Whalers CC vs Cairns Fudge CC; Sunday 14th July 2019; King’s House Sports Ground
A bit of morning rain didn’t dampen the spirits of the 9 whalers who assembled (eventually) for a 10am start, to take on the Cairns Fudge who lent us Andrew to make it a 10 a side game. With 5 whalers present the toss was promptly won by the fudge and the Whalers were batting. An order of some kind was determined and it was Dean and Dan who strode to the wicket which looked quite green and likely to be on the slow side.
The bowlers decided that a generally short length was the way to get at the Whalers, however this theory proved ineffective as several balls were sent to the boundary in the first few overs. With pace not looking threatening, spin was introduced in to the attack and after a couple of looseners, was able to drag Dan forward and beat the bat resulting in a stumping. Debutant, Thomas, was in at 3 and got his Whalers career off to a solid start playing a couple of nice drives off the spinner. The score soon passed 50 but in the 10th over Dean drove a ball straight to mid off and was out caught for 33.
Special was next in and continued to rotate the strike with Thomas. Eventually though, with the score on 74, Thomas was out for 11 after being bowled by left armer Oli who was causing a few issues. Andrew was in at 5 and went on the attack, punishing anything short or straight. Special was next out, bowled by Oli for 5 and Jeh followed in the same way for a first baller in his first game for the Whale. At the other end Tejas was out stumped, also in his first game without scoring and with the Whalers on 82 and 6 down, a couple of good partnerships were needed.
Debutant Harpal set about rebuilding the innings with Andrew, but with the score on 100, Andrew was bowled by opening bowler Stu for 18. Nick replaced him, and after playing some cricket shots, including a bottom edge cut shot for 4, was out caught and bowled after (possibly unwisely) chipping a forward defensive shot back to the bowler. Harry (5th debutant for the day) was in last and with Harpal playing confidently, held up an end, pushing the singles with some great running between the wickets. The odd swipe from Harpal for 4 and the excellent running got the score to 138 before Harry holed out to mid off for 7, leaving Harpal not out on 22. The partnership yielded 33 valuable runs for the last wicket. Whilst considered a bit below par, if we bowled well and got a couple of early wickets, we’d be in with a shout.
Dan and Nick opened the bowling, but went for plenty in their first few overs, the kiwis were keen to get the target chased down so that they could get to the bar to watch the world cup final. Dan got the breakthrough after one opener played a shot too many, holing out to Thomas at long off who held on to a tough catch. Next over Nick knocked over the other opener with the score on 45, if we could jag a couple more quick wickets, we’d be right in the game.
The batsman though applied themselves well and continued to hit our bowlers around. Harpal was in the action again with the score on 78, getting a direct hit run out from square leg but this was the last piece of good news for the Whale. Nick bowled well and finished his 7 overs straight through, going for 31 with 1 wicket despite beating the bat numerous times. Thomas was introduced in to the attack and bowled with pace but the batsman were able to hit anything miss directed. At the other end, Andrew had an over and got hit comprehensively. Special was tried as was Harry, but both struggled with lines and were also expensive. Eventually some good batting ran our total down in the 20th over.
So a tough loss for the Whale but a big thanks to the 5 debutant Whalers who turned out and made a good game of it.
Man of the Match: Harpal for his much needed 22* and direct hit runout
Champagne Moment: Thomas’s catch at long off to break a dangerous opening partnership
Muppet: Nick for pushing for an early start, then turning up an hour late
Whalers: 138 all out (Dean 33, Harpal 22*, Extras 27)
Cairns Fudge: 3/142 (Nick 1-31, Dan 1-34)
Gents of West London CC vs Whalers CC; Sunday 7th July 2019; Syon Lane
The Whalers took a variety of different routes to the leafy west London suburbs of Syon Lane for our first game against new opposition the Gents of West London. Some (i.e. Kamal) turned up early and in full Whalers kit, before hitting the bar for a sneaky pint. Others (i.e. Nick) turned up complaining about the distance between east and west London, and having got lost somewhere in Osterley Park on the way. Before also hitting the bar.
Once the changing rooms had been unlocked and the groundsman had finished rolling the square, things got underway. Despite the use of the heavy roller, the pitch was surprisingly two-paced with the occasional ball popping up all day. The Gents openers started quickly before Nick got them both, including a good catch from Whalers debutant Gaggan. But the Gents continued to roll along at 5-6 runs an over, with their number 5 looking especially dangerous until Kamal got him to lob up a simple catch. Amit also picked up a couple of wickets including a lovely ball which clipped the top of off, and Nick got his third and at 130-odd for 6 it could have gone either way.
