On a day as hot and dry as a good August day The Exiles lost the toss and were asked to bowl. The wicket held a little moisture near the middle but everywhere else was dry as a bone. The outfield had cracks you could put your arms in beyond the elbow. It was as hard as concrete, as Jim was to find to his cost later. Surprisingly perhaps the pitch was very slow, perhaps not as slow as the average Exiles' fielder but stodgy nonetheless. James Weir was Captain after a long absence from the game and you'd have to say looking a little rusty. His "praying mantis" delivery stride seemed less angular than before and I'll not mention the variations in length. He and veteran opener Paul Shorrock spearheaded the Exiles attack, chances came and went, mostly for fours and Dynamo openers Steele-Perkins and Green prospered to the tune of 46 before Shorrock went wide and angled one in through the right hander's defence. A couple of overs later and James Weir was granted an lbw from a long hop that may have been going on to hit the stumps but hit Steele-Perkins between hip and thigh. After that James rested himself and The Dynamos seemed to run out of torque. Doug Macintyre, who hasn't bowled much all season produced an Exiles personal best of 4-17 and Steve DuPreez kept the pressure on at the other end and picked up a couple of late wickets himself. From a position of calm strength at 45 for nought after eight overs The Dynamos staggered to 57 for 2 from 19 overs. Jim threw himself full length to save a four on the short boundary and came up with about a foot of raw graze all up his arm. It's not like on the telly where the outfield is like axminster! Two wickets in the same over from Doug had the effect of two torpedoes amidships and SS Dynamo went down pretty quickly after that. A run out by Doug that left Steve Du Preez with a lot of work still to do ended Seddon's season. A late explosion from Bradbury, mostly at the expense of Guy Hatton, saw them scrape past a hundred. Steve Du Preez administered the coup-de-grace, removing Bradbury's off bail with more than nine overs left to bowl.
|G Steele-Perkins||lbw||J Weir||19|
|A Green||Bowled||P Shorrock||22|
|S Ravsi||Ct||D Macintyre||13|
|R Williams||Bowled||D Macintyre||0|
|A Farrow||Bowled||S Du Preez||1|
|L Bradbury||Bowled||Du Preez||20|
|K Hansen||Bowled||D Macintyre||3|
|Total||30.4 Overs||9 wickets||105|
Exiles' bowling figures:
|S Du Preez||7.4||1||17||2|
FOW: 46, 50, 64, 69, 69, 72, 83, 100, 105
|S Du Preez||,||,||,|
|Jim S (?)||,||,||,|
Tea was not yet ready so ten overs were played before the break. Doug and Stephen O'Connor strode out looking very solid and continued to look solid as they began to bat. In no time at all they began to treat the Dynamoes bowling as a buffet, feasting on wides and long-hops, refusing anything that looked low-calorie. Dynamo opening bowler Farrow used his fags as a bowling mark and perhaps a new health warning can now be added to packets..."Smoking may put you off your line and length". Ravsi, who bowled slow left arm and was probably hoping for some of the turn and bounce that Steve Du Preez had enjoyed from the same end, was carted over the churchyard fence on the short square leg boundary by Doug. "Top edge!" called the keeper, "give him another, it could go anywhere" fooling no-one. By the time tea came at ten overs the game was in the bag, 73 for no loss. Talk at tea was of how to manufacture a half-century a piece for the openers (and thus extract maximum jugs). Kyle was already moaning about not getting a bat, a novel complaint for a number three! As it turned out Doug managed to avoid another jug settling for a single to fine leg rather than holding on for a dolly he could hit for six to take him past the landmark. All over by five O'clock with 25 overs still to ball.
A whole heap of Exiles were left with nothing but a few fielding injuries to show for their end of season jamboree. It's always a bittersweet moment when the season ends. Guy reaffirmed his commitment as "the keenest Exile" by offering to take the great big Exile's kit bag over the winter. It's true he has enough space in his big house. It save's me wrestling the damn thing through the loft-hatch again! The Dynamos were left pondering their own survival as a team. James Weir was hopefully joking when he said he was thinking of retiring because of old age (he's nearly 27!). I'm sure he'll be back once he gets over the trauma of being hit into the tennis courts.
Looks like I might be opening the bowling for one more season at least. Thanks for reading.Until next year!