Whalers beat Wenlock Arms by 15 runs in a close encounter to kick start the season in London’s East (the new home of cricket)
Author skipper N. Howes
In recent years there has been a push to play more Whalers games out east to benefit those who now call East London home. Some members of the East Whalers splinter lobby group enjoyed the opportunity for Hackneys Springfield Park to host the curtain raiser to the start of this years season…others bemoaned the distance travelled and interruptions from the Hackney Half marathon…but most were ready at 12.30 (the skipper arrive late due to a flat tyre) for the games start of 1pm.
On introduction to the skipper Jason and president Dave of the opposition, it was soon discovered that Wenlock Arms, like the Whalers, enjoyed a competitive yet friendly social game. The stage was set and the Whalers went out to bat fielding a 9 strong team. The skipper selected Dean and Al to open the batting and his wise choice was justified as both got our score off to a cracking start. Dean started his account with some fine cover drives as the runs smoothly flowed. The president after cautiously getting his eye also proceeded to play some nice shots. The left hand, right hand combination and decent calling between the wickets gave the Whalers a lot of confidence. Dean hit 3 huge sixes openly challenging Geoff to the now officially coveted “most sixes in the season competition” sure to be awarded at the seasons end. He tried one shot too many being caught for 76 in the deep…but set a standard of 50 minimum for debutants this season. Al scored 53 before being bowled by Sandeep. Pip and debutant Dennis continued the scoring where it left off. Both did not take long to get their eye in as the score rate ticked over. Pip tried an ambitious hook shot off a full toss, missed the ball slipped, pirouetted and was hit in the helmet as a result. This was not to be the only time that Pip stopped the momentum of the game, both whilst batting (hit in the head) and later on whilst bowling (hit in the shin). Despite delaysbut both played some nice shots, hitting a number of fours and the Whalers finished on 197 (Pip 29, Dennis 28 respectively).
Tea ensued…the clouds loomed ominously as Howes opened the bowling from tennis court end. Unbeknown to the Whalers the opposition had sent out their least experienced batsmen out first luring us into a false sense of security. The skipper took the first wicket bowling a nice length ball careening into middle stump. Lucas soon followed bowling the number 3. Howes took another wicket caught by Stu behind the stumps as Matt took 2 more wickets with some fine pace, line and length. He bowled the dangerous Seb for 30 who had taken a liking to a see ball hit ball approach. Luke replaced Matt and bowled 3 overs deceiving the opposition with his flighty balls. Kamal replaced Howes and bowled very economically as well as very deceptively. He managed to lure the opposition into some poor stroke play taking 3 wickets (bowled, LBW and a good catch by Pip). He finished on 5 overs, 1 maiden, 3 wickets for 17. Lucas finished on 3 for 26 off 7 and Aldred 0 for 23 off 3. We had a quick break before debutants Dean and Dennis chanced their arms. Both bowled well but the opposition had left their best til last. With the score at 69 for 8, Jason and Marlon from the opposition refused to allow a quick finish and dug their heels running well between the wickets as well playing nice shots. Dennis eventually bowled Jason but final bat Dave did a good job off refusing to allow the game to finish. Marlon was the real hero hitting numerous 4s and 6s off Howes in particluar, some shots damaging nearby parked cars, as the game looked to reach a huge upset. Al and Matt thought it would now be a good time to give advice on field placements and bowling techniques. However in over 33, Marlon attempted another shot off a Howes full toss and was miraculously caught by Lucas in the deep to win the game.
All ventured through Springfield park to have a beer the nearby Hope and Anchor on the canal. Can we say thank you to Dave, Jason, Marlon and the rest of the Wenlock Arms team for the great competitive start to the season.
Whalers CC 197-2 (35)
Wenlock Arms CC 182 all out (31.4)
Full scorecard courtesy of Wenlock Arms here: http://wenlockarms.play-cricket.com/website/results/3161637
Man of the match – Dean for his debutant 76
Champagne – Matts catch in the deep
Muppet – Pip English – breaking the momentum of the game whilst batting (hit in the head) and bowling (hit in the shin)