The Exiles once again won the toss and chose to bat on a pitch that was the same one we lost to The All Comers on and looked like it had been played on the day before too. The only pitch prepared on the square was an U-15s length. Honor Oak had the same problem on the number one square. Something is badly amiss in the ground keeping stakes. Why should we be paying full price for second and third hand pitches? A badly depleted batting line-up threw Rob Anderson into the openers role. He's more used to opening the bowling but did the job asked of him, seeing off the opening bowlers in a 28 run partnership with James Booth who was playing his first game of the season. James missed the early games with a bad back caused by falling through the loft hatch at home. He managed to swivel nicely to pull away a Cakebread long hop for six over mid wicket. He made 11 before lofting a catch to extra cover. Hopefully there hasn't been too much reaction and we'll be seeing his hooped cap again soon. Steve Du Preez continued brightly with his countryman until both were undone by the slow straight ones from OAP Jones, first Rob was lbw then Steve hoisted a high one to long off. Tony Brook and Roric then started to stretch the creaky Erith fielding which was a mix of youth and experience. The Captain, Brown, in particular seemed keen not to get his flannels dirty. The wicket keeper J Cakebread had lots of advice, particularly to his son N. not all of it gratefully received. The Exiles pair scampered about industriously and before long Roric began to "back-up" in the approved manner, leaving his crease at the same instant the ball left the bowlers hand. Roric also hit four of his high wide and handsome sixes into the trees putting some real substance into the total. He took the team past 100 with a six and brought up his first ever 50 with his last one. Tony was caught behind slashing at a wide one and Roric was bowled by P Cotton, who for some unknown reason had been kept out of the attack until the 23rd over. He then produced the best bowling figures of all Erith's bowlers, five for 35. If he had been used at the start against the inexperienced openers the final Exiles total might have been considerably lower. As it was The Exiles tail crumbled and were all out in the 34th over for 174.
|S Du Preez||Ct||Jones||19|
|T Brook||Ct keeper||P Cotton||18|
|R Coleman||bowled||P Cotton||55|
|S D O'Connor||lbw||P Cotton||7|
|G Hatton||Ct & Bowled||P Cotton||1|
|P Shorrock||lbw||P Cotton||0|
|Total||33.1 overs||all out||174|
Erith Extras bowling figures:
The Exiles opening bowlers Paul Shorrock and Matt Champkin kept a tight rein on the Erith batting, beating the bat on countless occasions. In a moment of controversy the Captain Brown snicked one to Roric in his new £60 gloves off Paul. The appeal was spontaneous and unanimous but turned down to general disbelief but nothing you could call dissent. As befitted a man with a free bus pass Brown declined to walk. Paul got his man a couple of overs later when an off-cutter ripped back six inches through the gate to take off stump. Hedges batted with a runner, that man Brown again, being the only man out already. Inevitably the running between the wickets was less that sharp and with the field set well there were very few runs to be had. Particularly from Matt who returned very economical figures of 6-3-3-0. Steve Du Preez's left arm spin was as good as ever and he removed Cakebread senior caught and bowled, and then bowled Hedges who's footwork was understandably a bit leaden. The younger Cakebread and senior Cotton then managed a minor stand worth 24, seeing off Rob Anderson's short spell that was less than his best due to the ankle injury he had aggravated earlier. Kevin Elderfield's slow off spin was tried and there was enough in the bank to give him a longer time to settle in but he declined the offer of a third over so Guy Hatton took over and started to get his little swingers to wobble about. Replacing Steve at the other end who had bowled out, Stephen O'Connor bowled with commitment and more control now he has spikes on his boots. His two wickets were well deserved, one another fine tickle to Roric which had the umpire shaking his head. In fact it was still shaking as the batsman passed him having walked for which he won the admiration of The Exiles who favour Allan Donald over Mike Atherton! By now The Extras were 74 for 5, still needing more than 100 to win with only around thirteen overs to get them. Martin Saunders bowled three overs for not so many and deserved a wicket, finding the edge a few times but it was not to be. he kept smiling anyway. Paul returned to "polish his figures" as Matt put it and did so with a wicket maiden that saw the end of young Cooper, clean bowled. Willoughby who scored five runs from three shots past point was then run out by a direct hit from thirty yards by Kevin Elderfield. The asking rate was therefore more than ten an over and Tony Brook's occasional slow medium pace didn't allow any late flurry. The Erith Extras innings fizzled out at 103 for seven. I wouldn't be at all surprised if some of the Extras believed they'd "saved the draw". That was certainly the impression they gave when they were batting. It's hard to avoid the impression that had they played their cards differently they could have made this a much closer game. The Exiles for once did all the basics right, the field placings were good and not much was fumbled. The batsman played sensibly even if the tail was swept away and the bowlers bowled far fewer "four balls" that the opposition. A good all round performance. My Man of the Match goes to Roric for his first ever 50. To see him poring over the scorebook in the bar afterwards was an uplifting sight.
|J Cakebread||Ct & Bowled||S Du Preez||10|
|E Brown||Bowled||P Shorrock||7|
|E Hedges||Bowled||S Du Preez||14|
|N Cakebread||Ct||S D O'Connor||18|
|D Cotton||Ct||S D O'Connor||13|
|J Cooper||Bowled||P Shorrock||5|
|M Willoughby||Run||Out (K Elderfield)||13|
|Total||103 for 7|
|S Du Preez||8||3||17||2|
|S D O'Connor||4||1||13||2|
Next up Holybourne away down Hampshire way.