Whalers win by 86 runs
The Whalers quokked clocked up an easy win against sociable opposition at the weekend. The signs weren’t great as we gathered at the Chiswick dustbowl, with more than the usual number of hangovers on display, particularly from Kev who turned up in hockey kit (always a bad sign) looking like an extra from Shaun of the Dead. The team was also rocked by the latest Whalers freak injury crisis, with Mr Milanovic having shot himself in the foot whilst on military training that morning. Fortunately the extended Giles family came to the rescue, with Rich’s mum and sister both demonstrating a Vaughan-esque cover drive during the pre-game warm-up, and Whalers debuts for Ricky Ellis and Rich’s brother-in-law Tom.
After questionable tossing, we were batting and last weekend’s successful opening partnership of Rich and Dario strode out again, while Kev had a doze on the boundary. The Quokkas openers were steady but Rich was scoring well, with Dario doing his best to send the rest of the crowd to sleep at the other end. However, eventually the singles dried up, and Rich was caught for 40 shortly followed by Pip who was LBW to a Chesney Hawkes look-alike. This brought Ricky to the crease, who had clearly been reading the Ed Kirkness batting manual, and some lusty blows saw us past 100 before another couple of wickets brought Kev and Rob Lothian together.
Perhaps the most charitable way to describe the running between the wickets would be that Rob was clearly trying to put Kev out of his misery as quickly as possible. At one point both batsmen were standing next to each other at the non-strikers’ end as the throw arrived from the boundary, but somehow they survived for a few more overs until Rob finally ran himself out. By now Kev was dispatching the Quokkas change bowlers to all parts of the field not involving any running, before he was caught for 59. With good support from Tom (13), the tail, and Mr Extras, we eventually finished on a daunting 213 for 9.
The tea break brought a quick change of plan for the Whalers, as we needed to find a wicket keeper who could get through 35 overs without falling asleep. Dan was the lucky inheritor of the gloves, and was in action straightaway as Khalil found the edge in his first over. More tight bowling from Ricky and Khalil kept the Quokkas pinned down with Ricky bowling the number three, before Matt dispatched the next two both caught behind by Dan again, and then their number six played on first ball. Having already been on a hat-trick once after last weekend’s match, Matt’s second hat-trick ball of the day was a beauty which just skimmed over the top of middle stump – he partly made up for this failure though by running the batsman out later in the over instead.
By now the game was in the bag, but a good partnership saw the Quokkas into three figures before Kamal picked up two wickets on the sweep, including a fourth catch for Dan running backwards towards fine leg. With the skipper ignoring all the limbering-up going on in the wicketkeeper-slip-gully cordon, Khalil was brought back to polish off the tail in no time, and the Whalers had won by 86 runs. All in all a very comfortable victory and our good run post-tour continues.
Whalers 213 for 9 (35 overs) Kev 59, Rich 40, Dario 27, Ricky 24
Quokkas 127 all out (27 overs) Matt 3-9, Khalil 3-10, Kamal 2-32
Man of the match: Matt
Champagne moment: Dan’s fourth catch
Muppet moment: Rob’s suicidal running between the wickets