Report by Grant Kennedy:
Having looked up our playing field in Grantchester on Google and wondering whether we'd be playing in a paddock and using a right-of-way as the wicket, I was pleased to arrive and find a very nice looking ground, though wondered how the pitch would hold up given it had apparently not been covered during the rain of the last few days.
This concern was unfounded it turned out, our openers Karti Malik and Michael McCann found the lively opening attack hard to get away, but with the help of some lazy running made it to 19 before Michael was out for 3 in the 5th (six-ball) over. Samuel Serby came to the crease, and boundaries were particularly hard to come by, but thankfully so were held catches. The highlight of this partnership was a decent six from Karti that resulted in four or five Remnants spending the next half hour looking for the ball. The local umpires were prepared however, with several back up (cricket) balls in their pockets allowing play to continue while Naveen hacked at the ivy. The 11th over saw the end of Karti (30 off 36 balls) and Samuel (12 off 14 balls), bringing Australian Matt Samson (6 off 7 balls) and The Kiwi Formerly Known As 'Pink Shirt' (20* off 25 balls) to the crease. Both Matt and I had been watching the now slow loopy bowling from the boundary, and to our surprise found it as hard to get away as Karti and Sam had. However, with only 60 on the board in the 12th over it was time to crack on, leading to Matt being stumped. Nick Johnson joined me briefly for a few singles, but was caught, bringing Adam Long (18* off 16 balls) out, with us feeling rather inadequate on 66/5 in the 15th. Some reasonable running, a bit of luck, and a few boundaries saw us put on 40 in the last 5 overs, reaching what we felt was a paltry 106/5, 12 of which were no balls and wides.
We headed out to field with the fear of heading back home rather earlier than expected. Initially these expectations were met, as Grantchester's opening bat showing pretty clearly that the boundaries were actually fairly easy, punishing bad balls and good balls alike. Some straight bowling from Adam (2/20) yielded two wickets; however, these were not the one we really needed and at 48/2 after 8 overs we thought we were done for. It fell to Richard Rex (3/19) to take first change, which to our relief saw an edge from their opener caught at a short third man in the 9th over. Rejoicing ensued, and the spring was back in our step as wickets then fell more regularly with some good catches, straight bowling from Richard, Alec Armstrong (2/20), and Nick Johnson(1/5), and in one case suicidal running. Their number 6 however continued to reach the boundary and the fielders remained fairly spread out. The wickets had slowed their run rate to some degree and we came to the slow realisation that we might actually win, especially as it became clear that their tail enders were exactly that. Nick bowled their number 6 in the 17th over, at which point it was in the bag. Captain Julius Rix (1/4) finished the job the next over, and we walked off in disbelief having won by 10 runs.