Tom Shepherds Whalers to Victory

Whalers CC vs Lambeth Lambs CC; King’s House Sports Ground; Sunday 21st July
Buoyed by England’s success the weekend before, the Whalers eventually assembled at King’s House for a game against the Lambeth Lambs. The six regular Whalers were joined by a few new faces to make a strong side that were confident of a good game, mainly because Dean was hungry for yet more runs.
Jack lost the toss (again) and the Whalers were set the task of bowling first on a pitch with one incredibly short boundary, and one monstrously long one. Jack and Dan started things off, keeping it relatively tight against the Lambs’ opening pair, with a few wides thrown in for good measure. Once Martin had joined us (citing a lack of trains) and slotted into slip, he was given an early opportunity to show the Whalers how to catch, but instead seemed to fit in with our abilities all too well. Russell soon took over from Jack, and the Lambs’ opening bat seemed to take a fancy to his offerings, targeting the short leg side boundary and helping himself to as many runs as he could. New recruit Felix took over from Dan and, having found his rhythm, was soon firing down some testing deliveries. Eventually the reward came as Felix made two breakthroughs to remove the Lambs openers who were getting into their stride. 
The Whale continued to keep the pressure on as we headed to drinks, keeping Lambeth to a manageable 88-2 at drinks. Another change in the bowling brought Aseeem and Tom (another newbie) into the attack. While Aseem bamboozled the batsmen from both sides of the wicket, Tom peppered them with a few short balls, before discovering that pitching it up was more rewarding and he claimed a couple of wickets to keep Lambeth in check. While Aseem kept it tight from the other end, Harry (newbie number 3) chipped in with some testing deliveries from the other end and struck to give Dan a catch at point, and the Whalers could sense a chance to finish things off. Dan and Russell returned at the end, the former picking up one wicket, and the latter seeking revenge for his torrid time earlier in the innings. By this stage, the Lambeth batting abilities were starting to dwindle, and Russell was relentless in his accuracy, picking up four quick wickets and ending the Lambs’ innings on 204.
After tea, it was the usual affair – watch Dean pad up, and try to figure out who was going to open with him. Martin was volunteered to go out and show us how to bat, and for the first few innings he and Dean did just that, playing a watchful innings and picking off the poor bowling. The Lambs’ preference for Last Man Stands showcased itself when the bowlers were asked to bowl more than two overs in a spell, but that soon brought on their key left-hander Ari. He set about moving the ball a dangerous amount, and lured Jack into questionably giving Martin out LBW for 17. In strode Roland, keen to seize the chance for some runs. That chance didn’t last too long as he was pinned plumb LBW for a duck. Amit, beginning the process of remodelling himself as a batsman and promoted to number 4, was next up. Similarly to Roland, his chance to make a dent in the total didn’t last too long as he played down the wrong line and was bowled for 1.
Dean was still at the other end, peppering the boundaries and hoping there were enough batsmen to keep him in the game. Luckily, only one more was needed, and Tom came in to steady the ship. He and Dean set about rebuilding, and soon were well and truly on top of the Lambs bowling attack, punishing anything short and keeping the strike rotating nicely. As Dean soon raced past 50 and neared yet another century, Tom was also building a nice score and soon got himself on the honours board with a maiden half century for the Whale. Once Dean had hit three figures, it was only a matter of time before the total was chased down, the Whalers reaching 205-3 off 30 overs.
Man of the match went to Tom for his excellent all round bowling and batting display (61* and 2-22). Champagne moment was picked up by Felix for knocking back the top of off stump, and Tom completed a day by taking muppet moment for kicking the ball over the boundary for four.
All in all, a good team performance for the Whale.