The Exiles won the toss and chose to bat on a pitch that was still bearing the scars of the last game played on it, which is pretty weird for the third weekend of the season. Again, no boundary rope, football goalposts on the pitch, a mismatched set of stumps of varying height all adding to the shambolic pre-match preparation. We are paying £120 per pitch and getting very poor service, something has to change or The Exiles will be looking for a new home next season. Roric and Kyle were late so some shuffling of the batting line up was needed. Sean O'Connor and Doug Macintyre opened as planned, Stephen O'Connor was elevated to the dizzy heights of number three on his debut. Doug batting for the first time this season took a while to adjust and was dropped on nought at first slip. He started to play some of his booming off drives. Sean too drove fluently through the off when Samear was wide and overpitched. All The Exiles personnel had showed up by the tome the first wicket fell, that of Sean caught off the nippy bowling of Rahman, who two overs later snapped up Doug, caught at the wicket. Stephen O'Connor played a few lusty hits with minimal footwork before being bowled by Mansoor. This brought Steve Dupreez together with Tony Brook for the partnership of the innings, worth around 120 runs. Steve Du Preez had a spirited tussle with the beefy Mansoor, exchanging boundaries and body blows in one eventful over, Steve gained the upper hand when Mansoor resorted to bowling short, memorably cutting him over point for four, and into the trees by the scorehut for six. Tony had given himself a good talking to after gifting his wicket last week and played an absolute blinder, shots all round the ground revealed a Tony we hadn't seen for some years. He ran hard between the wickets, belying his advancing years and pressurising the field. the left hand/ right hand combination seemed to upset the bowlers line, and there were an enormous number of wides. The increasing rain didn't help anyone, the ball becoming slippy and heavy. Tony carried his bat for 69*, accelerating towards the end of the innings with two sweet sixes. Steve Du Preez fell on 63, his second consecutive fifty, driving the ball back low to Samear at the start of his second spell. He had hit four sixes and six fours. Kyle Holling finally got some decent runs on the board but fell in the last over on 26. An all round improvement on the batting front, using all forty overs for the first time this year and only five wickets down. 233 was a useful total, and would be enough against most teams but today The Exiles were a bit light in the bowling department.
|S P O'Connor||Ct||Rahman||12|
|D Macintyre||Ct keeper||Rahman||14|
|S D O'Connor||Bowled||Mansoor||6|
|S Du Preez||Ct & Bowled||Samear||63|
|K Holling||Ct & Bowled||Ghous||26|
|Total||40 overs||for 5 Wickets||233|
All Comers bowling figures:
Rob Anderson made the first breakthrough when Somils mis-hit a long-hop to Tony Brook at deepish mid-off, who held it well running in. That set the tone for a good day's catching. Seven held and nothing you could call a "chance" dropped. The ground fielding showed renewed enthusiasm which sometimes boiled over into overthrows. The second opener also fell to the same combination of Anderson and Brook just when he was starting to look dangerous. Doug Macintyre replaced Paul Shorrock at the far end, he beat the bat a few times, but had the new match ball lost in the trees in the third over and wasn't much of a threat thereafter. Steve Du Preez bowled eight overs of slow left arm off the reel for a miserly 18 and deserved a wicket or two. the Exiles could have done with another spinner or two as the lesser pace was proving hard to get away. The pitch was greasy by now, and the ball kicked up a trail of spray every time it ran over the grass. Stephen O'Connor in his size twelve squash shoes was skating everywhere, and when he came on to bowl he overstepped a few times. When he managed to get them in the right are he was quite a threat and removed top-scorer Parm (63) with a thin edge through to Roric in the gloves. Guy Hatton made his Exiles bowling debut and acquitted himself quite well in the difficult conditions. His two wickets swung the game back towards The Exiles Anderson returning from the far end had grabbed a couple more leaving eight wickets down and fifty still needed. It stopped raining at last. The dilemma for the Captain was who to ball the last two overs from the pavilion end, keep Guy on in spite of his lack of experience, back Stephen, on his debut and prone to overstep, or Doug who at least was a fairly regular bowler. The task fell to Doug, "the devil we knew". Mansoor and Rahman held their nerve and went for their shots, they mostly came off apart from a couple that fell agonisingly into gaps. Paul was hit for six in the penultimate over and the balance was suddenly with The All Comers. The winning runs came with another boundary off the last ball of that over. Allcomers win by two wickets with six balls to spare. An exciting game, packed with incident, played in the very best spirit ruined only by the weather. I look forward to playing The All Comers next year, hopefully with a full bowling attack and a dry wicket. PS.
|Somails||Ct T Brook||R Anderson||0|
|Attiq||Ct T Brook||R Anderson||15|
|Fiaz||Ct R Coleman||D Macintyre||21|
|Parm||Ct||S D O'Connor||63|
|Ghous||Ct R Coleman||G Hatton||4|
|Shamsher||Ct P Shorrock||G Hatton||2|
|Total||237 for 8|
|S Du Preez||8||2||18||0|
|S D O'Connor||3||0||27||1|
Next up The Whalers away.