Whalers dig deep to beat Gardners

Whalers CC, 136/9 (Drabble 33)) beat Gardeners CC, 113 all out (Khalil 3/11) by 23 runs

Whalers made a winning return to a sunny King’s House after their all-conquering tour of Litchfield and Derby, to defeat a strong and well-balanced Gardeners CC side in a tight, low-scoring affair.
With a variety of sporting events going on at King’s House the same day, access was a challenge with several players arriving https://www.acheterviagrafr24.com/achat-viagra-en-ligne-quebec/ late and Pip having to wait to be admitted to the car-park, which in turn forced Captain Dan to have to re-jig the batting order. Ross opened with Andrew Sheridan, Geoff’s fellow kiwi borrowed from Cairns Fudge for the day.
Tight bowling from the Gardeners’ opening bowlers, allied with the slow outfield and long boundaries of pitch A hampered the Whale’s progress. However, Ross especially began to pick off the loose balls to keep things ticking over. Andrew edged behind for 10 off a typically well-targeted delivery on off, bringing Luke to the crease. The pair continued to tick things over at a steady pace and upped the scampering ante with what has to be a Whalers first of an all-run 6! Ross, picking out the deep boundary but not quite reaching it, and encouraged by the Whalers bench on the boundary, ran the 4th run, enticing the Gardeners’ fielders into a rash shy at the stumps that resulted in 2 overthrows. Pause and re-gather breath! Luke was bowled by Navratil for 4 in a valuable partnership of 28, which brought in the newly-promoted Kamal at the heady heights of number 4. Ross had accumulated a fine 33 by this point, a score which proved to be the highest of the match by some way, before being bowled by Spurling.

With Whalers placed on 50/3, Kamal and new batsman Pip looked to consolidate, or rather, were tied down by further tight bowling and struggling to breach the infield. Both batsmen tried to rotate the strike, but going was slow at around 3-an over. After another all-run 4 from Pip, he then holed out to long-leg in a disappointing end to a handy innings of 18. Roland came and went, adjudged run out for 2 on a close call. Kamal responded by looking to play some more expansive shots, now accompanied by Paul C. The experiment did not last too long though, as he skied a catch to the infield for a solid season-high score of 9. Paul now played some strong attacking shots that found the elusive boundary. Geoff at the other end, couldn’t quite chase a further addition to his one-man 6s competition and, beaten by the lengthy boundary, had to settle for hitting a couple of lengthy 3s before slapping one straight to cover point. Positive stroke-play and more scampering was now the order of the day as Whalers pushed beyond 100 to a score that had a reasonable chance of being defendable. Paul’s positive cameo of 17 came to an end, caught of the returning Navratil, but Jack and Dan accelerated things in the latter overs, as the hitherto tight bowling of Gardeners began to leak a few runs. Jack departed for 10, leaving Dan and Khalil to push a few more runs in the final over: Whalers finishing on a precarious but battling 136/9, with Dan unbeaten on 12 and Khalil 1.
Gardeners’ response began with a solid-looking opening pair of Woodhouse and Phoplanker. The former looked to accumulate after a watchful start, while the latter soon decided to play some shots. However, any worries about finding an early wicket were alleviated in the 5th over, as the dangerous-looking Phoplanker was run out. Woodhouse edged the ball down into the gulley region, where Pip dived to stop and pick up the ball, and from a seated position threw down the off stump. Despite those few early big shots, openers Dan and Jack had started well, bowling with pace and strong accuracy. Number 3 Mortaza began to open up with some big shots that began to find the boundary, leaving a few Whalers anxiously worrying that they had made batting look much harder than it was. Nevertheless, Captain Dan rotated bowlers at a good pace and Geoff and Khalil replaced Dan and Jack, a move that brought instant reward, as Khalil’s nagging line and length induced Mortaza to miss a straight one for 15. At the other end, Geoff was extracting some bounce outside the off stump to keep gulley and 3rd Man busy, including one tough chance put down at fly-slip by Pip. Khalil soon had his second though, trapping Seaton plumb in front to put Gardeners on 43/3 after 13 overs.
Woodhouse had been stoical at the other end to accumulate 16, but his innings came to an end once3 Geoff had found his rhythm as he played forward and was given LBW. 56/4 and very much game on. The Whalers’ tales were up and Kamal came on, enabling Khalil to switch ends. The change almost resulted in a wicket straight away as an edge looped to Paul C at slip only for the chance to slip through his hands. However, Khalil kept up his superb spell of bowling this time from the Pavilion End, and in another brutally tight over hit the top of Hutchinson’s off stump to dismiss him for 3. Kamal was also bowling well and got his just deserts when Cunningham holed out to Dan at long off. Although Luke was unable to grasp a tough diving chance at square leg, in the very next over Geoff bowled Allen-Perry and Gardeners at this point were 72/7, with Whalers edging closer to victory.
Nevertheless, a battling partnership between Leahey and Struthers for a while threatened to swing the pendulum back slightly towards the visitors. They rotated the strike well and at one point took 9 from a Kamal over, extending the team score past the 100 mark.
With the run-rate ever increasing though and openers Dan and Jack returning to deliver the last 6 overs, the challenge ultimately proved too much and the last 3 wickets fell quite quickly. Jack bowled Leahey to break the 28-run partnership and 2 further run outs as the pressure mounted in the final overs, ended the contest, with Whalers running out winners by 23 runs.
This was a fine team performance in a low-scoring game against a side that bowled and batted in greater depth than other sides we face. Bowling and fielding, despite a couple of tough chances (and Paul’s slightly easier one) put down, were excellent, with special praise singled out for Khalil, who bowled superbly.
Muppet Moment: Paul C’s dropped catch
Champagne Moment: Pip’s direct hit run-out of the Gardeners’ opener
MoM: Khalil: excellent tight bowling, with 3/11 from 7 overs.