Whalers lose to Cricketers by 3 wickets
The Whalers’ annual pilgrimage to Richmond Green didn’t start well, with news that for some unknown reason JT had decided that it was more important to go to his own engagement do rather than play cricket for the mighty Whale. One man down, with some of the team still stuck in “rugby traffic”, and with the pitch looking like a cross between a dustbowl and the park we played at in Brussels on Al’s stag, it was a good toss to lose. We won it, and were batting.
The Cricketers openers were very accurate and within a few overs both Pip and Al were back with the picnickers on the boundary. There then followed what Geoff Boycott would describe as “proper creeckit”, as Stu and Dario got to grips with a pitch where it would either keep low or pop up but whatever it did, it would do it very slowly. After 15 overs we had scored a massive 27 runs, and Dario still hadn’t got off the mark. But at least we hadn’t lost any more wickets, and gradually the scoring rate picked up. Stu top-scored with 33, Dario (slowly) and Ed (quickly) both got 21, and with everyone else chipping in and Nick top-edging one into his forehead, we eventually closed on 127 for 7.
In reply, the Cricketers openers were clearly more used to playing on this pitch and batted sensibly. Although Dan and Nick kept things tight, by halfway they were 63 for 0 and it had all gone a bit quiet. However, Rob Eberstein accounted for both openers and we were back in the game. A flurry of wickets followed for Kamal, Pip and Ed, who bowled excellently to finish with 3-21. With 12 runs still needed from the last 4 overs, another unlikely Whalers victory seemed possible. Sadly it was not to be, as the Cricketers number 9 knocked off the remaining runs, leaving the Whalers to reflect on what might have been had we scored another 10-20 runs or taken our catches – with at least four clear chances going down.
So for the second week in a row the Whalers narrowly failed to defend 127 despite a great bowling + fielding effort. Man of the match was Ed for his all-round contribution, champagne moment was a great diving catch from Roland, and muppet moment was Al’s dropped skier. Roll on the tour!
Whalers 127 for 7 from 35 overs (Stu 33)
Cricketers 128 for 7 from 33.4 overs (Ed 3-21)