Remnants vs. Romsey Town

17:45, Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Fitzwilliam College

Remnants (138/5 in 15 8-ball overs)
Romsey Town (113/8 in 15 8-ball overs)
by 25 runs.

Remnants began tonight's match with a neat tactical victory - with most of our players absent at 6:00pm (to say nothing of the intended start time of 5:45pm), Romsey captain Andy Owen had no choice but to let us bat first. And even though we played with a high-visibility orange ball, it was definitely a bit easier to make a good connection in the first half of the evening.

Debut players Mana Pandurangan and Shyam Perisetla quickly get into the swing of things by almost arriving on time.

That said, Romsey had the upper hand early on, as tight bowling and appreciable swing restricted openers Mihir Chandraker (28 off 34 balls) and Joe Howarth (26 off 31 balls) to the degree that we were just 36/0 after 6 (8-ball) overs. Julius Rix (16 off 11 balls), Daniel Mortlock (29* off 19 balls, despite being a very scratchy 1* off 8 balls at one stage) and Kiran Sakhamuri (18* off 13 balls) found the going a little easier as they made use of a number of generous leg-side full-tosses. The running between the wickets also improved - which really means became more risky and opportunistic - as the innings went on, although the batsmen's judgement remained imperfect, as evidenced by Daniel receiving the sort of heckle that he more commonly dishes out when he turned down what should have been, it must be conceded, a pretty comfortable second run.

Jeff Beaumont, Faruk Kara and Russell Woolf all watch Remnants in the field. Faruk and Russ were playing for Romsey; Jeff had just dropped by to take some photos . . . although presumably didn't mind appearing in one either.

Still, 138 was clearly a highly-defendable early-season total, an impression that was quickly reinforced when Joe White (0/13, most of which came through outside edges) and Mana Pandurangan (1/19 on Remnants debut) restricted Romsey to 32/1 off their first 6 overs. Romsey would have been in even more trouble if not for the fact that we had no wicket-keeper in our eleven (a stark contrast to yesterday, when we had three); hence Daniel reluctantly put on the gloves, the result of which was 5 extra runs off wides, 4 byes, 3 dropped catches (apologies to Joe, twice, and Mana), two sore thighs, and a fluffed run out chance that is already a solid candidate for numpty moment of the year: when Shyam Perisetla fired in an accurate throw with the batsman well short of his ground he should have been about to celebrate a nice run out to mark his Remnants debut; but, rather than whipping off the bails, Daniel instead decided to hurl the ball at the non-striker's stumps, the only significant result of which was two unnecessary overthrows.

Such horrors aside, our fielding was generally excellent, with Joe Howarth and John Moore making some excellent stops close in and Mana and Mihir Chandraker superb on the long boundary. The bowling was a little mixed, as evidenced by an average of just under a wide an over, although John Moore (0/8), Mihir Chandraker (1/22), Julius Rix (1/16) and Shyam (1/8) all kept the batsmen to around a run a ball, which was enough to keep us ahead on points. For the knock-out blow, however, we had to turn to reluctant bowler Dave Williams, who took 3/18 with his perfectly-paced leg-breaks, two of which left the bewildered batsmen looking back at the splayed stumps in disbelief. And even after Andy Owen (20 off 18 balls) induced a brief scare by smashing a few dismissive boundaries, it was Dave who ended any last hopes Romsey might have had by catching him at point (a position in which Dave had claimed "didn't seem to be serving any purpose" a few seconds earlier). With the match effectively over, it was then a case of rushing through the last few overs before the fall of night, which we just about managed - here's to some rather longer evenings (and more punctual starts) in the months to come.

Darkness falls on the Romsey chase.