All very last minute really...an unscheduled match organised in the space of 24hrs, not completely from scratch as it was a Flying Wickets fixture originally, subs drafted in the night before, two pitch switches minutes before the toss, and some last ball heroics to boot. In the end something of a Flying N-Exiles +1 XI was assembled, including Captain and Organiser-in-Chief, and now definitely on his last outing for the Exiles, Stu Lindsay, Smart Car Kev, SwaziSO'C, Kiwi Kyle, Kiwi Pirates Munsta and Lollie, Flying Wickets Jones, Moore and Tambo and Nuxley's Tom, plus, on debut, Kyle's mate from the US, Ryan.
First pitch inspection: corrugated, concave dustbowl. Second pitch inspection: "I've played on worse" (K. Holling). Third pitch inspection (once the footballers on the square were done): flatter, tad greener, Results of Smart Car Key Test:......ok that didn't happen, so, 'we'll bat'. Maybe, but not first, Nuxley win the toss and opt for first (ab)use.
Now I've not got the full detail of proceedings in front of me so the order of events in Nuxley's innings may be muddled, all scribbled down in the pub afterwards, at the last minute, naturally. Openers Hahn and Heaney faced the inswing of Stu first up, who on quite a dry and clear day was producing more late movement in the air than usual. So much so that Flying Wicket-keeper Jeremy was having to dive to leg for deliveries that looked dead on off stump half way down. Nevertheless it proved economical and when Stu straightened one or two up just a little the effect was an almost copy book inswinging leg stump yorker, as with its diminutive namesake in the world of confectionery, "...Not For Girls". Heaney (...who is very much a man incidentally) was the first victim to this delicious delivery. Opening from the other end was Flying Wicket Martin Jones who put in a commendable effort having not bowled for three weeks, but big John Hahn and Nuxley's own Martin Jones were unmoved. As the runs continued to flow Stu decided to test the dusty track for turn and introduced a twin spin attack of Eddie Fuller, aka da Munsta, and Flying Wicket Tambo, aka Tony. Again the order eludes my memory but there followed four fairly quick wickets, in amongst them Munsta accounted for opener Hahn who lofted one to his club mate Tom for 29. Tony teased out two wickets in one over, including Martin Jones, "....beaten for slowness" (K. Holling), LBW for 34, and Lambert bowled for 1 off a long hop that would have bounced twice were it not for the intervention of the base of middle and leg stump. Eddie kept it reasonably tight at his end and bowled his full allocation (7 overs in this 35 over match). Tony kept us entertained at the other. Without regular back-up seamers to turn to Stu had to ask Swazi "sick note" SO'C and Kevin to bowl a few. Sick Note managed at least one of the tasks asked of him, taking out the leg stump of danger man Saunders who had made 36 assured runs. But delicious inswinging yorker this was not, more "...beaten for flight ay!" (Tony), and soon the flight of most of his bowling was directed straight at the batsman's head. At the other end Kevin matched SwaziSO'C's no-balls with wides, the combination produced 52 off 7 overs, enough said. Stu and Martin returned to wrap up the tail, Flying Wickets Martin and Jeremy bowled and caught Gilham out for 26, who along with Caine had been putting together a good late partnership. Both Caine and Andrews were clean bowled by Stu who finished with outstanding figures again, 7/1/16-3, and one of them, not sure which, had his middle stump ripped out by the last ball of the innings, Stu's very last ball for the Exiles.
Nuxley 174 for 9.
