Remnants vs. Woozlers

Wednesday, August 7, 2002
Fitzwilliam College

Woozlers (165/4; 15 eight-ball overs)
Remnants (118/9; 15 eight-ball overs)
by 47 runs.

Report by Daniel Mortlock:

Once again the sky was grey, the ground wet and the rain fell, but somehow we managed to play out a full game against the Woozlers Wandering Cricket Club . . . albeit an incarnation augmented by the addition of a couple of Kiwi ringers, both of whom took the game rather more seriously than is customary mid-week.

This was made clear in the third over when one of them seemed to deliberately run out his opening partner, presumably as said partner wasn't scoring fast enough. When Andy Owen suggested this was a bit rough, it not being the Antipodean's call and all, the curt answer came back, "Well, we do things a bit differently."'It's not clear what that actually means, but if his team-mates weren't going to be given any quarter then we were liable to be in for a hard game.

Anyway, things started pretty well with Paul Jordan (0/20) bowling tightly and Daniel Mortlock (0/13) getting plenty of turn. After 4 (eight-ball) overs the Woozlers were just 10/1, but then their middle order went on a rampage for the rest of the innings. Their batsmen hit some enormous drives and lost four balls over the short square boundary, whilst our bowling was made to look pretty impotent. Faruk Kara (1/55, the second most expensive spells in club history) and Mark Burrows (0/37) felt the brunt of the big hitting but Phil Marshall (2/27) made something of a comeback, grabbing two wickets in three balls. Through this onslaught the fielding held up pretty well: Faruk, Daniel and Remnants debutante John Gull (son of Remnants stalwart Steve, also playing today) all did good work in the deep; Phil Watson took a great catch at gully; and Mike Scanlon effected the run out mentioned above. But in the end it doesn't really matter how well you field when the batsmen are finding the boundary a couple of times an over, and the Woozlers scored at two runs per ball for the last two thirds of their innings, seting us the unlikely target of 166 for victory.

Nick Clarke correctly, if somewhat obviously, pointed out that "pushing the ball 'round for singles" wasn't going to be enough to win the game and, true to his word, he smacked 16 runs in the first over of our innings. The only problem was he also got out, well caught at square leg by one of the Woozlers' ringers. Then, in one of the strangest happenings seen in a Remnants game, the above sequence was repeated in each of the next three overs from that end. Faruk (22), Andy Owen (11) and Phil Watson (2) all scored at the required rate before perishing by playing the same shot to the same fielder.

The sequence was only broken when Phil Marshall (23) was run out after an "optimistic" bit of calling. This then seemed to start a different trend, with two other run outs coming in the next few overs. Through all this we'd been scoring pretty rapidly (at least 10 an over), but our rate was slowing as steadily as the required rate was climbing. By the time the the Gulls were dismissed (John run out for 5 on debut and Steve caught in the deep for 10 in his comeback innings) the contest was over.

It was thus left to Daniel Mortlock (13*) and Mike Scanlon (3*) to bat out the last few overs and at least prevent the indignity of being bowled out, and that they did (even if a little inelegantly at times).