Whalers win vs Clapham Inn

Whalers CC vs Clapham Inn CC; Sunday 20th June 2021; King’s House Sports Ground

After a disappointing defeat the week before, 10 Whalers gathered at Kings House to get things back on track against Clapham Inn. There was no sign of either Dan or the team kitbag, currently battling their way across south London, but by the time Russell and the opposing skipper had had a long chat about the weather (overcast but dry), the journey up from Southampton (in their skipper’s case), and Priti Patel’s progressive immigration policies (in Russell’s case), all 11 Whalers were present and correct and we could get on with the game. Russell won the toss and in an unusual but proved-right move, decided to bowl first.

Nick and Dan opened the bowling and kept a lid on the run-rate initially with some accurate bowling against the CICC right-hand left-hand opening partnership. After 10 overs, the oppo were only on about 30-odd, and some themes for the day had already been set. The outfield was damp and very slow, anything pitched short just sat up and said “hit me” (most Whalers bowlers decided to test this theory, but got the same results each time), it turned out to be a good day for left-handed opening batsmen, and while the Whalers ground fielding was generally ok our catching was terrible.

After a couple of fairly simple chances were grassed, Matt eventually got the first wicket by bowling their right-hand opener. Will picked up another bowled and Russell rotated the bowlers well, and despite having wickets in hand and another couple of drops CICC weren’t ever really able to accelerate. Dean got some good turn and Ross was unlucky with a couple of edges flying through the slips “cordon”, and special mention to ball-magnet Josh and to Roland for their work in the field. Eventually the CICC innings closed at 161-2 with their opener carrying his bat for 86*.

Dean and Al opened up against some accurate bowling but looked fairly secure, before accelerating against the change bowlers. It also looked like the CICC bowlers hadn’t read the script either about not bowling short on this wicket. As Dean repeatedly dispatched loose deliveries through mid-wicket, or the batsmen jogged through for another gentle two, speculation on the boundary turned to whether Roland (down at 4 in the book) would get to spend another whole innings warming his pads, or why biology teacher Nick didn’t seem to know the name for any of the muscles in the human body.

Drinks came and past, and when Dean got his hundred his offers to retire and protect his average were rejected on the grounds that we only needed 20 runs off 12 overs, so he and Al might as well finish the job. So it came as a bit of a surprise when Al chipped one to mid-off – bringing an end to an excellent and chanceless opening partnership of 145 (of which Al scored 32). After a bit of debate between Fraser and Roland as to who should bat next, Roland trotted to the middle. But when he missed a straight one and then so did Dean, there was a sudden flurry of looking for pads etc before Fraser and Ross steadied the ship. At one point it looked like we were trying to score all the remaining runs in byes and edges, until Fraser hit a six off another short delivery to bring an end to proceedings and let us escape to the bar and their slick new beer-ordering app (not).

In the end a comfortable 7-wicket victory. Man of the match was Dean for his 103, champagne moment there wasn’t really a stand-out so it went to Al and Dean for their 145-run opening partnership, and muppet moment went to Russell for taking 12 minutes to complete the toss.

Clapham Inn: 161-2 from 35 overs (Matt 1-20, Will 1-24)

Whalers: 165-3 (Dean 103, Al 32)

Hot Northern Journey

Whalers vs The Journeymen; 13th June 21; Highgate

Its coming home, its coming home, its coming…but how fast? A hot one in north London, as the journeymen invited the Whalers to the St Aloysius sports ground in Highgate on a sunny day in the high 20s. And as the opposition marked out some lengthy boundaries, all but guaranteeing a need for some sharp running in the middle, thoughts turned to sun cream and hydration. If that led anyone to think there was a bit of a beach vibe to the day, they would find that was heightened even further by the presence of a lot of sand on the outfield, ensuring that 4s were at a premium throughout. To add all the more to this sunny idyll of an English summer day, the clubhouse was booked out by a hundred or so booze (and whatever besides) hungry football fans watching the England game v Croatia, lending the day a somewhat festive atmosphere

