On 4th May, 2014 Andy Wingfield finally (finally) got his maiden Exiles fifty – at the 143rd time of asking, it turns out! The Exiles caught up with Andy to talk about the achievement:
Andy, first Exiles game of the season against Spencer, how were you feeling?
Pretty good before the game to be honest – I’d had a game for OMT the previous week where I’d had a bit of a bat and a bowl, so I was hopeful I’d perform okay.
Exiles were really struggling when you came to the wicket, what were your thoughts?
Well I’d got thoroughly frustrated with my bowling earlier in the game – so I think there was some latent aggression still in my mind! I hadn’t bowled terribly, but conditions were good for batting and I hadn’t got my yorkers right at the death. My initial intent was to just consolidate and stay in for a while, but I was fortunate that a depth-charge bowler was introduced to the attack pretty quickly, and with a short leg-side boundary, it was red rag to a bull.
You were striking the ball really well and hit 4 sixes, their captain thought he should have put the boundary back another 20 yards. Did all the sixes hit the middle or were you in such good form you were mis-hitting sixes?
At the risk of sounding a bit blase, I don’t remember really getting hold of any of them – but I guess I got enough bat on the shots to clear the ropes a few times! Good bat & good pitch – it was fun. Just a bit annoying to get out, when there was potential for an even bigger score and the chance of Exiles pulling off a highly unlikely victory…
Most regular Exiles have seen you reach many scores between 45 and 49 did you always believe the maiden 50 would come?
Yes I guess so, but it was starting to get annoying. I’ve always fancied I can bat properly, but I’ve not demonstrated that anywhere near regularly enough – in any cricket – for my own liking. Yet.
Inevitably from me I’ve got a few stats on the subject – this was the 12th time I’ve gotten into the 40’s for the Exiles and was my 143rd innings for the club in my 194th game. And I’d scored 1,813 runs for the club without a 50 – comfortably more runs than anyone else who hadn’t got one!
You have moved on from being mainly a bowler to a genuine Exiles all-rounder but was the elusive 50 starting to play on your mind?
It didn’t bother me for ages – for a time I was just pleased to start contributing more and more with the bat, but as time went on and I didn’t get a 50 it started to get annoying. Particularly with frequent reminders from the likes of Simon! And a couple of extremely near misses added to things – for example, getting out for 48 against Dodgers with a ball that bounced at least twice and finishing 49 not out against OMT when I hit the last ball of the match for what I felt was a six, but it was so dark that no-one was really sure and only a four was given!
One of my biggest targets for the Exiles – and something I believe is a reliable mark of an all-rounder is to get my career batting average higher than my bowling average and I’ve made it difficult for myself – after my first 5 years at the club, I’d got about 400 runs at about 10 and 87 wickets at barely much under 30! They’re now much closer – 18 vs 21 or so, so hopefully I can get that sorted in the next few seasons…
Finally many congratulations on you maiden Exiles 50, how did feel, any shots you’d like to mention or stages of your innings, although on getting 50 in 27 balls it must have passed by in a flash? Hopefully there will be more to come.
Thanks, it was definitely a very satisfying moment – especially after all the dramas – some of which I’ve mentioned above. It was also important that I got through the 40s in very quick time – I reckon about 4 balls – so I didn’t have a lot of time to think about getting close to the landmark! I guess it was all pretty agricultural, but after all my golfing as a kid, that style of batting comes naturally!
I definitely hope to score plenty more 50s for the Exiles – though time will tell I guess. But I feel there’s a lot more unfulfilled potential in my batting than my bowling and it’s one of the things I really enjoy about cricket – the fact that even after over 350 club games in the last 12 years, I’m still learning and (hopefully) improving.
Andy, many thanks for your time and here’s hoping the next fifty comes round more frequently!