Limping Rohan carries Whalers over the line

Whalers vs Gentlemen of West London, King’s House Sports Ground, 9th July 2023

After their 4 game unbeaten streak was ended by Bricklayers last week, Whalers were back in home comforts of King’s House Sports Grounds for a friendly against Gentlemen of West London. Arpit, one of the mainstays of recent Whalers success, pulled out of the game the previous night. But, Suhaib, captain for the game, rescued the situation by recruiting a family member and Whalers were back to full 11, in numbers.

Game was scheduled for 1:00PM start and for a change, every Whaler was right on time. Nirmal sitting this game out perhaps helped that cause. Toss was delayed as captains decided to use a different pitch than the one that was setup and consequently, the square boundary on one of the sides needed to be moved in as well.

Regarding what he would choose to do if he wins the toss, the Whalers captain was tight-lipped even to his fellow Whalers until after the toss. Fearing a mole in the team perhaps? We will never know. He did indeed win the toss and everyone finally learned that Whalers would be fielding first. Suhaib decided to continue with his previously successful tactic of giving wily spinner Kamal the new ball who opened from the Pavillion end. Special-K did not disappoint as in his very first over, had 2 batters caught including one catch Suhaib, at mid-off made life difficult for himself by running forward before leaping back to take a good one handed catch. Sangamesh, who opened at the other end however, started off with a beamer and struggled to hit his line and lengths. He was soon replaced by Rohan who bowled 6 exact same good length deliveries for a beautiful maiden. It’s a shame pitch-map technology was not in place for this game to record that grouping. Kamal ended his spell with figures of 4-1-9-2 and Russel, who replaced him, continued where Special-K had left and dismissed their number-4 in his first over. Rohan continued to trouble batters with nagging line and lengths conceding just 4 in his first 3 overs. He was creating chances and was finally rewarded when the batter slashed at a delivery, which took the outside edge and bulleted towards Sangamesh stationed at wide-slip/gully who reverse-cupped it for a sharp reflex catch. While everyone came in to high-five Sangamesh for the catch, he just seemed relieved that he did not try to catch the ball off his nose this time.

Gentlemen were under pressure with 4 wickets down but their number 5 was showing fight, that is, until Suhaib scored a direct hit from mid-on to send him back to pavilion. Amit replaced Rohan and continued to pile on the pressure by bowling two consecutive maidens before foxing opponent’s number 7 with his trade-mark slower ball that Dean at slip held on well. He went on to finish his spell of 5 overs by picking up one more wicket and conceding just 10 in the process, excellent stuff. Raman replaced Russel at the other end, and he too picked up a wicket as Roland joined the list of good catchers on the day when he took a tumbling catch and proceeded to rest on the ground for a few seconds before getting up to celebrate. Gentlemen were already reeling at 85/8 by this time. After some slogging, another run-out by Amit and Dean clean-bowling their number 11, Gentlemen finished their innings with a score of 126.

If Whalers had a script of how the innings was supposed to go, it went almost exactly to that script. Only blows to whalers were injuries to Rohan, who pulled his hamstring and new recruit Rukshal. It has to be mentioned that Gentlemen, true to their name, provided Whalers with substitute fielders and allowed them to field 11 players for most of the innings.

With the target being so low, Whalers would get the job done without having to force their injured players onto the pitch, right? Spoiler alert, wrong! After teas and watching England close in on winning the 3rd Ashes test, players were back on the field and the chase began. Dean opened the batting as usual for Whalers and Suhaib, not finding anyone else to open, took it upon himself to open with Dean. Courage to open alone wasn’t enough, as he was dismissed in the 3rd over. Roland and Sangamesh followed Suhaib and left without troubling the scorers too much. Geoff walked in at 5, played his shots freely and raced to 21 before holing out in the deep against the run of play. Whalers were then down 60/5 when Dean, who looked solid so far was dismissed softly. Amit and Raman, next batters in, were building a steady partnership but Whalers were again halted as Raman and then Russel were both dismissed in one over to leave Whalers 77-7, target still 50 runs away.

