Match report by Kevin Hobley (capt)
A balmy May afternoon, more like August, welcomed the Exiles to their second fixture of 2005. Eleven hale and hearty Exiles eventually turned up (Eddie where were you?) at Twickenham Green. The pitch looked flat with a hint of green shoots. Henderson, the Twickers Skipper volunteered that the pitch was flat with something in it for the spinners.
After a brief discussion between the captains it was decided that the Exiles would bat first (would have done anyway if I'd won the toss!) as the T's were short on batting but long on bowling. The Exiles started their innings about 2:15 with Paul "I'm 42 but not played since school" helping out the T's until their final player arrived. Vijay, fresh from batting through the innings last week opened with the old stager Hobley. Alas with only two on the board Vijay went for a second ball duck swiping across the line at a straight one (bet you're wish you hadn't turned down that easy second now?). Riaan came out to the middle talking calmly but stricking the ball mightily. In the next 15 overs the batsmen put on exactly 100, Hobley eventually falling for 34 to Henderson's legspin. In came Steve Du Pres, looking nervous at the crease he lunged at a Henderson delivered only to miss it and the T's keeper to wip the bails off. Vijay, at square leg, stood unmoved, the half pint he had before the game hadn't worn off. Steve "I'll take the car rather than walk (when I'm on nought)" stood his ground. Credit to the T's for accepting the decision with good grace. Steve and Riaan then set about the T's bowling with some aplomb, Riaan remaining particularly viscous on anything pitched in his half. Eventually Riaan fell for an excellent 86.
Guy came out next and survived a caught behind appeal from Henderson but fell L.B.W. soon after for 1. Cameron was next in looking stylish with a couple of drives to fielders, off the mark with a streaky loft to mid wicket that fell between two fielders. Unfortunately he eventually fell for [?] bringing another Aussie Adam to the crease. Adam played a neat little cameo with some good running with Steve but soon gave way to his compatriot Ian. By the time Ian arrived Steve was purring along and had added a Corsa, Guy's Rover (to much hilarity), a Transit and a Golf convertible to the Audi TT he'd already hit twice. People please think twice before parking your cars around Twickenham Green!
Further excitement was added with an extra fielder appearing for the T's, a grey squirrel came on at mid wicket. He proceded to walk in with the bowler and ended up at silly mid on sledging Steve, something about nuts I think. After a display of rodent hearding Ian and Steve saw us through to 40 overs and a score of 242[?], with Steve on 64 and Ian on [?]. Always good to have the runs in the bank which makes tea (BLT, Curried chicken sandwiches and Brownies) much sweeter. Guy made a great job of collecting the tea money!
Time for the T's dig and the skipper to evaluate the new youthful Exiles bowling attack ("I'm 42 and not played since school"). Nick West stepped up to the plate to open the bowling with Cameron, "Open! I'm more first change". The T's dealt harshly with anything short, overpitched or wide, but both bowlers toiled away with the odd ball zipping through and beating the bat, to be taken with a scream of pain by Adam behind the stumps.
Despite losing an early wicket to Cameron's pace, the T's were upwith the asking rate, especially after Cameron's 2nd over went for 22. Nick had to settle for building the pressure, which lead to a run out off his bowling, Riaan picking up one handed at point and throwing down the stumps at the bowlers end, even the batsman was impressed. Cameron came back well and was rewarded with a second wicket. After a 12 over opening burst it was time for a double change and Paul "I'm 42 etc" and Vinny came on. Paul started well and bowled the first maiden of the innings with his second over. Vinny showed his usual hustle. Something was about to happen, Riaan's and Cameron's fielding imparticular being exceptional, sorry Jonty and Herschel. Sure enough the pressure Paul built with his immaculate line and length paid off with a nice slip catch being picked up by Steve Du Pres.
Drinks were called and Vinny tried to talk his way out of the attack. The skipper held firm to be rewared by a wicket with Vinny's very next ball, have some belief man! Time for another double change with Ian and Vijay. Vijay's first delivery caught the batsman by surprise, "Where did he spring from!". A nice economical four over spell of left arm round, with a wicket was his reward. Ian's legspin was working wonders from the other end. Turn and bounce when he pitched it and bowled when he didn't :-) Adam also reacted rather smartly for a stumping off Ian. It was given, eventually, the square leg umpire being forced to halt his conversation with Guy. An Owl began hooting from one of the surrounding trees, time for the spin twins to operate in tandem with Steve replacing Vijay at the dented Rover end. Ian picked up one more with his wrong'un, yep another full toss that hit the base of leg stump. Steve wrapped up the innings with Henderson being caught behind by Adam. And the Exiles triumphed by 100 runs. Time for a well earned pint in the newly refurbished Twickenham clubhouse.
Next up Nuxley at Footscray Rugby Club