Civil Service Ground, Chiswick Saturday 22nd July 2006
Result – Whalers lost by 10 runs
- Beaconsfield – 203 for 8 (35 overs – Judd 3 for 52, Morgan 2 for 34)
- Whalers – 193 for 7 (35 overs – Bayne 68, Terrell 36, Dickinson 29)
By 9.00 am on Friday morning, it appeared that the Whalers would be fixtureless this weekend. With the Red Cow team bailing out, the ever-dependable Clippy found us a fixture against a real team – part of a larger club, with their own home ground, who play in a league. Surely the Whalers weren’t getting into serious cricket? As it turned out, Beaconsfield 3rd XI were a very good match, considering they were found at random on Friday afternoon from a website – a very pleasant bunch of lads who enjoy their cricket in the same way that the Whalers do.
The Savannah-esque Civil Service Ground looked pleasant enough, with the oppo actually lulling themselves into a false sense of security – ‘The pitch is a bit of a pudding – a batsman’s paradise’. As Ads duly lost the toss to a captain who hadn’t won a toss all season (nice one skip!), Geoff opened the bowling in his own inimitable (and intimidating) style – the openers having to sway out of the way of several evil bouncers off a pitch that was anything but a pudding.
With Khalil sauntering up with 3 overs on the board, the Whalers stand-in opener, Ed Kirkness, bowled a useful maiden which the skipper completely failed to take into account as he took him off after 1 over. However, Khalil was then his usual tidy self, causing problems to both batsmen. Geoff, on the other hand, was quite rightly accused of ‘Wedding Buffet’ bowling as he was despatched to all parts of the ground. In fact, the Whalers acquitted themselves extremely well in the field – Ollie Bayne in particular in sparkling form at point. Few runs were gifted to the oppo, and the openers rode their luck by placing balls in the air just out of reach of several fielders. Khalil made the first breakthrough, getting the opener caught behind (Stu Terrell making up for dropping the same batsman previously) and then Geoff plucked the ball from the air as Piers, the ‘King of Swing’ bowled a beamer at the other opener. There was some discussion as to the legality of the delivery, but the batsman very nobly walked – very generous, considering he was on 42 at the time, and looking dangerous! After a short rain break, the Whalers kept up the pressure, taking wickets at regular intervals and keeping the run rate down, particularly with some tidy bowling by Ed and Gilo, and Ollie picked up a very assertive wicket with a loud caught and bowled. However, Geoff had to come back and despite an absolute beast of a ball to remove one dangerous-looking ex 1st-teamer, the oppo put on 50 runs in the final 6 overs. Stu finished with 3 catches, Ollie 2 and one each for Geoff and Khalil.
After tea, Will VDP and El Presidente opened steadily to begin with, after Stu Terrell complained of a previous ‘painting injury’ to his lower back and was dropped down the order. However, Will quickly succumbed to a deceptively straight ball – apparently it moved at least 2 feet as he shouldered arms, and was bowled! Enter Ollie Bayne, who scored a very composed 68 with some classic straight driving and a few lusty cross-bat heaves, fetching the ball from outside the off stump. At the other end, Al was scoring freely (but only in even numbers – just the one single in his 29) but unfortunately gave some catching practice with a lobbed catch off a spinner’s full toss. This bought Stu to the crease, who scored swiftly alongside Bayne including one massive straight six, and both saw off the spinners and ‘part-time’ bowlers. This however, bought in the oppo’s secret weapon – their ex 1st teamer. Not hugely quick, but tall, bowling short of a length and using all his experience to ensure the run rate dried up. Bayne was bowled, and Terrell followed soon after lofting a catch to long on, and this bought Ads and Phil together at the crease. With the boundaries drying up, it was hard for both batsmen to get going, but with some inventive running (draw your own conclusions from that) they carried on ticking over. However the run rate was creeping up, and although Ads did his best to cart their bowlers, some sensible field placings kept him at bay. He was eventually run out going for a 4th (after two misfields) and showed some uncharacteristic petulance on his way out. By this stage, the rate was up to 9 per over, and Phil and Rich tried to keep things going but it was now getting very hard. When Gilo was bowled, Geoff came in looking at 11 per over. At the finish, Whalers required 22 from the final over, and then 18 off the last 3 balls. The first of these went for a huge six over square leg by Geoff, but unfortunately it was beyond us.
Overall, it was a spirited performance from the Whalers against an enthusiastic, competent and well-matched team who would certainly be worth replaying if possible. The fines session afterwards saw some hefty payments for Rich (£5 and fine of the day) and Geoff for being an Aussie and bowling pies! Muppet moment went to Ads, for deciding not to bring the stumps in from the furthest pitch (and it IS a long way from the pavilion!), although as he went to fetch them with Geoff and Phil (for comedy run-outs), Will was mentioned in dispatches for his leave! Champagne moment went to Stu for his straight six, and Ollie deservedly won Man of the Match for an exemplary all-round cricketing performance. Freddie Flintoff, beware!