Gentlemen surely thought they had this game in their grasps, especially with 2 of the remaining batters injured. Rohan had other ideas. He limped in despite a pulled hamstring, with Sangamesh as his runner. With Amit looking settled at the other end, the plan was to give as much strike to Amit. But Rohan’s adrenaline took over and unleashed one shot after another taking Whalers to within touching distance of the target. It appeared as though Whalers would now win the game comfortably but Amit holed out to long-on. It looked as though there might be another twist in the tale but Rohan was having none of it, hogged most of the strike, kept his calm and took Whalers over the line with a beautiful shot through the covers, one of his many on the day.

Whalers now play four games over the next two weeks including two T20s. If the game against Gentlemen was anything to go by, Whalers are well up for the busy schedule ahead!

Final Scores:

Gentlemen – 126 all out off 29.5 overs (Kamal 2-9, Amit 2-10)

Whalers – 127/8 off 29.3 overs (Rohan 39*, Dean 25)

Whalers win by 2 wickets.

Man of the Match – Rohan for all match winning knock of 39* and 5-2-21-1 with the ball

Champagne Moment – Sangamesh’s sharp catch at gully

Muppet Moment – Suhaib’s captaincy in general. Moving the boundary, not informing the wicket keeper Geoff that we would start with a spinner, keeping the toss decision secret etc.

Match Report by Sangamesh Kalagond

Whalers in Zagreb

Whalers CC vs Sokol Cricket Club, 3rd & 4th June, 2023

For the first time in 5 years the Whalers assembled for a new foreign tour, in the destination of Zagreb, Croatia. The relevant faffs of getting the kit there without a Whaler with a BA gold card touring were all done, Frasers kit had arrived, Pip had scouted out a suitable bar and Geoff & Matt had arrived on a communist era train from Ljubljana. 

With a changing of the guard, the amount of jägerbombs had definitely decreased on the first nights integration with the local night life, with some Whalers heading off to find gelato. Pip still found some 10% beer though and with our host for the weekend Dave’s encouragement a good preparatory night was had.

Our hosts Sokol Cricket Club’s ground was located about 30 mins from the centre of Zagreb so after an impromptu tour cap presentation we made our way to the ground in a mixture of taxis and their players cars for game 1. On arrival Amit, Vishal & Raman forgetting to take their kit out of their car which subsequently drove off was an early muppet moment which delayed the start by half an hour while the driver could be located. 

The facilities were circa Grasse in the South of France tour (exchanging the sheep for tractors) and it became apparent that we would only be bowling from one end. The thick ‘European’ grass in the outfield indicated that it would be easier to hit a six than a four and this was definitely the case over the course of the weekend. 

Tour organiser Matt was captain for game 1 and subsequently lost the toss, we would be bowling first. Some tight opening bowling from Suhaib & Sangamesh led their welsh opener Mark to try a risky single and he was run out by Matt with a direct hit. Mark trying to run his bat in through the thick ‘European’ grass definitely contributed to his downfall. A couple of other early wickets fell, one each to Suhaib & Sangamesh and all looked good for the Whale. The other opener Jai was joined by Sohail and after some play and misses and close chances they started to hit out against the Whalers change bowlers. Jai took a particular liking to Matt’s bowling with a few big sixes. Sohail also played some big shots as the runs started to flow. Jai’s innings was cut short on 58 though by a fantastic slower ball by Amit inducing a mistimed shot which was caught by Sangamesh. 

Sohail continued on though with some powerful hitting mixed with some dropped catches or shots narrowly avoided fielders. It was also becoming clearer that due to Sokol generally playing 10 & 20 over games their style was pretty much for all their batsmen to hit out. So their was no respite for the bowlers, fielders or captain. Guri & Suresh continued the quick scoring with Sohail and when they were out former Pakistani power lifter Osama meant that the big hitting continued. It was only when the opening bowlers returned that the scoring rate was bought back under control. Sangamesh had Sohail caught and Suhaib bowled Osama and Sokol ended on 260 for 9 from their 35 overs. 

