Whalers lose by 3 wickets
The Whalers gathered together at their ‘new’ ‘home’ ground of Ealing Central Sports Ground for their first ever match against the Wessex Eagles. ECSG had been picked (as CSSG is being downsized) due to its location right next to Perivale Tube Station. However, due to this match taking place on a Sunday, and the vagaries of the London Underground engineering programme, gathered together meant arriving in a fairly disorganised manner. I’m not sure who won the toss, but the Whalers were going to bat first on the unknown pitch (also unknown until 2 minutes before the match which pitch we should be playing on).
The oppo were pretty much ready to start, whilst the Whalers were still faffing and trying to set up the ancient scoreboard. We shouldn’t really have bothered, as there was not much use for it, except in the wickets column.
Dickenson and Forte opened up for the Whalers, but Dario was back in the hutch with the score on 4, with the Eagles’ number 2 bowler getting some strange ‘tennis ball’ bounce. Al went next, followed by Toby, whose only scoring shot was a massive 6. The Eagles’ bowlers did not seem too dangerous, but the team appeared to bowl to a plan with well placed fields and as the Whalers kept on falling into traps for low scores; we were 19/5 at one stage. Giles (24) and Hanmer (15)staged a middle order fight back and then Khalil (25) and Osgood (10) made the tail wag to bring the score up to 102. It was dreadfully below par.
However, after some tea provided by Sainsburys, care of Rich (more of that shortly), Whalers set about making amends for their poor batting performance nd we got off to a fantastic start – Khalil and Lucas opened up the bowling and with a fired up Whalers team fully supporting them in the field. Their numbers 2,3 and 4 were all out for ducks. We really thought we were in with a shout of making this a competition. However, their number one weathered the storm, despite several close shouts and although we continued to take wickets, their big hitting numbers 6 and 8 took the game away from us. Pete damaged his hand while keeping, and three balls after giving up the gloves, their number 6 skied one straight to him – he held his nerve, gritted his teeth – and took the catch. Not too much later, their number 8 won the game with a straight six which lost the ball onto the nearby A40! Khalil (5/3/9/3), Matt (4/3/1/0) and Dan (7/0/27/3) had great figures, but the damage had been done earlier.
So to the awards, Khalil was MOM due to his bowling figures and also high scoring, Pete got Champagne Moment for his catch with broken finger.
Rich was awarded Muppet moment for a drinks faff (involving a jobsworth barman, jugs but no glasses, and drinks being called twice, all while he was out in the middle) which was pretty representative of the whole of the first innings.
Whalers: 102 ao (38? overs)
Wessex Eagles: 103 for 7 (32? overs)
Man of the match: Khalil for top scoring with bat and 3 early wickets
Champagne moment: Pete taking high catch in outfield with broken finger sustained wicket keeping
Muppet moment: Rich for a drinks faff that occurred entirely while he was batting