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Whalers Slay Dragons

Whalers CC vs Southall Dragons CC; Sunday 6th June 2021; King’s House Sports Ground

On a warm humid day with the threat of rain around the Whalers stood around waiting for the opposition. Despite coming only from Southall they went to another ground after an hour delay the Toss was finally made and Josh Sent Dean and Pip out to bat. The first 4 or 5 overs saw as many different bowlers used. After a tight couple of overs the Dean starting
hitting a few pitched up deliveries. Pip soon joined in the fun backed up by plenty of good running.


The opposition captain Daman then brought himself back on to stem the flow. Bowling off about 5 strides he had a whippy action and was bringing the ball back nicely into righthanders by quite a distance on a green looking wicket. Soon Pip was bowled offering no stroke. Then Ross quickly followed out for a duck again bowled by the same bowler. Roland strode to the wicket and thought attack was a good option and after a couple of good strikes was out LBW to another inswinger.


Whalers stood at 50 odd for 3 and Geoff stepped to the wicket offering some chances but hitting loose deliveries, Dean started peppering up the hitting off the other bowlers and then a few drops starting to occur some or them regulation which would later hurt Southall. Just when Geoff looked set he was bowled for 20 and the middle/late order looked exposed.
Whalers Secret weapon Amit appeared and after a few singles started to punish loose deliveries. Dean soon passed 50 and then accelerated his hitting and it included some lovely 6’s plus 2 more drops. . On 85 run’s his luck was used up and he was eventually caught but what a valiant innings.
Amit was looking to pull a few deliveries and then the fielding started to get a bit ragged as Sohaib and Vishal gave support and fresh legs. Amit was run out just passed his 50 trying to squeeze runs in the last few overs and Daman came back and claimed Vishal Bowled and Sohaib caught to claim a nice five for. Josh came out to face one delivery and amongst much teammate mirth preserved his average . At 217 for 7 off 35 Overs looked a daunting total and a score Whalers have not reached for a while but could we defend this.

Nick and Dan opened the Bowling and Nick was economical as usual. After 2 or 3 overs the run rate was low and adding extra pressure on Southall. Dan starting to push a few leg side and was pulled away quite nicely and then was soon slapped for a Six!!


Nick asked for a field adjustment and bought Roland in close to the opener who took a slick one handed diving catch to set Whalers on their way. Their number 3 Bat sure knew how to hit and started to accelerate the run rate. Vishal was bough into the attack and was offering plenty of variation and some containing stuff. Their other opener was caught by Ross the wicket keeper and Whalers look set to determine the pattern of play. Their Number 3 only knew one way to bat was punishing anything short or wide. Shoaib had replaced Nick by now who bowled a very measly 5 over for 15 runs and also was asking some good questions.

At Drinks 18 overs left, Southall looked set to attack our target with wickets in hand. We had a changed of bowler with Ross taking the pads off came onto to Change the Game starting with a simple catch to mid off . With each of Southall batsmen in attack mode outside edges past 2nd slip area was their value runs area!.


Ross’s Medium pace and accuracy was bringing rewards and in the 5/6 and balls he had both of their next batsmen bowled trying aggressive shots. Josh had also bought himself on and looked very tidy as well. In Ross 4th Over he had a chance for a hat trick with seemed to passed our Skip’s consciousness and a tight field wasn’t set which resulted a bunted ball in the air landing in a very catchable area .!!!!


However the game clinching wicket was a smart team run out of Batsman 3 who was on 55 at the time and showed the all round fielding didn’t let up. Dean replaced Josh after 3 overs and produced a fast straight fizzing ball that resulted a dead cert LBW. More team Catches off Ross another to Pip and a Dolly to Josh meant that Southall innings ended on 160 and 57 runs shy of our total. Ross finished for 5 wickets off 5 overs.

Whalers retired to the bar to give Josh the fines off the day. Despite Dean’s 85 Runs and 1 wicket or Amit’s tidy overs and 55 the Man of the match went to Ross for his five for
Champagne went Roland’s Smart one handed Catch
And Muppet went to Geoff loud appeal for LBW when clearly the loud clunk was a leading edge.

