The Exiles maintain their eight match winning series against the "old enemy" thanks in large part to a forceful and profitable partnership between Martin Saunders and Kevin Elderfield who both achieved personal bests. Kevin Hobley continued his recovery with a solid 36 before being unstitched by a Fenn-Wiggan delivery that hit pad, bat, pad again and finally the stumps. Once again a tardy Kyle Holling had forced some shoring up of the upper order to hold the line until he finished his McBreakfast. James had already gone up an octave upon finding another team claiming they'd booked the same pitch. He didn't need the extra grief. The only improvement in the continuing saga of regime change at Honor Oak/Dulwich College is a neat new sign by the car park, which is why the venue is given an alternative name above. I suppose from now on we should drop the "Honor Oak" but it's the same location, if not just the same as it was. Rob Anderson and Stephen O'Connor failed with the bat but made up with ball later. Roric couldn't cope with Fenn-Wiggan's straight slow medium so it was up to Stuart Lindsay to add some momentum to an innings that was drifting somewhat. Then as the wind redoubled it's effort to destroy the one remaining sightscreen Martin and Kevin blew away the cobwebs and carted the ball to all corners and over the trees. I don't know where they've been hiding these shots but they dusted them off at a crucial juncture. The Occasionals inning followed a similar trajectory in the first thirty but they're own attempt to accelerate to the finishing line brought a steady stream of wickets instead. Martin's brave innings ended with a bottom-edged pull shot off Dunster, who then also had Elderfield stumped in unlikely fashion with 'keeper Steve Sorba standing back. Guy Hatton achieved a more modest PB with 3 and yorkie mates James and Matt swung and dashed through the last few overs, Matt run out off the last ball attempting to squeeze two runs out of the drive to extra cover where there was only one as it happens.
|K Hobley||bowled||N Fenn-Wiggan||36|
|R Anderson||lbw||M Reynolds||4|
|S D O'Connor||Ct||Pratt||1|
|R Coleman||bowled||N Fenn-Wiggan||1|
|S Lindsay||bowled||M Patel||18|
|M Champkin||Bowled||N Fenn Wiggan||3|
|Total||40 overs||all out||157|
Occasionals bowling figures:
Some typically parsimonious bowling from Stuart and Matt kept a lid on proceedings for sixteen overs but produced no wickets. James Weir, in his first Captaincy released some pressure with seventeen coming off his two over spell (including that hen's tooth an R. Strange six!) before he withdrew to let Rob Anderson repair the damage. A suicidal run out precipitated by the former pop star, character actor, and self styled "Rock God in Japan" Richard Strange saw the departure of Steve Sorba, who left the ground with one of those black clouds over his head muttering what were thought to be traditional cosa nostra curses. Richard Strange was on the radio this morning peddling bon mots and "amusing anecdotes" with that collector of ephemera and inconsequence Danny Baker so the man with the can-opener profile obviously survived the night. Rob finally removed him but not before he had managed to amass 38 runs. His solipsistic nature allowed him to feel satisfied with his day's work, his ego inflated with "top score in the match", regardless of context. To give him his due his job description is usually to soak up some early Exiles pressure, like a human sandbag, so he exceeded that role. The fact that the dashers failed to build on this foundation of sand worried him not one jot. As the final ten overs came round more than half the runs were still needed. With plenty of wickets in hand it should have been a lot closer but Martin Saunders good day continued with the ball. Rob chipped out Betton and James Weir brought himself back with immediate effect having Dunster caught off his first ball. Pratt managed to work him twice to third man for four, forcing fine leg to go across whereupon he inside edged to fine leg for another boundary and suddenly The Occasionals thought they saw light at the end of the tunnel. It turned out to be the runaway train that is Stephen O'Connor. The big Swazi steamrollered three quick wickets, a good catch to Kevin Elderfield high at cover, another at point (to Kyle?) and clean bowling Captain Mike Reynolds who had swung bravely with his bruised finger. It was far too much to expect bookish Nick Fenn-Wiggan to smash 25 off the last over so James held his nerve pitched it up and restricted The Occasionals to only five. Less than a month until we meet again, no doubt Mike will be plotting his revenge...again.
|R Strange||Bowled||R Anderson||38|
|A Dunster||Ct||J Weir||16|
|M Patel||Ct||SD O'Connor||1|
|M Reynolds||Bowled||SD O'Connor||6|
|Total||137 for 9|
Next up Nuxley away in Eltham.