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.