Whalers CC won by 11 runs
With grey skies looming, the Whalers met in South London for a hastily rearranged fixture against the Riverside CC. After two drop outs in the week, fixture secretary Clipsham again did us proud by coming up with this game late afternoon Friday to make sure we had cricket this weekend. It looked like the weather was going to be unkind and ruin it but with a quick turnaround at the end of innings, it held off until the last ten overs of the second innings by which point we were going to finish regardless.
On an interesting pitch, Whalers won the toss and elected to bat. With rain in the air, the match was reduced to 30 overs and with a strong top order and short boundaries it was felt that a score of around 180 would prove sufficient to win the game. However, Oz’s head in clouds quickly ended a steady start and with Stu following before the first 10 overs had passed, it looked like the demons in the pitch may come to bear.
Solid batting followed from the middle order with Al (33) and Duncs (26) steadying the ship before both, along with Ollie perished leaving the Whalers on 91/5. In strode Roland for his first match of the season and in partnership with Ed, they took to the weak number 5 bowler adding 64 for the 7thwicket before Roland fell just before the end. A quick cameo from Kamal and a beautiful 6 off his legs from Ed saw the Whalers reach their target score finishing on 184/7
With rain looking like falling any second, the decision to change ends without tea was the best option (for everyone except Ed). Good spells from the top four bowlers saw Riverside fall behind the run rate losing steady wickets in the process. However, as the rain began to fall, the ball became covered in Teflon and catches began to go down. This also gave some excuse to the number of beamers sent past the batsman but not to their number four refusing to leave the pitch when bowled by Kamal. The laws of physics make it pretty impossible to get the ball to pass a batsman’s shoulder and still hit the stumps but he was not moving and in the interests of staying warm on a cold day, he was allowed to stay in.
The continuing discussion regarding the state of the ball also looked like bringing the game to a standstill but some accurate bowling from Clippy got the breakthrough and with Dan running through the tail, we had them at 143 with one wicket left. In strode a batsman who could obviously play (not sure why he was kept back) and suddenly there was a chance for the Riverside. With some lusty blows to the short boundaries, Riverside needed 11 runs off the last 7 balls before Dan finally sent a straight one down and hit the stumps.
Welcome relief for everyone and off for a scalding hot shower and teas to follow. Special mention to the pickled onions which are often a forgotten part of a cricket tea
Whalers CC 184-8 – Ed 35*, Al 33, Roland 32, Duncs 26
Riverside 173 all out – Dan 4-27, Clippy 2-22
Man of the match: Dan – 4-27
Champagne moment: Dan’s brilliant one-handed catch
Muppet moment: Khalil’s dolly drop