Whalers Vs. Clapham In; King’s House Sports Ground; Saturday 13th May 2017
Clapham In – 142-5 (35 overs); Whalers 144-6 (30 overs)
It was a cloudy, threatening day that greeted the Whalers at KHS (although this week we were, apparently, Acton CC according to the board) and we turned out for the first time this year with 11 players. Nick graciously decided to play for us this week and it was a good thing too.
After Stu, debuting as captain after 16 years playing for the club, won the toss and decided to bowl, Nick and Pete opened the bowling with some tight, probing stuff. The opening batsmen (including one Rob Eberstein) got few chances to score and after a few overs, Pete struck getting their captain caught behind for 9. Eberstein, having been given one life by Stu, followed shortly after, bowled by Pete who then promptly got a third. Pete ended up bowling straight through for impressive figures of 7-3-20-3.
At the other end, Special came on and first ball got a wicket. At this stage the oppo were in real trouble but a decent 5th wicket partnership that survived several chances through, over, round and under the slips and keeper off Special went on to take the score over 100. Dan and Will both came into the attack and bowled well but with no luck. Will did however produce the oddest ball of the day – bouncing 4 times and so wide that the umpire could not decide whether to give it as a no ball or a wide! The batsman didn’t seem to care – he had a go and missed (somewhat inevitably!)
After this Nick came back into the attack and bowled some perfect final overs, taking a wicket to break the partnership in the process and finishing with excellent figures of 7-2-13-1. After 35 overs, Clapham In had reached a battling 142 for 5.
After tea, Al and Dean opened up and started the innings in a similar way to how they had done versus Wenlock Arms. Dean played some sumptuous straight drives with the opposition (and his own team) suggesting he might be too good for us! His unfussy and balanced batting led him to score an excellent 60 in only his second game for the Whalers, after scoring 76 two weeks before on debut. Al batted well in support but was the first to fall for 24 with the score on 83 after 14 overs. Pip then continued the supporting role and he and Dean added another 39 runs before Dean was caught. Then came the inevitable ‘Whalers’ Wobble’. Pip was out for 20, then Josh, Sandy and Stu followed in relatively quick succession until the final runs were flicked through square leg by Will. So from 122 for 1 we ended winning by 4 wickets, losing 5 for just 16 runs in the process.
Overall a good win to avenge last season’s tight loss, with some really excellent bowling being backed up by some genuine top-order flair and typical middle-order mediocrity. Man of the Match went to Pete for his heroic bowling, Muppet to Will for ‘that delivery’ and Champagne moment could have gone to any one of the half dozen textbook drives past the bowler exhibited by Dean.