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Rain the winner again

Whalers v Putney 4ths, Saturday 31 July

Rain continued to be the main story of the 2021 season so far, with the Whalers bowlers on top when the heavens opened after ~20 overs.

After quite a lot of faff during the week, we managed to get an almost full team out at short notice – many thanks to Kieron, Eshan, and Bilal for stepping in. However, on arrival at Battersea Park there was already a game going on what we had been told was our pitch (which looked very nicely prepared). So off we wandered to the other pitch which had a few footballers on the outfield and looked, shall we say, a little under-prepared? After a bit of debate over which of the strips was slightly less soggy, the Whalers won the toss and we were… bowling.

Once the skipper’s decision had been debated and Viren arrived (credit also to Fraser’s partner for bringing the team kitbag), Suhaib and Dan got things under way. Dan got an early wicket caught behind by Dean, and Suhaib got the other opener thanks to a good catch from Kieron. In fact our catching all game was distinctly un-Whaler-like, with every chance taken. This might have had something to do with the soothing yoga music coming from the next door festival, which definitely kept everyone’s heart rate down – except for Nick, who found the spectacle more arousing.

The next pair consolidated things a bit and the occasional wide ball tended to be dispatched to the boundary. But generally the bowling was pretty solid throughout. Eshan took his first Whalers wicket, an achievement which your writer is sure will be a lifelong memory, thanks to another good catch from Viren. Bilal also bowled well on debut, and by drinks Putney were only on 66-3. The sun even made a brief appearance, prompting Fraser to scramble for the factor 50. However, there was also a filthy grey cloud getting closer, and post-drinks there was only time for a couple more overs including a wicket for Vishal with one which didn’t really bounce. Then the heavens opened, and everyone ran for the nearest tree in the hope it might provide some shelter (it didn’t).

With the rain still pelting down and a large lake forming in the middle of the wicket, the game was quickly called off before Putney scarpered to try to find something which provided a bit more protection from the weather. The yoga dancing people, on the other hand, were still going quite happily.

We’re still trying to track down the scorecard, but best guess at this stage would be:

Putney ~70-4 off ~19 overs

Whalers DNB

Match abandoned

Double Header Weekend

Whalers v Clapham Inn CC; Friday 23rd July 2021; The Hub, Regents Park

The Whalers kept their winning record going with a closely fought game against Clapham Inn CC last Friday eve. Most arrived on time at pitch 5 at the Hub and some got lost in Regents Park in the process. Pat Moore turned up a little late up post celebrating his last day of school a little worse for wear. But with his trilby hat on he was good to go. Matt the skipper elected to roll with the times and the Whalers first 100 ball game ensued. So the new format ensured 10 bowlers with 10 balls each (either to be taken as 5 at a time or the full 10) only Kishan our wicket keeper missing out.

Ross opened the bowling and with an audience watching made our standard of cricket look decent with his first very quick ball swinging in to hit the top of middle stump. Both he and Matt bowled some decent line and length balls keeping the scoring low. Will and Aseem (ignoring his first ball … extreme loosener) followed and also bowled well but the opposition dug in. Some comical fielding and missed run out opportunities didn’t help with Pat struggling to keep upright at times in the field. Vishal also refused to catch the ball putting down some chances. Both Williams and Lynch the opposition batsmen proved hard to get out. Nick tried some off spin and managed to stop a decent drive with his foot but couldn’t break the deadlock. Geoff also tried from the other end and bowled well. Dan eventually tempting Lynch into a lofted drive caught in deep gully. Williams eventually retired on 25 and Vishal got the other break through getting the new batsman to loft the bowl to a good catch from Aseem. Dan got an LBW and Pat and Amit K continued the fight with decent pace bowling. The best bowling figures however probably awarded to Dan, Ross and Matt. Also some great keeping from Kishan. Clapham CC setting 81 off 100 balls as our target.

Nick (who ascended the batting order from no. 11 to no.2) and Geoff went out to bat. Nick taking ‘leg guard’ batting tips from Dean to move his feet managed to play some nice shots in the first couple of overs. Geoff also did the same as the antipodeans got the score board going nicely. Nick eventually retired on 25 and Geoff soon followed maliciously being given out by Will LBW despite clearly hitting the ball for 10. Ross came out to bat and hit 2 nice 6s but got himself out caught behind off the back of his bat for 20. Kishan came out and played some nice shots but was also out caught. Amit K came into bat and then played some good shots. However with 2 runs needed both he and Pat got mixed up with Pat refusing to run the second run, falling over and being run out. With one ball to win Amit K thought it would be a good idea to try left handed batting… he missed the ball twice… embarrassingly delayed the game…deservedly got muppet of the match… and a no-ball unceremoniously and comically won the Whalers the game with a couple of balls to spare. We all headed to Primrose Hill after the game for a beer.