However, their numbers 7 to 9 all batted very sensibly – number 9 top-scored with 40 – to push the score over 200 despite three wickets for Dan and one for Dheeraj in a good second spell. Despite the heat and the humidity the Whalers generally held up well in the field, with excellent work from Will and Gaggan in particular, and Kieran revealing his secret wicket-keeping past. Lowlights included a couple of dropped catches, and an all-run four when the fielders decided that the ball was clearly going to go over the boundary.
Tea was excellent despite the absence of the much-promised curry, with pasta and homemade cakes. Will and Gaggan then started well against tight bowling, until Gaggan got one which popped and then Will ran himself out for 32. Dillen and Kieran then kept things going, with Dillen hitting some fine fours in between a few dropped chances and Kieran displaying a range of legside flicks – his wagon wheel resembling more of a traffic cone.
At drinks we were a bit behind but with lots of wickets in hand, and were still in the game. However, a few tight overs saw the run-rate climb to 9 an over, and once Dillen and Kieran were out, the rest of the batting line-up were unable to get going on a difficult pitch or to deal with the offspin of Kota. A number of straight ones were missed, Viren and Nick were stumped, and Dan probably should have been (see muppet moment), as the Whalers quickly subsided to defeat – with Kota finishing with 5 wickets for 8 runs.
Overall a reasonable team performance against very friendly opposition, and we did well to stay in the game until the last few overs. Muppet was Dillen chatting to the square leg fielder while umpiring, Champagne moment was Kamal deceiving their best batsman, and Man of the Match was Kieran for his Whalers highest score.
Gents: 207 all out (Nick 3-37, Dan 3-38)
Whalers: 136 all out (Will 32, Kieran 31, Dillen 24)
Kings Road Cricket Club vs Whalers CC; Battersea Park; Sunday 23rd June 2019
All good things must come to an end. And the Whale’s winning streak (of two) did so rather abruptly on Sunday 23rd at the hands of Kings Road Cricket Club. The opposition chased down the target set by a plucky band of Whalers (and borrowed Whalers) in the 23rd over of their innings, taking advantage of the short boundaries, and some extra help from the bowling, to finish the day somewhat early. The resounding nature of the loss should not however take away from the monumental effort in succeeding to get 11 players together for the day.
As of Thursday, the Whalers available to play numbered 5. A scant selection perhaps but due to some determined hounding from Jack around his office (something along the lines of ‘so, have you heard of cricket?’, by close Friday availability stood at closer to 8 or 9, enough for a game. That determination was rewarded further still by the time of Sunday morning, as the opposition had delved into its reserves of interested players and conjured up a couple of players to donate to our cause. So it was that 11 players introduced themselves to each other in the Battersea Park pavilion, assumed undying devotion and loyalty to the Whale and headed out into the arena. Or at least they did once Kamal had torn himself away from watching another game in the park to deliver both himself and the kit bag.
Jack lost the toss and the opposition chose to make Whalers bat first. Pip and Dheeraj led their way to the middle and started steadily enough before the former was run out and the latter was bowled to make the score 29 for 2. This brought together Paris and Fraser, two players Kings Road had added to our ranks. Fraser announced his arrival by getting off the mark with a 6 viciously aimed at his teammates on the boundary which ricocheted off at least two surfaces on the pavilion. He saw a couple of partners come and go in quick succession until he himself departed for 22, bowled by the off-spinner. Russell and Dan evidently decided this was the a la mode form of dismissal, both promptly gifting golden ducks to the same bowler. At which point Whalers were 62 for 7 and starting to wonder if they would have time after the game to visit the fete that the dog’s home had put on nearby. However, this brought together Dillen and Jack for the 8th wicket partnership and they set about dragging the score into the realms of respectability. Dillen’s watchful innings combined with Jack’s shot-making (including his first career 6s) to make for a partnership of 82. By the end of the 35 overs Whalers had managed to post 144 for 7, with Dillen and Jack not out on 38 and 42 respectively.
After tea Russell and Jack opened the bowling, with Dan taking up gloves behind the stumps. Russell ‘opted’ to mix up some rank full tosses with occasional balls that hit the pitch. After taking some considerable tap, in his third over one of these rare pitched balls was given out lbw, though only the bowler and, thankfully, the umpire seemed to find it was so. A couple of balls later a clatter of stumps left no doubters as to the fall of the second wicket. Russell’s 2 for 35 off 4 set something of a precedent for their expense. Jack managed the remarkable feat of dropping himself 3 times off of his own bowling – off the same ball, before the change of bowling came in. Dheeraj started his spell with a Harmison-like javelin throw to 2nd slip but soon tightened up to deliver 1 for 7 off 4 overs, his wicket caught at long off. Sadly this proved to be the final wicket to fall. Whalers new boys Nick and Kinesh turned their arms over, mixing up some nice deliveries with some baseball throws through to the keeper. Nick managed to trap his finger between ball and knee in the field, following a terrific one handed stop, and in doing so split it wide open. He left the field in a shower of blood searching for a bandage. Dan and Jack had swapped keeping duties by now and as the opposition closed in on their target, one ball from Dan skidded through to Jack, whose foot changed the direction of the ball just enough to divert into the resting helmet behind him. 5 runs to other side and the day just about summed up. One more over and it was all over. The Kings Road top scorer was ‘extras’, with 42.
