Energy Exiles 190/7 (35) beat Whalers 150 a.o. by 40 runs
Dundonald Recreation Ground 15 June 2014
The Whalers were a bit low on numbers this week, only 10 on the list and then Kev (skipper) had to hand over the reins to Al because of injury. Luckily the Exiles were over-subscribed and they kindly lent us Martin, so we had 10.
It was a cloudy day with an easterly breeze (in fact a bit chilly). Al won the toss and put us into the field for 35 overs.
Khalil opened the bowling with Sandy. Both did well but finding that first wicket wasn’t easy and the Exiles were scoring swiftly. The breakthrough came when Dario took a low catch in the covers off Khalil. Although the score board was moving along the batsmen were not afraid to play their shots and chances were coming. Khalil had a nick dropped behind and plenty of mis-hit balls were dropping into space rather than to a fielder.
Pip was the first change bowler to replace Sandy and made an impact straight away. After a couple of looseners he got his flight going and made the batsmen work until finally a mis-hit drive was taken well by Al at Mid-On. After that Kamal kept one end tight and Pip was replaced by Stu who grafted at the other end but the Exiles were working the runs and we were really missing that extra man in the field..the next wicket was becoming more and more urgent.
Khalil returned to the attack with extra vigour and immediately made an impact by tearing the No4 batsman’s off-stump out of the ground. It was an all-important wicket and we were back in the game. Stu then joined the party by taking a hat-trick of wickets but the Exiles’ No2 batsman was staying stubbornly at the crease, and although he was living life precariously by giving a chance here and there, we could not take that crucial catch or get an LBW decision to send him back to the pavilion. As the scoreboard was ticking past the 150 mark and the run-rate heading toward 5 an over we were starting to get concerned.
As the end of the innings drew closer the Exiles were pushing the runs a bit harder and run-outs started to come our way. Pip swooped onto one chance with a wonderful balletic action to demolish the stumps but his graceful demeanour turned to a proper strop and harrumph as the umpire didn’t give it out. At the close their No2 remained unbeaten and he was warmly clapped back to the pavilion for an excellent, gritty innings.
Khalil 7overs 16 for 2
Kamal 7overs 23 for 0
Terrell 6overs 42 for 3
English 4overs 24 for 1
So our target for the win was 191. By the time we’d finished tea it was 4.30pm. Pip had to leave at 5pm so he faced the first ball and as he and Dario strode out to the middle Al gave some wise words “take your time, 30mins is longer than you think”. As it happens Pip had nothing to worry about because he was walking back 2mins later after nicking the first ball to the keeper. Dario didn’t last much longer as he swished one to point and the hard task the whalers had in front of them looked an awful lot harder. What we needed now was a stand to steady this rocking ship and with Stu and Jimmy G at the crease that’s exactly what we got. Because of the required run-rate they both took a few risks and it was paying off as they both scored frequently and Stu quickly reached the 40s, mostly scored in boundaries (including a 6). Ironically Stu was clean bowled attempting an orthodox forward defence but after a stand of 72 the Whalers were in much better shape than 13 overs ago. Al spent a few overs at the crease facing the Exile medium pace before realising that he’d forgotten a piece of crucial kit, a quick dash back to the boundary to retrieve his box and we were on our way again.
Although we were not quite achieving the required run-rate, we were in touch, and there was still hope that a late flurry of runs could get us to the finish line. But after Al, Jimmy and Sandy went in quick succession the target was starting to look very far away indeed. Martin (helping us out from the Exiles) played well but we weren’t getting the boundaries we needed to stay in touch. So when Roland was bowled and Khalil was out for a duck that was that and the Exiles eventually won by 40 runs.
It was a tight match as usual against the Energy Exiles but we really missed the 11th man which made a few dropped catches and losing some early wickets even more damaging than they otherwise would have been. The Exiles were worthy winners this time but we’ll have a chance to equal the score in a few weeks’ time when we host them at Kings House.
MOM James Gould 49runs and bowling well in the final overs
Champagne Khalil’s off stump out of ground to dismiss key batsmen at start of second spell
Muppet Al for forgetting box