Interview with Will Clephane..

On 10 May 2015, Will Clephane powered a 72 ball innings of 77 to help steer the Exiles to a club-record 221 run victory over Merton. The Exiles website caught up with Will for his comments:

Will very well played. You were due a few runs though weren’t you?

Well pre-season form indicated that I would find a bit of form. In the off season I worked hard on the guns and shoulders to ensure that striking power would be there when I needed it. I haven’t performed how I would have liked to date for the Exiles, with only one 50 and several starts for the club. So runs were due if I could get myself into form. I have found a bit of that form that I knew was there, so hopefully if I can keep my head down I can contribute to the team beyond just delivering week in week out on my fielding prowess in the slips.

When did you feel it was going to be your day?

I thought that once we had seen off the first few overs, had a good look at the pitch, that I could get a few. But you only get one chance in cricket so the key was keeping my head down and choosing my shots correctly, which has let me down in the past. I thought that I managed to get my head together at key points throughout the opening partnership, and with Drew keeping it together at the other end, it allowed me to take my time without thinking about keeping the scoreboard ticking over too much.

What were your favourite shot(s)?

I was trying to really just get in line for the ball, and I did that after the first few overs, but the one stand out shot was in the middle of the innings when I picked up a good length ball off middle and leg and put it over mid wicket to the boundary. There was no power in the shot, it was just well timed out of the middle of the bat.

Did you enjoy batting with Drew Scott-Dawkins in your opening partnership of 129?

I have to say that batting with Drew was a joy, he was key to the success and was the one that devised the strategy. That made it easy for me as I didn’t have to think too much about what I did, just follow Drew’s game plan and execute shots when they were there without constraining my natural game.

You’ve had a chequered record in previous performances against Merton?

Last season I came in rusty with no practice. I got a good length ball on off stump, first up, and played inside the line. I put my foot down the line too early, was a little bit top heavy in my body shape and essentially was off balance. It was a tough introduction into the rigours of Exiles cricket last season and I have to be honest it has played on my mind. That Diamond duck was the driving force behind commitment to batting in the pre-season nets and made me think about how I was going to approach things differently this season. Play a bit later, lose a pound or two around the midriff, and try to watch the ball more carefully. I have got a bit of power which allows me to put a fair few hitting areas away to the boundary, so I just have to be confident enough to give myself time in the middle.

And what of your slip-catching? At times it was excellent today…

Yeah 50% strike rate on slip catching isn’t bad. I do feel that I made thing harder for myself by not staying down long enough in the slips, but hopefully a bit of rust has fallen off the hands and I hope that I can contribute consistently in the field this season for the team.

What aspirations for the coming season?

Well I have three goals this season.

One is that I would like to get a century, which is a tough ask. But I think that setting personal goals is key to contributing to the team’s performances throughout the season.

Secondly I would like to get a minimum of 10 games in. I am not a natural talent and therefore the only way I can play successfully is with plenty of time in the middle. If I can play more with Drew at the top of the order then I think that will really make a difference.

Third I would like to play in a century stand where both Drew and I get a minimum of 50 a piece, he deserved more from that game and was in good nick. Just a shame that we both couldn’t have cleaned up right to the end.

Will very well played and here’s hoping for plenty more runs from you this season..