Simon Gundry – 100 wickets

On 25 September 2011, Simon Gundry took 3/20 against the Clapham Nomads, which included his hundredth wicket for the club – he’s now up to 101 wickets and – having recently notched his thousand runs for the club as well, he becomes the 4th all-rounder to have achieved the double of 1,000 runs and 100 wickets – following in the footsteps of Sam Scott, Jeff Hilson and Andy Wingfield. For the second time in recent weeks, the Exiles website caught up with Mr Gundry – interrupting yet another of his sessions with his physio – for his thoughts:

Well Simon, here we are again, your physio seems to be working wonders with her hands. Your bowling is looking back to more-or-less full pace, just as the season ends?

Yes it’s amazing what my physio can do with her hands; she’s been very supportive during some dark times. It certainly has been a frustrating season – just when I thought I was over the back problem it would re-occur. But I got a good run-in towards the end of the season and bowled some decent spells though the pace was definitely lacking. Definitely a shame that the season ended when it did but hopefully I’m over the back problem now and looking foward to next season.

Has she been putting you in certain positions to ensure better performance?

Yes at times it’s been like a game of Twister!

You must be delighted to have brought up your century of Exiles wickets – there must be some favourites in there?

I’ll take any wicket obviously but the best are when you get good top order batsmen out and have an impact on the game.

What’s your favourite spell? Your famous 7-7-0-4 spell against Wealdstone Corinthians still sticks in the memory…

Those were pretty good figures! Any spell that has good batsmen in trouble, particularly when you get rewarded for it, is always very satisfying – usually on pitches that offer something to the bowler. Also I like it when a plan comes together, for example, against Agricola I was deliberately held back to deal with a couple of late order hitters and it worked when I got both out cheaply.

Do you give much thought to your bowling or do you just bowl it as hard as you can? You seem to pick up a lot of your wickets bowled leg-stump – anything wrong with the traditional off-stump theory?

I’ll ignore the ridiculous jibe in the second sentence! Actually, I do think about my bowling, for example, changing the length to particular batsmen and I do deliberately try off cutters, slower balls, scrambled seams etc – not that it works very often. But generally, I will try and bowl fast and straight. Of course variation can be very useful but I do think there’s no substitute for a consistent line and length that puts batsmen under pressure and doesn’t offer up freebies. Batsmen hate being tied down and I think pressure brings wickets.

Have you tried to follow the example of other Exiles bowlers over the years, or any other cricketing luminiaries in particular?

I always find it immensely interesting talking to fellow bowlers and there are plenty of bowlers from Exiles, my week day side and elsewhere that know their stuff and I really respect their thoughts. I’m probably too old to do anything about is these days though.

Which gives you the greater satisfaction – 1000 runs or 100 wickets?

Probably both equally.

What’s been your best all-round performance in a single match – ever taken a 5-fer in the same match as scoring 50+?

When I scored a hundred for Haud Magnum at Chsiwick, I also took a 5-fer in that match, so that was a pretty satisfying afternoon.

Any satisfaction in the fact that stats show Sam Scott (1,667 runs, 120 wickets) to be a batting all-rounder, whilst Jeff Hilson (1,345 runs, 156 wickets) and Andy Wingfield (1,420 runs, 188 wickets) look to be bowling all-rounders, whilst your record (1,037 runs, 101 wickets) suggests a ‘proper’ all-rounder?

At last a sensible question! Of course, you’re absolutely right!

Simon thanks again, your phsyio is looking impatient, so we’ll end things there. Here’s to your next 1,000 runs and 100 wickets for the Exiles!

Cheers – and thanks to the Exiles for being a great cricket club and here’s to many more enjoyable seasons.