Josh lost the toss and we were up for 40 overs in the field. Nick and Dan opened the bowling, each finding sharp pace in the first 10 overs but, facing some careful batting, drew no wickets from costa del Highgate, despite creating a couple of sharp chances. Russell came on first change and took the first wicket in his opening over, finding some slight movement off the pitch so that the batsman played on from an inside edge. Not long after the second wicket fell as a rank full toss from Russell was pushed into the off-side for a single which only one of the batsmen wanted, a run out being the ultimate conclusion. Vishal was bowling the other end at this time, keeping the batsmen honest with a tight spell, catching the remaining opener with an lbw so plumb he was resigned to his fate long before the finger went up. And so flowed the remainder of the Journeymen innings, with wickets falling at fairly regular intervals. Suhaib bowled well, bringing the wicket keeper, by this time Geoff having taken over from Ross in this role, into the game for a caught behind from their top scoring batter (31). Suhaib finishing on 1 for 19 off 6 overs. Viren took a few balls to find his range, looping a beach-volleyball like beamer through to the keeper at one stage, before suddenly getting everything very right and picking up 2 wickets for 25 from his 6, getting another caught behind by Geoff and a bowled. Ross took another wicket and Josh, clearly scenting blood, brought himself on to pick up 2 for 9 in 2 overs. Vishal came back on for a one ball spell, picking up the last wicket and finishing with figures of 2 for 9 off 5.1. There had been 25 extras, with some wides clocking up. The journeymen had scored 139, target set.

By this time England had evidently secured their 1-0 victory in the Euros and the gathered masses had decided the only sensible response was all out hedonism. A carefree attitude that perhaps spilled over into the batting performance of the Whalers. Hot as it may have been, Suhaib was bubbling over with excitement at the chance to get out of the shade and go umpire. One may well ask why: the answer being to give his newly acquired speed gun a go. Finally, the Whalers have the means to decipher if they bowled that last one at 62 or 63 mph, though obviously the main beneficiaries in this instance would be the oppo. Whatever the speeds of the Journeymen bowlers (with respect, not high) they proved quite adequate enough to pick up wickets even more regularly than we had. Fraser was the first to go, eyes lighting up at a half tracker before spooning it up to be caught at point for a duck. Ross and Amit both tickled behind cheaply before Josh was castled. By this time one of the football revellers was well into a relentlessly paced, loud and breathless recount of his various dating endeavours, which chipped away at the souls of all who heard it. Even a (all too brief) sojourn in the middle offered no relief from his tales. The Whalers scores do not make for pretty reading and it wasn’t until the 7th wicket partnership of Viren and Vishal that some stability looked on the cards, coming together as they did with the side on 56. By the time Vishal’s flashing blade swung its last with the score on 93, the deed was all but done, Russell getting caught at bat stop for 9 before Nick was run out for 0, wrapping up a 34 run loss in the 34th over. Viren finished on 19 not out but top scorer was extras on 22. The decision was taken by the team to downgrade the champagne moment this week, perhaps all feeling the combined effects of the sound loss and the energy sapping sun.

Journeymen CC 139ao

Whalers CC 105ao

Asti Spumante moment: Ross’ bowled top of off

Muppet moment: Fraser’s top edging of some dross to start the collapse

MoM: Viren

Whalers Slay Dragons

Whalers CC vs Southall Dragons CC; Sunday 6th June 2021; King’s House Sports Ground

On a warm humid day with the threat of rain around the Whalers stood around waiting for the opposition. Despite coming only from Southall they went to another ground after an hour delay the Toss was finally made and Josh Sent Dean and Pip out to bat. The first 4 or 5 overs saw as many different bowlers used. After a tight couple of overs the Dean starting
hitting a few pitched up deliveries. Pip soon joined in the fun backed up by plenty of good running.

The opposition captain Daman then brought himself back on to stem the flow. Bowling off about 5 strides he had a whippy action and was bringing the ball back nicely into righthanders by quite a distance on a green looking wicket. Soon Pip was bowled offering no stroke. Then Ross quickly followed out for a duck again bowled by the same bowler. Roland strode to the wicket and thought attack was a good option and after a couple of good strikes was out LBW to another inswinger.

Whalers stood at 50 odd for 3 and Geoff stepped to the wicket offering some chances but hitting loose deliveries, Dean started peppering up the hitting off the other bowlers and then a few drops starting to occur some or them regulation which would later hurt Southall. Just when Geoff looked set he was bowled for 20 and the middle/late order looked exposed.
Whalers Secret weapon Amit appeared and after a few singles started to punish loose deliveries. Dean soon passed 50 and then accelerated his hitting and it included some lovely 6’s plus 2 more drops. . On 85 run’s his luck was used up and he was eventually caught but what a valiant innings.
Amit was looking to pull a few deliveries and then the fielding started to get a bit ragged as Sohaib and Vishal gave support and fresh legs. Amit was run out just passed his 50 trying to squeeze runs in the last few overs and Daman came back and claimed Vishal Bowled and Sohaib caught to claim a nice five for. Josh came out to face one delivery and amongst much teammate mirth preserved his average . At 217 for 7 off 35 Overs looked a daunting total and a score Whalers have not reached for a while but could we defend this.

