Whalers CC won by 36 runs
Whalers returned to their south London home at Dulwich to find that things have started to go to seed. After the closure of the bar facilities, the pitch looked less than impressive with a surface that was breaking up and a definite ‘Lords slope’ at one end. With this in mind, the standard Whalers option of bat first was called and off we went for 35 overs against the unknown quantity of Antipodean opposition.
Initial debacle was caused by Duncs forgetting both the scorebook and fines book (even though I had no recollection of taking them home) and failing to convince Kathy to hack across South London to bring them to us. Cue standard £5 fine and automatic Muppet moment for the day.
Oz and Al then strode out to what can only be described as the slowest batting performance in Whalers history. After 6 overs the score was 7 without loss and the crowd had started to drift off. Thankfully, Dario did the decent thing and triggered Oz for a shot off the face of the bat and ended his innings of 1 off 18 balls. However, things didn’t really get better as a combination of a dodgy pitch, awful timing and good fielding kept the Whalers pinned down. Frustration began to show as Dom ran himself out and Duncs took a flyer at a straight one and got bowled. With Al holing out in the deep, the score at drinks was 70/4 off 21 overs and the crowd were now fully comatose.
Under instruction from the captain to get a move on and get us to 150, Dario, Roland and Pip added good contributions from the middle order and, outside of a golden duck for Khalil, progress was being made. With thanks to opposition for 8 dropped catches and their choice of bowling 9 players, the Whalers crept towards their target that was finally surpassed thanks to Pip’s attack off the last few balls. At 156 we had something to defend and looking at the state of the pitch, this would not be an easy challenge.
Rich then surpassed himself by coming up with a stonker of a tea including a mountain of sandwiches, BBQ chicken and even a couscous salad. Obvious thanks go to Mrs Rich who had evidently provided more than a little assistance in the matter.
The Quokkas came out to bat in the usual Aussie way with a view to knock the runs off in the first 10 overs and get down the pub. With their captain bowled in the second over around his legs and Khalil taking two in his next over, they were quickly knocked off their stride. With Whalers matching the opposition in dropped catches, the game could have been finished a lot quicker but solid bowling from all players saw them running at a similar rate to the Whalers but with a lot more wickets lost. Some lusty blows were helped by the captain’s constant field placing changes to move people out of the way of potential catches but this was still not enough to get them to the target.
After a middle order of spin, James and Khalil returned to finish off the tail (James trying to do this with double bouncers and moon balls) leaving the Whalers to waltz home by 30 runs. Beers and the final demolition of Rich’s tea followed to end an overall successful day for the Whalers
Whalers CC 156/8
Quokkas 120 all out
Man of the match: Pip
Champagne moment: Helen’s teas
Muppet moment: Duncs forgetting scorebook for the first time in Whalers history