Four wickets and 46 not out to add to his blinding one-handed catch at gully-point and a run-out added up to a good day at the office for Pete Watts. There is no hard evidence to suggest that he slackened off to avoid having to buy a jug of beer like Kevin Hobley had to (yet again!) for his 53 as part of a 100+ opening partnership with Sean O'Connor (43) that laid the foundation for a mighty impressive 253 for 7. Three members had pulled out since the team was picked on Tuesday, two to injury one to prior social engagement (!) Countless phone calls later James Weir was persuaded to kick his Mum out early (Yorkshireman) and Kiwi Marcus Longden was drafted from the overcrowded house of Rob, Steve and Roric, which left us with a strong ten. We couldn't find an eleventh man anywhere. Sean got off to a flyer with quick boundaries to third man off the edge and a mis-timed cut shot back past the bowler which gives some indication as to the slowness of the wicket. Kevin was a little more circumspect but always looked the more solid of the two and especially enjoyed the too-short bowling of the change bowlers. Both openers departed within two overs but can be very satisfied with the way they saw off the early threat and then feasted on the easier bowling. John Morgan showed no sign of his thigh strain, unless you count a preference for boundaries than quick singles.There was a bit of a middle order collapse but the tail rallied admirably. Pete Watts, scratchy at first, eventually settled into a rhythm and began to murder the attack. His six was still on the way up as it crossed the rope into the trees. Even James Weir, perhaps stung into action by comments in last weeks report, managed to flail 15 not out, with some last over hitting that kept Pete off the strike but in pocket. The Exiles pass 250 in 40 overs for the fourth time this season!
|Total||For 7 wickets||30 Overs||242|
Luddites Bowling figures:
The Luddites needed to get off to a good start and then accelerate. They started brightly enough taking boundaries of Shorrock's first over as he struggled to find rhythm in the strong wind. The breakthrough came with the run-out of Tehal, perhaps over-excited by the need for runs he attempted one to point that was never there and Pete Watts calmly threw to John Morgan in the gloves as the batsman failed to remake his ground by yards. The next wicket get's my vote for the catch of the season, Maunder slashed hard at a wideish one from Weir only to see that man Pete Watts again dive full length to take it left handed a foot above the grass at point-stunning. The Exiles whooped with delight. The Luddites rallied briefly, Woodward punishing any error by the bowlers with crisp drives and pull shots but when Pete Watts was given a chance to bowl he showed his strongest suite. His fast in-swinging yorker was far too good for Butler. When he got one through Woodward's defence the fight went out of the Luddites somewhat. The Exiles were playing the best Cricket of their season, the fielding was sharp and the bowlers kept a disciplined line allowing Sean to concentrate his depleted 10-man defences on the offside ring which was not being penetrated as often as the Luddites needed. Rob Anderson avenged his duck with the wicket of Oakley and was the most economical of the Exiles bowlers in spite of being called for "chucking" by Steve Musgrave who has never forgotten being warned for running on the wicket in previous fixtures. Marcus Longden showed a lack of experience but a rapidly improving technique as he bowled in cap and glasses that kept falling off in his delivery stride. A few full tosses were dispatched before he settled into a groove and chiselled out the lower middle order from one end whilst Pete Watts scythed through them at the other. The rate required spiralled out of reach and the end came swiftly in the 32nd Over when Musgrave became the last of Watts four victims. So 46 not out, 4 wickets, a dream catch and a run out for Pete Watts who walks off with the Man-of-the-match award but avoids the obligation to buy his team mates a jug. Kevin Hobley ordered "The Usual" i.e. a jug of lager for the lads and a large orange squash for himself, having a powerful motorbike to negotiate back to Wimbledon. Cheers! Well played everyone.
|Maunder||Ct Watts||J Weir||7|
|Jeffrey||Ct Morgan||M Longden||12|
|Musgrave||Ct Morgan||P Watts||5|
|Total||. overs||for 10 wickets||129|
Exile's bowling figures:
Exiles win by 124 runs.
A fortnight to wait for the season finale against our fellow Honor Oak tenants The Pretenders. I'll be in sunny Greece-I hope the sun shines in Dulwich too.