Man of the match – Nick Howes!

Champagne Moment – Ross – first ball top of off stump

Muppet

  • Amit K – Left hand batting unsuccessfully to try and win the game

(Muppet honourable mentions)

  • Aseem’s first ball
  • Pat Moore refusing second run then falling over and getting run out

Whalers CC v Salix CC (return leg) Sunday 25th July 2021; King’s House Sports Ground

Folk met early for the much anticipated return leg against Salix to be played at Kings House this time. Due to phones pinging and other reasons the team was down to 9 late on Sunday morning. The skipper put out a desperate last minute email plea for players with a battered and bruised Nick answering the call pushing the team to 9.5. The weather forecast was poor with thunder storms and heavy rain forecasted for around 4-5pm. Based on this both Matt and Yov the skippers decided on trying for a quick 25 over game.

Based on his personal best top score the weekend before out strode Dean and Will to open the batting. Dean wasted no time getting settled. He bludgeoned the first ball for four. Raj bowled some tight overs but basically anything bowled by the opposition bowlers that was legside and short was further belted out to cow corner as Dean continued to get the run rate going. Sai was very unlucky to have a dropped chance by the keeper off some good spin bowling. There were some other dropped chances put down as well. The umpire then suggested it a good idea to bowl over the wicket to Dean instead of around and was later heavily fined for this. Will took his time to get going and creamed a ball high into the sky unlucky to have not made it to the boundary go out to a long hop ball caught and bowled by Sai. Dean clubbed balls to all parts of the ground despite some good pace powling from Andy and retired on 102. Fraser came out and was run out by a good throw and was out for 5. Dan and Matt the left and right handed nurdlers of the ball caused the opposition fielders to come in from the boundary. Dan eventually being caught. Paul came out for one ball before the weather took a turn for the worse.

As predicted the heavens opened with thunder and lightening and after a short delay all walked towards the clubhouse. Dan and Geoff waited behind with the kit and the rain stopped. All turned around at the clubhouse with Matt declaring on 142 off 20.1 overs. Amit K and Amit J opened the bowling with thunder and lightening ominously billowing out and around the Kings house area. Amit K bowled with some real pace troubling the opening batsmen. Nick put down a tough catching chance in gully despite the treacherous conditions. Amit J bowled a few looseners down leg side and the Salix batsmen Raj and Will got their score going. At the start of the 4th over heavy rain prompted all to retreat to the clubhouse. The heavy rain continued unabated for the 30 minutes. Despite this Dan, Geoff and Paul refused to give up on the game and waited out by the ground. Dan refused the stumps being removed. However most had given up on the game and were either in the bar or in the carpark on their way home.

Match abandoned – no result

Man of the match – Dean for his 102 not out

Champagne Moment – Dean brutalising Salix for the second week in a row

Muppet – The 3 batsmen who got out

Hot 150

Salix CC vs Whalers CC: Barn Elms; Sunday 18th July 2021

The hottest day of the summer set the stage for a great outing for the Whalers, with skipper winning the toss and elected to bat first on seemingly “used” pitch. All the 11 Whalers arrived fresh in the scorching sun in a not too far away game against Salix. Josh, Vishal and Amit loosened themselves with the football while others were applying sun cream in the shade.

Dean and Pip opened for Whalers and gave the steady start. A few missed chances against Dean was going to be very expensive, little did Salix know about by then. Dean started to deal in 4s and reached his 50. The opening partnership was done when Pip was trapped in front of wickets and given LBW on 26. Amit joined Dean in the middle who started to look good and hit some boundaries.Dean well settled by now, started to deal in 6s, reached to his 90s and celebrated his magnificent 90s as a century –  credit to scorer – probably scorer knows the pain of being underscored – he overscored the batter.  Not aware of this, Dean went into all out attack and reached his un-clapped 100, and continued to dominate and de-moralizing bowlers. He went to hit 11 sixes, and 14 fours equalizing his own best score of 152 before he was caught on the boundary. Vishal continued to show his DSLR skills on the boundary – Dean’s inning is well captured for the memory.

Fraser walked in to join Amit but did not trouble scorer much and got out on a loose delivery while trying to hit long. Geoff walked in next, soon Amit departed too, losing his concentration and got trapped in front of the wickets on 26. Viren after a long wait went to join Geoff in the middle in a football jersey( more on this later ). Both departed soon leaving Matt and Vishal on the crease. They didn’t disappoint and gave us entertainment with some good shots and good running between the wickets. Vishal’s six over the long off was the highlight of the last part of the Whalers inning where his hitting took the opponents by surprise. Matt was bowled on 15 trying to hit over the covers. Josh and Vishal continued till the last overs and left Whalers on 280 in 35 overs.

