Exiles maintain unbeaten record even when playing themselves. Another Tied Match!
"We Flippin' murdered 'em!" as another Accrington born Cricketer once famously claimed after a famous match that finished with the scores level (David Lloyd, Zim v Eng, Bulawayo Test Match, December 1996). So it was that history repeated itself when an Exiles XI played an Exiles X. Nick West, the nearly man of Exiles Cricket, waiting in the (hospital) wings for two years for his Exiles' debut, a man with flakier knees than Darren Gough, failed to make the start line. Indeed he went completely incommunicado rendering the hours of graft by Sean to get a couple of balanced sides somewhat academic. Before play began the separate squads where known as "x" and "y". Objections were raised on the ground that x is the male chromosome and y the female. I'm all for making Cricket sexier, but not at the biological level. Exiles Eleven v Exiles Ten looks more Crickety. Fitting to their underdog status the mighty X had part time keeper Steve Parsons also picked at random to be Captain. His father was a Surrey CCC man so if anyone could play the Alex Stewart role Steve could.
In retrospect looking at the Scorecard one can only assume that Sean picked his team so as to make his own batting look good. He almost carried his bat, scored more runs that the rest of his team put together and was almost entirely responsible for making a close game of it. Rob Anderson's 9 was the second highest total. He might say that he snatched a Tie from the mouth of victory but a second tie in two matches was the only possible outcome that would maintain The Exiles 100% undefeated record in 2002. That's Cricket!
Exiles X's innings was characterised by some aggressive batting, not allowing the normally parsimonious openers to settle. James Weir suffered the most, some straight drives whistling back past him into the fence with a clunk. Tom Birkert was first to fall, bowled by Stuart Lindsay for 3. Kevin Hobley gave James a consolation wicket when he skied a top-edge to Richie at mid-on who made no mistake. Steve Parsons and Steve Dupreez enjoyed a sparkling partnership. Steve taking particular pleasure in hitting his good friend Rob Anderson for six (Rob returned the compliment later before being bowled by Steve in the same over, he who laughs last...). Steve Dupreez also hit a fly-ball to Richie who held his second catch, which makes you wonder if he could really fit in with a bunch of butterfingers like The Exiles. Peter Watts came out and immediately joined the battle of the all-rounders with Ros Atkins, after a shaky start a straight six off Ros gave Pete a points lead, but honours were even when Ros knocked back Pete's off stump, sending the bail almost to the boundary. After that the run rate slowed somewhat. Guy Hatton, not fully recovered from his broken finger, lasted just two balls before edging to Roric Coleman in the gloves. Martin Saunders played a watchful innings for ten and kept out numerous good deliveries. Steve Parsons became more circumspect, aware that the replacement troops were not of the same quality as the veterans who had fallen. Martin then inexplicably called for a run to short fine leg that was never on and Steve was sawn off by yards. Martin soldiered on as the opposition tightened their noose around him, too tight as he chipped over cover for two more! Eddie (a friend of Kyle's) bowled respectably and picked up two wickets. Paul Heaton swung lustily for a couple of boundaries but was done by Kyle's left arm slow medium that was the revelation of the day. Kyle is entering the legal profession but has the demeanour of a man too relaxed to fill the job of surfing dude. Don't get me wrong, there's a sharp mind under those curls. I'm just hoping he'll have the get up and go to claim a regular bowling spot. Matt Champkin was last man out, deciding to go down blazing he top edged a skier that Roric collected without fuss.
117 all out was not a mighty total, but it was not an easy wicket and The Exiles X intended to put up a fight.
