A dry slightly sickly looking wicket on a bright day with a keen westerly wind may have seemed like better batting conditions than fielding but The Exiles had a patchwork bowling attack and the Panda's have only ever beaten us when chasing so Skipper Shorrock put them in and may have regretted it early on as Bamber and James preyed on anything short of a length and got off to a flyer. James Booth had been press ganged into wicket keeping and took a while to acclimatise so a few byes added to the total. The outfield was faster than the last game and The Pandemonium openers got full value for their shots. Stephen Scheepers bowling with the wind was the tidier of the two openers and beat the bat but failed to get the telling edges. Shorrock went around the wicket to the left handed James and some control was regained. In an effort to maintain the heady rate Bamber attempted a pull shot that wasn't on and was bowled middle stump by Shorrock who had been persuaded to persevere when he was mindful to make a change.
When Faisal Ansari did replace him two overs later the scoring rate was pegged back further and when he bowled James the flow dried up to a trickle. Wayne Holder was back after injury for his first game of the season and felt his way tentatively but his old technique was still sound and he kept things quiet whilst Faisal went about winning the game almost single handed. He had Young caught at slip by Tony Brook after Booth parried it straight off the gloves. Thereafter it seemed his every over brought a new scalp and even when he was fielding at fine leg he managed a direct hit run out to remove Jacobs. Somehow his last over went for 11 runs but he still finished with the best Exiles analysis so far this season of 5-17. Wayne picked up the wicket of Chowings off a short delivery dragged straight at Shorrock at Midwicket.
Dominic Wood and Stephen Brown were the men called upon to finish things off, and after a rusty start Dominic found the length and induced Kingsman to hit his wicket just before he was bowled, then had Neil Tester lbw to wrap things up. Red Star Pandemonium all out for 119
|Young||Caught Brook||F Ansari||7|
|Chowings||Caught Shorrock||W Holder||0|
|J Tester||Bowled||F Ansari||4|
|Kingsman||Hit Wicket||D Wood||10|
|N Tester||lbw||D Wood||1|
Total 119 all out in 40 Overs
Fall of Wickets: 45-65-68-75-76-78-92-116-119
Sean O'Connor and Tony Brook opened the Exiles batting with the simple mathematics of 3 runs an over for victory. Sean played out James' first over for a maiden calmly enough. Tony faced his first ball, somehow got a leading edge and spooned an easy catch to the bowler Skinner in his follow through. A golden duck, the Panda's where delighted, Thereafter James Booth and Sean quickly settled in and by the fifth over had the score ticking along nicely. The Panda's removed the slip and set men deeper to counter the firm driving which served only to ease the scoring still further. What followed was The Exiles most assured period of batting this season, a 78 run partnership full of careful defence punctuated by orthodox hits. There were very few chances until James pulled a short one straight at Skinner at deepish midwicket, out for 44. Some rated it his finest innings for the Exiles, the highlight a driven six over long off. Sean continued in the same vein weighing in with his own six, slightly flatter but to the same point as he moved to within one of his fifty. By now the Pandas had lost the thread, fifteen overs left, eight wickets in hand only a few runs needed. As if to emphasise the point Sean edged the unlucky Sargent through the vacant slip area for four to move past the landmark. Wayne stayed with him, picking up singles, nursing his sore wrist until he clipped Bamber to the fine leg boundary to bring proceedings to a close.
Exiles win by 8 wickets with plenty of time to see the exciting conclusion of the Pakistan-Australia thriller from Headingly in the bar. No Panda's stuck around to dwell on what might have been. Faisal was excused his "Five For" jug-buying on account of his religion but got a round of crisps in that were devoured nervously as Wasim Akram demonstrated how to make cricket interesting. There is no doubt that Waseem and Naem were in the right place at the right time, but I expect they will be back in tandem next week for the former grudge match against The Strongroom.
|T Brook||Caught and Bowled||Skinner||0|
|J Booth||Caught Skinner||Bamber||44|
Total 121 for 2
Fall of wickets: 0-78
Result: Exiles win by 8 Wickets.
Next week Strongroom away.
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