With the ongoing rumours of a good batting line-up in the opposition left Whalers bowlers nothing but inspired. Dan and Suhaib started with the new ball. Dan struck first for the Whalers when he wrapped the batter in front of wicket. While Suhaib was struggling to find his line, he was targeted and got  hit for boundaries. Dan showing his experience kept the business – run rate – in control with his line-length and pace. VV (Viren and Vishal) were brought as the first change. Viren was quick to get Whalers another breakthrough – clean bowled and gave batsman a send-off with a stare – not a gentleman’s game anymore for him. Vishal too got one by cleaning the wickets. Salix started to leave behind the required run-rate, which started to skyrocket and put pressure on the batsman. Next in the bowling attack, Matt and Amit were brought – Matt immediately got one, as the pressure was mounting on the batsman. While Salix were losing wickets from the one end, their one opener reached his half century. Any hope of chasing it down vanished when Amit clean bowled him, and got the next batsman LBW on consecutive deliveries –  and was ready to bowl the hat-trick ball – “not today” he ended up with. Josh brought himself on the attack and soon got the wicket. Batsman skied the ball, Amit failing to realize the trajectory of the ball, started to run for the ball very late with one hand in front (in hope) and luckily got the catch. All that was left was overs to bowl as the required run rate was way over. Finishing 35 overs, Salix managed to get 188.

PS: If you are wondering who was the scorer – Geoff

Whalers: 280-8 from 35 overs (Dean 152, Vishal 29)

Salix: 188-8 from 35 overs (Amit 2-13, Dan 2-19)

Man of the Match: Dean for 152 runs

Champagne: Vishal’s six down the groundMuppet: Viren taking forever to get ready, although warned about the typical Whalers collapse – eventually went to bat with a Tottenham jersey.

Whalers Win Away

Energy Exiles CC vs Whalers CC; South Wimbledon; Sunday 11th July 2021

The Whale (apart from Nick who got on the wrong train for the second week running and contributing to his muppet award) turned up promptly in South Wimbledon to try and get through a 35 over game in time to watch the Euro 2021 final. Energy Exiles had other ideas however and gradually turned up over the next hour or so with it also looking like they only had 10 men (more on that later). 

The skipper lost the toss but the only option was for Energy Exiles to bat seeing as they were still on 6 players so really a moot point. Dan & Russell were given the new ball and both started very tidily with the humid conditions providing some swing. Dan was soon into the wickets with a full away swinging delivery which found a clear edge and a fantastic diving catch from Pip in the slips. However the umpire didn’t seem to want to give it and the batsmen didn’t want to walk. After some prompting the batsmen did depart and his replacement didn’t last too long with another full swinging delivery from Dan. Apparently this one started outside leg stump and swung back to hit middle and what the oppo were calling the banana ball. 

Their number 4 batsmen Zeesham took a little time to get in and then took a liking to anything short with a particularly big 6 which resulted in the ball being lost and the end of a shiny swinging ball. Suhaib was bought on to replace Russell and quickly bowled Zeesham with a 59 mph delivery. There was then a period of consolidation by opener Roberts & Patel with Suhaib & Ross keeping them in check with some accurate bowling. Ross had Roberts LBW in what most Whalers thought was a bit generous and Energy Exiles were circa 55-4 at drinks.  

Suhaib took his second shortly after drinks before his replacement Josh also got into the act inducing a mistimed pull and Patel was caught by Matt at mid-wicket. Josh then proceeded to tell the huddle that was exactly what he had planned. Wickets continued to fall with Vishal, Matt & Nick (moved down the bowling order due to an apparent osteopubis!?! injury) all taking one apiece. We all thought that was it but unfortunately for some of the bowlers they had managed to find an 11th man (a players cousin I think) who had just turned up, strapped on some pads and walked out to the middle with their score on 99-9 with just under 5 overs left. Queue some unexpected and very big hitting with Matt & Dan being taken for some huge sixes. Nick’s injury meant that he couldn’t bowl the last over (or wanted to avoid ruining his figures…….) so Suhaib stepped up and showed the others how it was done restricting them to just 4 off the last over. The 11th man had definitely done some damage however adding an unbeaten 52 (could have been out on the last ball but for a dropped catch) taking the Energy Exiles to 151-9 from their 35 overs. This still seemed a bit light on a good pitch and fast outfield but it had definitely given the Exiles a chance. 

