Whalers overcome Clapham in T20 Blast

Whalers CC vs Clapham Inn CC; Friday 22nd June 2018; Regent’s Park
On a balmy Friday evening the Whalers gathered in Regent’s Park for their one and only T20 fixture of the season versus Clapham Inn. 
Captain Will, evoking memories of the Corfu tour, tossed up using a Euro and chose to bat first on a very dry looking pitch. In line with Clapham skipper Joel’s request, it was agreed that every outfielder must bowl 2 overs and batsman to retire at 25, but with the option to return later in the innings. 
Sensing the need to get early runs on the board, the Whalers’ kiwi contingent (Geoff and Andrew) were sent out to open the innings. The Whalers soon discovered that timing a ball on the pitch was quite a bit harder than anticipated but Geoff managed to get a few edges away to the boundary. Soon after Andrew was bowled by Boyle for 5 in the 3rd over.
Will joined Geoff and watched from the other end as the latter hit Taylor for a couple of big hits to the cover boundary. Geoff soon reached his 25 and duly retired to take up important umpiring duties. 
Matt came out and 4 and started to pick up singles with some sharp running between the wickets. Then Will, clearly having watched too much franchise T20, attempted to walk down the pitch, instead missing the ball and being stumped by the gleeful Shinner behind the stumps. 
Al and Matt then set about building a partnership, picking up singles and punishing anything loose. Continuing his good form from the previous Sunday, Al started to find the boundary with regularity. Matt soon retired for a well-made 25, bringing Dan to the crease, and Al followed him to the milestone shortly after. With 16 overs gone, the Whalers were looking strong. 
Step forward 8th change bowler Shady, who dispatched of Josh for 2 with the first ball and knocked over Russell for a golden duck the next. Jack and Dan saw out the rest of over, but Clapham were not done yet. Left-armer Langham removed Jack with an excellent caught and bowled and then Dan, trying to up the run rate, ran out the unfortunate Amit for the second time this season. 
Geoff returned to fray but failed to repeat his earlier heroics, getting cleaned up by Shady second ball. Matt managed to rotate the strike but could only watch as Dan was bowled by another cracking delivery next ball. Al survived the last two balls, and with Matt, picked up some crucial late runs from Langham’s final over. The Whalers finished on 156 after their 20 overs, Al finishing 31* and Matt 29*. Honourable mention should go to Extras who made a significant contribution to the final total. 
With a decent total behind them, the Whalers went out to field with some confidence. 
Dan and Jack opened proceedings, keeping the scoring tight and pressurising hte openers. In his second over Jack dismissed Shinner for 2, well caught by Matt at mid-on. 
Clapham skipper Joel played some nice shots off Russell’s first over, in an attempt to get his team back up with the required run rate. He was soon bowled however; Amit striking in his first over. That brought Taylor to the crease who immediately found the boundary, being particularly severe on anything short. Russell’s second over was a flurry of boundaries and the Whalers were left scratching their heads.
Step forward Josh and Matt, the latter displaying his new shortened run up. Matt dismissed No.3 Frecknell in his first over, excellently caught by Russell, and Josh removed No.5 Langham for 0 in the final over of his spell. Both also managed to pin down the free-scoring Taylor with very tight lines and lengths. The Whalers were now well on top. 
In line with the pre-agreed rules, the lesser sighted bowlers began to appear. In preparation for Captains v Presidents, Al started to trundle in from the bottom end but was deposited for a 4 and a big 6 by the dangerous-looking Robbins, following Taylor’s retirement for a well-made 25. 
Will yorked Robbins in his next over and then removed Wilkes 3rd ball. Not to be left out, Al then claimed his first scalp of the season removing Ashelby LBW for 1. Geoff and Andrew rounded off proceedings, with both claiming a wicket each from the Clapham tail. Taylor returned, but it was far too late for him to effect proceedings and Clapham finished their 20 overs with 105 on the board. 
So a 51-run win for the Whalers, and another commanding performance. All eyes look ahead to Captains vs Presidents on the 30th and continuing the success into the second half of the season.
Whalers CC 156-8 (20)
Clapham Inn 105-9 (20)
Muppet moment: Dan running out Amit (again)
Champagne moment: Russell’s excellent catch on the boundary
Man of the match: Matt for his 29* and 2-0-7-1