The weather had really warmed up by now & the Whalers were definitely ready for some tea and a break at this point. However tea hadn’t arrived so we were back out there with Pip and Amit opening. Opening bowler Guri obviously wasn’t tired though as he marked out a 40 yard run up….maybe this distracted Pip as Guri snuck one off Pip’s edge and pad onto his stumps. This brought Fraser to the crease and despite a slow start both batsmen started to hit some great shots and build a good partnership. Unfortunately it couldn’t last with Amit falling for 48 and Fraser for 39. By now the rate needed was above 10 an over and Saurabh and Geoff both fell trying to up the scoring rate. Matt provided a short but sweet cameo of 18 off 10 to try and get things moving before falling to a good catch on the boundary. There wasn’t a huge amount else to trouble the scorers though and the Whalers ended up being bowled out for 165 from 32 overs. 

We were clearly outplayed but there were also definitely a lot of learnings to take from the game in terms of the tactics of playing on a plastic pitch with a very slow outfield, the oppositions playing style and the need to take our catches on the boundary. All of this was noted by game 2 captain Amit who bought an additional element to Whalers captaincy in the form of a spreadsheet circulated to the team pre game with individual & team instructions. 

With the late start (certain players with no kit), and a lot of ball finding in the long grass which started 1m past the boundary the finish was fairly late. Enough time for Whalers ties (not Geoff) (and blazers for some) to be put on and visit a local Brewery/Taproom to digest the game. Saurabh then headed off to a local festival and Pip was denied any interest in going ‘dancing’. A lot of good content was sourced for social channels however and Pip performed a technically correct forward defence whilst taking a photo for a neighbouring table. 

So to game 2 (which would go down as a Whalers classic), the Whalers now in possession of their instructions however not all had listened to the earlier meet time. Saurabh who had continued his night out after the brewery won the prize for the latest Whaler. A positive from the previous day though was that Amit, Raman and Vishal remembered to take their kit out of the car on arrival so we were in good shape to start reasonably on time. 

Following yesterdays mixed bag of catching it was decided we needed some practise catching high balls which during the practice was fairly hit and miss but would it improve the catching in the game?

Today we were batting first and the new skipper Amit had promoted Matt up the order as a new opening partner with the instructions see it, hit it, admire it. This didn’t exactly pay off however as the opening bowlers didn’t give much to hit and Matt edged a swinging ball from Guri behind for 1. Amit had hit a couple of big sixes by this point though. Fraser was the new batsmen and started slowly but solidly against the best of the oppositions bowlers. Amit was out shortly after for 14 and Geoff also moved up the order to provide some hitting was out for 4. That left us on around 35-3 and the captains instructions seemingly disintegrating around him. However not all was lost. Raman took his time to get himself in whilst Fraser was starting to up his strike rate with some lovely lofted drives over the offside. 

Raman continued to find runs hard to come by until angered by one too many short balls he suddenly unleashed a hook shot for 6 and he was off and running. Cue a spell of extraordinary hitting from Fraser and Raman with the boundary being cleared on a regular basis and both batsmen passing 50. This led Sokol to bring back their opening bowlers however the extra pace just led to the ball being hit further. One particular six from Fraser was considered the biggest they had seen and ended up in a car park near the ground. 

Attempting another big shot Raman was bowled for 64, his second highest Whalers score. It also ended a partnership of 152 which upon checking was a Whalers record 4th wicket partnership. Pip who had been padded up for around 25 overs then joined Fraser for the last few overs. Fraser was still hitting some big shots and came into the last over on 92 not out. Some excellent bowling however stemmed the runs and Fraser finished on a fantastic 94 not out and the Whalers 204-4. A big improvement on yesterday and a defendable score. 

