After weeks of sunshine and warm evenings a grey darkness fell over the Fitzwilliam ground for our re-match with the Globe. Was it some sort of cosmic reaction to the national team's effort against Pakistan, or just the result of a careless buttefly in Karachi? Who will ever know?
With the 2001 captain and vice-captain both absent Tony Malik stepped back into the role that had been his for the last two years, but followed this season's trend of putting the opposition in. The decision seemed to be working a treat initially, with Paul Jordan (0/8) and Andy Owen (0/14) both very unlucky to go wicketless, and The Globe restricted to scoring at about 3 runs an over for the first half of their innings. Their number 3, when eventually called upon, looked very dangerous, but soon found himself grumbling back to the pavilion due to a combination of Anton Garrett's deceptive flight and panther-like work from Geoff Hales behind the stumps. In retrospect, however, we maybe should have avoided taking wickets as this brought Remnants nemesis Mick Taylor to the crease. By the end of the 20 overs he'd clubbed (and edged) his way to 57*, and taken his team to the unlikely score of 128/3.
With The Globe having a number of strong bowlers it was never going to be easy to score at more than a run a ball and, despite our top order all managing to get in, we lost wickets every time we tried to accelerate. The one exception to this rule was Andy Owen (40*) who used his feet to force the bowlers to change their line and length. With four overs left we were 89/4 -- 40 needed off just 24 balls. Andy kept us in touch with at least one boundary an over, whilst Daniel Mortlock (17*) missed the ball a lot but ran a great many byes. With one over left 12 were needed, and another Owen boundary made that 8 off 5, 3 off 2 and finally 2 to win off the last ball. Unfortunately Daniel was on strike and of course one more bye was run to tie the match.
The first really exciting result of the season (if only because we'd won most of the other matches fairly easily) had everyone thinking about that one extra run they could have made or saved in the field. At the risk of entering Richie Benaud territory, cricket was the winner today . . .