There was minimal interest in opening the batting so after a very quick tea Geoff stepped up to join in form Pip. Both looked good immediately, dispatching anything loose and put on 40 for the first wicket before Geoff mistimed a pull and giving a straight forward catch to mid-on. Skipper Matt gave himself a promotion up the order and came out next. Facing some steady bowling there were generally enough loose balls and with the fast outfield scoring continuing at 5-6 an over meaning we were 102-1 at the 17 over drinks break. Shortly after however Pip was out lbw for 49 to their young left arm spinner Roberts (the youngest of the three from the Roberts family playing). That bought Fraser to the crease and after a couple of boundaries from him and from Matt (not always conventional with an attempted pull flying off the toe end straight over the wicket keepers head), Matt misjudged a looping delivery from Roberts and was bowled for 40 with 27 runs needed.  

Ross came out to join Fraser and found Roberts more to his liking with a few strong pulls to the leg side boundary and he also showed he had the rarely seen paddle sweep in his locker. The runs continued to come at a reasonable pace and 152 was reached in the 25th over with no further wickets lost. All in all a good performance (despite some pretty average catching) and a comfortable win. Importantly a first away win for the season and we finished in plenty of time for the football! 

Energy Exiles 151-9 from 35 overs – Suhaib 2-17, Dan 2-29 

Whalers 152-3 from 25 overs – Pip 49, Matt 40 

Champagne – Dan & Pip combining for a genuine piece of proper cricket, beautiful away swinger and fantastic diving slip catch 

Muppet – Nick – Turning up very late due to getting on the wrong train again, not shutting up for the entire Energy Exiles innings and a mysterious osteopubis injury  

M-OM – Pip for an excellent 49 

Whalers Lose Out to Gentlemen in Low-scoring Encounter

Whalers CC vs Gentlemen of West London CC; Sunday 4th July; King’s House Sports Ground

Following a strong-run of recent results, 10 Whalers gathered to take on the Gentlemen of West London at Kings House, with Roland due to make up the numbers upon his arrival at 2pm. More on that later.

Russell lost the toss and was put into bat on a tacky wicket with some suspiciously long grass in the outfield. Dean and Al opened the innings, although the latter was dismissed in only the second over, bowled for 4. Fraser joined Dean at the crease and began building a partnership, including some rarely seen boundaries – a consequence of a very sluggish outfield. Fraser was nicked off for 11, sparking a mini-collapse with Will, newly arrived Roland (retired hurt) and Geoff falling in quick succession to leave the Whalers 52-4 at drinks.

Roland was particularly unfortunate having retire hurt after very kindly stepping in to make up the numbers at the last minute. Sadly, the old ‘hold a cold beer against your knee’ treatment failed to spark a recovery and he hobbled off to A&E, donating some spare beers to grateful teammates before he left (these were later stolen by the Club Treasurer though). Get well soon Roly!

Back to the cricket. Dean was bowled almost straight after drinks for a battling 28. Suhaib and Vishal hung around for a while and nudged the Whalers towards something nearing respectability until Suhaib was bowled by a great delivery for 12.

Josh joined Vishal and combined good running with some calculated boshing to get the Whalers towards a prized 3 figure total. Josh departed for 13 just before the end of the innings leaving the skipper to finish things off with Vishal. By virtue of some quite entertaining running between the wickets, the Whalers finished their 35 overs on 101-8.

The Gents started cautiously and it became increasingly clear that, as the Whalers had shown, it wasn’t the easiest pitch to bat on. The first wicket did not arrive until the 9th over when Nick bowled the Gents’ opener for 12. Fellow opening bowler Vishal then got in on the act, continuing his fine all-round game, pinning the No.3 bat LBW for 0.

Skipper Russell then brought himself on and tore into the Gents middle-order taking 3 quick wickets to leave the Gents 50-5 in the 17th over. It was very nearly 50-6 but for an unfortunate dropped catch. Russell didn’t have to wait long, however, soon dismissing the Gents’ remaining opener for 19, caught by Vishal at square leg. Russell finished his 7-over spell with the outstanding figures of 4-18.

The Gents’ no’s 7 and 8 launched a fightback, coupling good running between the wickets with the odd boundary, taking advantage of some occasional loose bowling. The game began to ebb away from the Whalers. Step-forward Dean, who with only 2-runs needed, ripped out two of the Gents’ batters in consecutive balls to give the Whalers a fighting chance and leave the Gents 100-8.

Unfortunately, new bowler Josh was unable to prevent the Gents getting over the line in the 31st over, but his figures of 0.1-0-2-0 provided much laughter at the post-match fines meeting.  

Thanks to the Gents for a great game.

Whalers CC 101-8 (35)

Gentlemen of West London 102-8 (30.1)

Man of the Match: Russell for his 4-18

Muppet: Dean for his dropped catch

Champagne: Dean’s two wickets in consecutive deliveries