|J Hahn||Ct Tom||E Fuller||29|
|M Heaney||Bowled||S Lindsay||2|
|S Saunders||Bowled||SD O'Connor||36|
|A Hudson||Ct Jones||Tony||2|
|M Gilham||Ct Moore||M Jones||26|
|M Caine||Bowled||S Lindsay||20|
|J Andrews||Bowled||S Lindsay||0|
|Total||35 overs||9 wickets||174|
Exiles bowling figures:
Flying N-Exiles + 1 were feeling quietly confidant that 175 was an attainable target, the pitch was still playing straight and reports were circulating of 260+ being scored on this wicket in the previous week's match, a 260+ that was beaten no less. Stu decided Munsta's display of controlled aggression against Luddites was convincing enough for an opener's spot, whilst at the same time the Captain thought his own display of meek submission (quack...) at No.5 in the same match merited nothing short of a demotion to No.10. It would prove an inspired decision, mark my words. Munsta was bowled by Andrews for 0 (.....quack....?). He later mused that he saw the ball that got him out as something of a pie, a big stodgy one with light, flaky pastry round the edges. Lovely. Tea and cake anyone (with or without currants)? I think we've been here before. Anyway, Munsta's demise wasn't before Kevin (quite particular to cakes with currants) had cracked one to the boundary and then put one straight up in the air to hole out in the first over. It was left to SwaziSO'C and Kyle to pick up the pieces, or crumbs, and this they managed in a partnership worth 36. O'Connor rode his luck, a couple of edges through the slips, a chest high chance dropped at first slip and all the while paceman Andrews was clocking up the maidens. But slash and slash hard he did, interspersed with the odd punched drive back past the bowler, and the run rate just about kept up to the required 5 an over. The problem was wicket loss, Lollie and Jeremy didn't hang about, out for 4 and 2 respectively, and Martin's hamstring didn't fancy it altogether. Enter Ryan for something of a cultural experience, a first ever cricket match for the baseballing American. At first he watched as O'Connor managed to protect him from the strike, and then as O'Connor attempted to cut a ball that deserved a little more respect and flattened his off stump six short of his fifty. 'Son, you're on your own'. As it happened Ryan was no strike shirker, taking up a guard well outside his leg stump as you'd expect a batter at the plate, he played his part and put the longest fielding session of his life behind him to run hard between the wickets. As was quite correctly pointed out to him by the Kiwi contingent afterwards, cricket is about partnerships and the one run he made must be seen in the larger context of the 25 run partnership he forged with Tom, it took the score to just over a hundred. 7 wickets down, granted, but with 75 left to make and Tom looking fairly robust at the crease, the run chase was on. Ryan was finally bowled and that inspired Captain's decision I mentioned earlier began to reveal itself as the self-demoting Stu strode out to the square. Himself and Tom hit 62 blistering runs, 38 of which came in boundaries, and the target was being dragged down. With two overs to go and the target down to 17, Tom was clean bowled. The wide grin that had been on Tony's 3-for-to-the-good face all afternoon disappeared. "Go On Tony! Finish It Mate!" ......"....eh, Martin, can he bat?", ..."......er, No." Now it is usually at this point in a match of this nature that the SA Cricket followers amongst us get that herring bone in throat feeling, for Aussies, well this is the best bit! Steve Waugh masquerading as Stu, I swear it, calmly dissects slip and gully for 4. With 7 needed in the last over Tony takes the opportunity to unveil a bunt and run that Ryan and his mates back home would have been proud of. Amongst those of us at the boundary there was the odd wince, muted cough, deep swallow. Stu meanwhile dispatched the next ball to the boundary. 2 balls to come, 2 runs to make. The Captain politely declines the first, "....yeah, rising a bit I thought"......did you indeed, but then as if he'd written the script himself he breaks the close ring of fielders on the last ball, his very last ball for the Exiles, and scampers home for 2. Tony's grin is back as he performs a victory dance, of sorts, the team is jubilant. Man of the Match, 3-16, all-time best Exiles score of 40*, wicket with his last ball, winning runs with his last shot, "...yeah, it's been a special day", Stuart Lindsay. Hamba Kahle ! ( SiSwati for 'Go Well !')
|Kevin Hobley||Caught||A Wilkinson||4|
|E Fuller||Bowled||J Andrews||0|
|SD O'Connor||Bowled||A Hudson||44|
|K Holling||Ct Hudson||A Wilkinson||14|
|D Holling||Bowled||R Warner||4|
|J Moore||Bowled||A Hudson||2|
|Total||35 0vers||8 wickets||175|
Next up: The Dynamos away to close the season.