Report by Ferdi Rex:
After inspecting the team list before the match, Olly Rex, captaining Remnants today for only the third time, could not have been happier with the batting line-up, and was therefore perfectly content when he lost the toss but Remnants was put in to bat. With Remnants fifties at numbers nine and ten, and the top run scorer this year (Andy Bell) coming in at number seven, we were all looking at a very competitive score of 130+.
Tom Serby and John Richer, playing his first game of the season, went out to open and were faced with some good, tight bowling. John (5 off 9 balls) got going first with a lovely cut for four, but was then caught by a good catch at mid-on after going for a ball just short of a half volley and hitting it straight up in the air. Tom was then joined in the middle by John Young, who was unable to manipulate the ball into the gaps and ended up missing a straight one trying to break the shackles, departing for 2 (off 14 balls). Mihir Chandraker came next, and he was looking good as he got off the mark glancing a two to deep mid-wicket, but he was out caught soon after to a ball just bounced more than he expected, departing for an unfulfilled 2 (off 6 balls). Meanwhile, at the other end, Tom seemed to go through the gears unperturbed, at one point hitting three consecutive boundaries on his way to an essential 30* retired off 29 balls. Dave Williams joined him at the crease and did very well for his 27 (off 25 balls), rotating the strike well when batting with Tom, and then taking over boundary-hitting duties himself, hitting a four and a big six square of the wicket. Eventually he chipped a ball straight to the bowler and although there was some confusion as to whether it was a bump ball, umpire Andy Bell was confident that it was not and he was given out just shy of his retirement. Ferdi Rex (5 off 9 balls), Andy Bell (1 off 4 balls), and Julius Rix (2 off 6 balls) fell in quick succession, unable to up the run rate in their usual way, but Olly, coming in at an unusual number nine, immediately did the required and smashed a few much-needed boundaries. His dad, Richard, came in in the last over and did his job with a single to get Olly on strike allowing him to finish off the innings with 12 off the last 3 balls. He ended up 21* (off 7 balls) and, more importantly, he shot us up to 113-7 off our 20 overs which at least was a competitive total.
If we were going to stand a chance, we needed quick wickets. Captain Olly recognised the need to try something different, and therefore gave his brother Ferdi the (not quite new) ball with his off spin. After a flighted first ball single, he darted his second ball in to the stumps and caught the opening batsman off guard for a golden duck, and he then got the number three for a duck grasping a sharp caught and bowled chance diving to his left. In his second over he bowled two more batsmen as he continued to fox them with his changes of pace. Julius Rix (0/31) kept it tight at the other end and was unlucky not to pick up a wicket. At 20/4 off 5 (six-ball) overs, we had a real chance, and a fantastic spell from Mihir followed which meant that despite not rolling through the opposition we were still in the match. All we needed now was another wicket.
Andy Bell was the man chosen to have a go next. He struggled with his length but still kept them down, finishing with 0/19 off 3 overs. Olly (0/21) then brought himself on, hoping that he could provide some inspiration for the second time in the match, but the batsman unfortunately took a liking to his bowling and hit 16 off his first over. With the opposition needing just 25 to win off 6 overs, he brought Ferdi back on to complete his spell and go for a five-for, and he was unfortunate not to get the wicket but still finished with career-best Remnants figures of 4/10 off 4 overs. Olly turned to another family member next bringing on his father Richard (1/13), and he was immediately rewarded with a much-needed wicket as Ferdi took a simple catch at mid-on. Mihir bowled a tight over to finish with 0/13 off 4 overs, and then Richard tempted the key batsman into a big shot which was headed straight for Julius at deep square leg. Julius couldn't pick it up in the light, though, and as it sped past his fingers for the boundary you couldn't help but feel that our chances of winning went with it. Olly brought himself back on and bowled a much tighter over, but the game was already over as a contest and they got home in the penultimate over, winning in the end by 5 wickets with than an over to spare.