Whalers CC won by 5 wickets
It was a beautiful day in West London as the Whalers 10 men welcomed Wall CC from Staffordshire who were down on a short tour. The opposition seemed in very good spirits (probably helped by some liveners on their journey down that morning) and after winning the toss decided to have a bat.
So with the welcome addition of an 11th player (Robert, helpfully supplied by the oppo) the Whalers took to the field looking to get some early wickets on what looked like a very good track and very fast outfield. Messers Lucas and Mildon took the new ball and although the bowling was very tight and the edge was passed on numerous occasions the breakthrough didn’t come until the 8th over when Milanovic took a smart catch at point as their number 2 batsmen looked to start to hit out. The next batsmen in Hatton and the other opener continued their steady progress and apart from the odd beamer from Si there wasn’t much else of note until drinks which found Wall at 76-1.
Not long after drinks the number 1 batsmen fell which bought about a change of attitude and the next four batsmen all looked to be more positive and the run rate soon started to increase. There were a few heavy hitting cameos (there were definitely a few sixes although these were inexcusably missed in the subsequent fines session) whilst Hatton also started to hit out and batted extremely well, eventually falling for 78 going for a suicidal run-out to try and keep the strike. Batsmen 4,5,6 all perished in very similar circumstances all going for big hits and all skying directly to captain for the day Al. All 3 were well held and with some tight bowling at the end Wall were restricted to 216-7 off their 40 overs. Taking into account the wicket and outfield certainly a gettable target.
It fell to VDP and the inform Hamner to start the Whalers run chase. VDP fell early for 4 to a very good ball whilst Ads raced to 16 (mostly off the edge) before being run out (and subsequent strop). When James fell for 4 the Whalers were 46-3 and the target of 217 looked along way off. Cue a 125 run partnership between Stu (86) and Al (45) which included some excellent stroke play and hard running (even if there were at least 2 instances where all run fives were declined) and the Whalers seemed to be cruising to victory. This was until the 34th over when Stu was run out and two balls later Al fell to a good catch. This bought Pip and Si to the crease needing 46 off 5 ½ overs and after some tight bowling this soon became 40 needed off 4 and what seemed a comfortable victory a couple of overs a go now seemed like a very difficult task with two new batsmen at the crease. Cue a quick pep talk from captain Al and suddenly the willow started swinging and the ball disappeared to all parts. Pip added boundaries with some hoicks to mid-wicket and Si hit a peach of a straight six to leave the whalers needing 3 runs off the last over to win. The first two deliveries both past Si’s bat as nerves were starting to become frayed, however these were dispelled immediately as Si hit his second six over cow corner to give Whalers victory with 3 balls to spare.
This was an incredibly enjoyable game to play in and talks of a re-match at some point next summer were already being made in the bar after the game. The Whalers winning run continues, lets hope for more of the same against old foes Elthorne next week.
Wall CC : 216 – 7 (40 overs)
Whalers CC : 220 – 5 (39.3 overs)
Man of the match: Stu
Champagne moment: Si for his 6 over the bowlers head (the best shot he has ever hit).
Muppet moment: Kamal comedy fielding leading to the ball being kicked over the boundary.