Monthly Archives: May 2014

Bernard Leuvennink – Maiden Exiles 50 Interview

On 25 May 2014, Exiles new recruit Bernard Leuvennink crashed 69 not out off only 44 balls, becoming the 3rd player to score his maiden Exiles fifty this season. The Exiles website caught up with Bernard to ask him about this achievement…

Bernard, many congratulations for your innings on Sunday, you must be really pleased?

Thanks, yes it was fantastic to get it at at such beautiful venue and helping secure that illusive win!

There were some big hits there – presumably that’s your preferred style of batting? That said, there were also 2 or 3 lovely cover drives…

I like to go for the shots and on the day it just paid off. Once my eye was in and confidence built it got easier to take a few chances. Cover drives are a favorite shot, especially nice to get a few away since I see myself predominantly a back foot player.

Have you played a lot of cricket in your life so far? 

At school a bit, but since my first sport was always tennis didn’t get as much time on the pitch as I would’ve liked. I took a break as well after my dad bowled out my bottom front teeth with a top-spin ball in the nets. Luckily dentist was able to just push back in but had a brace for around a year. Fantastic to now go see what your capable of with the Exiles team!

You’ve also made a decent start with the ball for the Exiles so far – do you consider yourself more a batter or a bowler – or a genuine all-rounder?

More of a batsmen I’d say, but some on the wicket medium pace balls were always pretty useful. Something to work on and see, let’s talk again end of season.

What have you made of your opening few matches for the Exiles? Have you enjoyed the games & playing for the club? It must’ve felt good to play a key part in the first victory of the season?

Yeah it’s been fantastic. Since nets at Lord’s being the gumtree recruit as Chris Plume calls it, really enjoyed playing with the guys! Nice to put up your hand in the first win of the season for sure and let’s hope this form continues. Sundays now all for cricket and quite irritated if I find can’t play due to some other commitment.

You’ve also shown good ability on the recruitment front – a key facet of Exiles cricket it seems these days – getting several of your mates/workmates to play already – how have you felt about this? 

I just want to play! Luckily I have a few mates who are relatively good sportsmen and always up for a game. Also always good  to bring people you know into something you enjoy, because most likely they’ll enjoy too (thanks for the lift and borrowing of the bat sunday Frank Bertalan).

Do you have any cricket aspirations going forward you’d like to achieve? Or are you just happy to go out and play?

Mostly I just like playing, but quite a stat man as well so definitely want to continue on this track hopefully. Since it’s first season with the Exiles and probably in my cricket ‘career’ would like to see what one is capable of.

Bernard, once again, well played on Sunday, and here’s to plenty more runs and wickets from you in an Exiles shirt!

Thank you very much – go on Exiles!

Jasper Searle 1,000 runs interview

On 18 May 2014, Jasper Searle became the 13th player to reach the career milestone of 1,000 runs for the Exiles. The Exiles press office caught up with Jasper to ask his thoughts on this achievement:

Jasper, many congratulations, you must be really pleased at reaching this landmark? Did you envisage such longevity in your Exiles career when you started?

Thanks, I had forgotten I was near 1,000 runs.  I’ve never been one to set targets or get immersed in stats so I’m just happy I have made some small contribution along the way, even if I have been consistently inconsistent with my batting performances.

What have been your favourite innings to date? Your sublime 70-odd against Sanderstead a few years ago sticks in the mind….

It would have to be the 50 I got away v CYPOS, we had lost a couple of early wickets and me and Keith Roberts steadied the ship and got us to a respectable score, and then I also took a couple of key catches.

And your favourite shots? Your dreamy cover-drives are well renowned…

I haven’t hit many sixes, so any of those I’ve enjoyed. Probably an off drive I hit vs. Surbiton which went all the way to the longest part of the boundary is my favourite.

Have there been any Exiles batsman you’ve particularly enjoyed batting with or watching?

Batting with: Dan Killaly, as he wasn’t afraid to take the bowlers on from ball one, and he helped take the pressure off you at the other end.

Watching: Tither, Gundry are destructive and a joy to watch. Wingfield when required can have a fair swing of the bat too. Amil Patel makes things look easy too, a most orthodox player and can accelerate if required. When I first started at the club John Hodgson was always likely to contribute with bat or ball.

And you must’ve picked up some tips from your close friend the mercurial Marcin Zieleniewski along the way?

I’ve found a partner in crime to whinge and moan when things are going too slowly yes! And a couple of times we’ve been battling it out for the fielding trophy.

You bring great intensity to the Exiles with your personality – particularly in the field in close up fielding positions. Do you try to maintain a similar mentality when batting or do you try to relax more?

No, batting is a battle of concentration and fighting those demons trying to talk you out of settling in. At least with fielding you can switch off between deliveries.

Any matches than stand out as being particularly memorable over your Exiles career?

Apart from the CYPOS game already mentioned, probably my one decent bowling spell when I got 4 wickets v Surbiton Imperials (I think).  Also witnessing that great winning run in 2008 when everyone seemed to contribute in some way.

And what are your targets going forward? More runs? A few wickets?

More catches….I’ve always enjoyed fielding so not having taken a catch (excluding wicket keeping) recently has been annoying. A ton is always an ambition but not looking ever likely.

Jasper many thanks and good luck with your future Exiles cricketing!

Exiles in first win furlong time at Royal Ascot…

Exiles beat Royal Ascot by 40 runs to finally pick up their first win of the 2014 season, inspired by Bernard Leuvennink.

On winning the toss, Exiles batted and Chris Plume (33) and Will Kent (58) put on a solid 68 for the first wicket to set a good platform, but quick wickets saw the Exiles slip to 139 for 5 before a fine partnership of 65 between Leuvennink (69*) and Simon Gundry (19*) saw the Exiles finish well – scoring exactly 100 off the last 10 overs, Leuvennink hitting 4 sixes in a 37 ball maiden Exiles half-century.

Andy Wingfield (2 for 14) and Gundry (2 for 25) put pressure on the Royal Ascot batters from the off, but a partnership of 95 for the 3rd wicket put the home side right back in the game. But once the returning Wingfield broke the partnership, Exiles regularly picked up wickets, with golden-arm Leuvennink picking up 3 quick wickets at the death as Ascot were strangled, finishing on 164 for 8.

A morale-boosting win. Surbiton are next up at DunDonald Rec.

Andy Wingfield maiden Exiles 50 interview

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!