Whalers’ belief defies rain

Believers CC vs Whalers CC; Sunday 3rd September; Morden Playing Fields

It was a wet and windy day in South Morden and for once the Whalers had 11 men. The skippers had thankfully agreed to reduce the game to 30 each and first upto bat were the Believers.

Matt Lucas and Dan Osgood opened the bowling and were successful almost immediately when Dan rocked back the number 2 batsman’s off stump. Batsman 3 and the remaining opener and kept the scoreboard ticking, causing some initial concern, but the run rate was kept down with some sharp fielding. There was a sharp edge to slip, which was unfortunately put down; Matt unable to claim his early scalp.

Paul Clappison was the first change bowler and found some variation in the pitch. Unfortunately the batsmen started to express themselves with some good cutting and driving. Tariq Mohammed joined Paul from the other end and kept the batsmen guessing with his darting off-spin. Andrew Sheridan replaced Clappison and was successful in his first over when the number three bat skied one to Lucus who was lurking in the outfield. Drinks and at the halfway mark the Believers were on around 65 for 2 of 15 overs.

Back in to bat and a few overs later Sheridan was back in the action as he bowled the number four bat and next ball got the number five bat who dollied up to skipper Stuart in the covers. The hat-trick ball was a whizzer, and the batsman almost dragged the ball onto his stumps. In the chaos of the recovering the ball no one noticed that one of the bails was on the ground. A late appeal, which was ruled Not Out. It must have been the wind was the call. It was the right call said wicket keeper Roland, later.

By this point the Believers were struggling. Twenty overs or so had passed and they were still on around 85. The pitch was still variable, though for the most part it behaved itself.

Sheridan got straight back in the game a few overs later when the remaining opener (now on 58) fizzed a ball high to where second slip would have been. Al was standing at 1st slip and took a brilliant outstretched catch followed by a jubilant celebration ala Panesar. Next ball and Sheridan took another wicket, with another spooned ball to Lucas. Unfortunately his second potential hat trick was not meant to be. He ended his spell with 5 for 22 (of 6).

The Believers struggled to get going again. There was one more wicket to fall. Dan Osgood claiming his second, with another flying off-stump. The Believers saw off the remaining overs ending on 114.

A quick turn around and the Whale returned to bat. Opening batsmen Al Dickenson and Channa Karu were facing windy and drizzly conditions, against a determined oppo. The instructions were simple – we only need 4 per over.

Both batsmen had some early jitters, a caught behind appeal for Al and a potential LBW for Channa. The Believers got some early swing and some decent accurate bowling meant it was a slow start. After a few false starts the Whalers were away as Al and Channa started to rack up the runs. They went from 10 runs of 5 to 42 of 10 and then onto 71 of 15.

The long and wet outfield played a huge part in the game with expected boundaries being denied, causing both batsmen to run plenty of 3s. Exhausted Channa focused on rotating the strike while Al continued to hit the bad balls to the boundary. Al reached his 50 in fine style as the pair continued on to make a solid 100 run opening partnership. A few encouraging words from the president and Channa was back on the hunt for his fifty. There were plenty of cat calls from the wet and bored looking Whalers who had been sitting impatiently. Yes the running was lacklustre at times, but that was ok, the Whalers were dominating.

Unfortunately for Al he edged one towards the end of the game, which was sharply taken behind. Dickenson out for 59. Josh joined Channa at the crease, but with a mere 10 to win it was looking unlikely that Channa on 43 was going to get his 50…..which was the case, Channa finishing on 48* having batted for a total of 25 overs.

Whaler went home having won by an impressive 9 wickets.

Believers 114-8 (30)

Whalers 115-1 (25)

Man of the match was Andrew Sheridan for is 5fer
Champagne was Al Dickenson for his flying out stretched slip catch
Muppet was Paul Clappison / Dan Osgood missed runout opportunity. The non-striker was half way down the pitch before realising his partner wasn’t running. He turned to scrambled back the crease – we all thought he was gone. Paul, in the covers, had a mild panic, juggled the ball a few times, and despite having a fair amount of time managed to throw the ball the wrong way