18 June 06
Whalers lose by 7 wickets
The match was at the Nursery Road ground in Merton, deep in South West London, but despite the distance all Whalers were present and correct for a 13.30 start, except for Oz, who only realised that he was waiting in the wrong car park after getting a call from the skipper. The forecast was for a fine day, and indeed it was, blue sky and warm sunshine. And with a reasonable batting track Ads chose to bat after winning the toss. However, in the time it took Al and Dario to pad up and stride out to the crease the clouds moved in and the sun disappeared, the conditions now seemed perfect for swing bowling and the Corinthian’s openers made the most of it.
They were sharp and didn’t give too much away, so the early progress was slow. Things were a little shaky for a while as Dario got off the mark with a thick edge through the slips, Al was caught behind off his glove and Oz was bowled after hitting a couple of quick boundaries. With the score on 18 for 2 Gibbo came in and between him and Dario they managed to block out the good stuff and get some of the bad balls away to build a bit of a partnership. The first change of bowling brought on slower bowlers but there was a reluctance by the batsmen to really get after them. However, the scoreboard kept ticking over but after a while Dario scooped one up to be caught.
Phil was next and he hadn’t scored for his last three innings, so it was with much relief that he didn’t waste much time in getting off the mark. Gibbo was the next man out for 27 runs, Phil managed a useful 13 and Paul M 7. With the score on 99 for 6 with 10 overs to go we needed to pick things up to get a half-decent total to bowl at. Bring on Rich and Ads. The slow bowlers were still going, so there was plenty of opportunity to get bat on ball which is exactly what they did. With some quick running between the wickets the run rate duly accelerated. Even the return of one of the opening bowlers (the other had opened up his knee diving in the outfield) didn’t phase Ads or Rich, who continued to “have a good swing” and managed to generate a 59 run partnership before Ads was caught with 2 balls to go. Ads got 33 and Rich 24 not out.
So the final score was 159, which we felt was probably a little short of what we wanted but was definitely a score to get a win out of if we bowled well and took our chances. The teas hadn’t arrived yet, so it was a quick turn around to play the first 10 overs of the second innings.
Things started well for us with Paul M and James bowling sharply and cutting a good line. The batsmen started to get frustrated and just before the tea break the continual fishing outside off stump by the Corinthian’s number 1 gave Paul his just rewards as he nicked one to first slip. A Whalers slip catch is not a common occurrence so although the batsmen were looking strong the talk at the tea break was of a feeling that we could get a result here.
What the Whalers needed now was some tight bowling and athletics in the field to keep the run rate down and maybe get a wicket or two, but unfortunately things started to get a bit loose. The batsmen settled in and the score started to approach the target rather quicker than the skipper was comfortable with. A few bowling changes didn’t produce the goods so, probably a lot earlier than he would have wished, Ads had to turn to the opening bowlers again. By this time the horse had already bolted and the batsmen were too confident by now for Paul or James to stem the tide. Ads turned to Phil to see if his leg breakers could produce any magic but sadly, with overs to spare, the Corinthians reached the total before he got his chance. Best figures were from Paul 1 for 28 off 7 and James 0 for 24 off 6.
After a disappointing result against Balham Roamers the week before we wanted to put in a good performance to get us back onto winning ways but it wasn’t to be, we didn’t get enough runs on the board and our bowling lacked depth. All credit to the Corinthians who out shone the Whalers on this day.
Man of the Match – Dario (35 runs, slip catch)
Muppet moment – Al’s two “grass cutters”
Champagne Moment – Dario’s slip catch