3rd May 2008
Whalers CC won by 175 runs
Boris Johnston had been at the helm for less than 24 hours, the Army Navy rugby game had drawn a large multitude of people to the South West, planned engineering works had severely crippled the SW rail & tube links, but somehow the intrepid Whalers managed to squeeze themselves through the seemingly intentional obstacles to make it to their second game of the season. Today’s opposition: Gentleman’s Relish (GR).
The pitch, on inspection, looked rather green, with more than a touch of moisture indicating that the ball would be keeping low. However the sun was burning down with a fierce intensity and it looked like the day would be a cracker. The Whalers were initially disconcerted when they spotted a large white Van, proclaiming to be ‘Chiswick Drainage Experts’, drive up to the boundary line. Fortunately the ‘Expert’ within soon realized that the field was in a playable condition and drove of. It looked like the game was on!
The Skipper, went out for the toss, and came back with a smile on his face, informing all that the toss had been won, and that the Whalers would bat first. Dan, with all the nonchalance of one commenting on the weather, announced that Al & Ads were to open, which brought out a soft obscenity from the mouth of Mr. Hanmer.
The teams took to the field with the sun merrily beating down. Mr. Dickinson drew his guard, and the first ball was bowled. From the outset it was apparent that the bowling attack would not be too taxing, certainly the two experienced openers moved the ball around the ground and after five oversthe Whalers were 16 for no loss. Unfortunately at this point, Mr. Hanmer, tried to duck an apparent full toss, only to find it drop squarely onto his bails. The umpires after a long and deliberating conference pointed the finger in the direction of the pavilion and Ad’s was out for 8.
Channa, the new batsmen in, took to the field looking quite uncomfortable. Whether it was the fact that he had forgotten his jock-strap, or that he was shaking like a little girl will never be known. Finally after 6 swings and misses, and a few shouts for LBW, he managed to hit the ball to the boundary, and made a total of 11 runs before being judged LBW. The Whalers were now on 36/2 of 10 overs.
Ben, the next man in, (sporting some interesting protective equipment), joined the now established Al in the center. The next 3 overs saw Al take the bowling apart with some smart shots and a couple of boundaries. Unfortunately Ben was caught at square leg for an unlucky duck.
Cometh the hour, cometh Mr. Pip English, joining Al in the middle to keep the scoreboard ticking along. Al certainly looked on form with a couple of well timed boundaries, and all was well until the 22nd over when a particularly low ball whipped back Al’s stumps. A good knock from El Presidentewith 34 runs of 37 balls. The Whalers were now on 76/4 of 17 overs.
Next in was Toby, sporting the now familiar maroon Whalers cap, which apparently goes well with salt and pepper! Anyway, Pip, as mentioned above was doing a great job of rotating the strike. Toby was drawing from his previous good form to whip the S.L.O.W bowling for a series of boundaries including one well struck six! However the slow bowling finally found him stranded as he was bowled for a valuable 21of 20 balls.
The Whalers were still looking vaguely comfortable on 108/5, when in came Jimmy ‘Jackpot’ Gould. Facing some fancy looping deliveries James got suck in, lofting the ball to a variety of different areas and quickly piling on the runs for the Whalers. Pip was doing his bit with single after single after single after single, giving the strike to James who certainly was hitting the ball hard and far. Mr. Gould played some lovely shots and the Whalers were able to relax as the score board showed 200/5 of 34 overs. It’s a shame that Pip didn’t see off the last over, but he was finally out, bowled, for an understated 26 runs from one and a half hours of hard graft.
The Whalers finished on 206/6 with James on 61 not out from a mere 40 balls. (Gilo’s record keeping may be slightly off, as the score card actually tallies to 197 runs in 35 overs….but hey, who’s counting!)
Next up was a well earned tea break after which it was the oppositions turn to bat.
The skipper began proceedings with a couple of trademark zippers. The Whalers looked ultra alert on the pitch. Everyone was focused, the crowd hushed…..BOWLED. Dan takes his first scalp by upsetting the three wooded upright things… one over, one wicket.
Dan tosses the bowl to Gilo, who had a good spell last week. The Whalers are yet again on their toes….HOWSZAT???? It’s been given…..interesting call by the Ump, Gilo nods at us, just clipping leg, he says, grinning at the clamoring Whalers. 0/2 of 2 overs.
Back to Dan, who on his third delivery comes steaming in to deliver a beauty of a ball, the batsman gets a faint edge and the ball hurtles towards Toby, who dives to his right and just pucks the ball out of the air.…..’Now that is REAL cricket’ comments the Umpire as the whalers celebrate a remarkable 3/3 of 3.
Gilo up again, coming in with his trademark belly swing. The batsman has a swipe, connects and is caught at square leg by Khalil. The Whalers are screaming. GR are 6 for 4 of 4 overs.
Time for a change, after all we wouldn’t want to loose any momentum. Will Rossiter comes in for his debut over for the Whalers. The batsman seeing one of the dangerous opening bowlers being replaced, figures this to be a great opportunity to break free, he launches into a powerful cover-drive…What a catch….Mr Gould standing at silly mid-off dives to his right and takes a beautiful one handed catch, GR are 7/5 of 5.
At this point its bedlam, Will takes 3 more wickets to finish on a fantastic 3 for 14 of 3.2 overs. Khalil with his usual brilliance takes 2 wickets for 5 runs in his three overs and the skipper finishes with 2 for 6 of 3.
Gentleman’s Relish were all out for 31, and we headed to the bar. The opposition may have been below par, but this shouldn’t take away from the good batting, tight fielding and sharp accurate bowling.
Whalers CC 206-6 – James 61*, Pip 26, Toby 21
Gentleman’s Relish ACC 31 all out – Rich 3-3, Will 3-14, Khalil 2-6, Dan 2-6
Man of the match: No surprises here; for a fantastic 61 of 40 balls, and one blinding catch MoM goes to James.
Champagne moment: Gouldy’s superb low one handed catch of Wills first ever ball for the Whalers.
Honorable mention goes to Toby’s Amazing catch from behind the stumps. Rather spoiled by a subsequent misfield between the legs and the audible f’ing….naughty naughty!
Muppet moment: When a ball looks like it is heading in the vicinity of your head you tend to duck. However when you actually duck below the level of your own bails you are just asking for trouble. Muppet of the day to Ad’s dismissal.