This evening's Remnants game was unusual in several ways. Most importantly, there was a BBQ and raffle at the ground, with proceeds being divided evenly between the Marie Curie Cancer Centre and the Cambridge Gynaecological Oncology Centre at The Rosie Hospital. It was also unusual from a cricketing perspective, with our standing "twenty/20" format being replaced by a kind of "mini Test match" in which each team would bat for two innings of 13 and 10 (six-ball) overs, respctively. Taking up the story of this memorable evening is Dave Williams:
Joe White won the toss (I think) and decided to bat. The first charity to benefit was clearly Help The Aged, with the "mature" combination of Clarke and Williams rising up from their bath chairs to smite the bowling to all parts of the ground. Nick was particularly damaging, with the run rate at one point reaching 15 an over. The fielding was especially charitable, with many hard-hit shots slipping through the hands of the fielders on the boundary. Dave was bowled for 26 (off 26 balls), attempting a cut off a good length inswinger from Catherine Owen, putting in train one of the most exuberant bowler shriek-celebrations seen this millennium. First wicket down for 111. Tom Serby and a tiring Nick (78 off 46 balls) couldn't quite keep up the pace, and Nick holed out in the last over to the only fielder tall enough to catch it and agile enough not to fall over the boundary for 6 afterwards: Dave Norman . . .
The Charities XI first innings followed Remnants' 131/1, at a slower rate apart from a particularly good over for 24 from Tom Jordan off Richard Rex. The bowling stars were Dave Williams (2/7) and Samuel Serby (0/17), who was unlucky to go wicketless despite bowling a good line and length. They finished on 114/3 from their 13 overs, meaning Remnants were comfortably ahead at the half-way mark.
After an early wicket, Julius Rix (23 off 27 balls) and Joe White (44 off 28 balls) batted together for the entirity of Remnants' second innings. But they faced much tighter bowling this time, and in the end we made just 68/1 off our second allotment of 13 overs. Would an overall lead of 97 be enough to defend?
The Charities XI initially struggled to keep up with the rate, but a succession of wickets brought in a promising youngster, aforementioned D. Norman. Nick's earlier innings looked comparatively sluggish as the ball started zipping to any and every part of the boundary between cover and midwicket with no fielders. With 33 runs needed from 2 overs, Joe turned to Dave Williams in the optimism of the will and the pessimism of the intellect; intellect sat and watched the generosity of the evening dispensed this time to the owners of the houses in Eachard Road, as Dave N. kindly gave each of them, three in a row, a Remnants ball. A small matter of 25 runs off the over, meant that 8 were needed from the final 6 balls, with Joe to bowl. A first-up boundary from Dave turned that into 4 needed from 5, but a dot ball and some singles meant that the match made all the way to the last of its 276 deliveries, albeit with scores tied. Unfortunately for Remnants, the batsmen managed the one more run needed to win, with Dave finishing on an incredible 67* (off just 19 balls, a scoring rate greater than any Remnant has ever managed in an innings of more than four balls).
Off field, Rog Shelley and Denise Owen were giving their time to the cooking of some delicious burgers and sausages. A raffle was held, with Keith Turner somehow contriving to buy three winning tickets, two of which he generously turned down. Remnants and non-Remnants all gave generously, the club donating match fees and pitch fee. The outcome was a total of GBP 300-odd Many thanks to donors of prizes, to everyone for playing and giving, and to Andy for organizing the whole evening.
This also brings us to the half-way point of the Remnants season which has, so far, been every bit as successful as the first half of the 2009 season (summarised at the end of this match report). We've only lost 2 of our 19 scheduled fixtures, and of the 16 external games we've played we've won 10 and lost 6. We've won most of our games by good batting, with John Richer (313 runs at 52.17), Nick Clarke (244 runs at 40.67) and Tom Serby (189 runs at 63.00) the leading run-scorers to date. But there's also been plenty of good bowling to back up the batsmen, and George Speller (6 wickets at 6.17), Faruk Kara (10 wickets at 9.40), Tom Jordan (8 wickets at 11.25) and Joe White (10 wickets at 12.80) are all presumably pretty happy with their early-season efforts. If we can keep this up then it'll be one of our best seasons in ages, so let's hope it doesn't all fall apart as it did last year . . .