TIGERS YET TO FIND THEIR CLAWS

KING’S HOUSE SPORTS GROUND, CHISWICK  SUNDAY 13 MAY 2012

JUDD STREET TIGERS 147 all out lost to THE WHALERS 149-4 by 6 wickets

After three false starts the Tigers finally were allowed out on the prowl at the newly-appointed King’s House ground (formerly owned by the Civil Service Sports Council) by the River Thames on a rare sunny afternoon. Batting first, they posted a below-par 147 on a predictably low, slow wicket, with only skipper Chris Dane (77) coming to terms with the conditions and some steady bowling. Apart from Chris only Richard Burgess (12) and Matt Webster (13) made it into double figures.

Whilst all around him flailed and failed, Daney recorded his third consecutive half-century, following two for West X1 at the end of last season, and his second on the bounce against this opposition, after his 51 from a measly 120 back in September 2011 at Winchmore Hill.

In respect of his team-mates, the cast may have changed, with greater depth to the batting and more bowling options, but the same demons still lurk within the psyche. On a wicket where patience, application, careful shot selection and proper foot movement were essential, there were far too many soft dismissals: Richard Burgess, Phil Walton, Mike Delanian and Steve Rennie all slapped long hops or full tosses straight into the hands of grateful fielders, whilst Mike Herlihy and Chris Boden played on to their stumps with bats away from their bodies. Daney showed the way, waiting for the bad ball, driving and pulling imperiously through the open spaces, with 12 fours, looking nailed on for his first ever ton until holing out to cover point.

Jimmy Carter was bowled by Groves, whilst Dave Scally, after one classic off-drive from his pet mongoose, lifted his head to the impressive English and was neck-and-cropped. Some bright hitting from Damien Zachlod and Matt Webster boosted the final total to a disappointing 147, though unforgivably the batsmen failed to utilise more than five of their allotted overs.

The target looked at least 30 runs short of seriously challenging and the Whalers were never in much danger of throwing the game away, pacing their innings perfectly and winning by six wickets with two overs to spare. After a sloppy start, the Tigers’ bowling and fielding improved as the innings unfolded, with Carter a lively presence in the outfield. Predictably, Chris Dane took the first wicket with his first ball for the new club, inducing Giles to unluckily play on, and later had Joyce leg before following a three-strikes-and-out series of appeals. Scally bowled Dickenson – an unbeaten centurion back at Winchmore Hill – for 38, with Boden recording the first catch to dismiss Hanmer off Delanian, but English (47*) and Osgood (11*) saw the home side to victory safely enough.

However, the real drama of the day was being played out at the Etihad Stadium, where the time lapse between the radio commentary and the pictures from the plasma screen in the bar was significant enough to cause some bizarre reaction.

Effectively, this was a cobweb-blowing exercise, so overall a six-out-of-ten performance and something to build on.

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