Whalers CC vs Lambeth Lambs CC: Sunday 17th June; King’s House Sports Ground
Under greyish skies the Whalers gathered at Kings House to play the Lambeth Lambs, aiming to make it 4 wins on the bounce.
Captain Will, nursing quite a severe hangover, promptly lost the toss with the Lambs skipper (another Will) opting to bat first. News of an unfortunate last minute pull out for Khalil meant the Whalers were a man short heading out to field.
Dan and Russell took the new ball and immediately found some early movement, in part thanks to some favourable overhead conditions. Encouraged by a number of play and misses, Dan put Geoff in at first slip. Very next ball an edge flew in his direction, but unfortunately a tough chance was grassed.
Into the next over and Russell found the edge which again flew in Geoff’s direction, but again he couldn’t hold on and the ball trickled away in the direction of third man. Buoyed by two lucky escapes the batsman tried to push for an optimistic second but underestimated the arm of Dan whose throw left the opener Bali a yard short of his ground.
Russell and Dan continued to keep things tight but no more wickets were forthcoming, despite some more edges. Amit came on first change and immediately got into the wickets, beating Weatherald’s defensive push to castle the opener and removing opposing skipper Will via an inside edge which was fantastically caught by Dean behind the stumps.
Paul, making his season debut, started his spell into the wind and shortly enticed number 4 O’Halloran into a loose shot which was held at mid-on by Josh, reducing the Lambs to 41-4 off 13 overs.
The Lambs started to rebuild with number 5 Birrell-Gray in particular capitalising on anything short. But the chances kept coming, however the Whalers couldn’t take advantage putting down 3 or 4 tough chances (the ball seemed to follow Al around) and the other edges didn’t go to hand.
It took until the 20th over for Amit to pick up his 3rd wicket bowling number 6 Stone with another swinging delivery, to break an important 48-run partnership. The Whalers were in good spirits as they walked off for a well-deserved, and slightly delayed, drinks break.
Birrell-Gray was joined by Hegarty and the former put his foot down following the drinks interval striking some lusty blows, including a massive 6 off Paul. He went to a well-made 50 soon after.
In need of some inspiration, Will turned to Josh’s spin, which immediately paid dividends as he claimed the scalp of Birrell-Gray in his first over, well-caught by a redemption-seeking Geoff for 59.
Out walked May, who made his intentions clear by promptly dispatching Josh for 3 boundaries. Some more lusty blows followed, but Josh held his nerve and persuaded him to sky one to Dean at long-on, recently relieved of his wicketkeeping duties. The Lambs were 138-7.
Geoff came on to bowl at the tail and immediately got himself amongst the wickets, one well-caught by Al at point and another by Dean at long-off. He soon bowled No.11 Talbot to finish with a very impressive 3 wickets for only 4 runs off his 2 overs. The Lambs finishing 151 all out off 31 overs. A good display from all bowlers, but special mention to Dan for an outstanding, but ultimately unlucky, 7-3-12-0.
Al and Dean opened up for the Whalers and got into their stride despite some tight bowling from the Lamb’s openers. Dean was particularly severe on anything short getting some pull shots away to the boundary. Al was slightly more circumspect but got going with a few nice drives and helping the Whalers to rattle along to 56-0 off 10 overs.
Dean continued to attack, taking a particular liking to first change bowler O’Halloran, including a massive 6 over mid-wicket. Having raced to 49 he tried one pull too many and was caught by Birrell-Gray at deep-square leg off the spinner Moran, cue murmurs of jug avoidance.
With the score at 84-1, captain Will strolled out see his team home and fight back his worsening hangover. Sadly after a couple of nurdles, he was soon making the return trip having managed to drag a legside half-volley onto his stumps. 95-2.
The second wicket brought Channa to the crease, despite a strained hamstring obtained whilst fielding. Despite a tricky start to the season and not having not yet scored a run with his new bat, he managed to get a few singles and give valuable support to Al.
Al continued to regularly pick up boundaries, putting away any loose deliveries and milking singles off the better balls. He eventually brought up an excellent 50 with a 4 off Moran.
At other end Channa manfully stuck to his task, despite his limited mobility and started to find the boundary with some lusty blows. They started to build a good partnership and edged the Whalers closer to their target.
A flurry of boundaries from Channa saw the Whalers reach their target of 152 in the 27th over, completing a comfortable 8-wicket victory. Al finished with 65* and Channa a very useful 32*.
Overall another very good win and the Whalers march on!
Muppett: Al’s Matrix moment in the field
Champagne: Dean’s catch off an excellent swinging delivery from Amit.
MoM: Al for 65* and one good catch (despite 3 drops)