The evening began with just seven Fen Ditton players in attendance, and so both teams agreed that they should bat first to allow their full team to assemble. But then this decision was reversed in order that Fen Dittion might "give us a better game", and so seven Dittonites and two Remnants substitute fielders headed out to try and cover the vast Fitzwilliam outfield.
The many gaps notwithstanding, the Remnants opening pair of Rob Harvey (27) and Mike Sneyd (6) found it hard to score initially, taking just 17 runs from the first 4 (eight-ball) overs. Kiran Sakhamuri (12) and Andy Owen (24) then began an acceleration that was truly capitalised on by Daves Williams (29) and Norman (43*). The general verdict seemed to be that Dave Norman was taking it easy, opting to hit fours into the pitch-side fencing rather than sixes into his own backyard (on the grounds that "windows are expensive"), but even so Geoff observed that he "adjusted to the level of the game well" and was "one for the future". Largely as a result of the two Daves' superb partnership (continuing their good work from last year's FAS game) we finished on the mammoth total of 168/6.
That should have been enough to have the match already won, but some disastrous bowling (two 20-run overs and what Geoff described as "the worst spell I've seen from a child protection officer in three decades") allowed Fen Ditton's big-hitting openers to take a sizeable bite out of their super-sized target. Having reached 82/0 in the 6th over we were only half an hour from the most ignominious of (ten-wicket?) defeats, but then Tom Jordan (4/22) made the critical breakthrough with a classic leg-spinner that bowled one of the Ditton openers. Perhaps spurred on by the need to clear the family name, Tom went on to take three more wickets, including one of the better opposition batsmen comprehensively bowled around his legs. Fen Ditton's only hope now lay in their remaining opener, who'd bludgeoned his way to 75 and was looking good for triple figures. But instead we had a healthy slice of luck: said opener came down the track and missed the ball, which then bounced out of 'keeper Rob Harvey's gloves . . . and onto the stumps. Confusion all 'round: the batsman seemed convinced that this couldn't count as a stumping; neither umpire seemed too sure what had happened; Rob was sure it was out. He was correct, and the batsman eventually departed, but sadly Rob somehow managed to convince himself (and everyone else) that it was "run out", rather than "stumped", thus robbing himself (and the bowler) of a dismissal. Either way, the match really was won now: Andy Owen (0/20) and Dave Norman (3/12) completed the formalities, with John Moore chipping in with a superb overhead catch and Geoff Hales impressing everyone by becoming the first Remnant ever to field whilst wearing a Fenner's tie.
Unfortunately no amount of sartorial elegance could disguise that it was, in Geoff's words, "the ugliest of wins" and thus a stark constrast to last night, when we "played well but lost". Still, any sort of win beats any sort of loss . . . although why we have to endure one of the latter every week to enjoy one of the former is unclear. But this seems to be the case, with the "win one, lose one" pattern of 2008 already firmly established this year (even to the point that we tied the first match of the year on the grounds that it was our only match that week). Amazingly, the last time we won two (external) games in a row was in August 2007, so here's hoping that we can repeat our 2008 victories over Churchill College and the Sharks (formerly Shape Data) next week.