Report by Daniel Mortlock:
Remnants faced a pretty stiff challenge today in the form of the Fathers And Sons (FAS) team of "amblers", which included a few Remnants regulars (Faruk and Daniel) along with some pretty handy local players. Ordinarily FAS would have been odds on to win, but we had Dave Norman as our ringer -- would his presence in the eleven be sufficient to swing the game in our favour?
The early evidence was that it might have been, Dave's opening spell (4 overs, 2 maidens, 1/4) standing in stark contrast to the rest of the innings, during which we conceded an average of about nine runs an over. Wickets did fall -- Rich Savage (1/19) had FAS's top scorer caught, Phil Watson (1/25) was predictably gleeful when he bowled Faruk and Rob Harvey (2/9) was equally pleased to get rid of Daniel in the same way -- but otherwise it was a case of chasing the red ball all 'round the park. For once our fielding also wilted under the pressure, with a few catches going down and plenty of misfields, the lowlight coming when one of our number (who, it must be said, has divided loyalties) managed to play a critical role in a sequence of overthrows that nearly resulted in seven runs being scored off what was initially just a gentle push into the covers. At least our time in the field ended on a high note, with Rich taking a spectacular running catch at cow corner from the final delivery of the innings.
A target of 148 off 120 balls usually represents a pretty stiff challenge, but if any Remnants opening pair could make such a chase look easy it would have to be Dave Norman and Nick Clarke. Dave was dropped early and Nick never quite looked on song, but after 10 overs they'd romped to 97/0 and seemed set for a very comfortable victory. By the time Nick was out (for 34), the opening partnership had reached 112, and just 36 were needed off the last 8 (6-ball) overs. Some excellent FAS bowling did slow things down at this point, but Dave's eye was very much in and he was scoring pretty much at will in his preferred forward arc. His new partner, Ev Fox (1*), was relegated to a supporting role as Dave completed his century (the first for Remnants in three years) and started the final over with 9 runs needed for victory. In the end Dave was on strike with scores tied and one ball left, which he smashed over mid-on and all the way to the boundary, hence taking him to 111*, the second highest Remnants innings and the highest (by one run) in a 20-over game.
A groundsman's work is never done, however -- having taken a wicket, held a catch and made an unbeaten century, it fell to him to serve us all drinks and keep Anton away from the spread for long enough for the rest of us to stuff our faces. But then a strange thing happened: Anton left the bar while there was still food on the table. This made no sense to anyone until it was noticed that he left in the company of a rather attractive young lady, for information about whom a substantial reward has been offered. We were thus able to eat at our own pace, but even after full sandwich access it was deemed that stomachs were still empty, so it was off to the Tandoori Palace for a curry. It was at this point that things got really out of hand, with FAS supremo Baz Dare shouting everyone's meal and inaugurating the Remnants-Fitzwilliam sightscreen fund -- just another £418 needed . . .