Nick and Dan opened the Bowling and Nick was economical as usual. After 2 or 3 overs the run rate was low and adding extra pressure on Southall. Dan starting to push a few leg side and was pulled away quite nicely and then was soon slapped for a Six!!

Nick asked for a field adjustment and bought Roland in close to the opener who took a slick one handed diving catch to set Whalers on their way. Their number 3 Bat sure knew how to hit and started to accelerate the run rate. Vishal was bough into the attack and was offering plenty of variation and some containing stuff. Their other opener was caught by Ross the wicket keeper and Whalers look set to determine the pattern of play. Their Number 3 only knew one way to bat was punishing anything short or wide. Shoaib had replaced Nick by now who bowled a very measly 5 over for 15 runs and also was asking some good questions.

At Drinks 18 overs left, Southall looked set to attack our target with wickets in hand. We had a changed of bowler with Ross taking the pads off came onto to Change the Game starting with a simple catch to mid off . With each of Southall batsmen in attack mode outside edges past 2nd slip area was their value runs area!.

Ross’s Medium pace and accuracy was bringing rewards and in the 5/6 and balls he had both of their next batsmen bowled trying aggressive shots. Josh had also bought himself on and looked very tidy as well. In Ross 4th Over he had a chance for a hat trick with seemed to passed our Skip’s consciousness and a tight field wasn’t set which resulted a bunted ball in the air landing in a very catchable area .!!!!

However the game clinching wicket was a smart team run out of Batsman 3 who was on 55 at the time and showed the all round fielding didn’t let up. Dean replaced Josh after 3 overs and produced a fast straight fizzing ball that resulted a dead cert LBW. More team Catches off Ross another to Pip and a Dolly to Josh meant that Southall innings ended on 160 and 57 runs shy of our total. Ross finished for 5 wickets off 5 overs.

Whalers retired to the bar to give Josh the fines off the day. Despite Dean’s 85 Runs and 1 wicket or Amit’s tidy overs and 55 the Man of the match went to Ross for his five for
Champagne went Roland’s Smart one handed Catch
And Muppet went to Geoff loud appeal for LBW when clearly the loud clunk was a leading edge.

Whalers Rainy Utopia

Whalers CC vs Utopers CC (T20): Sunday 16th May; King’s House Sports Ground

Fresh of the back of their first victory of the season, The Whalers were looking to continue their winning run with a home fixture against Utopers. With the weather forecast predicting heavy rain, it did look uncertain as to whether a game would be able to be played at all. A decision was made to start slightly later and reduce the match to 20 overs per side. Before we had even begun the dark clouds had started to descend and with most of the opposition yet to arrive, it was decided that it would make most sense for Whalers to field first and that is what we did.

After conceding just 7 runs from his 5 over last Sunday, Nick was once again trusted with the ball in conditions that could only be described as bleak. Ross was opening up from the other end and between them they kept it tight. The ball was beating the outside edge on a regular basis and the pressure was already beginning to mount on the opening batsmen. The first wicket fell when a looped edge (is that even a thing?) found its way into Will’s hands to give Nick his first wicket of the match. The second wicket fell not long after, a miscued drive off the bowling of Ross dropped into the safe hands of Dean, who would go onto take a further two catches. It was here that Utopers began to stage a mini fightback with Amit’s two overs going for a few, but in reality this was short lived. Batsmen 3 and 4 were dismissed by Will and Dean respectively, the latter who went onto claim a further two wickets- a busy 20 overs for Dean and a nasty ball to the shin area too. The collapse was well and truly underway, Josh got into the action with one of his trademark half trackers that managed to fool the batsmen (Whalers’ very own Rahul) into slapping back into his cold, wet but grateful hands. Nick came back on and claimed the final two wickets with some textbook death over bowling and that was that- Whalers were chasing 70 to win.

The target was certainly chaseable but the weather wasn’t showing much sign of improving- a half-hearted pitch inspection by Josh and Will deemed the conditions to be just about playable “as long as they get on with it”. They were able to do it within 13 overs without the loss of any wickets thanks to some solid defence and good running (including an all run 5).

All in all, the main thing is that we were able to get the game on. The bowling was good and we took our catches in some fairly tough conditions. As for the batting, you can’t argue with a 10 wicket victory but there will be some tougher tests to come.

Whalers 70/0 beat Utopers CC 69/9 (a/o) by 10 wickets


Champagne (prosecco) moment: Al & Pip’s all run 5

Muppet: Will for his ‘Nathan Lyon’ moment

MOM: Dean: 3-4 with the ball and also 3 good catches

New captain Josh leads Whalers to first victory of the year

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.