The Luddites CC v The Exiles CC, 7 May 2000, South Bank University Sports Ground.


Exiles win season opener in glorious sunshine.

Another sunny day in Dulwich, a straw coloured wicket flattering to deceive, the early season dampness still lurking just below the surface. New Captain Waseem Khan won the toss and had no hesitation in inserting The Luddites, fully confident that his six seamers could make good use of the conditions. Opening the bowling himself he soon picked up the first wicket when Oakley cut a wide long hop low to point where new guy Steve Dupreez pouched it safely, the high-point of his day as it turns out, unless you count the moment that he realised beer was £1 a pint at the bar. Waseem then removed danger man Woodward. Paul Shorrock replaced Effie after 4 overs of swing that had all the batsmen missing but didn't do enough to convince the umpire of his lbw appeals.Waseem was again in the action when Martin chipped one straight to him at short extra cover. Waseem's purple patch continued with the wicket of Butler and suddenly The Luddites were looking down the barrel. Maunder came to the rescue with some circumspect batting as the run-rate struggled to top 2 an over. New Australian member Stuart Lindsay caused all sorts of problems with his late inswingers, at a quicker pace than I can remember from the nets, and was unlucky not to grab a hatful. The left hander Jeffrey especially being unable to locate the ball with bat. His one wicket was a right-handed Sehmi clean bowled. Vice Captain Naem Khan got the edge of Taylor's bat and John Morgan showed he can still do the business behind the timbers pouching it one-handed. After that there was a lull in the wickets falling but the rate continued to crawl.Around this time Maunder slowly realised he was running out of partners and overs and began to open his shoulders. Stuart's last over bore the brunt of this change of method, with 15 runs conceded. Faisal had a dart, and Steve Dupreez was given a chance to show his slow-left-arm but didn't really find his rhythm before he was replaced after two overs. Shorrock bowled a couple of overs which put the lid back on partially. Then Waseem and Naem bowling in tandem played in-out cricket, attempting to give Maunder the singles and attacking the tailenders. This worked to a degree but by the time the Khan brothers nibbled away at the tail Maunder managed 71 not out from a total of 111. Butler being the only other Luddite to make double figures. Harlow the last man out ducked what he read as a beamer from Naem that was in fact his slower ball, and hit his middle stump on the full. A bizarre end to a rather stodgy batting performance that would have amounted to very little without Maunder's contribution.

Luddites innings:
 Batsman  How Out  Bowler  Total
 Woodward  Bowled  W Khan  4
 Oakley  Ct Dupreez  W Khan 0
Martin Ct W Khan P Shorrock 4
Butler Ct Roric W Khan 10
Maunder  Not Out 71
Sehmi Bowled S Lindsay 2
Jeffrey Ct W Khan N Khan 4
Taylor Ct Morgan N Khan 2
 Musgrave Ct N Khan 0
Perceval lbw W Khan 0
Harlow bowled N Khan 4

 Bowler  Overs  Maidens  Runs  Wickets
Effie Usman  4 0 6 0
W Khan 8 1 21 4
P. Shorrock 7 2 19 1
N. Khan 7  1 20 4
S Lindsay 6 2 29 1
F. Ansari  3  0 10 0
S Dupreez 2 0 10  0

After a tea worthy of the name and the £3 tag The Exiles openers Sean O'Connor and Steve Dupreez set off to make a dent in The Luddites not-too daunting total. Steve was first to lift The Luddites spirits, a leading edge off Perceval looping to point where Martin ran in to take the catch. Not long after Tony Brook dabbed a straightforward chance to Sehmi at second slip but he dropped it. Tony only profited by two runs before Perceval bowled him. Fiasal and Sean started to steady the ship before Sean was adjudged lbw, again to Perceval in a decision that some may have seen as generous in the light of some earlier Exiles' appeals. Sean is not one to rant though, an absence of animal products in his diet giving him an inner calm that we omnivores can only wonder at. Naem then came in to play one of his sticky innings, reminiscent of the one against the Weasels last season when Stephen Brown outscored by him 5:1. When Woodward finally presented him with one too many long-hops Naem pinned back his ears and pulled it to deep midwicket where Martin covered some ground to take another catch. John Morgan then stepped forward as a suitable foil to Faisal and between them they worked the ball into the gaps and kept pace with the rate required with very few alarms. If it ever looked for a moment that The Exiles were slipping behind Faisal would unleash a lofted drive over the fielders, including one towering six. But just as it seemed the Exiles were putting the game out of reach John fell to yet another catch for 26 valuable runs, worth twice that on a quick outfield. This brought Effie to the wicket, who had been giving advice from the boundary from ball one. He didn't last long, failing to heed his own advice and drilling a catch to Taylor at deepish mid off for a duck. Roric, one of the recent intake of South Africans managed a single before his lack of match practise left him static as a straight one from Woodward got through his defence. There then followed a lengthy hiatus as it became clear Woodward had already completed his maximum 8 overs. A compromise was reached, the wicket stood but Maunder was called in to finish the over. Suddenly what was a nagging doubt became a real possibility with the Exiles needing only another 20 from 7 overs were down to the tail. Fortunately Faisal's temperament and Waseem's luck held, the latter half-hitting a drive through cover's hands. Some more free swings from Faisal and The Exiles were home safe for the first victory against a slightly weaker Luddites than on previous meetings. Faisal finished undefeated on 57.

Exiles innings:
 Batsman  How Out  Bowler  Total
S Dupreez  Ct Martin Perceval 1
S O'Connor lbw Perceval 6
T Brook  Bowled Perceval 2
 F Ansari Not Out 57*
N Khan Ct Martin Woodward 5
 J Morgan¦ Ct Sehmi Maunder 26
E Usman Ct Taylor Woodward 0
Roric Bowled Woodward 1
W. Khan*  Not  Out 2*
P. Shorrock
S Lindsay  

 Bowler  Overs  Maidens  Runs  Wickets
Perceval  8 2 12 3
S Musgrove 7 0 22 0
Jeffrey 8 0 24 0
Woodward 8.2 2 18 3
Maunder 6.5 0 29 1

Next week: The Heavy Rollers at home (A report, if any, will be delayed. I'm off on my holidays)

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