9.5 Man Whalers Overcome Kiwi Fudge

Cairns Fudge CC vs Whalers CC; Sunday 25th June 2017; Battersea Park

Eight Whalers were joined by Thomas from Chelsea Arts Club in Battersea Park to face Cairns Fudge, who scored an early low-blow by turning up in All Blacks shirts. Both teams were expecting another team member to turn up around 3pm, so a 30-over game was agreed and the Whalers decided to have a bat.

Dean and Al headed out and saw off the first few overs with minimal fuss, despite a pitch that gave plenty of surprises. The uneven but fast outfield meant boundaries were fairly easy to come by, and both were able to take advantage of some hit-and-miss bowling. Dean was bowled uncharacteristically early by Zac for 15, bringing in Roland who quickly calmed any nerves with a trio of boundaries through the off side to keep the score ticking along. A bowling change seemed to have been navigated until Al was bowled by a loopy full toss from Andrew, leading to some silent chuntering as he headed off the field. Dennis settled in well with some elegant drives and cuts, and the Whalers were making the most of the fast outfield with plenty of gaps. Roland was well into his stride by this point, and he managed to keep Kamal (who was fielding for Cairns Fudge) on his toes with a few cuts backward of square.

Dennis eventually fell to one of several LBW appeals from the threatening Kartik for 18, but the Whalers continued their march towards what looked like a defendable total as Matt joined Roland for some powerful hitting and plenty of running. After Roland had brought up his maiden Whalers fifty with another drive down the ground, there were only a few overs remaining. Unfortunately he couldn’t see them out, as a mix up with Matt led to Roland being run out for an excellent 65. Jiff tried to take the attack to the bowlers, skipping down the wicket to his first ball. A few balls later he was given out, either bowled, stumped, or caught – to be honest no one is really sure. The scorebook says bowled, but the batsman says otherwise. Matt missed one to bring in Thomas and Jack (eventually, after he managed to get pads on only once Matt was halfway back to the boundary) who had a swipe or two and brought the Whalers to a close on 185.

After tea the Whalers headed out to bowl, knowing it would be a tiring day if batsmen got in. Jack opened the bowling and found some movement before trapping Jim LBW in the first over, and Jiff kept things tight from the other end. After the first six overs Cairns Fudge had struggled to make too many inroads and the Whalers were feeling confident. An excellent bowling change to bring on Thomas and Kamal resulted in a wicket for Kamal, but by this point Andrew was beginning to settle and Drew looked like he was keen for some runs. Some big hits from both batsmen plus several misfields from the Whalers brought their score up to the required rate, and CK from Salix (who had turned up in time to help us field) wasn’t quite able to hold onto a difficult chance and had to go off the field with his finger looking slightly worse for wear. After hitting Kamal for a six, Andrew missed a straight one and the Whalers breathed a slight sigh of relief, especially when a couple overs later Drew hit a ball straight to Jack at long on.

Another excellent bowling change brought a wicket straight away – Dennis produced a fairly rank leg-side long hop as a loosener, which was flicked by Marcos straight to Dean behind the stumps, and the Whalers sniffed a chance. Some good pressure bowling from Dennis and Thomas produced another couple of wickets – Dennis bowling their number 7 and Thomas taking no prisoners with a run out after a mix up from the batsmen. Zac and Kartik found themselves at the crease with 6 overs to go and about 60 runs needed, but some powerful and well placed hitting brought the rate down to around 8 an over – achievable with the field spread. Some tight bowling upped the required rate a bit, but some looser bowling (including an unintentional bouncer) from Jiff gave Cairns Fudge a chance, needing 16 off the last two overs. Jack bowled Zac for 33 with the first ball of the penultimate over, and a few scampered singles left Cairns Fudge needing 11 off the final over. Jiff kept things much tighter this time around, bowling their last batsman with three balls to spare, and handing the Whalers a win by 8 runs.

All round a very good, close game, with both sides having opportunities to win throughout the game. Man of the match went to Roland for his excellent maiden-Whalers fifty, Jack’s catch at long on won Champagne moment, with Matt taking muppet moment for kicking the ball over the boundary.

Whalers CC 185-6 (30)

Cairns Fudge CC 177ao (29.3)