For the first (and probably the only) time this year we headed off to Parker's Piece for another game against The Globe. First time 'round it had been a fairly comfortable victory, but the second match had ended up an exciting tie. And one of the main reasons for The Globe's improved performance was the presence of one Mick Taylor -- he seems able to smash our brand of medium pacers to the boundary with almost ridiculous ease. We had the feeling that the continuation of this particular battle would be critical to the outcome of today's cricketing war.
The first small victory's was Mick's -- he came out to open the batting, immediately forcing captain Phil Watson to open up with wrist spin from Daniel Mortlock and Tony Malik. This proved to be the right decision, with neither opener looking comfortable as they played-and-missed, got edges, and hit the ball in the air more than they wanted. Nonetheless, by the end of the opening bowlers' 8 overs the score was 44/0, and the lack of a wicket had led to frustration in the form of some anarchic overthrows and a few dropped chances.
The match was there to be won (or lost), and Phil decided to continue with the slow stuff, which turned out to be critical as we quickly established a winning advantage. The first change bowlers -- Russell Woolf (3/7) and Andy Owen (0/9) -- almost completely stopped the scoring and got regular wickets (including a few ``induced'' run-outs). Russell, in particular, proved to be almost unplayable, getting frightening amounts of lift from the wicket. Also important was that the catching improved -- Andy, Russell, Rich Billington (Remnants debutante and today's wicket keeper) and Anton Garrett all took sharp chances, with Anton's being the absolute highlight of the game: Mick's vicious pull was heading straight to the boundary until the ball met with Anton's fully-stretched hand. The final mopping up with done by Anton (1/12) and Rich Savage (1/14) and so we came off the field with the match essentially won -- surely we couldn't fail to chase a sub-100 target?
Well, we probably could, but not today. Our innings wasn't nearly as eventful as the Globe's, but that was no bad thing. After a 30-odd run opening partnership between Phil Marshall (44) and John Young (6), Rich Savage (30*) joined Phil to get the majority of the required runs. Neither Phil nor Rich looked under much pressure, although the Globe seemed to be without their best bowler from the earlier matches this season. So whilst the run chase wasn't too exciting, it was part of what was a genuine team victory, in the sense that every player played an important role. Indeed the only Remnant not mentioned specifically above was Dave Williams (primarily 'cos he didn't open the batting for a change, to give others a go) and even he patrolled the shorter of the square boundaries immaculately, fielding about 20 balls during The Globe's innings.