Gents of West London CC vs Whalers CC; Sunday 7th July 2019; Syon Lane
The Whalers took a variety of different routes to the leafy west London suburbs of Syon Lane for our first game against new opposition the Gents of West London. Some (i.e. Kamal) turned up early and in full Whalers kit, before hitting the bar for a sneaky pint. Others (i.e. Nick) turned up complaining about the distance between east and west London, and having got lost somewhere in Osterley Park on the way. Before also hitting the bar.
Once the changing rooms had been unlocked and the groundsman had finished rolling the square, things got underway. Despite the use of the heavy roller, the pitch was surprisingly two-paced with the occasional ball popping up all day. The Gents openers started quickly before Nick got them both, including a good catch from Whalers debutant Gaggan. But the Gents continued to roll along at 5-6 runs an over, with their number 5 looking especially dangerous until Kamal got him to lob up a simple catch. Amit also picked up a couple of wickets including a lovely ball which clipped the top of off, and Nick got his third and at 130-odd for 6 it could have gone either way.
However, their numbers 7 to 9 all batted very sensibly – number 9 top-scored with 40 – to push the score over 200 despite three wickets for Dan and one for Dheeraj in a good second spell. Despite the heat and the humidity the Whalers generally held up well in the field, with excellent work from Will and Gaggan in particular, and Kieran revealing his secret wicket-keeping past. Lowlights included a couple of dropped catches, and an all-run four when the fielders decided that the ball was clearly going to go over the boundary.
Tea was excellent despite the absence of the much-promised curry, with pasta and homemade cakes. Will and Gaggan then started well against tight bowling, until Gaggan got one which popped and then Will ran himself out for 32. Dillen and Kieran then kept things going, with Dillen hitting some fine fours in between a few dropped chances and Kieran displaying a range of legside flicks – his wagon wheel resembling more of a traffic cone.
At drinks we were a bit behind but with lots of wickets in hand, and were still in the game. However, a few tight overs saw the run-rate climb to 9 an over, and once Dillen and Kieran were out, the rest of the batting line-up were unable to get going on a difficult pitch or to deal with the offspin of Kota. A number of straight ones were missed, Viren and Nick were stumped, and Dan probably should have been (see muppet moment), as the Whalers quickly subsided to defeat – with Kota finishing with 5 wickets for 8 runs.
Overall a reasonable team performance against very friendly opposition, and we did well to stay in the game until the last few overs. Muppet was Dillen chatting to the square leg fielder while umpiring, Champagne moment was Kamal deceiving their best batsman, and Man of the Match was Kieran for his Whalers highest score.
Gents: 207 all out (Nick 3-37, Dan 3-38)
Whalers: 136 all out (Will 32, Kieran 31, Dillen 24)