Report by Paul Jordan:
After last night's wash-out it was a relief to know that the ground had dried out and, in spite of rain in the surrounding villages and towns, we were set fair. Our opponents were Redgate Sofware and, accordingly, we adhered to their rules enforcing retirements at 25 and no rebowling of no balls and wides till the final over.
Captain Andy Owen won the toss and decided to bat, sending in Julius Rix and Ferdi Rex to open. Ferdi's batting opportunities this season had thus far been limited, he informed me later, but this admission had no bearing on what was about to happen. Fredi dismantled the opening bowlers with such force that Julius must have wondered if he was ever going to get on strike. [Not sure what smashing boundaries has to do with keeping the strike, but after Julius hit the first ball of the match for a single he didn't get to face again until after Ferdi had retired. - ed.] Ferdi (29* off 8 balls, the fastest recoded 20+ innings in club history) reached his retirement total mid-way through the second (six-ball) over with a combination of strong pulls and hits [4 2 6 4 3 4 . 6 was the full sequence - ed.] , including a most glorious cover drive for four. Not to be outdone, Julius decided to open up with some delightful drives on both sides of the wicket, reaching his own retirement (on 27* off 11 balls) with some style. We had accelerated into such a commanding position (61/0 after 3.2 overs) that a 170+ total was surely on the cards . . .
. . . and, well, not quite. The Redgate bowlers stuck to their guns and John Young (4 off 9 balls) perished soon after Julius's retirement, bringing Adam Long to the crease. He too looked set for a good score but was out (for 7 off 15 balls) to one that kept low, while Joe White (7 off 8 balls) and Shoaib Shahid (5 off 8 balls) never really got going. That left us in the capable hands of the Owens. They had read the script and kept the score ticking over until Catherine (14 off 25 balls), responding to a call for a single from her Dad, had an attack of the "Stokes", her bat sadly wafting the air as opposed to scratching the surface. The remainder of the Remnants innings crept towards the mqgic 150, with Paul Jordan (0 off 5 balls) being given out L.B.W to a ball that he had toe-ended, Andy Owen perishing for 4 (off 11 balls), and both Alec Armstrong (5* off 6 balls) and Faruk Kara (13* off 13 balls) carrying their bats to the end.
Redgate bowled and fielded with considerable commitment and our total in the end was a manageable, if clearly challenging, total of 149.
The Redagate openers were subjected to the "good cop"/"bad cop" combination of White and Armstrong. Joe bowled with good pace and was rewarded with 3 wickets off his 4 overs, conceding just 5 runs - an impressive spell. The deadly duo of Armstrong followed and Kara bowled their usual combination of guile and turn, but finished up rather unluckily wicketless.
The tennis court end was where the majority of the wickets came this evening; 9 of 10 to be precise. Paul came on and, with a cunning combination of a wide then a wicket, followed by another wide delivery followed by another wicket, finished his 2 overs with 2/10. What had gone rather unnoticed was the Redgate batsmen who came the crease when Paul was on a hat-trick. His unconventional stance gave the impression of a man who was not long for this world. He managed to carve some proper shots on the offside for several boundaries, Adam Long (0/13) who suffered at his hands the most, albeit somewhat fortuitously. In spite of the majority of fielders forming a cordon, his next three fours went through, above and underneath all the fielders.
Enter Catherine Owen, who bowled beautifully from the tennis court end, and thanks in part to sharp work from dad Andy behind the stumps, finished up with a jug-avoiding 4/15. The Redgate batsman mentioned earlier had retired with a reception fit for a hero and had to return at the death, while Ferdi closed the innings from the "wicketless" end. With a cordon of seven fielders he grabbed the final wicket with a fantastic catch at second slip by Julius Rix, rivalling some would say Danny's catch earlier in the season off Joe's bowling [Only if he made full use of his belly - ed.].
So: a satisfying game of cricket against an appreciative and friendly opposition, although they headed off elsewhere for a drink.