As with yesterday tea was late so we turned straight round albeit now with the threat of some rain. Vishal was given the new ball this time along with Sangamesh and all bowlers had instructions to keep the ball back of a length to try to limit the Sokol batters scoring. The opening bowlers were tidy however it was the change bowlers Suhaib and Matt who provided the breakthroughs. Suhaib trapping Dinesh for a debatable lbw and then the catching practice started to pay off. First Raman took a juggling catch from a skied pull shot by Arpit and then Pip took two boundary catches. Having been placed at deep square leg by Matt, Jai obliged and hit a short ball to him. He then took a good catch to remove the dangerous Sohail off Amit’s bowling. 

As with yesterday the batsmen kept playing their shots which with some better bowling continued to create chances. Suhaib had Wasul by Amit for 1 and Matt had Guri caught by Vishal. This left Sokol on 73-6 and the Whalers definitely in the driving seat. The rain looked imminent so the Whalers were keen to continue however the teas had now arrived so it was deemed that we should take tea. 

The break didn’t do Matt’s bowling any favours and new batsmen Osama took a liking to the short of a length bowling in the first over back to dispatch some big sixes over the leg side. Amit bowled Luca which bought Mamun to the crease. Osama had a hamstring injury so was purely interested in hitting boundaries and new bowlers Kamal and Raman also taking some punishment. Mamun also started dispatching anything loose and the Sokol score started to rise alarmingly. 

Suddenly Sokol needed 3-4 an over and looked favourites. Sangamesh was bought back into the attack and soon produced the champagne moment of the game clean bowling Osama for 55. A much needed breakthrough. The Whalers knew if they could just get Mamun then they would be back in the box seat with Sokol’s 10 & 11 not as powerful hitters. Captain Amit bought himself back and duly bowled Mamun for 42 and suddenly it was all to play for. Sokol needing around 15 off 6 overs and the Whalers 1 wicket.

Cue some obdurate batting from Sokol until Mark smashed Vishal back over his head for a 4. A big beamer followed for 3 no balls and suddenly Sokol needed only 5 to win. Vishal tightened up his bowling though for the rest of the over and on the last ball Veljko popped one up to short mid-wicket and a waiting Matt took the catch between his legs (literally). The Whalers had won by 4 runs and ended their losing streak both at home and abroad. A real roller coaster of a game that ebbed and flowed throughout. As well as better bowling & batting the key was taking our catches (the extra practise had paid off!). 

With the Whalers in high spirits some decided to challenge their masculinity with competitions for longest throw (won by Geoff), fastest runner (Sangamesh) and tug of war (not sure the winners…). 

A really enjoyable tour against an up and coming club who make the most of their situation and provided excellent hospitality. The Whalers then either headed to the airport or for one last night in Zagreb when the hot topic was ‘commingling’ and the museum of broken relationships…..

Game 1 Summary
Sokol 260-9
Suhaib 2-27 and Sangamesh 2-34

Whalers 165 all out
Fraser 48
Amit 39

Champagne – Vishal, clean bowled, stumps everywhere
Muppet – Amit, Vishal, Raman, leaving their kit in a car that left the ground
M-O-M – Amit

Full scoreboard

Game 2 Summary
Whalers 204-4
Fraser 94 no
Raman 64

Sokol 200 all out
Amit 3-33
Matt 3-41

Champagne – Sangamesh clean bowling Osama
Muppet- Raman being hit in the box
M-O-M – Fraser

Full Scoreboard

Tour Report by Matt Lucas.

The Whale soars high in Clapham thumping

Whalers vs Clapham Inn CC, Kings House – 25th June 2023

With temperatures due to hit 30 degrees it was made clear to Suhaib on the right decision on winning the toss, irrespective of what the pitch looked like. However Suhaib had a cunning plan, by showing the opposition captain the wrong pitch (designed for under 16s) which looked good for bowling and then losing the toss Whalers still managed to get a chance to bat first. 

