Report by Michael McCann:
Remnants headed to Borough Green for an intriguing anomaly of a cricket match, a T20 Test. More importantly, the tea inbetween the innings was magnificent. More on that later. In the meantime, Remnants batted first.
McCann and Williams stepped out, with a sporting wicket more than compensated by appealingly short boundaries. These were curtailed by a road that ran up close with the ground, arking round through about half of the boundary edge. A circumspect start followed, before Dave Williams went for 9 (off 13 balls with 1 four) early on. He was bowled neck and crop by pace bowler Talbot, who was definitely the most threatening of the home teams bowlers. Serby senior and McCann rebuilt the innings though were struggling to push the scoring on. In trying to do just that, Serby senior departed for 12 (off 21 balls with 1 four) caught, leaving Remnants precariously placed on 47/2 having used nearly 10 (six-ball) overs.
Samuel Serby strode out to replace his dad, and played an innings of a maturity well beyond his tender years. This, combined with quicker scoring from McCann brought more regular boundaries. This, combined with 17 some generous extras, allowed the pair to add 81 in under 10 overs. Serby displayed his impressive array of deft flicks, particularly through the on-side, including a six. Meanwhile McCann used his sweep shot to good effect off the slower change bowling, though needs to continue working on his running. In an atypical McCann innings, boundaries flowed regularly, though dot balls also did far more. These problems regarding rotated the strike in an all or nothing approach, suggested an over focus on power rather than timing. The pair scored well together, though it was still more positive accumulation than any feeling of domination of the bowling attack. Samuel Serby went for an impressive 34 (off 33 balls with 1 four and 1 six), bowled in the dying embers of the innings, just enough time for Felix (Serby, of course!) to follow his brothers lead, claiming 3* (off 5 balls). McCann batted through for 56* (off 48 balls), though never quite reached top gear, with Remnants slow start forcing them to settle for a below-par 131/3 from 20 overs.
Borough Green, through their home advantage knew this pitch required aerial batting, with their open Beeby slamming a fifty. This included a straight six from a perfectly good straight ball from the skipper for the day Rex junior. However the young buck led by example, striking back to claim the other, opener bowled by an excellent ball. Olly (1/36) bowled a good spell considering he faced aggressive batsman, short boundaries and a new ball that flew off the back and thus arguably was a disadvantage. More batsman came and hit, to the chagrin of owners of various neighbouring houses who were peppered at regular intervals by the ball. Felix Serby (0/37) also showed great perseverance in recovering from a few lusty blows early in his spells - many others would have been intimidated by he persevered admirably. This adjective was an apt metaphor for the side as a whole, fielding was by no means bad atol, and nor was much of the batting. Unfortunately we faced short boundaries and batsman with good eyes who had realised teeing off almost immediately was the way to play. Paul Jordan (0/31) used all his experience to help fight the flames, though unfortunately the team quickly realised a heavy first innings lead was inevitable. Faruk Kara (2/29) bowled a good spell, getting the big-hitting opener out caught, and the equally aggressive number three stumped by Samuel Serby, who kept superbly. The wickets only provided brief respite though, as every batsman found the boundary relatively regularly. Richard Rex's (0/22) flightly bowling got the treatment, whilst Catherine Owen's (0/28) helped keep some pressure on. This was exaggerated by the abuse the batsman received for falling to dispatch her bowling, a gross stereotype and unfair comment considering Catherine was delivering more than respectable leg-breaks. Burrough racked up 184/3, a sizeable lead.
The tea was good, a reasonable array of sandwiches (of a proper sizes), crisps, cakes with meat options available. The multi-bag of crisps later led to a highly intellectual debate amongst McCann and the junior Rex, Owen and Serby clans amongst the respective merits of quavers, onion rings and Walkers ready salted.
Remnants, learning from the home side and facing a deficit of 53, approached the second-innings with immediate aggressive intent. Andy Owen smacked 21 (from 14 balls), including a beautifully-timed cut for four and a pull for six, before being bowled by young Lovick. Rex junior and senior shared a partnership of 43, with the former only contributing 38, allowing the deficit to be wiped out in 7 overs. The pitch suited Olly's assertive and aerial style of batting, and an early sweep for four suggested he was in the mood. He hit with carefree abandon, scoring 76 (with 9 fours and 3 sixes), whilst his dad watched proudly from the other end. Both were eventually dismissed by young Lovick, though Olly had looked set for a hundred. Three dropped chances by Burrough fielders suggested they wanted to assist him in reaching the milestone, though eventually one clung on to dismiss him.
With Olly's dismissal probably went Remnants' hopes of claiming a late surge to match their opponents first innings total. Faruk (8 off 14 balls) and Rob Harvey (2 off 6 balls) didn't quite hit their straps, though their was still time for some trademark pulled boundaries from Dave Williams (14*). This brought Remnants to 145/5, an innings almost entirely built from an impressive 76 from the captain. Thus Burrough were set 93 to win, a total that looked relatively easy considering the pitch and conditions . . . but cricket's a funny old game.
Remnants, assisted by the reversal of the opponents' batting order (just as they did in the corresponding fixture last year), were able to take wickets at a more regular rate this time. This allowed the scoring rate to be constantly pegged at well under a run a ball. Felix Serby (0/11) and Faruk (1/13) kept it reasonably tight, whilst the former captured a wicket through some superb fielding. After a batsman chanced a single to the arm of young Felix, he did not hesitate to charge in from point. Having quickly gathered the ball, he threw the stumps down at the bowler's end. The batsman was not in the proverbial frame. This was to the delight of McCann, who had squandered a chance to run the same man out the previous over, an accident that provided ammunition for abuse from both sides of the cricketing bantersphere. The addition of Owen senior in a super-sub role was crucial in changing the game, both as fielding tactician and experienced bowler. A spell of 3 overs, 1 maiden, 2/1 meant that, aside from topping the season's bowling averages, with 40 needed from 6 overs, victory for the hosts was by no means guaranteed. Jordan (0/8), Harvey (0/10) and Williams (0/6) also kept things tight, so Remnants brought on someone whose bowling is often very much like spinning a cricketing roulette wheel. Liable to bring wickets, but opportunities for runs too. Drama certainly. Rex senior certainly didn't disappoint on this, bringing 2 wickets and 3 boundaries in his opener. This included one caught by Owen and a good catch in the deep from Rex junior. Unfortunately, with so few runs to play with the 12 runs re-established our hosts as comfortably in the driving seat. Remnants preserved admirably, though Rex junior (0/18) and Rex senior (2/22) were unable to gain a breakthrough, though the former forced the batting into a top edge that was dropped badly by McCann. Burrough eventually reached their target via a flurry of boundaries with 13 balls to spare. This brought the final curtain down on an entertaining, if rather unconventional, day playing T20 cricket.