Beaconsfield 3rd XI won by 1 wicket
With Clippy having performed his usual fixtures heroics during the week after our planned opposition pulled out, the Whalers went down to a narrow one-wicket defeat to Beaconsfield 3s (or was it 4s – they couldn’t decide). It was actually the 2nd time in two seasons that Beaconsfield have helped us out at late notice, and with both matches being close and hard fought, this author certainly feels that they would be a welcome addition to the fixture list in a more permanent fashion.
Beaconsfield looked like a typical lower club team, with a mix of (very) young players and the odd seasoned vet. Batting first on a surprisingly pacey Pitch D at Chiswick, the Whalers’ openers failed to fire against the fast and accurate teenaged Beaconsfield bowling attack – Toby playing and missing at a number of deliveries before being bowled between his legs and Channa not reacting to a quicker ball. In fact, the top four batsmen were all bowled. Following classic examples from earlier in the season, the Whalers were now in trouble at 33 for 5. The fifth wicket fell to a catch by Toby (fielding for the opposition as a penance for his awful batting) of Ben. “Even I couldn’t have put that down”. However, Beaconsfield then showed how to put catches down (three dollies) – and the Whalers were obviously taking notes (see later).
Excellent batting first from Gilo (44) with some glorious driving, and then from Ed (run out after a classic “yes-no-sorry” episode for 45) and Pip (48) first spared us from embarrassment and then got us through to respectability and the 40th over as we eventually finished on 194 all out. Their opening bowlers finished with figures of 2/21 off 8 and 2/23 off 8.
With Beaconsfield only having 9 batsmen, we knew that this was very defendable, and an excellent spell from Gouldy (who finished with 1 for 28) kept things tight early on. Beaconsfield then started to accelerate, and it became clear that to win we would need to bowl them out. With their 16-year-old opener looking very assured at one end, wickets at the other end for Ed, Pip, and Dan (4 for 29) brought their last pair together with 30 runs still needed (with the opening bowler being the 9th batsman). We needed to take any chance off the opener, who was playing more and more risky shots – he was twice dropped on the boundary. However, it wasn’t to be, and fittingly their opener smacked the winning runs with 5 overs left to finish on 115 not out (we should stop playing teams with 16-year-old openers – that’s 2 centuries against us in consecutive weeks). The next highest score was extras with 28, and then their number 4 with 15. Ultimately we needed to score more than our standard 190-200 runs, and paid for an unusually sloppy performance in the field, with only one catch being taken, a couple of run-out chances going begging, and some fairly shoddy misfields and football fielding (ironically, our fielding for them was much better, with Toby catching Ben, and Dan nearly running Phil out).
Whalers 194 all out – Pip 48, Ed 45, Gilo 44
Elthorne 195-9 – Dan 4-29
Man of the match: Ed for 45 and 1/36
Champagne moment: Gouldy’s 1st Wicket – bowled
Muppet moment: Channa’s dropped catch