Skipper Dave Exall pleased with Herefordshire County Cricket Club season in Minor Counties Championship (From Hereford Times)
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Skipper Dave Exall, from Brockhampton, pleased with Herefordshire County Cricket Club season in Minor Counties Championship
2:00pm Thursday 19th September 2013 in Sport
HEREFORDSHIRE County Cricket Club’s captain Dave Exall believes that the county side is on the up after a respectable sixth-place finish in the Minor Counties Championship Western Division table.
“We had our ups and downs during the MCCA Knockout Trophy,” said the Brockhampton all-rounder.
“But it was an upward curve during the championship.
“We started badly against Wales but we finished well - draw, win, draw, win.
“In the end, it was as good a season as I’ve experienced since I have been part of the team.
“We had a settled side towards the end of the season and that helped.
“There was a good team spirit and that came largely from having the same team playing.”
The final game of the season, in particular, turned out to be a memorable thriller when, even though they were chasing more than 440 to win the game at Brockhampton, visiting Wiltshire gave Herefordshire some anxious moments before victory was achieved.
“The two games that we won were both very exciting matches,” said Exall.
“But in the game against Wiltshire, I’m not even sure that we were the favourites at tea on the last day although they were chasing such a big target.
“We always knew that one wicket would change things but they didn’t look like getting out.
“But we stuck to it and in the end we won by 44 runs.
“It was a question of just doing the right things.”
With a score of 83 against Wiltshire, the match top-score of 81 in the penultimate match against Oxfordshire and a quick-fire unbeaten 46 to guide his team to success in Dorset, Exall, with his useful seam bowling and reliable slip-catching, underlined his value to the side.
“I had an injury to my knee through most of the season,” said the former Knighton, Kington and Bridgnorth man.
“I missed the game with Devon at Colwall and I played through when perhaps I should have rested it.
“I got the batting right at the end of the season but our batting unit was very strong and at one point I was the only one who was not getting many runs.
“At that stage, I was thinking that it might have been a bit difficult.”
Exall underlined the contribution of two of the younger members of the side.
“Brad Wadlan had a very good year both with bat and ball,” he said. “He was brilliant with the ball in three-day matches. “And Charlie Walker had a very good year with the bat.”
Walker collected 557 runs at an average of more than 50 while Wadlan, who scored 375 runs, picked up 31 wickets at 23.19, completing five-wicket innings hauls in three of the last four matches and seven wickets in the match in the other.
But it was the youngest player in the side whom Exall singled out for a special mention.
“In the last two matches, Will Barrett was a big influence with the ball,” he said.
“For a young lad, he was fast becoming my ‘go-to’ man when I needed a wicket and he certainly came up with the goods, especially in the last game against Wiltshire.”
After such a season of improvement, Exall is keen to keep his young side together for the 2014 campaign with one or two judicious additions.
“I’m hoping to keep the basis of the side together but we’ll have to see what the winter brings,” said the skipper.
“One or two may get picked up by first-class county second teams.
“It would be nice to sign a couple more players on - bowlers are very scarce at the moment and it would be a big help to get a new bowler on the books for next season.”
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