Whalers CC vs Gentlemen of West London CC; Sunday 4th July; King’s House Sports Ground
Following a strong-run of recent results, 10 Whalers gathered to take on the Gentlemen of West London at Kings House, with Roland due to make up the numbers upon his arrival at 2pm. More on that later.
Russell lost the toss and was put into bat on a tacky wicket with some suspiciously long grass in the outfield. Dean and Al opened the innings, although the latter was dismissed in only the second over, bowled for 4. Fraser joined Dean at the crease and began building a partnership, including some rarely seen boundaries – a consequence of a very sluggish outfield. Fraser was nicked off for 11, sparking a mini-collapse with Will, newly arrived Roland (retired hurt) and Geoff falling in quick succession to leave the Whalers 52-4 at drinks.
Roland was particularly unfortunate having retire hurt after very kindly stepping in to make up the numbers at the last minute. Sadly, the old ‘hold a cold beer against your knee’ treatment failed to spark a recovery and he hobbled off to A&E, donating some spare beers to grateful teammates before he left (these were later stolen by the Club Treasurer though). Get well soon Roly!
Back to the cricket. Dean was bowled almost straight after drinks for a battling 28. Suhaib and Vishal hung around for a while and nudged the Whalers towards something nearing respectability until Suhaib was bowled by a great delivery for 12.
Josh joined Vishal and combined good running with some calculated boshing to get the Whalers towards a prized 3 figure total. Josh departed for 13 just before the end of the innings leaving the skipper to finish things off with Vishal. By virtue of some quite entertaining running between the wickets, the Whalers finished their 35 overs on 101-8.
The Gents started cautiously and it became increasingly clear that, as the Whalers had shown, it wasn’t the easiest pitch to bat on. The first wicket did not arrive until the 9th over when Nick bowled the Gents’ opener for 12. Fellow opening bowler Vishal then got in on the act, continuing his fine all-round game, pinning the No.3 bat LBW for 0.
Skipper Russell then brought himself on and tore into the Gents middle-order taking 3 quick wickets to leave the Gents 50-5 in the 17th over. It was very nearly 50-6 but for an unfortunate dropped catch. Russell didn’t have to wait long, however, soon dismissing the Gents’ remaining opener for 19, caught by Vishal at square leg. Russell finished his 7-over spell with the outstanding figures of 4-18.
The Gents’ no’s 7 and 8 launched a fightback, coupling good running between the wickets with the odd boundary, taking advantage of some occasional loose bowling. The game began to ebb away from the Whalers. Step-forward Dean, who with only 2-runs needed, ripped out two of the Gents’ batters in consecutive balls to give the Whalers a fighting chance and leave the Gents 100-8.
Unfortunately, new bowler Josh was unable to prevent the Gents getting over the line in the 31st over, but his figures of 0.1-0-2-0 provided much laughter at the post-match fines meeting.
Thanks to the Gents for a great game.
Whalers CC 101-8 (35)
Gentlemen of West London 102-8 (30.1)
Man of the Match: Russell for his 4-18
Muppet: Dean for his dropped catch
Champagne: Dean’s two wickets in consecutive deliveries