Report by Daniel Mortlock:
Such is our love of cricket that, even as the summer draws to its inevitable close and the Sun sets minutes earlier each day, we still try and squeeze games in after work, even if it means having to get to the ground at 5:30pm (which some of us even managed to do). Nonetheless, we did end up with eleven Remnants at the ground, a stark contrast to what seemed to be the remnants of Mr Watson's Philanderers - they started off with just nine (including Remnants Mike Scanlon and later Dave Green), but lost a goodly fraction of those to injuries as the match wore on.
We batted first, with Daniel Mortlock and Phil Marshall nudging lots of quick singles and cheeky twos before Phil was out for 16. This brought our number one slugger, Nick Clarke, to the crease, who promptly started whacking boundaries and ended up with an amazing 69 not out off what must have been about 35 balls. At the other end Daniel, being outscored two-to-one, survived through a few dropped catches and wild swipes to get 55 not out. In the end they put on a 109-run partnership off about 70 balls, combining aggressive running with strong-arm tactics: after Daniel failed to nobble one bowler with a straight drive Nick got him a few balls later, the ball thudding into the unfortunate Philanderer's kneecap with a sickening crack. He was okay after a few minutes of groaning, although his team's position was somewhat dubious, having been set a target of 143 to win (off just 12 eight-ball overs).
Even though it was only 6:40pm when we took the field, the Sun was already below the treeline and anything off the ground was almost impossible to see from the pavilion side of the ground. And so it was in these conditions that Paul Jordan (1/13) and Rob Harvey (2/28) decided to throw a few beamers into the mix; whereas Paul eventually decided more conventional bowling was the way forward, Rob, encouraged by first ball success, continued with this strategy, the end result of which was another Philanderer going off the field injured. The injury was, unfortunately, a bit nastier this time - the batsman top-edged the ball into his face, resulting in a fractured cheekbone and a nasty nosebleed. He was rushed off to A&E by Nick's wife and should be okay in a week or so, but it just goes to show how brave and tough we all are for playing such a sport in the first place. As we said to the new batsman, "Take no notice of the blood on the pitch . . ."
With the Philanderers' morale so effectively broken, the result of the match was a forgone conclusion, which gave captain Dave Rowson a chance to share the bowling around, just as he did in last week's game against Xaar. First of all the team's two (decent) wrist-spinners bamboozled the batsmen: Robin Woolley got 1/17 to go with his two excellent catches and then Tony Malik (2/7) showed us what real leg spin is, getting the ball to turn past (or, in one instance, into) off stump from several feet outside leg. Most impressive, if a bit of a challenge for poor Ev Fox peering into the gloom from behind the stumps. The game drew to a close with both Anton Garrett (1/15) and Russell Woolf (1/10) getting wickets, although we didn't manage to dismiss Mr Watson, who trudged off the ground personally undefeated, even if his team was stuffed to the tune of 43 runs. Mr Hales just grinned quietly to himself.