Whalers vs Wenlock Arms

Palevale Playing Fields, Richmond – 25 July 2004

Wenlock 155 all out; Whalers 156 for 4
Whalers win by 6 wickets

SW London this week in the leafy periphery of Richmond Park at Palevale Playing Fields. The day started well with plenty of blue sky and a warm breeze, but our good fortune stopped there as Ollie lost the toss (again) and the Wenlock Arms chose to bat, leaving the Whalers with the prospect of having to win their first match this year batting second.

Undaunted we strode out into the field and started the first 35 overs of the day. Ollie chose to “experiment” with the bowling line up today and chose Paul M and Kulil to spearhead the attack and leave Osgood out of the starting line up. The first bowling spell was fruitless as the Wenlock Arms’ opening partnership started to settle down with their deceptively solid batting style and seemed as though they may prove difficult to dismiss. The first bowling change broke the deadlock and gave the Whalers their first wicket of the day. Oz (keeping wicket) took the catch behind from a lively one from Piers, the batsman stood his ground and forced the ump to make the decision, which he was none too happy about and made his opinions quite clear with few colourful words as he stormed off the pitch.

From here on the Whalers really got the bit between their teeth and the wickets started to fall in a steady fashion. The fielding was not the slick, efficient and attacking performance that the Whalers would have hoped for, with a few dropped catches and misfields contrasting with a brilliant run out by Osgood. With the fielding faltering the Whalers had to rely on the bowlers to produce the goods. Piers produced the outstanding bowling performance of the day, taking 4 wickets for 30 runs and Osgood did well for his 2 wickets for 37. A change of ends for Kulil got him the wicket he was looking for and Paul and Ads contributed with a wicket each from them.

The Wenlock Arms were bowled out for a total of 155 but the most notable figure in the scorebook was the disappointing 49 extras that the Whalers had given away (many of them byes). However, the score was definitely gettable so Al and Oz went out into the middle with some determination.

The Wenlock Arms’ bowling attack was good. Their fast bowlers were tight and quick and the slower bowlers showed a good line and length. Al was the first victim but Dario and Oz managed to fend off the attack in a solid performance from both. Dario playing the anchorman while Oz kept the scoreboard ticking over at the other end. It was time to go for the win but Dario couldn’t hit out without losing his wicket to a catch at mid-on. Oz went soon after him for a well-earned 58 runs. Ollie stepped up to the mark and knocked the ball around well before being caught, gone for a useful 23 runs. There was a moment when the game was looking in the balance as the Whalers still needed about 5 an over and there weren’t many of them left! but Stuart and Ads finished off well and reached the total still with 3 overs to go and 6 wickets in hand.

So the Whalers finally managed to chase down a total this season. We had to play well for it, but it was also encouraging to know that we can still win even if our performance was not great. If we had taken our catches, kept the extras down and been a bit luckier with some run out attempts the game would have been a breeze but the Wenlock Arms were worthy opponents and showed us a good game.

Man of the Match: Oz
Champagne Moment: Dan Osgood’s direct hit run out
Muppet Moment: Oz’s byes


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