9-man Whalers run out of energy vs Exiles

Whalers CC vs Energy Exiles CC

Sunday 5th July 2015; King’s House Sports Ground

The omens weren’t good as the Whalers gathered in Chiswick for this season’s rematch against the Exiles. Kev’s cat had gone awol (how times have changed – 10 years ago our excuses for turning up tired ranged from late night drinking to, err, late night drinking. Now it’s all teething infants and missing felines), and Rich managed to lose the toss which was the first time their skipper had won in 14 attempts. More to the point, there were only 9 of us and it looked like it was going to be a long hot afternoon in the field.

Dan and Jiff kept things tight at first, with Dan bowling one of their openers. Their two left-handers consolidated, with the number three hitting several impressive lofted off-drives, but Rich juggled the attack well and by drinks they were about 80odd for 1. Dan got the other opener and Kamal then picked up three quick wickets, including their number three for 74. The Exiles accelerated a bit towards the end, but overall it was a great team effort to restrict them to only 186 from their 35 overs, with some excellent ground fielding from everyone and a good catch from Peter.

After the usual tea and some Tour de France, Al and Pip got things off to a cautious start before Al missed a straight one to become the first of six Whalers to be bowled. Pip and Dan then put on a 58-run partnership, before Pip was out just before drinks – to be surprised on reaching the boundary to learn that he’d got his 50 the previous over but the scorer had only just worked it out. Dan and Kev then kept the scoreboard ticking over, and at 122-2 the Exiles heads were beginning to go down and we were well on top.

However, playing for the Whalers isn’t the same without a batting collapse at some point, and when Kev played on for 22 this brought the Dragonslayer to the crease, to be followed one ball later by Peter. He duly missed the hat-trick ball, earning himself a “Jonah” fine in the process for being implicated in two opposition hat-tricks in the space of three weeks.

All of a sudden the game was back on, and when Dan missed a full toss we still needed 50 to win with only two wickets left. Jiff and Gilo then made batting look a lot easier with some quick boundaries and again we were back on top. But with only 15 runs needed, Jiff skied one and was somehow caught one-handed in the deep for 19, and next ball it was all over in slightly confused circumstances as Rich appeared to edge to the keeper, wandered halfway down the wicket as the oppo appealed, and was then run out anyway just to be sure.

Overall this was a really good team performance to make it so close, despite being two players short. Champagne moment was awarded to the oppo’s “hand of God” catch off Jiff, muppet moment was Rich getting out twice off the last ball to lose the game, and man of the match was shared between Pip and Dan.

Whalers lose by 15 runs.

Exiles – 186-5 (Kamal 3-27, Dan 2-27)

Whalers – 171 all out (Pip 52, Dan 37, Rich 23, Kev 22)