Exiles v Nightingales, Honor Oak, 24 June 2001
Exiles on song against The Nightingales.

Exiles won the toss and elected to bat first. Sean O'Connor and Kevin Hobley got proceedings off to a safe start, with Kevin scoring freely initially, but then being caught for a good 24. Wayne Holder took over where Kevin left off, taking quick singles and hitting boundaries with apparent ease. When O'Connor went for a patchy 46 the score was 120 for 2, with 27 overs down. Steve Parson kept the momentum going with some excellent running between the wickets and plenty of well-timed shots. His 24 was invaluable. Wayne was finally bowled for 80, but not before he'd hit a total of 9 fours and 2 sixes in an almost faultless innings. Rorick Coleman didn't let the grass grow under his feet with a powerful (and very swift) 19 not out; Ros Atkins chipped in with a speedy 8; and Peter Watts was the last man to bat with a typically brutal 19 not out, his first ball faced going for four.

In summary: a well-paced innings against some accurate medium pacers and one more-than-useful spinner.

Final total: 253 for 5.

Exiles' Innings:

 Batsman How Out Bowler Runs
 S O'Connor* Bowled Adnam 46
K Hobley Caught Andrew 24
W Holder Bowled Andrew 80
Steve Parsons Stumped Mark 24
R ColemanÝ Not Out 19
R Atkins Caught Andrew 8
P Watts Not Out 19
R Anderson . . .
S Lindsay . . .
V Ardern . . .
J Weir . . .
 Total  40 Overs for 5 wickets 253

The Nightingales' bowling figures:

 Bowler Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
 Andrew 8 2 30 3
James 7 0 34 0
Amir 5 1 28 0
Adnam 7 0 49 1
Pat 2 0 25 0
Mark 2 0 20 0
 Paul 1 0 10 0

James Weir and Stuart Lindsay opened the bowling with extremely accurate spells: almost nothing went down the leg side. As a result, James took three wickets and went for only 14 runs in his 6 overs, while Stuart took 1 wicket and conceded only 16 runs in his 8. And this against some very competent top-order batsmen. The bowlers were assisted by some of the best outfielding I've seen for a long time: sharp catches were taken (Rob Anderson's and Peter Watt's being particularly fine), and only very rarely did a shot penetrate the circle, no matter how firmly struck.

From here the stage was set, and Nightingales needed around 14 an over to win. Vic Arden's first couple of overs went for a few runs, but after that he found his length and bowled much better, his 5th over was superb. Rob Anderson bowled accurately and with good pace; Ros Atkins put in a lively spell that was at its best when he pitched the ball right up; and Peter Watts, coming on as 4th change, was way too quick for the bewildered tail-enders. Rorick put in a fantastic effort behind the stumps, as the pitch proved very difficult to keep on, with balls keeping low one delivery and popping the next.

In the end Nightingales were all out for 143: a win by 110 runs. Although this sounds like a heavy defeat, I don't actually think that there's that much between the two sides. They were without a couple of front-line bowlers, and of the players out on Sunday, there were plenty of good cricketers. Nightingales are a new opposition for us, and they're definitely a fixture we'll look forward to next season: they're a really nice bunch of blokes who play their cricket in exactly the right spirit.

Sean O'Connor

The Nightingales innings:

 Batsman How Out Bowler Runs
Adnam caught  J Weir 1
Dave Caught Atkins 48
James Caught Weir 8
Pat Caught Lindsay 4
Paul F Bowled Watts 25
Andrew Bowled Atkins 10
Bruce Bowled Weir 12
Paul bowled Atkins 3
Amir bowled Watts 6
Roy Bowled Watts 0
Marc Not Out 5
 Total All out 143

Exiles Bowling figures:

 Bowler Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
J Weir 6.1 2 14 3
S Lindsay 8 3 16 1
R Anderson 7 1 18 0
V Ardern 5 0 39 0
P Watts 4 0 13 3
R Atkins 6 0 32 3

Next week it's the Dynamos away (but still in Dulwich!).


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