Elthorne CC vs Whalers CC; Saturday 7 September 2013; North Acton Playing Fields
Whalers won by 7 wickets
The Whalers convened at North Acton Playing Fields and there were instant mutterings about the state of the pitch. This was relegated in the list of priorities however when it emerged that the opposition Elthorne had forgotten to bring any stumps. The start of the match was delayed by 45 minutes while this was rectified and in that time Matt won the toss and chose to try and make first use of the unpredictable looking pitch.
Nick and Khalil opened the bowling and both were accurate without getting a break through. Matt and debutant Ashish then took over and Matt soon had both openers back in the hutch. Ashish was unlucky as he twice found the edge only for the ball to evade Pete in the slips. At drinks Elthorne were 42-2 and shortly after Matt took his third wicket with a scuttle trapping the skipper in front of middle stump. Elthorne’s number three batsmen Shubbs was providing some resistance and hit some nice lofted drives however wickets continued to fall at the other end with fellow debutant Amyn taking 2 wickets, both bowled.
With Matt bowled through Tom Bateman was chosen to turn his arm over and in his third over took the vital wicket of Shubbs for 36. Elthorne were now trying to accelerate and did get a few boundaries through along with some scramble singles. Khalil and Nick were bought back in to the attack for the final 4 overs and Elthorne tried one quick single too many and Khalil threw down the stumps in his follow through. Nick took a wicket in his last over for Elthorne to finish on 128-8 from their 35 overs. The pitch did offer some assistance, although not as much as initially thought so it was a good all round effort from the bowlers (if only Pete could catch in the slips the same could be said of the fielders).
Matt Kelly was selected to open the batting after positive analysis of his debut the previous weekend and along with Pete got us off to an excellent start, passing 50 without loss in the 11th over. Both batsmen punished anything loose and coped well with the inconsistent bounce. Pete, perhaps realising he was losing his tag of dashing opening batsmen with a boycott style innings tried to force a straight one away and was adjudged lbw (cue massive strop). This bought Pip to the crease, however he didn’t last long before being caught off a top edge. In form Toby then joined Matt K who had now past his 50 and was playing some excellent shots including a big 6 over mid-wicket. The score was now racing along with Toby scoring solely through the square leg region however one big shot too many from Matt had him caught for 81 with 4 runs needed. Toby then hit the winning runs (through square leg of course) and the Whalers had won be 7 wickets with 10 overs to spare.
With the bowlers taking wickets and the batsmen scoring runs it was almost like a proper cricket performance (bar the obligatory drop catches). With most people having to rush off it was down to Matt, Pete and Nick to dish out the fines (£5 to everyone who wasn’t there) and decide on the formalities.
Elthorne 128-8 35 Overs Matt Lucas 3-19
Whalers 130-3 25 Overs Matt Kelly 81
M-O-M – Matt Kelly
Muppet – Nick H – Comedy fielding, attempted lunge/dive feet first resulting in getting no where near the ball
Champagne – Tom Batemen – Beating the opposition’s best batsmen with nice flight to knock out his off-stump