls.

MOM: Aman for his 56 and 2 wickets

Muppet: Amit’s dismissal on the slow and wide ball.

The Magnificent yet Magnanimous Seven

Octopus CC v Whalers CC, Sunday 14.8.22, Alexandra Palace

The Whalers travelled to an extremely hot Alexandra Palace in North London with initially only 6 players last Sunday to take on Octopus CC. Anna gallantly stepped in to make up our number 7 and we put up a good fight against a 10 person very sporting and friendly opposition. We batted first and made 190 off 30 overs but ultimately fell short by 4 wickets with 3 overs to go.

Prior to the game the skippers prophesised email during the week suggested low numbers would be an issue for the away return leg against Octopus CC. By 1pm on Sunday at Alexandra Palace it came to pass that 6 was the most we could muster despite desperate phone calls to Bilal and Roland, and an even more desperate message sent out on the whalers match day whats app group. Initially the skipper nonchalantly tried to toss the coin with the wrong team Finchley CC, his second recommendation for Muppet moment on the day. So by the time Russell had found the actual opposition captain, we were soon heading out to bat with 6 batsman only. Prior to the game it was decided that 30 overs would be the maximum number of overs given the heat and further Octopus very sportingly would allow our 2 lowest scoring batsmen to come back in if it was needed.

Morale was high given the circumstances and Josh and Suhaib strode out to the centre. With an extremely fast outfield and shortish boundaries, it was an ideal scenario for some high scores. After initially getting his eye in Josh got caught for 5 off the opening bowler Grant. Will went out to the centre and unfortunately couldn’t progress on his duck last week, being bowled for no score by Grant. Things were looking a little grim, but Suhaib was playing some nice shots and with Raman’s dad in the crowd…cometh the hour…cometh the man Raman strode out to the middle with a steely resolve. Suhaib continued with his consistent batting this year making 30 before being caught out. Nick then joined Raman and increased the run rate quickly. The 2 worked well together and put on over a 100 run partnership over 20 overs, both reaching 50, with Raman hitting a number of 4s and 6s, and Nick a number of 4s. Despite trying to see out the 30 overs Nick was caught in gully of Sai for 55. Soon after Raman was also caught of Sai for 78. Russell came out and played some nice shots (including taking out the umpire Nick, with a bludgeoned straight drive) but was bowled for returning opener Grant for 5. Both Will and Josh returned for their second innings, with Will being stumped for 2 in over 28 to finish the innings and Josh the “stabiliser” not out on 8. The Whalers posting a competitive 190.

Anna gallantly joined us in the field post lunch. Octopus also very sportingly gave us 2 fielders so we had 9 in the field to make it a competitive game. We realised quickly that we would all probably have to bowl 5-6 overs, and someone would have to wicket keep. Our natural leaders, Josh and Suhaib put up their hands, electing to rotate the keeping. Nick and Suhaib opened the bowling and battled hard given the lack of pace and bounce in the pitch. Nick bowled the opening batsman in his third over, but Smith was looking dangerous scoring a lot of 4s. Rusty and Will replaced the opening bowlers, and turned the tide of the game. Russell and Anna combined to remove Smith, with Anna taking an amazing catch on the boundary, a galvanising moment for the imminently named, “magnificent 7”. With Will bowling their number 4 and Josh and Will combining for a great caught behind, belief was growing. By drinks at the end of over 15, 4 wickets down and Octopus on 100, there was a genuinely belief that this could be the greatest Whalers victory recorded. Even Russell the skipper was showing a lot of nous and conviction with his bowling changes, energy and field placements. Watts and Montague had other ideas post drinks as they both rapidly increased the run rate and put the game out of reach. Nick, Josh, Suhaib and Will rotated the bowling and tried to stem the flow. The Whalers went down fighting with Russell finally removing Watts LBW on 66 but ultimately fell short. Octopus CC reaching 191 in over 28 with 4 wickets to spare.

Despite the heat, adversity and result, it was a thoroughly enjoyable game. The Whalers battled hard and Octopus CC are to be commended for their friendly and sporting play. Big thanks to Anna for doing the scoring and stepping in to field.

Man of the match: Raman for his personal best score of 78

Champagne Moment: Anna for her catch on the boundary

Muppet Moment: Russell for bowling a bouncer at his own feet

Whalers slump to Octo-defeat

Whalers CC vs Octopus CC; King’s House Sports Ground; Sunday 7th August 2002

It was another “win the toss and bat first” kind of day at a sun-baked Kings House ground, as the Whalers took on fellow aquatic mammals Octopus CC on Pitch B in the first of a season double-header. Sure enough, Josh won the toss and Aman and Amit Kushwaha headed out to the middle with the captain’s words still ringing in their ears: “carry on the good form from last week” for Aman, and “I’ll give you one more chance” for Amit.

Aman got things off to a flyer with 20 off the second over, but then got one which jumped off the pitch from the other opener and was out caught. Will got a good one first ball and was LBW, but Amit and Ross kept the scoreboard moving despite the occasional catching practice. At drinks we had already scored over 100 and it was clear that 200+ would be a par score on a true pitch and with a very fast outfield. Amit was caught off one of the Octopus legspinners for 60 and Viren departed LBW soon afterwards, but Ross and Geoff then put on another excellent partnership with plenty of boundaries. As the Whalers looked to accelerate in the last few overs, they were both out stumped: Geoff for 51 and Ross top-scoring with 73 and his maiden Whalers half-century. Bilal and Amit Kumar then kept the run-rate at 10 an over with some excellent scampering between the wickets, and the Whalers eventually closed on 251-6.

