Report by Daniel Mortlock:
Today had everything: a torrential downpour at lunchtime; a humid, balmy afternoon; and finally a dark grey evening with little patches of rain. Today's Remnants game also had everything: crazy fast bowling; canny slow bowling; brutal batting; hilariously bad and sublimely brilliant fielding off consecutive deliveries; and even a six-year-old substituting for an injured players almost ten times his age.
Where to start?
The beginning, perhaps . . .
The Woozlers decision to field first seemed set to backfire when their (presumptive) strike bowler opened up the innings with a fast and wildly erratic ten-ball over, after which the score was 11/1. We were then treated to some comedy running, with Dave Williams (56 off 55 balls) and John Gull (9 off 6 balls) seeming to spend most of their predictably brief partnership in the middle of the pitch shouting at each other.
Things settled down from there, with Andy Owen (44 off 40 balls) joining Dave for a 92-run partnership that consumed just 75-odd deliveries. Both batsmen started slowly, but we were soon treated to some enormous leg-side shots, as well as aggressive (and good) running. The innings stuttered when both Andy and Dave were out in quick succession, but then Nick Clarke (12* off 12 balls) and Daniel Mortlock (12* off 5 balls) played nice cameos to take the score to an impressive 164/5.
It seemed most unlikely that the Woozlers would be able to threaten our total in the fading light, but nobody expected them collapse to 17/5. Russell Woolf (2/9) and Faruk Kara (2/12) were the main destroyers, but the paucity of runs was also due to some good fielding efforts. Dave Williams scored a direct hit run out at the bowler's end (despite the mad cries for the ball to be thrown to the 'keeper); John Gull and Colin Anderson were all but impenetrable on the square boundaries; and Daniel Mortlock and Dave Green were both excellent in the two "short stop" positions, the latter soldiering on despite hurting his hand whilst stopping one of the few well-hit shots. Nick Clarke also scored a direct hit run out, before taking 1/7 (his season's bowling average thus ballooning out from 1.50 to 3.33).
There was a curious interlude when we simultaneously broke most of the laws of the game by allowing our substitute fielder, Anthony Hyde's six-year-old son, to bowl an over from the fifteen-yard mark. Sadly it was a maiden, meaning he didn't get a chance to bowl at his dad, but it was a most impressive debut none-the-less. After that it was back to business, Daniel (2/5, including bowling a right-handed batsmen around his legs with a wrong-'un - try and figure that one out) and John Gull (1/4) wrapping up the innings up with their wrist spin.
It had been an insanely anarchic game at times, but also included sublime batting, bowling and fielding. The only real pity was that it was yet another one-sided affair - it's the tenth time this season we've won a game by at least 7 wickets or more than 40 runs.