Report by Olly Rex:
Tuesday's game saw Remnants up against the St Radegund pub side. Andy Owen was captain on the day and, upon winning the toss, announced without hesitation that Remnants would bowl. This turned out to be on the basis that last year he had chosen to bat first, only to see the St Radegund chase down the Remnants score in just 16.1 clinical overs. Needless to say he was anxious to avoid a repeat.
The new tactic got off to a decent start, with Joe White in particular causing some problems for the opposition's top order. The first few overs, however, had the distinct feel of being little more than a warm up to the main event which, in this instance, turned out to be Mihir Chandraker [who compiled the second best all-round performance in club history - ed.]. From his introduction to the attack in the 5th (six-ball) over, the day very much belonged to him. He began to tear through the Radegund order, as he was not afraid to flight the ball and give it some turn. That proved crucial, as he kept on tempting the batsmen into playing unduly expansive shots. He was well supported in the field, with Andy Owen completing two sharp stumpings and Richard Rex making a tricky catch at cow corner look staggeringly easy. All this meant that Mihir finished with great figures of 5/22 from his 4 overs, recording his first five-wicket haul for the club. Remnants pressed on from there, with Joe (1/12) deservedly dismissing former team mate Colin Anderson with a straight one, and then Atta Rehman (1/14) bowling well and claiming a wicket of his own with a well-disguised slower one. The Radegund were 43/7 and the only concern for Remnants was that the chase would be so small that hardly anyone was going to get a bat.
The Radegund lower order, though, set about an unprecedented recovery, led by their hard-hitting captain, whose class was evident when he crunched Joe straight back past him for four. The runs started to build up at quite a rate and, despite John Moore (1/22) claiming a wicket of his own when Andy held a great catch diving forward at full stretch, the game was suddenly looking less than a done deal. Olly Rex (1/17) came back at the end and bowled better than in his first spell, bowling the opposition's star batsman with the final ball.
Chasing 122 to win was a tougher proposition than it looked like Remnants were going to be faced with at one stage, and it only looked tougher when we lost 3 early wickets to Steve Haslemere's canny in-swingers. Once again, though, Mihir led the recovery, this time aided by the energetic batting of Dave Green. At a time when another wicket or two might have ended our hopes, Dave and Mihir not only stuck around but also scored at a good rate, getting bat on ball and running hard. When Dave fell for an invaluable 12 (off 23 balls) he had done his job and Remnants once more looked to be in the ascendancy. Mihir continued unperturbed, hitting the ball into so many different areas that the fielding team seemed to be about ten men short, and the epitome of this, and indeed the highlight of his innings, was probably a perfectly-executed reverse sweep which went for 4 past third man. Mihir was joined in the middle by Olly Rex, who was happy to play second fiddle to his partner for the most part, and in the end the pair brought Remnants home with 2.1 overs to spare. Olly hit a couple of late blows to finish things off and ended up 30* (off 21 balls), but the hero was Mihir. He completed his masterpiece with a very mature 57* off 46 balls, and he might well be an early frontrunner for the Champagne Moment award this year.