Kings Road Cricket Club vs Whalers CC; Battersea Park; Sunday 23rd June 2019
All good things must come to an end. And the Whale’s winning streak (of two) did so rather abruptly on Sunday 23rd at the hands of Kings Road Cricket Club. The opposition chased down the target set by a plucky band of Whalers (and borrowed Whalers) in the 23rd over of their innings, taking advantage of the short boundaries, and some extra help from the bowling, to finish the day somewhat early. The resounding nature of the loss should not however take away from the monumental effort in succeeding to get 11 players together for the day.
As of Thursday, the Whalers available to play numbered 5. A scant selection perhaps but due to some determined hounding from Jack around his office (something along the lines of ‘so, have you heard of cricket?’, by close Friday availability stood at closer to 8 or 9, enough for a game. That determination was rewarded further still by the time of Sunday morning, as the opposition had delved into its reserves of interested players and conjured up a couple of players to donate to our cause. So it was that 11 players introduced themselves to each other in the Battersea Park pavilion, assumed undying devotion and loyalty to the Whale and headed out into the arena. Or at least they did once Kamal had torn himself away from watching another game in the park to deliver both himself and the kit bag.
Jack lost the toss and the opposition chose to make Whalers bat first. Pip and Dheeraj led their way to the middle and started steadily enough before the former was run out and the latter was bowled to make the score 29 for 2. This brought together Paris and Fraser, two players Kings Road had added to our ranks. Fraser announced his arrival by getting off the mark with a 6 viciously aimed at his teammates on the boundary which ricocheted off at least two surfaces on the pavilion. He saw a couple of partners come and go in quick succession until he himself departed for 22, bowled by the off-spinner. Russell and Dan evidently decided this was the a la mode form of dismissal, both promptly gifting golden ducks to the same bowler. At which point Whalers were 62 for 7 and starting to wonder if they would have time after the game to visit the fete that the dog’s home had put on nearby. However, this brought together Dillen and Jack for the 8th wicket partnership and they set about dragging the score into the realms of respectability. Dillen’s watchful innings combined with Jack’s shot-making (including his first career 6s) to make for a partnership of 82. By the end of the 35 overs Whalers had managed to post 144 for 7, with Dillen and Jack not out on 38 and 42 respectively.
After tea Russell and Jack opened the bowling, with Dan taking up gloves behind the stumps. Russell ‘opted’ to mix up some rank full tosses with occasional balls that hit the pitch. After taking some considerable tap, in his third over one of these rare pitched balls was given out lbw, though only the bowler and, thankfully, the umpire seemed to find it was so. A couple of balls later a clatter of stumps left no doubters as to the fall of the second wicket. Russell’s 2 for 35 off 4 set something of a precedent for their expense. Jack managed the remarkable feat of dropping himself 3 times off of his own bowling – off the same ball, before the change of bowling came in. Dheeraj started his spell with a Harmison-like javelin throw to 2nd slip but soon tightened up to deliver 1 for 7 off 4 overs, his wicket caught at long off. Sadly this proved to be the final wicket to fall. Whalers new boys Nick and Kinesh turned their arms over, mixing up some nice deliveries with some baseball throws through to the keeper. Nick managed to trap his finger between ball and knee in the field, following a terrific one handed stop, and in doing so split it wide open. He left the field in a shower of blood searching for a bandage. Dan and Jack had swapped keeping duties by now and as the opposition closed in on their target, one ball from Dan skidded through to Jack, whose foot changed the direction of the ball just enough to divert into the resting helmet behind him. 5 runs to other side and the day just about summed up. One more over and it was all over. The Kings Road top scorer was ‘extras’, with 42.
Champagne moment: Fraser’s off the mark with a life threatening 6
Muppet moment: Jack deflecting the ball into the helmet
Man of the match: Dillen for his 38 not out