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