Matt leads way in tense Barnes Common victory

Whalers vs Barnes Common

Barnes Common – 5th August 2013

Road closures, police cordens and huge crowds could mean only one thing, Whalers were playing at Barnes Common and Boris’s cycling legacy was causing a few logistical problems. The main one being that the tea ladies were stuck in Surrey and we had to bring our own !

As the Whalers arrived, the oppo trickled in and the 2pm start time had passed most Whalers had already scoffed their pies before Gilo and Pip had made it to the square to open the batting. Three balls later as Gilo returned having missed a full toss and JT finished his smoking warm up.  At 0-1 after 3 balls veteran and even new Whalers feared the worst. With good accurate bowling on a pitch offering bounce and the ball seaming around it could only go one way. Pip soon edged a good delivery behind and at 9-2 we had JT joining Channa in the middle. With a airshots to midwicket coming thick and fast JT finally managed to get off the mark with a 5, followed by another boundary, followed by another airshot and flattened stumps….19-3. Kev managed 5 of a partnership of 5 with Channa before edging another good ball behind sending Dan to the middle. Channa was starting to look good and hitting some attractive boundaries before another edge behind for 19 brought number 11 James Gould in at number 7. After a 4 which he claimed he did not hit (although was a blatant edge) he hit another one to the keeper which he claimed he did not hit (although was a blatant edge) and Whalers were 64-6.

Dan Osgood and Paul Mildon hoped to find a weak link in the Barnes common bowling but it was not coming and whilst runs started to come the introduction of a leg spinner bowling outside leg stump did not really play into ”late cut Mildons” strokeplay whilst Dan was unable dab the full length medium pace from the other end. Eventually Dan fell to a superb catch behind for 19 and 3 balls later Paul holed out to mid wicket in a volley of expletives for 18. At 99-8 and what was required was a skipper s inning from Matt which was exactly what we got. Some great strokeplay, strong running and a fantastic 6 supported by Khalil (16)in a partnership of 43 and Ben Blane in a partnership of 20 who ran very well for 0 not out without facing a ball finally saw Matt make 45 before being run out in the last over.  Whalers score – 164 all out.

As most had already had tea 2.5 hours earlier an intense warm up commenced until it got a bit hot and we sat in the shade. Khalil and Ben Blane got given the new ball and the simple instructions if you use the pitch something may happen. Khalil again bowled well with little luck but beating the bat regularly but Ben got the first wicket as the opener sliced a catch to point. This brought Barnes Common destructive number 3 to the crease. It did not take long before his eye was in and the ball started disappearing to the boundary. A change in bowler brought Paul Mildon to be dispatched immediately for four before dropped catches started to make us fear luck was not on our side. Fortunately Kev was in chirpy mood and after a run out request was turned down the banter started to flow. This distraction seemed to unnerve the batsmen who was bowled next ball by Matt with a great delivery hitting the top of off stump. With Matt also dismissing the opener just before drinks Whalers were back in the game. Paul who had been taken off 30 seconds before Matt got his wickets was allowed to carry on bowling and when Gilo came into the attack a couple more wickets fell. All that was needed now was cool heads which was summed up by JT when fielding the ball at square leg to be told “hold hold hold” decided to shy at the stumps and watch the ball fly to Khalil on the boundary who in anger flicked the ball up with one foot, controlled with the other and fired it back to Kev. As the run rate started to rise Barnes Common started to take more risks and Dan Osgood was brought on to bowl wides and “run out” deliveries. He delivered well on both fronts with 2 run outs coming from his 6 overs along with a LBW shout. In the final over with 11 required to win Matt picked up the final wicket to finish with 3-16 from 6 overs. Whalers won by 9 runs and Matt was rightly voted Man of the Match and Champagne moment.