Report by Daniel Mortlock:
Today's match almost didn't happen - we were without opposition until Wednesday, and there was a good hour of rain earlier in the day. All this meant the match was played at a rather casual pace, and was partly responsible for us having just eight players, including Alex Brown, valiantly substituting for his injured father, Rupert.
Phil Watson, having won the toss, elected to field first as so often this season . . . but that actually translated to us batting, as he was leading the opposition (the Philanderers, cough cough) today. Stand-in captain Dave Rowson (27) and Faruk Kara (68*) compiled a solid opening stand, the end of which signaled a collapse (at least relative to our truncated batting order) of two quick wickets. Then Faruk and Daniel Mortlock (a shaky 29*, being dropped twice off Phil's bowling) took the score along to 136/2. Faruk's innings contained a number of elegant boundaries, and was also his second consecutive undefeated half-century in a row (which, while obviously impressive, is not as uncommon an achievement as you might think).
Even though we'd scored at more than a run a ball, it was going to be hard to win, with great gaps in the field - even with the addition of an extra (and skillful) fielder from the Philanderers - and only a few regular bowlers. Indeed their run rate was steady at about 7 an over for most of the innings, and that despite a largely inverted batting order. The tail-enders missed a few straight balls (giving Daniel Mortlock flattering figures of 4/15), but the real work was to stop their wicket keeper, Tony Thornton, and their eponymous captain from scoring. Faruk Kara (1/31) bowled the former (after a few lucky escapes) and we almost had Phil run out, but there were always easy singles if we had the field back and big gaps if we kept them up. Neville Fidler (1/22), in his first spell for the season, was unlucky to get just the one wicket. Paul Henderson (0/27), in his first spell for the club, quickly found a rhythm, forcing the game into the final over, which then saw Rob Harvey get a wicket with the scores tied (having previously taken a great catch whilst 'keeping) . . . but the new batsman hit the winning run off the fifth last ball.