Whalers CC won by 13 runs
Morden Corinthians are the Whalers’ bogey team. 10 times we’ve played them, 10 defeats and barely a sniff of success. Even captain Dan had the fear and had successfully avoided captaining against them in either game in 2008. Still… it was a sunny day in Teddington, Dan was in charge, and there was belief that anything could happen.
After an initial faff about which wicket was ours to play on, the opening pair of Al and Pip stepped up to face the daunting Morden bowling attack. The opening bowler (nicknamed “Mr Angry” by his team mates) had a particularly impressive opening spell of bowling, darting the ball into the righthanders and moving it away off the seam repeatedly and were it not for some strong batting by Al and Pip, and a couple of more tough catches dropped, the Whalers tail could have been in action early. As it was the batsmen prevailed well, and despite a hissy fit over the LBW rule, Mr Angry ended up wicketless.
With the opening bowlers out of the way, Al and Pip looked to score runs and the Whalers reached 52 for 0, including a cracking off drive from Pip. Sadly, this resulted in some misguided confidence, and the very next ball Pip skied one to mid-off. 3 balls later, Si was struck on the pad and the dreaded umpire’s finger was raised. With the Whalers back under pressure, Khalil came to the crease. Fortunately as it turned out, he had only attack on the mind, scoring 28 of the next 32 runs. Morden had done their research though, and some slow straight bowling proved too much for the Khalilwho advanced up the pitch, swung the bat, and envisioned the ball sailing over the boundary for 6… The reality… he was stumped!
The great start was at risk. But, one of the truly great partnerships was about to unfold. Al, began to attack the bowlers and was soon lofting his bat on reaching 50. Debutant Rob then took the lead playing aggressively, including one stunning flick over long-off for 6. Still, at 120 for 3 off 29 overs, runs were needed if we were going to put up a fight. Something clicked, and both batsmen started launching it. Morden heads were beginning to drop. Rob passed 50, and the score passed 200. Excitement grew even further as Al reached the 90s. However, the heat was taking it’s toll and Al was left begging for water (resulting in a water faff eventually earning muppet moment for French Will). All reached 99 in the 39th over, but lost the strike. Neither batsman knew he was so close to the landmark, however, and Rob held the strike for first three balls of the final over. Just as there were no Whalers’ finger nails left to bite, Al took the strike and hammered the next ball high into the air… to safety. Deafening roars from the sidelines and Al’s bat was raised aloft. Sadly too early as he was run out by miles going for his second. Still Al’s first century for the Whalers in his 108th game was a fantastic effort and easily earned the man of the match award. Rob finished on 70 not out as Whalers reached 242 for 4. A superb effort against a tough bowling attack.
A supremely confident Whalers team now needed to bowl and field well if we were going to make the most of the opportunity the batsmen had created. Dan and James (back from a pre-season in Hong Kong) took the new ball. Dan got the early break-through leaving only the opening batsman’s leg stump standing. Celebrations were high, but the next hour was Morden’s. The two batsmen scored freely off James, Will and Kamal, not helped by a couple of dropped catches, and the runs on the board began to look less convincing. However, Kamal got the magic breakthrough, with a Morden first teamer lobbing up a catch to James. A couple of overs later, and James ran out the other opener. At drinks the game was in the balance…
The Whalers needed to apply the pressure, and Kamal (5 overs, 1 wicket for 30), Khalil (5 overs for 13) and Adam (8 overs, 1 wicket for 36) did exactly that. The run rate began to increase and more and more errors slowed Morden’s progress. After beating the bat repeatedly and causing long head-aches for the batsmen, Adam took a great caught & bowled. Si then took the 6th wicket and the game was back in Whalers favour. But more twists were to come…
Just as the Whalers were getting excited, Mr Angry came into bat. First ball he smashed for 6, followed by a big heave through square leg. Dan came on, and received the same treatment. Even when he had Mr Angry caught by James, it was sadly 5 metres over the boundary! The Whalers needed to make something happen quickly or the game would be gone. Dan stepped up to make the breakthrough. With an injured James bowling at the other end keeping the runs down, Morden got desperate and tried some wild running. The result was Pip earning the second run out of the innings, shortly followed by a direct hit by Dan. With 18 runs required off the final over, Dan took his 3rd wicket of the innings (all bowled) and the game was won.
The delighted Whalers settled in for a few beers and a fines session with all missing Whalers fined for Duck Tongue avoidance…
Whalers: 242 for 4 from 40 overs (Dickenson 100, Eberstein 70*, Ahmed 28)
Morden Corinthians: 229 for 9 from 40 overs (Osgood 3-36)
Man of the match: Al
Champagne moment: Rob’s straight 6
Muppet moment: French Will for the water faff