It was, provided you had no particular interest in keeping warm (or in winning), the perfect start to start the 2015 Remnants cricket season. Our eleven assembled in the most casual fashion, thus ensuring we'd have the option of batting first even if we hadn't won the toss. And, for possibly the first time ever, there were no problems seeing the ball even in the last over of the game, at least if Ferdi Rex's dismissive and match-winning six was anything to go by. The problem, of course, was that he was playing not for Remnants but for Romsey. Similarly, it's not quite so much fun to report that Faruk Kara took 4/19 when it's for the oppo.
Still, it wasn't all doom and gloom: Grant Kennedy (11 off 16 balls), Michael McCann (34 off 33 balls) and Shoaib Shahid (16 off 17 balls) got us off to a solid start, and we were pretty happy at 67/2 in the 8th (eight-ball) over. At which point the traitor Kara ran amok as we lost 4/11 in what one suspects won't be our only significant collapse of the year. Karti Malik (33* off 20 balls on debut) and Daniel Mortlock (18* off 15 balls not quite on debut) then restored the balance - and maybe even got us back on top - with an enterprising 52-run partnership that occupied just 35 balls. The highlight was the succession of off-side boundaries Karti hit off Romsey captain Andy Owen: each ball was a slightly different length and dealt with on merits, either driven on the up or cut off the back foot as appropriate.
A target of 130 from 112 deliveries is generally pretty testing in these early season matches, but we never managed to put consistent pressure on a strong Romsey batting line-up tonight. The most successful bowlers were Joe White (2/20) and Dave Norman (an unlucky 0/13). Dave also managed that rarest of Remnants achievements: an actual slips catch off a genuine edge from the bat of one Nick Clarke, formerly of this shire. Our other first-time player, Mark Smith (0/24), almost got the prize wicket of Nick on debut, but otherwise highlights were thin on the ground. Our fielding was far from inpsirational (although Karti did take a nicely judged catch on the short boundary, the only problem being that he'd had to stand on the wrong side of it to reach the ball) and every bowler bar Joe and Dave conceded comfortably more than a run a ball. We did at least take the game to the final over, where captain Mortlock (1/22) thought he might be able to put on some pressure with a few dot balls; but rather than keeping Romsey to four or fewer from the over, Ferdi hit the first two balls to the boundary to complete what was really a pretty comfortable Romsey win.