Whalers CC vs Village CC; King’s House Sports Ground; Sunday 14th May 2023
After a rough start to the season, few games were called off because of weather and wet pitches. Whalers finally contested in their first match of the season held at the King’s House Sports Ground, their home ground, Whalers faced off against The Village CC.
The Village CC won the toss and elected to bowl first, aiming to capitalise on early breakthroughs and restrict Whalers to a manageable total.
Al and Dean decided to open for Whalers and they took to the crease with determination, looking to lay a solid foundation for their team. Dean played some really good shots, Al was careful while hitting and was slowly building the innings at his own pace. However, The Village CC’s bowlers immediately made an impact, delivering disciplined lines and lengths. They generated movement off the pitch, causing trouble for the batsmen.
Whalers faced a stern challenge, but they displayed resilience and determination. They played cautiously, respecting the good deliveries and punishing any loose ones. The Village CC’s fielders were alert and the outfield was quite slow, preventing boundaries and putting pressure on the batsmen.
Dean missed a good slow delivery and was bowled, he showed excellent composure while batting, Suhaib came on strike played some good shots but missed a similar slow delivery and was bowled too followed by Al. The middle-order batsmen provided valuable support, constructing partnerships to stabilise the innings.
As the innings progressed, Raman and Matt started to find their rhythm. They played a combination of elegant strokes and powerful shots, taking advantage of any scoring opportunities. The run rate increased steadily, building momentum for the team.
The Village CC’s bowlers, however, continued to pose challenges. They mixed up their deliveries, introducing variations in pace and length. They constantly tested the batsmen’s skills and patience, aiming to break the partnerships and expose the lower-order batsmen.
Whalers fought hard, but the pressure intensified as wickets fell in the latter stages of the innings. The Village CC’s fielders held onto important catches, contributing to the growing sense of urgency within Whalers’s camp.
Whalers concluded their innings 140/10 on board losing their last wicket on the last ball of the innings, setting a target that would require a competitive chase from The Village CC.
After tea with some snacks and some more faffing, It was now The Village CC’s turn to bat, and they knew they needed to start strongly to remain in the contest.
The Village CC’s openers approached the chase with caution, playing sensibly and not taking unnecessary risks. Suhaib and Bilal started bowling aimed to create early breakthroughs and put pressure on the opposition. They bowled with skill and precision, searching for gaps in The Village CC’s defence.
The Village CC’s openers steadily built a partnership, steadily accumulating runs and rotating the strike. As the required run rate climbed, they found the boundary at regular intervals, ensuring they remained ahead of the game. Suhaib and Bilal ended their spell with 1 maiden over and no wicket in hand, and with that captain Russell took the command of bowling in his hand with Sangamesh on the other side.
Whalers’s bowlers continued to fight, persistently challenging The Village CC’s batsmen. They introduced variations and bowled with discipline, hoping to find the breakthroughs needed to turn the tide in their favour, and Russell gave us the required breakthrough and took the wicket of their opener who was caught by Bilal on long on. The Village CC’s batsmen responded with resilience and determination after that, keeping the scoreboard ticking. The match entered its crucial phase as the required run rate approached a challenging level. The Village CC’s batsmen remained composed under pressure and displayed excellent shot selection. They showcased their skills, playing elegant strokes and powerful hits to the boundary. Russell and Sangamesh ended their spell followed by Matt and Nirmal. Matt was also successful in giving a breakthrough again caught by Bilal on long on. Nirmal was trying hard to bowl some bouncers and frighten the opposition batsmen, but was unsuccessful in the end. Raman and Kamal bowled their spell afterwards and Raman was able to get a wicket on his full length slow delivery in the last over of this spell.
Whalers’s fielders made valiant efforts, diving and stopping the ball to keep their team in the game. The bowlers bowled their hearts out, leaving no stone unturned in their pursuit of victory. However, The Village CC’s batsmen held their nerve and seized crucial moments, hitting boundaries when required.
As the chase entered the final overs, Bilal and Suhaib started their spell again, The Village CC’s batsmen accelerated the scoring rate. The tension rose, and the match could swing in either team’s favour. Bilal got a wicket in the second last over of the game, but it was too late now. In a thrilling climax, The Village CC successfully chased down the target, winning the game in the second last over with 6 wickets in hand.
Whalers 140 (all out) off 35 overs (Matt 39, Raman 21)
Village CC 144-4 off 34 overs
Champagne moment: Matt and Bilal running 5
Muppet: Nirmal getting hit on the head with a ball by `Dean keeping wickets
Man of the match: Matt for 39 with bat and 5-0-20-1 with the ball.
Full Scorecard : https://whalers.play-cricket.com/website/results/5997132
Match Report by Nirmal Lather.