After the first ball where Dean was rather surprised by the closeness of the bowler it was decided to move from the 18 yard pitch to the close by full size pitch and which was far more suited to batting and created a fairly short boundary. Inspired captaincy ??

After the faff of moving the kit from behind the bowlers new run up it was Dean and Rohan to open the batting and an electric start. The bowlers were certainly hampered by a strong wind down the ground and Rohan was taking on the free hitting opener role with a range of firmly struck boundaries and starting the days six hitting challenge with 34 coming off the first 4 overs. After racing to 25 Rohan’s eyes lit up one too many times and was bowled bringing Fraser to the wicket. After a slow start (well a single and a two) the boundaries started to flow and when Dean was out giving catching practice the score was 68 off 10.

Kishan and Fraser then set out to dominate the bowling for the next 15 overs. Fraser continuing to strike hard to all corners with Kishan preferring to run 1 and 2s which would catch up with him later in the innings. With Fraser getting close that ever elusive Whalers Century a change of bowling brought a change of luck for Clapham and the first ball from Crowley did enough to clip to top of off stump with Fraser bowled for 82. This brought Paul to the wicket and the run rate slowly fell as the late cut was not a fruitful as in 2003. With the score at 185-3 off 25 the pundits on the sideline saw this as a 250 par pitch. A couple of lusty blows brough some much needed boundaries before a rather predictable run out (having seen Kishan and Paul almost running into each other the previous over) saw Paul leave for 23 but brought Geoff to bring the power. Unfortunately, his first ball saw a remarkable one handed above head catch at mid-on.  Suhaib and Kishan kept the run rate up with a number of well run singles and twos and by now Kishan was blowing. So when Dan came in in the penultimate over and did his signature dab for one it was only converted to a 3 with overthrows. Kishan finished on 77 not out and the whalers had amassed 267-6 which was deemed defendable even on a good batting pitch with a short boundary.

During tea the rumours started about a revolutionary tactic Suhaib had concocted to throw the opposition. With Sangamesh opening at one end with the wind at his back the ball was thrown to Kamal to open the bowling for the first time in his illustrious Whalers career. Both started with looseners which were dispatched but in his second over Sangamesh hit his stride and turned the game in two balls bowling the Clapham numbers 1 and 3 in consecutive balls with fantastic full length deliveries. Kamal then bowled the other opener with one that drifted in the wind and Whalers were certainly on top. 

Sangamesh thought he had his third with an LBW successfully given before DRS intervened and after a lengthy discussion a claim of an inside edge was upheld. Fortunately, his third wicket came shortly after when Paul M took a slow motion diving catch at square leg and managed to stand up afterwards. 

Dan soon replaced Sangamesh and took a wicket first ball whilst Kamal continued uninterrupted at the “building site” end. As the Clapham tail started to wag Kamal took two identical wickets with the classic full toss on leg stump and being caught by Dan at fine leg tactics. Dan soon copied this by bowling a series of looseners and leg side deliveries before a straight one confused the batsmen.  After Kamal’s gargantuan effort of a straight 7 over spell Arpit came on to wrap up the tail with some sharp bowling into the wind. After joining the looseners club he took two wickets including a successful LBW before bowling the final wicket which saw Clapham all out for 91.

The only dampener on a great result was the fact the bar had shut by the time we finished.

Final Scores:

Whalers – 267-6 off 35 overs (Fraser 82, Kishan 77*)

Clapham Inn – 91 all out off 21.2 overs. (Sangamesh 3-11, Kamal 3-33)

Whalers win by 176 runs.

Man of the Match – Fraser for a fine innings of 82 runs

Champagne Moment – Sangamesh’s two wickets in two balls at the start of the Clapham innings.

Muppet Moment – Suhaib for setting the pitch up on a junior wicket.

