Well it had to happen sooner or later-after last week's fraught but closely fought defeat against The Strongroom this week the wheels came right off The Exiles Juggernaut that had looked unstoppable after six games. This was by no means a weak Exiles XI, indeed you could argue that it was one of the best balanced sides we've put out this year. Things started well enough, James Booth winning the toss and electing to bowl on the greenish wicket still damp from Saturday's thunderstorm. Paul Shorrock and Peter Watts opened the bowling, both beating the edge and having lbw shouts early on. Pete's was upheld for the crucial early breakthrough. Runs came mainly off the edge to the short third man boundary and Pererra and Jones survived a few scares but managed to build a good partnership for the second wicket, successfully putting away the shorter deliveries. Irfhan "Effie" Usman replaced Paul and Wayne Holder took over from Peter. Wayne dismissed Pererra first ball, the batsman falling over his feet to one that swung in at him then moved away off the seam to hit middle stump. Effie found some lateral movement and troubled Jones, having him almost caught at second slip by a diving Paul Shorrock (rare sight that!) but the ball didn't quite carry although it must have seemed that way to Effie who appealed loudly. Next ball Jones propped a long way forward and chipped the ball gently towards Kevin Hobley at short extra cover who managed to get that extra few inches on his dive and grasp the ball just over the turf.
There followed a relatively calm period where Nuxley were content to move the score along at less than four an over and Effie picked up a further lbw. James brought Vincent Brooks into the attack for a few overs, hoping that his mixture of surprise balls might cause a mini-collapse as against The Occasionals but his mojo wasn't working today. He did manage a maiden over wearing his cap-so I would expect to see Vincent sticking with that method in future. He has a theory for everything and no doubt he has come to some conclusion as to why he would bowl straighter in a hat. Rob Anderson was brought in to replace Effie and bowled at a lively pace (or maybe it was just the contrast with Effie's slow medium?) and managed to squeeze one through Wilkinson's defence off bat and pad and a little later knocked back Gilholm's stumps too and Chandler's wicket made three giving him the best return of the day. Wayne Holder came back to bowl "at the death" replacing Vincent but if anything was easier to hit, his last few overs spoiling his excellent opening burst. Rob Anderson too took some stick as Reid and Wilkinson hit out, the latter reaching his fifty that was politely applauded by all. Wayne bowled Wilkinson of the penultimate delivery of the innings but Nuxley must have gone into tea on a high after their late burst took them to a respectable 183 for 8.
|Total||For 8 wickets||40 Overs||183|
Exiles Bowling figures:
The consensus amongst The Exiles was that it was a sporting total but well within the reach of this batting line upon their own ground where they had passed 250 several times this season. Maybe that over confidence was our downfall because even as the upper order crumbled each batsman continued to attack, most contributing to their own downfall with rash strokes. The normally circumspect Hobley was bowled playing totally uncharacteristic cross-batted swipe and that more-or-less set the tone for what was to follow. Tony Brook alone seemed to sense the danger and went into trench digging mode, kicking up clouds of dirt as he dug out yet another yorker from Martin Jones, tearing in all the way from the sightscreen (not as far as it sounds). By the eighteenth over we were 63 for 6, with just the all-rounders and Rorick the wicket keeper to make 121 from 22 overs. Well as you may have guessed they didn't quite make it, in fact we didn't make the half way mark. Vincent Brooks was the last to fall with the score on 90. Pete Watts was top scorer again but with a measly 15, four others managed double figures. The Nuxley bowling was controlled rather than spectacular and they were well backed up by the well set field; they built up enough pressure for the hard but fragile Exiles batting to crumble. In contrast the unfocussed Exiles had failed to maintain much control in the field, had squandered a few chances, allowed the opposition a few more boundaries than were necessary and put themselves under pressure with some undisciplined batting. At least Nuxley are a nice team to lose against. Hopefully the away leg of the contest will be reinstated next season and we'll have the chance to reply. I rate this the Exiles poorest performance of the season so far. The only way is up?
|W Holder||Ct behind||Wilkinson||12|
|Total||29.2 Overs||all out||90|
Nuxley's bowling figures:
Exiles lose by 93 runs.
Nothing next weekend so plenty of time for The Exiles to lick their wounds and regroup before The Old Antelopians at home on the 29th July.