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