Whalers CC vs Beamers CC 13th September 2015
King George’s Playing Field, Morden.
Whalers 103/5 (30.3) beat Beamers 101 (32.4) by 5 wickets
Whalers made the long journey down to Morden for the last game of the season. After last years timed game where Whalers lost a bit of concentration and ultimately the game we were glad to be in our more familiar 35 over a side habitat.
Winning the toss and bowling after sensing some mischief in the pitch all the talk was of the seasons leading wicket taker award with Geoff, Kamal and despite his protestations, Dan all in with a chance. A grumpy Nick opened and bowled a leg side full toss which was sent on its way first ball. He improved his accuracy after that though and with some variable bounce in the pitch the Believers openers made slow progress though we struggled to find abreakthrough. A couple of tough chances going down (more accurately through) first slip. Dan took the new (Duke’s!) ball from the other end as the first of the title contenders on show. He is a hard man to satisfy and was visibly frustrated by his bowling though he was not doing a lot wrong. After 8 overs we had our first look at Kiwi and hobbit Jiff, very keen to claim some silverware in his first season back in the UK as our Aussie overseas player. The three pace magic worked almost instantly, inducing an edge that was dropped first ball and then fourth ball having their opener well caught by Nick at mid-on. After Dan (1-20) had bowled out it was a straight head to head between Jiff and Special for the wickets award. Bowling in tandem they took control of the game but as well as he performed Jiff could not find another wicket and Kamal began to rip the guts out of the Believers batting. Listening tothem talk about his bowling in the pub one would be forgiven for thinking there was some truth in the rumour that he is Murali’s secret uncle. In fact half his wickets came from full tosses but such is his cunning that the batsmen missed them completely. Figures of 7-1-32-4 ensured that he retained the coveted trophy and that the Believers were struggling to make 100. Rich bowled tidily with trademark belly swing and took 2-14 (3 drops too). Jiff finished with 1-16 and a sharp run outfrom Roland meant that Tariq only bowled 4 balls. Believers had been dismissed for 101. It was a decent performance in the field (heartfelt thanks to the oppo for lending us a fielder) despite several drops. The outfield was slow but we felt that we should chase down the total.
Last year’s defeat had plenty to do with the 6 or 7 wickets opposition skipper Mathew took so it was understandable that Dario and Al took a safety first approach to facing both him and the other opening bowler. After 10 overs both were still in place though the total was struggling to keep up with the overs bowled. Al (7) played well in defence to see off the opening bowler but will perhaps rue his decision to send spinner Giles back over his head which resulted in a straightforward catch shortly after his introduction. Once Giles had also removed Dario (15) lbw and Roland first ball caught and bowled we were in some trouble at 24/3 after 11 overs. A steady partnership of 53 between Rich and Tariq steadied the nerves though, with no time pressure they both played watchfully waiting for bad balls to put away. Both made 34 but disappointingly neither could hang around long enough to see us home. There was some excitement at the prospect of a promoted Special hitting the winning runs but in the end it fell to Nick who crashed his first ball through the covers for 4.
A really good performance from all the team and an enjoyable way to end the season. Thanks to the Believers for a good mannered game. Most of us retired to the pub after to reminisce another great Whalers season.
MOM: Richard Giles 34 and 2-14
Champagne Moment: Nick’s catch for first wicket
Muppet: Nick for fielding with his @rse