Abbey Recreational Ground, South Wimbledon – 19th June 2005
Whalers 113 all out; Morden Corinthians 117 for 6. Morden win by 4 wickets
Looking back over Whalers history, there are some things we’re good at, and some things we could probably do a bit better at. We don’t play spin very well. We’re quite good at spectacular collapses. And our slip-catching… well, we don’t. Except on tour.
And so to the Abbey Rec ground in South London, helpfully described by Olly as “the one next to the pitch where Al got hit in the mouth”. The weather was baking and the changing rooms were even hotter – ideal preparation for the likely conditions to be encountered on next year’s tour, and also a chance for the Whalers to model their summer collection of headwear. Dario’s safari hat and Kamal’s ghetto-style effort were particularly admired by the post-match fashion critics.
Fortunately, Olly won the toss and so at least most of us could settle down in the shade under the trees, while Stu Terrell and Phil Brown made a slow but steady start against the Morden openers. One of the Morden bowlers was pretty quick already, and then became even angrier with Phil until he bowled him for 7. But Oz and Stu were looking quite comfortable until the curse of the drinks break struck, and Stu was on his way for 19. Olly got 10, but the Whalers were still looking well-set at 102 for 3. However, with spinners operating at both ends our jinx then struck, and Geoff (13), Oz (46), Khalil (1), and Dan (0) fell in quick succession. The Morden opener then came back and got Richard Giles (0), Chris [Elvis] Sherratt (0) next ball, and then finished the hat-trick with a waist-high full-toss which clipped the top of Kamal’s stumps (0), and that was that. 7 wickets down for 11 runs – not one of our better batting performances.
After a few cheese sandwiches resuscitated from the toaster in the changing rooms, the Whalers headed out into what still felt like 40-degrees of heat (we’ll have to bat for longer next time, guys). Although there were a few wides and four-balls from one end (guilty), Khalil was bowling beautifully from the other end, and got his rewards with one played-on and one LBW, for figures of 6-2-15-2. Richard ran out the other opener with a great shy at the stumps (which he’d even practiced the previous over), and when Kamal snared another wicket and Geoff bowled the next man in, the Whalers were still in the hunt [sorry, I know it’s a terrible pun] with Morden at 70-odd for 5. The next ball was edged to the slips, but sadly not caught. Another edge followed off Geoff, and then one off Kamal, and then another from Geoff. In fairness, some of them would have been blinding catches if they had stuck, although none of them did. From there, Morden gradually took the game away despite Kamal (2 for 21) getting another wicket, and eventually they ran out winners by 4 wickets.
|Man of the match:||Oz for his 46|
|Champagne moment:||Richard Giles’ run out|
|Muppet:||The Whalers “slip cordon” (who shall remain nameless, as so far none of us have ever looked like catching anything there. Except on tour, obviously)|