Whalers CC vs Cricketers CC; Sunday 12th May; King’s House Sports Ground
With the season well and truly up and running, a full Whalers eleven arrived at a sunny King’s House to turn things around after the first match. A strong side were slightly confused by the “agreement” that had apparently been made for The Cricketers to bat first, but the arrangement was confirmed by the toss and the Whale prepared to field. Jack and Russell got things going and, thanks to some fairly generous umpiring, the first three overs kept things tight. Unfortunately for Russell, the Cricketers’ openers decided they would start to free their arms and helped themselves to 13 runs off the fourth over. Amit was brought in to try and stem the flow of runs and bring a wicket, and he did just that when he bowled one of the openers for 17. Dan took over at the other end and maintained the pressure with a tight line and length. Nick, replacing Amit, capitalised on this pressure and bowled the Cricketers’ number 3, which sparked a run of quick wickets. Dan clean bowled the Cricketers’ number 4 before drawing number 5 into a loose shot which was smartly caught by Pip in the gully (with the obligatory dive for emphasis). A third quickly followed for Dan as he trapped number 6 LBW (and immediately hung his head in shame for potentially putting a debutant off ever playing the game again). At drinks the Whalers were feeling confident of keeping the Cricketers to a low score.
That confidence had clearly forgotten about the Whalers’ ability to demonstrate some particularly poor fielding. Several catches were dropped, some of which were much easier than others, the energy to attack the ball in the field apparently disappeared, and Nick decided that he would pick the ball up while straddling the boundary to throw it back in. Kamal and Matt did their best to restrict things, but the poor fielding and strong batting partnership of batsmen 2 and 9 pushed the fielders back and brought the Cricketers back into it. Matt ended the partnership with some excellent bowling to remove batsman 2 for 55, and the last few overs swing back towards the Whale. Two more wickets in the final over (one bowled, and a run out on the final ball) meant the Cricketers finished on 141 off their 35 overs.
Having gorged themselves on the new and improved teas at King’s House, Al and Dean strode out confident of being able to take their time to reach the target. Wary of some uneven bounce in the pitch and restricted by some tight bowling from the Cricketers’ opening pair, it was a slow start as they sought the occasional ones and twos. Al fell in the fourth over to a sharp delivery, but Pip and Dean looked to be starting to pick things up as they each found the boundary. Unfortunately for the Whalers, these were the only two times the umpires needed to signal a four in the whole Whalers innings, and both soon signalled the end of the batsmen. Pip looked to have got enough on a sharp drive but it was snaffled by a good catch in the field, before Dean top edged an attempted hoick over midwicket and was out caught and bowled. Will maintained a presence at the crease with some good looking shots, but was rapidly running out of batting partners. Matt went forwards, and then backwards, to a straight one and was out LBW, Russell could only watch as his first delivery went under his bat, and Amit picked out a fielder early into his innings to leave the Whalers struggling on 27-6.
A rejigged batting order meant Dan joined Will at the crease and it looked like hope may have been making its way back into the Whalers innings, before Will’s good run came to an end as he was bowled for 20. Special ‘The Wall’ K kept things out for a while as Dan looked for his usual twos, but there was one too many straight one for Kamal to deal with. Dan found the same fielder that Amit had, and it was left to Nick and Jack to try and salvage something, or get out quickly to head to the pub. Some interesting running choices from the two of them resulted in Nick being run out for one, and the Whalers were all out for 53 off 26 overs. Cue much discussion about how the season can only get better from here as it’s not really possible to bat or field much worse than had been shown on this outing.
Cricketers CC 141 ao (35)
Whalers CC 53 ao (26)
Muppet moment(s) went to Nick generally, highlighted by his questionable running when batting and the active decision to throw the ball in from over the boundary. Pip’s catch off Dan’s bowling took the Champagne moment (partly because it was the only catch the Whalers held), and Dan’s excellent bowling figures (4-19 off his seven overs) earned him Man of the Match.