Whalers Rainy Utopia

Whalers CC vs Utopers CC (T20): Sunday 16th May; King’s House Sports Ground

Fresh of the back of their first victory of the season, The Whalers were looking to continue their winning run with a home fixture against Utopers. With the weather forecast predicting heavy rain, it did look uncertain as to whether a game would be able to be played at all. A decision was made to start slightly later and reduce the match to 20 overs per side. Before we had even begun the dark clouds had started to descend and with most of the opposition yet to arrive, it was decided that it would make most sense for Whalers to field first and that is what we did.

After conceding just 7 runs from his 5 over last Sunday, Nick was once again trusted with the ball in conditions that could only be described as bleak. Ross was opening up from the other end and between them they kept it tight. The ball was beating the outside edge on a regular basis and the pressure was already beginning to mount on the opening batsmen. The first wicket fell when a looped edge (is that even a thing?) found its way into Will’s hands to give Nick his first wicket of the match. The second wicket fell not long after, a miscued drive off the bowling of Ross dropped into the safe hands of Dean, who would go onto take a further two catches. It was here that Utopers began to stage a mini fightback with Amit’s two overs going for a few, but in reality this was short lived. Batsmen 3 and 4 were dismissed by Will and Dean respectively, the latter who went onto claim a further two wickets- a busy 20 overs for Dean and a nasty ball to the shin area too. The collapse was well and truly underway, Josh got into the action with one of his trademark half trackers that managed to fool the batsmen (Whalers’ very own Rahul) into slapping back into his cold, wet but grateful hands. Nick came back on and claimed the final two wickets with some textbook death over bowling and that was that- Whalers were chasing 70 to win.

The target was certainly chaseable but the weather wasn’t showing much sign of improving- a half-hearted pitch inspection by Josh and Will deemed the conditions to be just about playable “as long as they get on with it”. They were able to do it within 13 overs without the loss of any wickets thanks to some solid defence and good running (including an all run 5).

All in all, the main thing is that we were able to get the game on. The bowling was good and we took our catches in some fairly tough conditions. As for the batting, you can’t argue with a 10 wicket victory but there will be some tougher tests to come.

Whalers 70/0 beat Utopers CC 69/9 (a/o) by 10 wickets

Awards

Champagne (prosecco) moment: Al & Pip’s all run 5

Muppet: Will for his ‘Nathan Lyon’ moment

MOM: Dean: 3-4 with the ball and also 3 good catches

New captain Josh leads Whalers to first victory of the year

After a couple of away losses the Whalers returned to Kings House for our first home game of the season against the Quokkas. Debutant captain Josh won the toss and we were batting.

Dean and Al made a brisk start punishing anything short on a good pitch that had softened a touch from the rain the day before. The boundaries were also long and the outfield slightly slow so some good running between the wickets would also be needed. Al and Dean both survived dropped catches, Al being particularly lucky, and the score raced on to 60 after 10 overs before Dean was the first out LBW. The Quokkas change bowlers then came on and bowled well, straight and on a good length and they got good rewards as the runs dried up and the wickets started tumbling, 4 in quick succession. Fraser and Will started to rebuild and hit some cracking shots before a running mix up saw Will sacrifice himself for the cause. Fraser was middling it well but was unlucky to be out to an early contender for catch of the season, a left handed diving grab inches off the ground at long on. Matt then anchored the lower order to the end with a team high 31no, despite a moment of luck when he nudged a very slow ball down leg and charged off for a single, only for the keeper, standing up at the stumps stopping it and somehow missing the stumps with a throw from a couple of feet. Fraser with 30, Al with 28 and with most other batsman chipping in (the author excluded) the final total was 171. Most felt this was around par.

