Exiles v Royal College of Science, Honor Oak 26 August 2001

Scientists confounded by freak weather conditions, Exiles wade in...

Never in the field of sporting conflict has the weather report differed so widely from the actuality. Even the "Hurricane" of '87 was flagged up as being a bit windy. What we were told to expect was 29ºC, Sunny-what we got was 20mm, cool and grey. Perhaps the game should never have started , it was drizzling and sepulchral, a deadening mist was only just precipitating. Still clinging to faith in meteorology and the innate optimism of the Sportsman in temperate climes we went ahead anyway. John Morgan decided to bat first on the damp green wicket which may have seemed odd but turned out to be the best of conditions. Rather like the tale about boiling frogs, the weather gradually deteriorated but it wasn't until the 30th over that the rain had come to a full boil and by then the game was half-cooked. What should have been a 35 overs match was cut down to 30, even with all the PhDs and doctorates littering the field no one was too worried about number crunching the Duckworth -Lewis method so the one delivery for four in the 31st Over was discarded and 145 was set as the total for the scientist to chase. Kevin Hobley and Steve Parsons managed to time their shots perfectly when lesser mortals were having trouble moving their feet in the slippy mud. The opener Sham ran in off a long run and bent his back without thought of injury but the plasticene wicket absorbed any venom from his effort and he resorted to slow cutters in a later spell. John Morgan managed to strain a thigh and had to retire hurt but at least it got him out of the rain. Rob Anderson played his innings of the season and was going along so nicely that he was unwilling to come off even when the rain came down in sheets. James Weir failed to add to his single run aggregate before tea was taken in near darkness.

Exiles innings:
 Batsman How Out Runs
S O'Connor lbw Julian 7
K Hobley Bowled Damian 32
S Parsons Ct Sham Rogs 24
J Morgan retired hurt 11*
V Brooks Bowled Imran 0
R Anderson Not Out 27*
Dan Rock Bowled Rogs 7
Effie Usman Bowled Nick 12
P Shorrock Bowled Nick 7
J Weir Not Out 0*
. . . .
     Extras 20
 Total For 7 wickets 30 Overs 144

RCSCC Bowling figures:

 Bowler Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
Sham 7 0 28 0
Damian 7 1 34 1
Julian 4 0 24 1
Imran 4 0 12 1
Rogs 4 0 21 2
Nick 4 0 20 2

Having endured the weather to bowl it was only fair The Scientists were given a chance to bat. The rain had eased off and the standing water on the wicket was not on the "business" parts. Another two bucket loads of sawdust were administered creating a crust which adhered to boots but not to the liquid mud "mantle" below. Those cartoon Northerners Shorrock and Weir then gave a master class in how to bowl on damp wickets. Sliding through his delivery stride but still maintaining accuracy Paul plugged away for 5 overs, 4 maidens none for one, whilst James had an eventful over with three wickets for no runs. The last of which was Sham caught of a top-edged flier at deep fine leg by Paul who had enough time to formulate thoughts about how terrible it would be to drop it and dismiss them for more positive ones before making the catch. After the two openers had finished the RCSCC were pegged back on 10 for 3 off 10 which didn't compare too favourably with the Exiles 60 for 2 at the same point. After that the fact that The Exiles were a bowler short didn't seem to matter. Rob had a short spell for no reward and Effie bowled slowly and picked up the wickets of Jules and Rogs. Steve Parsons had donned the gloves to save John Morgan any additional strain and was game but under-rehearsed and a fair degree of banter went between him and Effie regarding the others fielding mistakes. Vincent Brooks was tried but it seems his purple patch of wicket taking was a short one. Vincent went off vowing to invest in some spiked shoes. Kevin Hobley the bowler showed himself to be not in the same league as Kevin Hobley the batsman. The confidence, composure and technique he shows with bat are notably absent when he self-consciously slings down slow full tosses. Perhaps he should bowl with his "lucky" gum shield in? However he did manage to induce Damian to tread on his stumps which goes down as that rare dismissal "Hit Wicket". Towards the end Shorrock and Weir returned with single over spells just to show how it should be done. Paul removed top-scorer Imran lbw to add a Wicket Maiden to his four ordinary ones. James kept it tight as the asking rate extrapolated beyond the possible. Improbably monikered mate of John's Dan Rock had a dart and got clouted but it made no difference by then. The Exiles ran out easy winners by 47 runs. In spite of the abysmal weather an enjoyable game was had and spirits remained good throughout apart from a couple of dramatic fits of dissent by the Scientist's Keeper.

The RCSCC claim to put out a stronger XI during term time when they have a pool of students to draw on. I suggest we arrange future fixtures early in the season for a more evenly matched contest.


RCSCC innings
 Batsman How Out Bowler Runs
Mike J Bowled J Weir 1
John lbw J Weir 2
Sham Ct Shorrock J Weir 0
Jules Bowled Effie Usman 23
Imran lbw P Shorrock 33
Damian Hit Wicket K Hobley 6
Rogs Bowled Effie Usman 7
Nick Not Out 8
Yugo Not Out 0
Ashish . . .
. . . .
     Extras 26
 Total 30 overs for 7 wickets 64

Exile's bowling figures:

 Bowler Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
P Shorrock 6 5 1 1
J Weir 6 1 8 3
R Anderson 4 2 12 0
Effie Usman 5 0 17 2
V Brooks 3 0 17 0
K Hobley 4 0 19 1
 D Rock 2 0 15 0

Exiles win by 47 runs.

Next week sees our third fixture against The Occasionals this season. No doubt they will be putting out a strong team to try to prevent a 3-0 whitewash, should be a good game!


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