Whalers vs Clapham Inn 19/07/03

Whalers lose by 5 wickets.

It started off like Copacabana. There were tops off with Skipper for the day Hanmer showing off his Brazilian (sorry – need to add tan at the end there), sun tan cream being rubbed in, shades on and Nairobi proving that it is possible to live in Africa for the best part of the year and still look like Casper the Friendly Ghost. But then, much like the Whalers cricket it ended off like Manchester with the boys legging in back inside the bar whilst the heavens opened and Dan Hall tried to work our if his flies were actually done up or not.

Skip for the day picked up a tosser avoidance fan and the Whalers went into bat against a diverse Clapham Inn side featuring, among others, a random bloke found zooming around the park on a motorised scooter (clearly Santa comes 6 months too late in his household), his mate and a £2.5 million lottery winner.

Whalers started steadily with Metro Gnome and Oz putting on a useful 50 opening stand despite a generally tidy opening spell of bowling, before VDP perished to a nick behind which was punched expertly by the impressive Clapham Inn wicket keeper which became the first, and just about only thing, that Duckfreys, keeping wicket for the oppo for 15 or so overs, managed to catch all day.

This brought a hung over free Gibbo to the crease and he and Oz continued to go along nicely before Oz perished to a great delivery falling on a jug avoiding 49. Despite seeking to retire due to an inability to actually hit the ball, Dickenson and Gibbo took Whalers steadily onto a score of 148 for two of 30 overs and Whalers looked well set for a quality end of innings cow corner slog feast to push up to a score of 190 or so.

However like Nelson’s throws into the wicket keeper, but unlike Guernsey Gingers, nothing in Whalers cricket is ever easy. Read the details of over number 31;

  • Ball One – Dickenson skies – caught behind
  • Ball Two – Gibbo skies – caught at cow corner for a Whalers Best 41.
  • Ball Three – left by the Welsh Wizard
  • Ball Four – Howzat??? – Hits the Welsh Wizard on the pads with his leg somewhere between third slip and gully. However in a sporting gesture Kamal sends Williams packing with a John Wayne trigger finger, back to the dressing room where Action Men, Barbie Dolls and Farmyard animals are hurled in anger
  • Ball Five – Blocked by Dan Hall
  • Ball Six – a Death Rattle for Dan Hall

Yes readers, a four-wicket maiden. There was time for a bit of end of innings scampering before the Whalers closed at 170 for 7, probably 20 short of a decent total.

However the opening spell of bowling from Nairobi and Swansea was impressive, and supported by a good fielding display brought five early wickets to the Whalers. Williams claimed three including having motor scooter caught and bowled, getting a decision on one of three or four excellent Whalers LBW appeals and benefiting from a cracking running catch from Gibbo. It was rumoured that the Welsh Wizard had in fact conjured up a Mirage for Gibbo during the time the top edge was up in the air which transformed the vision of a red cricket ball into a four pack of Scrumpy, a donor kebab (with extra chilly sauce) and a ropey ginger thus spurring Gibbo to make up the 10 yard spurt to take the catch.

Nairobi at the other end showed that despite another few months of hunting Wildebeest and hanging out with Bob Geldof he had lost none of his pace as he knocked over the Clapham Inn opener’s stumps and enticed a nick behind. However it was the turning down of another strong LBW decision early on in the innings of the oppo’s skipper, which proved the turning point.

Despite some hostile bowling from Osbourn and Kirkness and some craft and guile from Hanmer and Kamal, all of whom bowled tightly, and, at times, dangerously, Whalers could not make the break through they needed. The oppo’s 4 and 7 put on a match winning unbeaten partnership of 140 odd, surviving a couple of hard half chances but generally playing sensibly to meet the 5 an over required run rate.

Kirkness gave the Whalers no choice but to make him fine of the day. Not only did he arrive in new kit that was so white it looked like it came from a Daz Door step challenge, but also the new kit included a bag resembling a coffin on wheels. Rumours of a sighting of said kit bag being dragged through the streets of Dulwich to the Village Church by Richie with Kamal inside were strongly denied by a Whalers spokesman.


Man of the Match: Gibbo
Champagne moment: Gibbo Diving Catch
Muppet moment: Al, Gibbo, Richie and Dan for all getting our in the same over


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