Cricketers CC vs Whalers CC: Richmond Green; Saturday 19th May 2018
A glorious summers day and a distinct buzz across London could only mean another Whalers game (not some pommy bloke marrying a yank), this time against the Cricketers in front of a packed house at Richmond Green. The teams assembled surprisingly promptly and with the Whalers short a couple and Cricketers with a couple extra, the Whale welcomed Geoff (of Australia), Steve and Rich as honorary Whalers for the day. With Geoff, a bowler, needing to depart early and the Whalers short on bowling it was agreed by Nick (as skipper for the day) that the Whalers would bowl first.
The honour of the new ball was conferred upon Geoff and Jiff, with Geoff starting with great line and length for a maiden first up. He was rewarded in his second over clean bowling an opener for the first wicket. At the other end Jiff was struggling for control with his second over yielding a number of full tosses which were dispatch appropriately by the other opener Grace who was now getting his eye in and looking dangerous. At this point a conversation ensued between Nick and Jiff, the exact details of which will doubtless be debated for decades by Whaler historians, the result being that Jiff was out of the attack after 2 overs after struggling to control the new ball because “it was too shiny”.
Will replaced Jiff and the run rate was brought back under control but wickets were not coming, after Geoff finished his 7 overs (going for just 18 runs and the one wicket) the Cricketers had moved on to 64. Steve (also filling in for us from the Cricketers) got the breakthrough in the 15th over with the number 3 out caught for 34. Will having gone for a few in his last couple of overs, was replaced by Nick and with Steve copped some well hit shots from Grace and new man in Marsh. In the 19th over just before drinks, what was looking like a dangerous partnership was broken when Marsh was caught at long off by Dean for a quick fire 17 off the bowling of Steve for his second wicket. After drinks numbers 5 and 6 followed in quick succession out bowled and lbw respectively to Steve in a double wicket maiden. His next and final over brought his 5th wicket, with number 7, Stokes out for 8 after being well stumped by specialist wicket keeper Dave on his Whalers debut. Steve finished with 5-38 from his 7 overs.
Special replaced Steve and some uncharacteristic full tosses were dispatched brutally by Grace who brought up a very well made 100. Some late hitting of some wayward whalers bowling saw the Crickets pass 200 in the 32nd over. Jiff was brought back for one final crack and bowled Grace for 123 off his inside edge. An innings appreciated by both sides and a couple of the more observant spectators and the only wicket to fall to a regular Whaler for the innings. The Cricketers finished 7/221 off their 35.
A quick change over and it was Dean and Al who went out to face the Cricketers attack. It was Wiggles who started and with good line and length bowling scoring was difficult. At the other end Dani started with a number of long hops and full tosses which the Whaler batsman struggled to put away. Al was out in the second over for a duck after spooning a full toss back to Dani for the first wicket. Roland then joined Dean and a partnership began to form with both batsman getting a couple of shots away (a few byes and wides helped as well) before Dean slapped a long hop straight to square leg and he was out for 8 with the score on 22. Roland was out sooner after, caught behind for 6 and Dani had his 3rdwicket. Rich and Steve both of the Cricketers steadied the ship briefly but both were out in quick succession with Rich caught for 15 and Steve bowled for 2 and the Whalers were in trouble at 5/53 after 15 overs.
Will was joined in the middle by Jiff and with Will pushing singles and twos, it was Jiff who took up the attack plundering several 4s from wayward deliveries from the Cricketers change bowlers. Nick, who as next man in was telling the assembled crowed of his batting prowess after actually scoring runs last week, was soon put to the test after Will was caught for 14 ending a hopeful 44 run partnership for the 6th wicket. Perhaps predictably, Nick’s golf swing didn’t live up to the hype and he was well caught in the gully for a 2ndball duck. Enter Will’s mate Dave who made the trek from Wiltshire for the game. With Jiff still plundering 4s including some particularly nice straight hits which sent groups in the crowd scattering, Dave was able to sneak some quick singles and lofted a couple of 4s himself. Jiff brought up a well made 50 as the Whalers pushed towards 150. Dave was eventually out caught behind for 12 ending a very handy 40 run partnership with Jiff. Next in was a confident looking Special who’s forward defence was never in doubt. It was his 4 through cover though that particularly impressed the watching Whalers, even if it was the result of overthrows. With Special holding up an end, Jiff continued his plundering right to the end with a particularly impressive 6 over backward square leg in to a crowed of distracted female spectators. He made it to a very well-played 64 not out (50 of which came from boundaries), but the Whalers had left too much to do and the final score was 8/158 off our 35 overs.
The result then was victory to the Cricketers by 63 runs. A special thanks to the Cricketers for hosting in front of literally hundreds of people on Richmond Green and lending us Geoff, Rich and Steve, as well as to Will’s mate Dave for coming up to London from Wiltshire.
Cricketers 221-7 (35)
Whalers 158/8 (35)
Man of the Match – Jiff for his 64 Not Out (also his highest score)
Muppet Moment – Jiff for refusing to bowl after 2 over because the new ball was “too shiny”
Champagne Moment – Jiff for his 6 in to a crowd of people
Fine of the Day – Jiff