On a damp and blustery day The Exiles lost the toss, were asked to bat on a green and greasy wicket and almost immediately were in trouble. Kevin, Tom and Kyle all failing to make the necessary adjustment to the great outdoors after months in the hot, dry and fast nets at the Oval. The Exiles were catching a cold at 14 for 3 after 7 overs. The outfield had been half eaten by Canada Geese and the reseeding was attracting pigeons rather than new grass. A gale was blowing from the pavilion end ripping the sawdust from its pile. All in all the old place was looking pretty shabby. The scorers' hut however has had the "Changing Rooms" crew in, gone is the filthy old carpet and odds and ends from the groundsman's equipment, in their place stripped "distressed" wooden floor, bearing the patina of a thousand studs, offset with eggshell white walls and some fitted kitchen units(!). The lock is still buggered so the door had to be barricaded with spare furniture to prevent it flapping in the wind. The hardy supporters and waiting batsmen huddled in its lee wearing whatever extra clothing was available. The Scandinavian bowlers took a few overs to find their legs and their length but once they did there were precious few runs to be had. Captain Tony Brook and keeper Roric Coleman stopped the rot, they had a bit of luck and dug themselves in. Roric mis-timed a drive that lobbed to mid off. Doug Macintyre made his debut and with Tony giving support they dragged The Exiles' innings out of the mire and towards a defendable total. Doug climbed into the slow-left hander Bown's offerings for 14 off one over including a big six that raised the Exiles' spirits. Doug finally fell in the 30th over, top scoring with 35. Pete Watts hit a few lusty blows before holing out at deep mid off and Tony's long vigil ended when he slogged at a straight one and was bowled for 23. A dogged innings that was more gritty than pretty but worth it's weight in gold. Matt Champkin's debut was made in the rain, and the free swinging bat we saw at the Oval nets was never given an opportunity. Effie only managed to walk to the middle before the skies opened, early tea was taken and an hour later, in full sunshine the match was abandoned as the pitch was completely soaked and not likely to dry out in the time available. It was raining hard again as the teams drifted away from the ground, frustrated at not seeing what looked like being a keenly fought contest reach any sort of conclusion.
The Honor Oak catering staff were away on holiday so a decent tea was provided by Tony Brook and Paul Shorrock. Honor Oak didn't have a game so the place had a slight Marie Celeste air about it. We missed a trick though as the covers for the number one pitch were lying idle, if they had been put in place promptly we may have seen a restart but the result would have been the same. The first games of the last three seasons have all fallen victim to the weather now. Let's hope conditions improve for the game against the New Barbarian Weasels in a fortnight.
|Total||34.1 Overs||for 7 wickets||108|
Scandinavian Wanderers bowling figures:
Next up The New Barbarian Weasels at home in a fortnight's time.