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