In reply Nick and Matt opened the bowling with some steady line and length also making good use of an increasing breeze, but although they weren’t scoring many runs there were no early wickets, Matt was unlucky not to hold on to a fierce return catch from his first ball. The breakthrough came in the 9th over when Nick got the edge and Pip took a sharp juggling catch low down at first slip. Vishal after replacing Nick then got the second, enticing another edge to Pip at first slip who was starting to make slip catching look easy. Will at the other end also got an edge and Geoff behind the stumps after a bit of juggling of his own grabbed it low down to his right. Had some proper cricket broken out?. Vishal and Will both continued to bowl well using the wind to get some good swing and both took another couple of wickets to put the Whalers on top, and with the run rate increasing the Whalers were starting to feel confident. The Quokkas lower order then put up some resistance and it wasn’t till Josh and Dean came on to bowl some spin that the final 3 wickets fell. Notably Pip picking up his third catch at slip, though this one a gentler top edge than the first two. The Quokkas ended up 57 runs short after a pretty good Whalers bowling and fielding effort with all the bowlers using the wind and pitch well, and some good catching overall, despite a couple of drops.

M.o.M, Vishal for his 3 wickets in the middle of the Quokkas innings

Champagne, Pips slip catching but notably the first one low down to the left

Muppet, Matt for tickling a very slow ball down leg and charging for a run, despite the keeper, who was standing at the stumps stopping it and somehow missing the stumps with a throw from a couple of feet.

Amit ton to no avail as epic chase falls short

Highgate CC vs Whalers CC; Highgate Cricket Club; Sunday 25th April 2021

It was another bright Sunday afternoon in the idyllic settings of North London as The Whalers looked to bounce back from the disappointment of last week’s defeat to Winchmore Tigers. The Whalers were led by a slightly hungover Russell, captaining a side for the first time since he was 13. After losing the toss, we were put in to bowl against a very youthful looking Highgate outfit.

With not a lot of assistance from the pitch and a quick if sometimes unpredictable outfield, Dan and Russell were tasked with breaking the opening partnership. Despite bowling a good line, Highgate were obtuse in defence and were able to put away the not-so-good balls. Chances were at a premium, the best of which was a miscued drive that didn’t quite reach Josh at mid on. The runs continued at a steady rate, assisted by some dubious fielding and an extras count that would eventually reach 34. Viren and Amit were brought into the attack and it was the latter who made the breakthrough, getting one through the gate and crash into the wickets. Andrew was the next to be thrown the ball and kept things relatively tight during his 6 over spell. However, it was after this that we began to lose control, the remaining opener made his way to a well composed century and their number 3 also made a quick fire 53. This came to an end when he attempted to drive Josh down the ground, but he was able to stick up a (now heavily bruised) hand and cling on. The runs continued to flow, and the Whalers were now down to 10- skipper Russel pulling up after trying to stop the batsmen coming back for two. Highgate concluded on 277/2 and were the happier side going into Tea.

It was clear that if we were going to get anywhere near this total, one of the top order batsmen was going to have to step up and hit a big total. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be Roland’s day to steal the limelight as he chased a wide one and slapped it straight to the cover region to depart for a duck. Amit was having more luck at the other end, a late choice to open, he started out in an aggressive manner and was able to hit a range of boundaries. Fraser in at 3 also began in a confident manner and the visiting team were beginning to dream of a famous victory. If Amit and Fraser stayed in, the run rate would not be an issue. Fraser however, was not able to stay in and departed just short of a well deserved 50. Kishen was next to the crease and was resolute in defence- able to keep out their rather nippy change bowler. Amit was able to more than keep him out and launched a couple of hefty but nonchalant blows down the ground. I don’t know what Amit’s previous high score was for the Whalers, but I know for certain he more than surpassed it here, first to 50, then to 100, before eventually falling for 122 to their young leg spinner who would go on to claim 5 wickets. It was then that the situation began to go south- Rahul, Andrew, Josh and Vishel all departing in quick succession. Despite a spirited last wicket stand between Viren and Dan, there were too many runs to get with barely 3 overs remaining and the game was eventually over when Viren was run out for a very spirited 20.