Match Report by Paul Mildon

Middle Order Hot Streak Downs the Itinerants

Whalers CC vs London Itinerants, 11th June 2022, Barnes Common CC Ground

A very warm and hot day saw Russell ,with 8 Whalers assemble and ready to take on a 10 Man Itinerant  Team. Sensibly the captains agreed to a 30 over game and the losing tosser got to field first.

Russell choose Sangamesh to open and he got the Whalers off to a tight start with a magnificent Maiden.!! Vish got to open at the other end plus in his second over got their opener caught for 14  scored and Whalers were on their Way. Sangamesh then followed up- with a beautiful ball in his 3rd over and bowled their second Bat. With overs being restricted keeping the scoring rate down was also an effective tactic. 

After 6 overs the oppo  score was  32-2 .Rohan our debutant calmly stated that he fancied a bowl at first change and soon got his wish and his accuracy was rewarded with just 7 runs off 2 overs. Saurabh was rewarded with a wicket off his first Ball and the Itinerants were struggling 3 down and their top scorer so far had departed on 26. Nevertheless their number 6 had other ideas. Saurabh was only given 3 overs as he couldn’t quite strangle their batsman down but did get to bowl another batsman going for his shots and finished 2-25.

 Russell was trying to rotate the bowlers bought himself on and his second over disappeared for 17 runs. Rohan first 4 overs was only at 17 runs in total with his pace and accuracy he had also bowled their number 7. After Drinks more tight overs were needed but Batsman number 6 was in the mood and was pulling and driving at will to good balls. Russell Departed with 4 overs going for 46. Arpit had the challenge of stemming the runs. Rohan had bowled himself out with a creditable 6 overs going for  2-28. The Openers had to be bought back in . Batsmen number 6 second half innings went even quicker with 2 more 4’s an d 2 more sixes bringing up a brutal ton and hence his retirement, He was dropped twice in the 80’s one of them by Our captain and a spectacular juggler by Saurabh. More sloppy fielding meant the Intinerants finished their 30 overs at 216 for 7.

The Whalers Reply got off to a quick start with Will hitting 4 fours and a couple of singles but he didn’t quite hit the ball through with a follow throu  and was easily caught for 18. With the Wind picking up and some now cloud cover Amit was bowled by Nish after 4   balls for a Duck and Roland went the same way to Nish with an outswinger for a nice looking 8! It was 28-3 

Rohan was in at 4 and was hitting the second change bowlers nicely with Roland’s bat . Arpit started slowly but also got into anything loose and hitting through the ball as well with anything pitched up at the Stumps as well,,. Rohan missed a straight one and was given LBW and Whalers were 4 down with only 98 on the board. This Bought the Mighty Sangamesh to the crease and with a few wickets left a win looked well off. However, the Bowlers grew a little tired in the heat and Sangamesh also took a likely to some classic pulls and driving and was putting pressure on the field with easy singles as well. Arpit got to his fifty first a much rememberable hit for those that witnessed it. But the match swung back again with Nish having been bought back on Bowled Arpit for a classy 65 and Nish had 3 wickets all bowled for 24 runs. The Whalers 5th Wicket Stand was for a sold 79 runs, 

Vishal  With Some careful defence and strike rotation gave the strike as much as possible left the Hitting to Sangamesh who bough up his 50 and guided the Whalers home to 218. Yes 218 as Will had slightly cocked up the scoring !!!!

A great Game played with friendly camaraderie and some excellent all over cricket.

Fine of the Day – Russell Losing Tosser, Dropping their Number 6 and some Buffet Bowling- Not to mention Slightly hungover  

Man of the Match –  Sangamesh 59 not out and 3-29

Muppet Moment – Arpit not bringing a BAT out to bat and should have been timed out!!!

