Taking on Xaar -- essentially a Rob Harvey invitational eleven masquerading as his work side -- we had no idea what to expect, and there was a little bit of fear that they'd have brought in some quality ringers . . .
. . . but the fact that their two opening bowlwers were both taken for more than 40 from their 4 (six-ball) overs suggested that this wasn't the case. The mayhem was inflicted by our two most destructive batsmen, Andy Reid (105 off just 53 balls, with 14 fours and 3 sixes) and Nick Clarke (47 off just 22 balls, with 8 fours and 1 six), who put together an opening partnership of 113 from a mere 50 deliveries. It was as if they were two would-be alpha males competing for dominance and refusing to give an inch, and even though Nick's innings was slightly faster, Andy probably took the tightest of points decisions for his mid-innings purple patch of 4 3 3 4 6 4 6 4 (or 34 runs from just 8 deliveries). After Nick's dismissal Eddie Parker chipped in with a quick-fire 26* and we just about maintained our hectic scoring rate for the rest of the innings, eventually finishing up with our highest ever 20-over score, 220/5.
Most teams would have rolled over when faced with such an enormous target but, to their credit, the Xaar batsmen gave the chase a red-hot go, making it to 92/1 after 9 (six-ball) overs, almost up with the required rate. The pressure finally told as, appropriately in such a batsman-dominated game, two of our better batsmen, Dave Williams (2/3) and Nick Clarke (1/13), ended Xaar's charge. They eventually made it to the seriously big total of 151/7 . . . and yet still lost by 69 runs.