Whalers CC lost by 8 wickets
The omens were good as the Whalers gathered at Chiswick at the weekend. The tour hangovers had worn off, it was the club President’s birthday, and we had a strong batting line-up including no less than five Whalers centurions. The good news continued as Dan won the toss and in conditions resembling a sauna in Galle we were batting first, in front of a large crowd. This had the added advantage of giving the more veteran members of the Whalers team a chance to swap nappy-changing techniques and for accountants’ corner to carry out an in-depth analysis of different business insolvency models, or something.
Unfortunately, the afternoon went rapidly downhill from there, as the KCCC openers proved to be fast and accurate, and we were 2 wickets down for no runs after the first over. Pip and Al consolidated, but the first runs off the (edge of the) bat didn’t arrive until the sixth over, and the KCCC change bowlers also turned out to be very good. Each time it looked like we might be about to throw off the shackles, we lost another wicket, with Pip falling for 14, Ben for 8 (including a glorious cover drive for four), and Ollie and Stu joining Oz and Andy Nelson in showing that, whatever else the 2001-era Whalers might now be too old for, you’re never too old to score a Whalers duck.
After 21 overs we had crawled to 47 for 6, and things were looking pretty desperate. However, Rob carried on his excellent form with the bat with a series of well-struck shots (including 4 fours in consecutive balls) and, once Al had gone for 21, he was joined by Matt in bringing some respectability to the score. Unfortunately, both of them fell (for 44 and 24 respectively) just as things were looking up, and when Dan and Ed Kay got into another Whalers run-out tangle, we were all out for a mere 142 – with almost 4 overs from the KCCC 5th/6th choice bowlers still unused.
To defend this, we would have to bowl well and take our chances. And Matt bowled superbly, taking two early wickets, and being denied a third in controversial circumstances when most people were convinced that the KCCC number 3 had gloved one to Ollie down thelegside. Unfortunately, this belief was not shared by either the batsman or the umpire, and with the Whalers managing to drop a few catches and both batters dispatching anything short or over-pitched (of which there was quite a lot) to the boundary, the darkening clouds overhead were reflecting our chances.
And so although the ground fielding was tidy and Ollie kept very well throughout, with lightning piercing the skies and north London experiencing a tropical monsoon, KCCC eventually ran out comfortable winners with 15 overs still to go. The only consolation was that this allowed more time to reflect on a below-par team performance, fine the skipper for his various strops, and continue Al’s Sambuca problem-drinking habit.
Whalers – 142 all out from 34.2 overs (Rob 44)
KCCC – 144 for 2 from 25.5 overs (Matt 2-9)
Champagne moment: Rob’s 4 fours in consecutive balls
Muppet moment: Dan’s water strop
Man of the match: Matt (honourable mention for Rob)