After a crawl through London and a sprint down the M4, five left turns and one straight on delivered us to Binfield's pleasant Cricket ground. Only Kyle in his girlfriend's car missed the toss, which Binfield won and elected to bat. The choice was an obvious one on a decent dry wicket with a short boundary on the pavilion side. Both openers were left-handers of some vintage but whereas Goddard immediately showed his ability with a neat clip for four off his legs Usher struggled, managing only a single before being first out in the ninth over, bowled by Paul Shorrock. Cynics may have suspected Paul was feeding the single to Goddard first ball, then foxing Usher for the remaining five but he's not that calculating. There was no suggestion that Goddard was "keeping to the shallow end" as Rob Anderson was bowling with some aggression at the other end. The bowlers managed seven overs apiece without further breakthrough. Guy Hatton and Terron Miller replaced them and Goddard and Coster upped their scoring but the latter fell to a run-out resulting from some indecisive calling. Terron's golden arm was unfortunately not in evidence this day. Stephen O'Connor tried out his forceful seam-up bowling and his recovering knee but was deemed too expensive and so was rested before he did himself further injury. Other occasional bowlers were studiously avoiding catching the Captain's eye, only Terron volunteered his services but was declined. Eddie Fuller's off spin was then introduced and continued until the declaration, while Rob Anderson came back from the other end. Rob removed danger man Goddard for 79 as he looked set to accelerate towards a century. Eddie bowled the younger N Moore but not before the diminutive batsman had managed a couple of boundaries off him. Carson became the second of Rob's victims but Captain Paul Edington remained a rock and punished anything short or wide on his way to a quick 57. When Rob eventually tired after another spell of seven overs the Captain Paul brought himself back on and nearly removed his opposite with one of many slower balls but Rob couldn't hold on to the fly ball at midwicket. Two wickets to Eddie in what was nominated the last over before tea added a gloss of respectability to the bowling and precipitated the declaration, which seemed a bit harsh on Eddie, potentially in the middle of a hat-trick. The first was perhaps the slowest stumping ever by an Exile, "Fossil" stranded well down the wicket, Du Preez slowly realising the opportunity. Something to brag about to regular keeper Roric when he returns though! Binfield quite comfortable on 213 for 7 at tea. The Exiles lack of experience in the timed game and a lack of penetration in the bowling had been exposed on this very good batting surface.
|I Goddard||bowled||R Anderson||79|
|T Usher||bowled||P Shorrock||16|
|N Moore jnr.||Bowled||Fuller||16|
|M Carson||Ct||R Anderson||9|
|I Foster||Stumped (Du Preez)||Fuller||10|
|N Moore snr.||,||,||,|
|Total||43.3 overs||7 wickets||213|
Exiles bowling figures:
The Exiles innings started shakily with Kevin dropped at gully in the first over from Ian Foster, who seems to have been a permanent fixture in the Binfield for many years if the board in the pavilion is to be believed. Somebody called out what sounded like"well bowled Fossil" which seemed a bit of an overstatement. Sean was looking well grooved though and his first six scoring shots all went to the boundary. The slip cordon was packed with the less youthful members of the squad, from where they kept up a constant banter, criticising any lapse in fielding. More of a Greek chorus than a slip cordon. The resulting gaps in the field could have been better exploited with a few singles. Moore was bowling with great pace and was unlucky not to collect any wickets. Kevin fell to a good catch behind the wicket off Foster. Kyle clipped one sublime boundary through the offside to the longest boundary, and a three before he was unlucky to be bowled off bat and pad again by Foster. Stephen O'Connor's brutal innings put The Exiles somewhere close to the rate required with some beefy pull-drives that were disparaged as being "cow-shots" by the chorus, complete with cow noises. "I thought this was village cricket!" responded Steve Du Preez. No extra points for style though and Binfield must have been relieved when he was bowled pulling at shortish a one from Butt. Some of the younger bowlers were introduced as Binfield obviously felt they had sufficient headway. Steve Du Preez had other ideas and set about the bowling with gusto. Sean had introduced the quick single into his repertoire and for a few overs it looked as though The Exiles might get close. A six onto the pavilion roof (not as far as it sounds) off Carson brought a big cheer. Sean was then bizarrely out pulling early at a full toss that the bowler Butt fired off an apology for before the wicket was broken. After that Terron Miller seemed to make the unilateral decision that that only a draw was possible as he patted back a series of good off breaks from Goddard. Steve Du Preez was still in full-ahead mode though and the contrast in approach was absolute. Paul (who was wearing the umpire's coat by now) asked the non-striking Steve if "both were singing from the same hymn sheet?" . To put a stop to the nonsense Paul Eddington brought himself on and bowled Steve first ball thus ending any lingering hope of an unlikely Exiles victory. Guy and Terron saw off the last few overs without loss and Terron even managed a few boundaries as the light faded fast. Terron managed an Exiles personal best of 15 not out in what may have been his final outing and Guy edged a four, just to notch up his average once more.
A pleasant enough game where neither side looked like bowling out the opposition. Both sides seemed happy enough to repeat the fixture next year.
|Kevin Hobley||Ct N Moore||I Foster||7|
|S Du Preez||Bowled||Eddington||37|
|Total||43 0vers||5 wickets||189|
Next up Luddites at home.