Whalers CC Vs Lambeth Sports and Social Club (T20)
Whalers 139/6 (20) lost to Lambeth 140/4 (18.1) by 6 wickets
King’s House Sat 29th July 2017
As an Australian captain in England it is easy to make a bad decision that will haunt you for the rest of your days (Edgbaston 2005), good ones will typically just be forgotten. It was therefore even more apposite that as captain for this clash Jiff suggested and arranged with the opposition that we would play a T20 before the predicted downpours arrived, have tea and if possible then play another.
The last 20 minutes of the first game was played in heavy rain that had the test players further down river at the Oval scampering for cover but Whalers are made of stern stuff (and used to getting wet) so we continued to a finish. It was obvious that it wouldn’t be possible to play after tea and we had done very well to get a game in at all. That said we did lose comfortably so perhaps a rain enforced draw would have been kinder to the season stats.
It had all started so well, under leaden but dry skies the initial Lambeth bowling was innocuous enough and helped by several wides the score moved along as Dean played himself in and Pip (29) watched from the other end. The scoring was not as fast as those observing from the side-lines would have recommended but as is so often the case it was when those advisors got to have a go themselves that the wheels fell off the innings. The opening pair put on 77 from the first half of the overs which was an excellent start, Dean hit some big 6s before he fell for 44 as better bowling came into the attack. Next in, Rich was down from Yorkshire but commitment exceeded achievement on this occasion as he fell for 1 (2017 season; 3 games, 2500 miles travelled, 1 run) bowled by a straight one. Josh was looking composed but left for 8 which brought Channa and Ed together who had some fun and hit some long balls all the while flirting with danger in front of the stumps (ask for middle, stand on an imaginary 6th off stump, start swinging as the bowler begins run up, copyright Karuneratna) . Channa hit a flat bat straight six but neither of them could make it past 13 runs. Then some solid blows from Mildon 8* and some very committed running from Terry 1* on debut brought the innings to a close with 139 on the board.
Defending 140 10 years ago in a T20 would have been considered very achievable but since most of us were at least 10 years older than the friendly Lambeth side we feared their modern approach might make it difficult though we were certainly in it. The rain had started gently by now and the wet ball didn’t help things. Paul M and Dan opened the bowling and in the spirit of fairness began returning all the wides we had been gifted. Dan got the first wicket as Terry took a catch he had a while to think about at mid on, the other opener was looking good though and Kamal came on to try to dislodge him. It was one of those rare occasions where The Colonel didn’t strike as he was taken for 28 from his 4 overs. In the end the Lambeth opener retired for 50 and that gave us an end to bowl at at least. Jiff picked up a wicket to finish with 1-31 and Rich took another for 1-11 from 2 overs including a 2 that became 6 thanks to overthrows. Dan came back into the attack and got another wicket 2-30 but we were never really in with much chance of forcing victory, the run rate was good enough that we would have had to bowl them out and hadn’t taken enough. Ed was brought on when all hope was gone and having cleverly thought they wouldn’t want to win it with a wide bowled a very “legside” line only for the second ball of his second over to be called and the match was over. Lambeth had won reasonably comfortably by 6 wickets with 10 balls to spare.
Despite the sting of the defeat no one was really too disappointed to be coming off the field as the rain was now falling heavily. We made the most of the extra time to buy a couple of jugs and some even carried on in Barnes into the evening. Ed made friends with the opposition and trying to prove he was still young enough to be one of them joined in with a boat race (won). Im sure we would have beaten them in the second match but the rain wasn’t going to allow that, we were lucky to have got a game in at all.
Man of the Match: Dean for his runs
Muppet moment: Whole team for conceeding 6 thanks to overthrows to a push through mid-on
Champagne Moment: Dan direct hit run out from deep square leg