Overall, there were some positives to take; Amit’s superb century, a nice knock from Fraser and at points some nice and tidy bowling. There are also areas to build on- catches win matches and also we need to try improve the fielding in general. All things said, it’s a long old season and we have plenty build on. We look forward to going again in two weeks’ time as we return to King’s House for our first home game of the season.

Whalers 240/9 (a/o) lost to Highgate CC 276/2 by 37 runs

Awards

Champagne moment: One of Amit’s many sixes down the ground

Muppet: Rahul going out to bat, without a bat

MOM: Amit- 1 wicket and 122 runs

Whale Downed by Tiger

Winchmore Tigers CC vs Whalers CC; Sunday 18th April 2021; Winchmore Hill Cricket Club


11 Whalers gathered at Winchmore Hill, scene of last season’s last gasp loss, to kick off the 2021 season versus the Winchmore Tigers. Unseasonably sunny skies set the stage for a great day’s cricket, with new skipper Matt winning the toss and electing to bat on a flat looking pitch. In amongst some regular Whalers were two debutants in Ross and Vishal. 


Al and Ross opened the innings coming up against some tight bowling from the Tigers openers, comprising two left armers. Ross was bowled by a cracking delivery from Lloyd-Barnes early on and was soon followed by Vishal, dismissed by the same bowler. Viren followed soon and when Al was dismissed by an excellent catch at cover to leave the Whalers 28/4, it was looking like an early finish might be on the cards. It could have been even worse had Pete N not received a first ball LBW reprieve from Kev, umpiring after tearing his achilles crossing the road. 


Step forward Fraser who’s mere appearance struck fear into the hearts of the Tigers following his 99* last season. He duly began to unfurl a flurry of drives, including a fantastic 6 over cover. Lloyd-Barnes then picked up Pete, LBW for 3, with Josh joining Fraser at the crease. Cue some more excellent shots from Fraser, until his innings was brought to an abrupt end after being bowled by Lloyd-Barnes for 28, the opener registering his 5th wicket with the penultimate ball of his spell. 68/6.


Will and Josh temporarily steadied the ship with a partnership of 26 runs until the latter was bowled for 20. Matt came and went without troubling the scorers, leaving the Whalers 92/8. Amit hit some fantastic shots, blazing his way to 19 before being dismissed LBW, leaving an injured Geoff and Will to try and rescue the innings. Despite a few more boundaries, they could only get the Whalers up to a disappointing 135 all out off 31 overs, with Geoff the final wicket to fall. 


Following the first Covid-friendly tea break of the year, and despite Amit, Vishal and Viren failing to learn from Fraser’s 2020 visit to Winchmore Hill and ordering food that arrived just before the second innings was due to begin,  the Whalers got off to a great start with Matt bowling a Tiger opener for just 1. With Amit finding his range after a few loose deliveries, the Whalers generated some good pressure in the first 6 overs. 


Some loose deliveries from 1st change bowler Will, coupled with some good batting from the Tiger’s openers saw them claw their way back into the game. Matt continued to shuffle the pack and found some good control from Viren and debutant Ross in particular. But the Tigers kept going and were past the half-way point in the chase at the drinks break at 20 overs for only one wicket lost. The trend continued after drinks, despite some more tight bowling and the Tigers crossed the 100 mark with 15 overs left in the game.

As they neared the target, Matt threw the ball to the Club President and all-round golden arm, Al, to break the stand or ensure an early finish. To the surprise of absolutely no one, Al duly produced two tight overs, including the wicket of Tiger opener Forrester for a gutsy 46. But at 126/2, it was unfortunately too late for any further heroics and the Tigers knocked off the remaining runs untroubled. Special mention should go to Tigers No.3 bat Nawagumuwa who finished an excellent 81*. 
Thanks to the Tigers for another good game. 

Whalers (135 all out, Fraser 28, Al 20, Josh 20, Will 21*) lost by 8 wickets to the Winchmore Tigers (136/2)

Man of the Match: Al for his 20 runs and 1-17 

Champagne; Fraser’s 6 over cover

Muppet: Matt getting hit in the bollocks (twice) while fielding

Winchmore Tigers Report: HERE