OMG I Can’t Believe it: Whalers Win Again

Believers CC vs Whalers CC; King George’s Playing Fields, Morden; Sunday 2nd September

And so a game which we thought was on Saturday and we had 5 players for remarkably turned into a gloriously sunny Sunday game with a full complement of 11. Featuring Whalers dayboos for Simon, Tilley and Rakesh, Dean took the captaincy reins on a pitch that looked hard and patchy and turned out to be very slow, promptly lost the toss and we were batting.

Dean and Al opened up, the early surprise of the day was the dismissal of Dean in the opening over bowled by Julian for just 2 playing the wrong line sending his season average plummeting to the mid-eighties. Newcomer Simon joined Al and decided to only score in 2s. The pair added 43 but just as we was looking settled Simon played on for 12 also off the bowling of Julian. There followed a mid-order collapse as Roland departed lbw for 1, the returning James Gould bowled for the same score and Tilley for a duck 61-5 in the 16th over wasn’t looking pretty.

Al was joined by Geoff who approached the situation as he knows best hoiking his first ball to midwicket for 4. There followed a strong passage of play for the Whalers as Al kept accumulating and Geoff counter-attacked unleashing such rarities as a sweep shot and a controlled drive. The pair put on 58 before the spin of Hale finally accounted for Al for 61. Geoff found a new ally in Josh and the scoring rate continued strongly before Geoff fell caught and bowled for a jug avoiding 46 off just 35 balls. Josh also added 35 at better than a run a ball and the tail duly wagged with Rakesh adding 12. When Amit was last out for 3 leaving Kamal stranded on 1 not out the Whalers had set Believers 187 to win off what turned out to be 44 overs. Julian was the pick of the Believers bowlers with a valiant 14-1-56-5

It looked a stiff ask, more so when Amit dismissed Hale for a duck with the worst ball of his opening over. The Whalers kept the pressure on with some excellent fielding and the next two wickets fell to Kamal both caught by Al at mid-off leaving Believers 30-3 in the 12th over. Thereafter the scoreboard symmetry continued as Rakesh picked up a couple of wickets both caught by Dean at short cover. With Dean shuffling the bowlers Geoff picked up a couple of wickets, and there was a debut wicket for Tilley caught reluctantly and silently by James. With Simon getting in the action with a catch off James’ bowling the game looked done at 84-9.

However the Believers American contingent had batted well and with Kyle looking especially strong with a keen eye for the ball and a baseball style the ball was despatched to all corners at one end. At the other end Dean bowled exclusively for 4 maidens to Believers skipper Matthew with half a dozen close catchers. With the overs remaining getting into single figures an unlikely draw suddenly looked possible but the Believers rhythm was finally broken by Geoff bowling Kyle for 55 and the Whalers had won by 76 runs. Geoff returned the best figures of 5.4-2-7-3, with Dean bowling a notable (and season average qualifying) 6-4-2-0

Overall a great team performance with contributions from everyone when required. Geoff’s match winning wicket won champagne moment. The other awards were keenly contested with Tilley’s casting vote crucial with Geoff’s all round performance edging Al out for MOM. Amit’s dancing around a ball leading to a 4 took home the muppet gong ahead of Dean, and James effortlessly earned fine of the day.

Whalers 186ao (36.4)

Believers 110ao (38.4)

The whole shebang wagon wheels and everything here: 20180902-The Believers CC-Whalers CC