Report by Paul Jordan:
Having arrived early, I was greeted by the sight of a beautiful outfield bathed in sunshine. The perfect precursor for a game of cricket. Last week I was fortunate to play on a Wednesday and be on the winning side: bouyed with this optimism I looked forward to tonight's fixture. We were playing The Technology Partnership (TTP) and as it was their "home" fixture which meant adhering to the restrictions on maximum scores for batsmen before retiring and no re-bowling of wides and no balls 'til the final over.
The first bit of good news from a personal perspective was having Tom playing for Remnants (for the first time since August 2011) and the prospect of renewing his batting partnership with Olly Rex. Sadly, this was thwarted just before 6pm by an apologetic Richard Rex who explained that Olly was unavailable - curses!
Having won the toss I decided to bat on what looked a belter of a track. The plan was to post a total of 140+ and take it from there. We started well with Julius Rix (19 off 17 balls) and Andy Bell (25* off 18 balls) getting us off to a flier. The bowling was pretty decent and to the man was generally straight and on a good length. Julius departed bringing new recruit Mark Towle to the crease. Mark looked organised but first game nerves maybe got the better of him and he was out to a decent inswinger for 3 (off 10 balls). Tom Jordan (21 off 27 balls) was next in and he and Andy kept the score going along nicely. Andy had to retire upon reaching 25*, after which Joe White (17 off 11 balls) joined the party. Joe always looks a class act and played some elegant shots. Tom complemented Joe’s style with some classy clips and drives which suggested a fruitful partnership. Sadly, Joe departed and Richard (9 off 6 balls) came in. Richard batted against type, hitting his first two balls to the boundary, and the score continued to progress well. Tom was out to a short ball just missing his ear, but unfortunately clipping his bat. From that moment we lost our momentum. The remaining batsmen played their part, but apart from some late flourishes from Alec Armstrong (9* off 7 balls) we ran out of steam. When asked by Matt Hughes what score I was hoping for I said 170 would be good; he of course misheard me and thought I'd said "117", which given our final total was more realistic.
Our opening bowling partnership of Naveen Chouksey (1/24) and Joe White (0/17) gave us a solid foundation, with Naveen bagging an early wicket. Joe was unlucky in his spell, having the opener was dropped at gully by yours truly (a doddle of a chance) and, in the same over, by Julius (a much more difficult chance). I was hoping this wasn't a portent of things to come. The Technology Partnership had two very good clean hitters who duly retired and from then on the wickets began to tumble. Suddenly catches were being taken and at this point it is worth mentioning that Mark and Matt did some great fielding, along with Tom prowling the boundary. The combination of Alec (2/21) and Richard proved irresistible and Richard took two fantastic catches at mid-off. The game appeared to be turning in our favour and with the Jordan combo bowling at the death, we seemed to have the upper hand.
The final four overs rather exposed a touch of naivety on my part. Instead of celebrating the taking of wickets, it hastened the return of the two opening batsmen (who could come back from retirement if everyone else had batted). This was assisted by some ridiculous running by the tail end TTP batsmen who of course were sacrificial lambs. The last over arrived and a four off the last ball would clinch it. The unenviable task of preventing this was left to Tom (1/25) who speared down a fast yorker . . . crack! A six over point. Close, but on reflection another 20 runs would have helped and some more judicial bowling at the end may have assisted the cause.