Quokkas XI vs Whalers CC XI – Sunday 28th April 2013 – Regents Park
Whalers 237-8 beat Quokkas 136 a/o by 101 runs.
The Whalers met outside the café in the centre of Regents Park for the second match of the season, and the second on an artificial wicket. The area was a hive of cricketing activity, with kids everywhere, nets (absolutely crammed) and matches with coloured kits going on all around us. Most of the Whalers were there, and most of the Quokkas – just a couple of important people missing: the Skippers. To be fair, Dan O was only a few minutes late, unlike the Quokkas skipper who was significantly late, then disappeared again to get their kitbag and teas (more on this later).
We made good use of his absence with a wide range of fielding drills, which were immediately put to good use, as when the toss finally took place, Quokkas won and inserted us.
So the opening pair of Pete and Channa strode out to the middle, and one ball later Channa was striding back. Apparently they’d changed their minds halfway out as to who was going to face the first ball, and this had confused Channa enough that he checked his drive and gave a well taken catch to mid-off. Diamond Duck.
Pip joined Pete at the wicket and they played out the first few overs, seeing off the opening bowler, Alex, and scoring a bit more freely off Evil Dave. Pip went caught behind off Alex, getting a thin edge to an attempted cut. This brought JT to the wicket, who had a few wafts before falling for a duck after 10 balls. The Whalers were 26 for three and only 5 and a half overs gone. Quokkas thought that they were going to see us off quickly.
Toby joined Pete, and they continued to see off Alex and started hitting out at Evil Dave and his replacement. KC. The first ball of KC’s second over (and of the new umpiring pairing of Pip and Channa’s stint) saw a moment of controversy: a high full toss took the shoulder of Pete’s bat, hit his elbow and looped to slip. Pete assumed no ball, but Pip said it was a fair ball (and in the opinion of this correspondent, I agree), but had to ask Pete whether he had hit it! Pete left the pitch, and as the Quokkas gathered, there were murmurings of calling him back, but the decision stood. (Editor’s note – see Quokkas report: http://quokkascc.com/) Next ball was a wicket as Paul L was comprehensively bowled. Rob E survived the hatrick ball (and we ‘stole’ a couple of cheeky runs). But we were on a typical Whalers score of 55-5.
However, there were plenty of overs left and we had reckoned before the match that a par score would have been 180. Rob and Toby took things slowly, with only a few plays and misses – hitting the bad balls, mainly to the very short boundary. They slowly took the score to 96 off 20 overs. Acceleration was needed and it came when Quokkas’s 5th bowler joined the fray in the 22nd over. 6,4,6 set the tone as Toby started to hit out, mainly in an agricultural style, with some nice straight drives thrown in for good measure. Rob E departed to be replaced by Khalil, but the Whalers were putting together good partnerships. Toby fell for 71, picking out Cow Corner off the first ball from Egg.
In the closing overs, Quokkas surprisingly didn’t bring back their opening bowler, Alex, and a range of late, later and lastest cuts from Dan O and Rob L, along with some outrageous walking around his crease from Rob L, saw the Whalers to a fantastic score of 237.
Tea was brilliant – simple. Homemade sandwiches, pies, quiches, a choice of three different cakes, a choice of drinks. Just brilliant. And they had brought some beers for afterwards too! They have really set the bar high, not just for the rest of the season, but for the rest of time. Captains/Presidents tea has something to live up to!
Now was the time to put all that fielding practice into action. Khalil and Rob E opened the bowling. Khalil was quick and probing outside off, beating the bat on several occasions. Rob was as beguiling as ever, frustrating the Quokkas openers with his unplayable length. We hadn’t taken a wicket, but were tight in bowling, and supported really well in the field. The first wicket was a well deserved LBW for Khalil, quickly followed by a run out due to some great reactions from Pip, and some pretty comical running from Quokkas, as both players ended up at the striker’s end. Following a quick discussion, the Quokkas no. 2, Snoop, trudged back.
Quokkas were now 34 for 2 after 11 overs. The next four wickets fell in relatively quick succession. Pete took an absolute cracker at slip off Kamal which earned champagne moment, then Toby caught the dangerous Skip off a corker of a ball from Rob L. Channa made up for his batting with a fantastic catch in the deep, and Toby got a stumping off Paul, who was in turns bamboozling and very hittable.
At 67 for 6, we still had to work hard to take the last few wickets, with the Quokkas number 5 holding up one end and eventually scoring 54 not out. Pip took another good catch (this time off JT), and Dan and Khalil cleared up the tail with three bowled.
This was a disciplined performance which showed the value in keeping your head when batting, even when wickets are falling, and putting pressure on whilst fielding, even when wickets are not falling. A really good win, with the whole team having an input.
There was just time for some beer provided by Quokkas, and a quick fines session out of the wind, before Pip took us completely the wrong way to Baker Street despite claiming that he used to play here regularly.
Rob L 37*
(both Whalers highest scores)
Khalil 3-18 off 5.3
Kamal 2-25 off 5
Rob L 1-8 off 4
MOM: Toby, (71, no byes, 1 catch, 1 stumping and part in run out) honourable mention for Rob L.(37*, 1-8 off 4)
Muppet: Channa – Diamond Duck