Exiles X Innings:
Batsman How Out Bowler Runs K Hobley Ct Richie J Weir 19 T Birkert Bowled S Lindsay 3 S Parsons Run Out 24 S Dupreez Ct Richie S Lindsay 19 P Watts Bowled R Atkins 18 G Hatton Ct Coleman R Atkins 0 M Saunders Bowled Eddie 10 P Heaton Bowled K Holling 8 M Champkin Ct Coleman Eddie 6 P Shorrock Not Out 0 N West (absent) . . . . Extras 10 Total 33.2 Overs 9 wickets 117
Exiles XI bowling figures:
Bowler Overs Maidens Runs Wickets J Weir 6 0 37 1 S Lindsay 6 0 20 2 R Anderson 8 3 22 0 R Atkins 6 1 16 2 Eddie 4.2 1 14 2 K Holling 3 2 4 1
They say an organisation rots from the head, like a fish. However The Exiles XI innings more resembled a cartoon fish skeleton. Captain Sean, the intact head, above a long spine bearing very little flesh and extras making up the tail fin. The underdog Exiles X started taking bites out of the favourites in the third over, veteran ex-Exile Guy Sneesby, one of a select bunch to have scored an Exiles century, was bowled by a Paul Shorrock yorker for 3. Matt then got one through Kyle's defences leaving XI reeling on 10 for 2. When danger man Ros Atkins played inside an inswinger and lost his off stump for 5 the XI must have wondered who was going to get the runs for them. It wasn't going to be Tony, he'd hardly settled in before Matt's outswing induced an edge to Steve Parsons who held it cleanly, as he did almost everything that came his way. Richie made as many catches as runs and Pete Watts was too fast for him. By the fifteenth over it was slaughter at 29 for 6, Exiles X had been 73 for 3 at the same stage. Roric made only a single before Pete wrecked his castle. Steve Dupreez had a minor skirmish with Rob Anderson, took back a six to much amusement but then lost his wicket the same over. Eddie managed to stick around for quite a while as the Exiles bit part bowlers allowed Sean to cast off his shackles, his three being the minor part of a 40 run partnership. It began to drizzle steadily. Out came the towels to prevent the ball becoming like a bar of soap. Sean was particularly harsh on Kevin, bowling his occasional off spin from the short boundary end, a couple of sixes and a four helping the run rate required to fall. Kevin picked up Eddie's wicket which kept the equation balanced. Tom Birkert's inswingers were good in part, and removed Stuart who is known to be a good end of innings striker. Paul came back on and applied some brake but failed to break the last pair, coming closest when James chipped a slower ball just in front of Pete Watts at mid-on, picking it up late in the gloaming he got his hands to it but failed to hold on. Steve adopted the tactic of offering a single to Sean and squeezing the lower order bat. Four runs that flashed by Steve Parsons next over brought the requirement within easy reach. Seven runs off Tom's next over brought the scores level. The field was brought right in on the single for Steve Dupreez to begin what must surely be the last over. Inexplicably Sean played across the line and was bowled first ball! The Exiles X were cock a hoop, The XI who had clawed their way to an improbable winning position were deflated. His patient 54 enough to square the game. Afterwards too many Exiles squeezed onto too few chairs for the post match beers. It was difficult to know what to think. Civil Wars are a painful business but they rarely end in a dead heat. It had been a chance for some to measure themselves against their peers, those who value their individual efforts above team achievements may have had most to feel disappointed about. Those who value team qualities can draw satisfaction from both sides resilience. All will have learnt that a game is not lost until it is over. In this game "The Exiles" won, there were no losers.
Exiles XI Innings
Batsman How Out Bowler Runs S O'Connor Bowled S Dupreez 54 G Sneesby Bowled P Shorrock 3 K Holling Bowled M Champkin 5 R Atkins Bowled P Shorrock 4 T Brook Ct Parsons M Champkin 1 Richie Ct Peter 2 R Coleman Bowled Peter 1 R Anderson Bowled S Dupreez 9 Eddie Bowled K Hobley 3 S Lindsay Bowled T Birkert 6 J Weir Not Out 4 . . Extras 25 Total 38.1 Overs all out 117
Exiles X bowling figures:
Bowler Overs Maidens Runs Wickets P Shorrock 8 4 9 2 M Champkin 8 4 14 2 P Watts 8 0 19 2 S Dupreez 6.1 1 20 2 K Hobley 3 0 22 1 T Birkert 5 1 20 1
Look out Craic House Contemptibles in a fortnight!
NB The Craic House Contemptibles failed to make a team so The Old Antelopians stepped into the breach.