Champagne Moment – Arpit for his lovely hit 6 – The Only one of the Whalers Innings 

Honourable Mention – Roland’s Bat = Never seen so many runs played off it in one day having nbeen shared around but a few off out players 

Match Report by Roland Hogg

Rohan breaks the bank down South

Whalers CC vs Southbank CC, 18 June 2023

After the usual faff involving the kitbag which was somewhere in Surrey, and another last-minute non-cricket-related sports injury, the Whalers gathered at what is now the Dulwich Sports Trust ground on Turney Road. This was an opportunity for some of the older Whalers to remininisce about how this used to be our original London home ground – it was even where your correspondent scored their first (and realistically, only) Whalers century some 20+ years ago. Back then, I’m not sure we used Excel as the way to set out the day’s tactics, but anyway…

Amit K was today’s captain, and after a bit of a chat with the oppo and a “non-toss”, we had agreed to field on the grounds that two of the opposition had been delayed on the way to the ground. Someone then noticed that we also were two short as neither Bilal or Nirmal had arrived yet either, but by then it was too late and we were ready to start bowling. Nirmal arrived just in time for the first ball and then spent the next couple of hours gradually putting on more and more cricket kit. Bilal had a more leisurely change under a tree, not realising the chaos this would cause for the captain’s spreadsheet which had him opening the bowling…

Sangamesh and Bilal (eventually) opened the bowling on a bouncy pitch where the odd one popped up. Both of them bowled pretty well but one of the their openers in particular was quick to hit anything loose to the boundary, helped by quite a few early Whalers misfields. Dan and Nirmal came on first change, and Nirmal eventually got the breakthrough when their opener top-edged a pull shot to Dan at fine leg. This was just a couple of minutes after a fielder had been moved to deep square leg and then dropped the very next ball. Relief all round, although Southbank were off to a pretty quick start.

Their number three also looked pretty handy, although he also benefited from some Whalers generosity when Sangamesh tried to catch a dolly with his face rather than his hands. The day’s champagne moment followed when Nirmal took an excellent catch in his follow-through to get rid of the other opener, and at drinks they were 90-ish for 2 and the game was fairly evenly poised. Their number three then accelerated after drinks, before Nirmal took another catch off Saurabh to get rid of him for 68. Russell got the next wicket, but by now Southbank were well-placed for an imposing total. However, they didn’t get there thanks to Rohan who bowled an excellent spell to take 5-15 from four overs, with double hat-trick avoidance (two wickets in two balls, twice).

Southbank 198 all out (Rohan 5-15, Nirmal 2-27, Geoff 3 catches)

By now it was raining gently so the Whalers were glad to scarper inside for a traditional cricket tea and watch England lose a couple of wickets. The weather forecast was looking a bit iffy so we were keen to get on with things again post-tea. What followed next was a bit like watching the King’s Coronation all over again, as no fewer than three other Whalers helped Arpit pad up – wrapping the thighpad around him, adjusting his helmet, checking he was wearing a box this week…

Eventually Will and Arpit strode to the middle. The Southbank openers were fast and accurate, and again the odd one popped off a length. Will managed to get hit in the chest and break one of the club bats, all before getting caught in the covers for 1. Arpit went the same way for 24 after some excellent shots (and less excellent running). This brought together Amit and Geoff, who both had a couple of sweet hits. With the weather looming, Amit was caught for 23 but it then started to rain properly and that was game over. 

Whalers 66-3 from 13 overs (Arpit 24, Amit 23, Geoff 17*)

Match drawn

Overall a pretty even game which was nicely poised, although we would have helped ourselves if we’d taken some of the early catches! Duckworth-Lewis had us roughly level until Amit’s wicket (prompting a fines committee debate about whether the skipper could be fined for “losing the game” or just for failing to understand enough spreadsheets).

Man of the match was clearly Rohan for his excellent bowling

Champagne moment was Nirmal’s smart caught-and-bowled

Muppet moment was very hotly contested, but eventually went to Arpit’s “King Charles experience” when padding up, with Sangamesh attempting to catch it with his face a close second.

Match Report by Dan Osgood