At tea the mood was fairly confident. Possibly a little complacent. And by now the Octopi were down to only 9 fit players, having started with 10 then had one injury. What followed next was a slightly chastening couple of hours. Dan started things off with a wide and there were a few misfields and a drop in the first few overs. Bilal came on first change and got both openers in his first over: one a looping slip catch taken by Will, and the second was a slow-motion inside edge onto the stumps.

But that was as good as it got, as Octopus then put on an unbroken 210-run partnership, with Livingstone finishing on 135* and Thorougood on 69*. None of the Whalers bowlers could exercise any control, with everyone going for pretty much buffet (or worse), and even when there were a few dots there was generally a bad ball not that far away or the batsmen were able to create another boundary opportunity. The fielding was ok in parts but wilted a bit in the heat, and there were another couple of missed opportunities and half-chances as the game drifted away from us. The game was over within 30 overs as the Octopus comfortably chased it down. Well batted, but hopefully the Whalers can do better in the re-match!

Ross bowled well to go with his 73, and got man of the match. Muppet Moment was Bilal and Will’s slow-motion running into each other in the field, with an honourable mention for Amit K having to finish Amit K’s over after Amit K declared he was injured. The Bilal/Will combination also got the Coke Zero Moment (downgraded from champagne) for Will’s looping slip catch off Bilal.

Whalers lose by 8 wickets to 8-legged sea creature

Whalers 251-6 off 35 overs (Ross 73, Amit Kushwaha 60, Geoff 51)

Octopus 253-2 off 30 overs (Bilal 2-46)

The Aman Singh Show

Winchmore Hill Tigers vs Whalers CC; Winchmore Hill Cricket Club; Sunday 31st July 2022

The day starts with Josh losing the toss and Bilal failing to spot the team on the main pitch. Unfortunately we were not deemed worthy enough to play on the main pitch, as last year.

The bowling starts with Bilal making the sacrifice of allowing Suhaib to bowl from the far end, giving him the assist of the slope and the wind. This proved fortuitous for him as the middle stump went cartwheeling on the first ball. Suhaib followed by tight bowling, however Bilal failed to find some ryhthm, with some terrible leg side wides. Soon order was retained as Bilal also joined Suhaib with some good bowling. Suhaib was rewarded again by getting the opposition skipper, caught by Raman. The game was leaning towards Whalers’s side, however, Kevin on the other hand was continuing his good form against his old team, Booooo!

A change of bowling was brought at the 10 over mark, with the dynamic Singh brothers, Aman and Raman, bringing their ripping leg spinners and googlies in the game. Both brothers struggled to find good rhythm as few good full length balls were followed by poor short balls. Kevin gladly despatching them with his regular unforgiving attitude. Magic soon followed as Raman got Hodges for 1, brilliant grab by Geoff from the faint edge. This was followed by a far outside off ball by Aman. Kevin’s eyes lit up. However, he failed to connect, only to edge the ball to Will at Gully. Aman had the big fish!

Whalers thought they had the game. However, Ali from the opposition had other ideas. Delivering a careful 70 batting number 7 as he manoeuvred the spell our very own Shoaib Akhtar aka Saurabh running from the boundary line. Ali failed to deliver a higher score as bowling change at the death brought Suhaib back. He duly delivered by grabbing two in two and finishing the home team’s innings at 222. Suhaib finishing on a brilliant 5.5-1-25-4

Whaler’s batting started with Josh making pivotal decision of sending Aman to open with Amit. The boys carried the innings with some sublime hitting. However, their partnership was cut short of a 100 as Amit missed a full toss from Ali, smashing the stumps – bowled for 21. Aman continued his hitting, with some good support from Will from the other end. Both of them put together a partnership of 83, which included Aman smashing two giant sixes at long off, losing both balls. The opposition feared as they were running out of any leftovers balls. This followed by a remark from the opposition keeper that “IPL players are not allowed to play at this level”

Will caught and bowled for 14 brought Pete on the crease. Then followed the most contentious decision of the game. Loopy yorker from the bowler caught Pete’s back foot toe at leg stump. Bilal raised the finger thinking of it as a plumb decision. However, Pete complete disagreed with a remark of “its was two feet outside leg stump”. No further talk on this.

The dismissal brought the dynamic Singh duo back to the wicket. Raman came out with a flurry of shots as he utilised the charm of his lucky bat. Not to forget the switching of bats after almost every ball as both brothers worked the bat’s lucky charm. Raman’s quickfire 23 was brought to a close as he hit the ball straight to the opposition skipper at long off. Good revenge eh!

With 17 runs left to chase, Aman was joined at the crease by our very own Mr Dependable – Geoff. The duo eased past the remaining runs in no time, allowing Whalers to chase the formidable target of 223 in less than 30 overs. 

Aman carried out his bat with an impeccable 143. An innings to be remembered for the ages. 

Whalers (223) beat Winchmore Hill Tigers (222) by 6 wickets

Champagne moment – Suhaib’s first ball middle stump cartwheel

Muppet moment – Sohaib’s and Josh’s 4 balls over

Match of the match – no doubt,  Aman’s 146*