Olly Rex had this to say about today's match against The Technology Partnership:
Amid belated suggestions from the Met office that the drought might just be coming to an end, the skies finally (almost inevitably) cleared in time for the evening's game against The Technology Partnership. Perhaps it had something to do with the presence of Joe White and Julius Rix in the team, both already starting their third game of a season otherwise blighted by poor weather which, if nothing else, must be admired for its relentless consistency. Indeed, given the evidence they have come across, they might well be the last people in the country to genuinely believe us still to be suffering from the afore-mentioned "drought".
But enough about weather, let's focus on the (hopefully) more interesting aspect of the evening: 22 people or thereabouts (probably the latter) had come to play some cricket. Joe "I definitely don't miss being captain" White was leading the team and opted to bowl first. Or possibly the opposition chose to bat. Or maybe an agreement was reached between the two bearing in mind the number of players on one team. Irrespective of which was the case the upshot was that Remnants were fielding first.
Usual suspects Olly Rex and Joe opened the bowling and kept it very tight, with Olly (on his way to 1/5) bowling one of their openers to leave them on about 10/1 off the first 4 (eight-ball) overs. At this point, though, Remnants strayed a little from the so far predictable bowling order as young debutant Mihir Chandraker came into the attack. A couple of alarmingly straight and powerful throws from the outfield had already alerted one or two Remnants to his talents but what followed was even more impressive. He strung together a wonderful first over for the club, as he used a mixture of well-disguised leg-spin variations to confuse the player whom the opposition had described as their "only real batsman". His superb maiden was worthy of a wicket and he followed it up with a similarly impressive second over in which batsmen struggled to get bat on ball, let alone with any conviction. Remnants' strong position was aided by a tidy spell from ex-TP player (indeed employee) Julius and a sharp over from alleged "keeper" Samuel Serby. The opposition were crawling along slowly but the loss of only one wicket caused some anxiety amongst the Remnants ranks, especially since one or two chances had gone begging, often a precursor to an unwanted change of tide in a match.
The introduction of spin twins Matt Hughes and John Moore, however, put Remnants firmly on top. When Matt received the ball at the bowler's end and threw it towards the stumps mid-dive a number of Remnants groaned in anticipation of overthrows - but instead the stumps broke with their strongest batsman well short of his ground. Then John Moore drew their opener out of his ground presenting an opportunity for Samuel, now keeping wicket, to prove his talent with the first of two fantastic stumpings. John bowled the next batsman first ball and, though the hat trick ball was crunched away for four, Matt joined the party next over with a well-deserved wicket of his own. Despite a couple of late blows from the opposition Remnants restricted TP to 80/8, with Mihir returning to claim his first wicket on debut to finish with 1/13 and Joe producing a good yorker to finish with 1/10.
Chasing this sort of target is never as easy as it sounds, especially on the sort of slow and low pitch which is the product of this sort of early season weather. Big cross-batted strokes were not the order of the day and so the calm and selective batting of openers Gabriel Fox and Tom Serby was more than welcome. Extras were accumulated, straight balls defended and bad ones punished as Tom and Gabriel put together a solid opening stand before the former fell LBW for 8 (off 21 balls). Recent Test Matches have shown us that even with video evidence and Hawk-Eye such decisions can be hotly debated and so unsurprisingly not everyone agreed with the decision. In such times, though, it is often worth listening to the voice of experience - in this case Geoff - who instead of stirring debate when questioned merely answered very diplomatically that from square leg "all he could say was that it wasn't too high".
Tom fell shortly afterwards for 18 (off 28 balls) but Joe provided stability with a captain's knock of 16 (off 27 balls) in which he followed the footsteps of the openers with some good shot selection and managed to keep Olly from playing the sort of rash shots that could bring trouble. The return of an opening bowler brought an edge off Olly which luckily landed safe but Joe was less lucky and was bowled soon after. With Julius coming to the crease, welcomed by an instruction from Olly to "play his natural game" which, had he heard it, might have caused Joe considerable distress, there was still nearly 20 needed for victory. After a few singles Julius hit a big six over mid-wicket and Olly responded with a six of his own which, after a little discussion, secured an efficient victory.