Champagne moment: Fraser’s off the mark with a life threatening 6
Muppet moment: Jack deflecting the ball into the helmet
Man of the match: Dillen for his 38 not out
Whalers CC vs Quokkas CC; Kings House Sports Ground; Sunday 30th June 2019
Author N. Howes
Evidently there must be a sale on at Sports Direct, as no fewer than 4 Whalers players, were wearing the above shoes (Amit the original, Russel, Asim and Viren)….
Post 34 degree high heat on Saturday the Whalers gathered as usual at Kings House for the 12.30 meet time. A couple of members failed to make the 12.30 cut off, notably Nick and Matt arriving late. There ensued a robust discussion on the merits of playing a 20-25 over game, instead of the regulation 35 overs. This in theory was to benefit the English supporters who would have then been able to finish early and watch the World Cup; India vs England cricket game. Robust discussion ended, skipper, Dean and Dan dictating we would be playing 35 overs. Post grumbling in the change rooms, the Whalers lost the toss and were sent out to bowl. With big thanks to Amit and his friends we were to play a chimeric Quokka/Whaler side (7 Quokka’s and 4 adopted Whalers) vs captain Deans Whalers 11.
Due to a lack of fitness, motivation and general poor attitude, Nick opened the bowling with the wind and got the ball to move away. Dan opened at the other end and got the break-through in the 4th over removing Suhib caught Fraser and Scott LBW in consecutive balls. A very rare hatrick chance motivating the Whalers to stand in an unusually very aggressive field placement (3 slips, fly slip and silly mid-on). Missed opportunity with new batsmen Viren confidently hitting to point, getting off the mark running two. The Whalers then returning to their casual lackadaisical field placements and fielding for the rest of the game. Both Nick and Dan bowled reasonably economical, Nick harshly unsupported by 2 dropped chances in his final over.
Next to bowl were Dheeraj and Special K. Deeraj left arm action exhibiting some actual great pace and aggression, not witnessed by a Whalers side for quite some time. Unlucky to have not taken a wicket off 4 overs. Special got some real flight bowling into the wind and troubled the Quokkas, removing opener Amit for 33 and Amit the original LBW. New shoe wearing Russel and Asim came on next and Russel bowled really well taking 2 for 16 off 5. Asim bowled a corker to the dangerous Allan, the bowl moving off the pitch to hit the top of off stump, his figures standing out at 1 for 14 off 4 overs (champagne moment). Russel also took a good wicket bowling the batsmen. Slightly over zealous celebration however! Andrew and Fraser finished off the Quokkas batting both taking bowled wickets. It could be argued, by the cricketing purists, that a double bouncing bowled by Fraser is technically a no ball. The umpire didn’t see it that way or chose to ignore the rules, Quokkas making a competitive 143 off 34 overs.
NB: It should be mentioned that pretty much everyone dropped a catch…notably Dan, Matt L, Nick, Andrew, Fraser, Dean, and others. Some catches were harder than others. Also there were some calamitous run out attempts and a shit load of wides.
The Whalers lead by Dean came out with real determination post lunch. Dean played some nice shots but both Matt and Fraser were given out LBW. Matt calmly walking off the field, no visible signs of chuntering, straight to the bar as suggested by the author, to get a beer for the author and himself. Dillen and Asim continued the run rate with a confident Dean hitting a number of 6s and 4s to really up the ante. Dillen, Andrew and Asim played some nice shots but all departed before Dan came in to steady the ship. Both he and Dean calmly making the required 144 in 23 overs (calmly inside the suggested 25 overs). Although some spectators noticed Dan hogging the strike in one over and dragging out the game. To be fair the Quokka’s Fruity bowled some fantastic off spin and Dan had to be defensive. Dean finished on 86 and Dan 14 not out respectively. Both batted really well. The whalers coming into mid-season winning form by a confident 5 wickets.
Thanks again to all (Amit the original, Amit, Viren and Suhib) who volunteered to play for the Quokkas. Amit travelling from Berlin for the game and Suhib travelling from Amsterdam.
Read the Quokkas report: HERE
Champagne – Aseem’s bowled – moved off the pitch to hit the top of off stump.
Muppet – Dillen’s – long barrier in the wrong place to miss the ball.
Muppets – anyone with brand new Kookaburra shoes
Man of the match – Dean – 86 not out.
Fines of the day – Nick and Dan – £4.50 each