Battersea Ironsides v Exiles CC, BIRFC Ground, 4 May 2003

Exiles hares beat Battersea tortoises.

Once again The Exiles batted in fast forward mode, boundaries and wickets coming in quick succession like watching the edited highlights. Kevin Hobley lasted but two balls before launching everything into a long hop resulting from the spikeless Kevin James falling over in his delivery stride, the bowler just had time to lift his face from the dirt to see Hobley complete his pull shot before the ball passed him to clip the top of the bails. Kyle Holling managed a single before he too was bowled by James who was now wearing borrowed boots. Roric, promoted above his station due to last week's top score soon added to James's scalps. Only Graeme was finding the middle of the bat, impressively pulling Potter when his left arm over dropped a bit short. When he was joined by friend and countryman Captain Steve Du Preez the innings began to take on some momentum. Both were dropped, Graeme at least three times, and it was to prove costly. Graeme had made a punchy 39 before he finally picked out a man who could catch. Then followed another flurry of wickets as Tony Brook made room and played all round a straight one from Mills. Nick Harrison on his debut lasted two balls before playing and missing one from Vikram. This allowed Dion plenty of time to settle in and support his Captain which he did admirably. Steve shouldered the burden and carried the innings with real application. Soon enough Dion was showing that he has some shots too and between them they took the score on past respectability and towards security. Eventually James was brought back and yorked Steve on 74, the fist half-century of the season. Rob Anderson had been clubbing until dawn, and he clubbed one boundary before crashing at 5. Jamie was credited with an edged four that the bowler appealed for lbw but that was all the "runs" he got before he became James's sixth victim. Paul Shorrock saw off the last two balls of his spell but didn't get chance to face another as Dion was bowled by Mills for an invaluable 46. Exiles all out for 196 with more than eight overs to spare.


Exiles Innings:

 Batsman How Out Bowler Runs
 K Hobley bowled James 0
G Van Rooyen Ct Vikram 39
K Holling bowled James 1
R Coleman bowled James 0
S Du Preez bowled James 74
T Brook bowled Mills 1
N Harrison bowled Vikram 0
Dion bowled Mills 46
R Anderson bowled James 5
Jamie bowled James 4
P Shorrock not out 0*
 Total  31.2 Overs all out 196

Battersea Ironsides bowling figures:

 Bowler Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
 James 10 - 49 6
Potter 8 - 52 0
Vikram 3 - 13 2
Mills 4.2 - 19 2
Coller 3 - 22 0
Andrew 3 - 21 0

The Ironsides reply began cautiously, then almost ground to a halt after Kyle took a neat catch at gully off Anderson. The other opener, a bespectacled left-hander was completely becalmed and only managed to rotate the strike by leg-byes. He survived several lbw appeals that with hindsight the umpire may have wished he had given as his glacial progress allowed the required rate to spiral out of reach. After twelve overs when both bowlers were rested Battersea were languishing on 26 for 2. Paul Shorrock managed to drag his creaking bones back into some sort of form after the flu and mauling of last week with a typical parsimonious spell of 6-3-3-0. The young South African pair Graeme and Dion injected a bit of pace, and the deflections therefore carried further, and the scoreboard needed updating a little more frequently but never enough to threaten the asking rate. the left-handed opener was still there, and raised an ironic cheer from the pavillion when he steered a boundary down to third man. He had a complete humour by-pass when a certain Exile not a million miles away suggested he tried a few shots and there was very nearly a "game into disrepute" type incident popular with Sunday League footballers but it passed so quickly that most of the players on the pitch didn't notice it. Both protagonists were chatting nicely by close of play so all's well that ends well.

Steve felt comfortable enough with the match position to give Kevin a chance to improve his day with his gentle medium pace wobblers. It was going quite well, with a wicket and not too many runs when in his sixth over he fielded a return off his own bowling and split the webbing between the ring and little finger on his right hand. A long trip to casualty and the impossibility of riding his bike back to Hampshire made it a very taxing game for him. Jamie finished off the over, giving away ten runs but picking up a consolation wicket. Steve Du Preez brought himself on and his left arm spin was right on the money, the batsmen tried to attack him from the off as they needed to, but his flight and turn had them stranded down the wicket, scrambling to make their ground as Roric fumbled with the ball between his pads. It was a good spell at a pressure point that brought two wickets and deserved more. Paul came back and got a well deserved wicket when Graeme pouched a looping catch at mid off, it could easily have been two but the dolly to Nick Harrison from the twelve year old number eleven was shelved to round out a dissapointing debut from him. Tony Brook was brought out of retirement for the last over, and generously gave the twelve year old the chance to pull him to the midwicket boundary, before having him caught behind off a wide beamer which should have been called a no-ball. A tatty end to a game full of incident yet somehow flat.

I was the man volunteering to take Kevin to A&E so I didn't get chance to copy out the scorebook. Tony managed to get the bowling figures at least:

Exiles Bowling Figures

 Bowler Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
 P Shorrock 8 4 4 1
R Anderson 6 0 18 2
G Van Rooyen 7 - 31 0
Dion 5 0 19 1
K Hobley 5.2 0 27 1
Jamie 0.4 - 10 1
S Du Preez 7 0 21 2
T Brook 1 0 4 1

Next week, The All Comers CC at home.

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