Report by Daniel Mortlock:
On what was an almost implausibly successful evening for Remnants - it's hard to think of anything that really went wrong - we achieved our greatest success even before the match had begun: it was sunny and it wasn't fucking freezing. After a week in which it was unclear even why we wanted to spend our evenings running around a cricket ground, it was joyous to feel the warmth of the evening sun on our faces and not to have to worry about thermal gloves and fourth layers.
Most of us happily spent the first hour of the match sunning ourselves as this year's awesome Remnants top order once again slid smoothly into action. Our line-up tonight included three batsmen who between them had made 168 runs for once out last week, but none of them made the top three; and Dave Norman found himself languishing at number ten. That gave openers Samuel Serby (26 off 23 balls) and Andy Owen (25 off 27) the chance to take us to 43/0 after 5 (eight-ball) overs, highlighted by some great cuts and drives - as well as a couple of confident pulls off potentially dangerous beamers (the source of which had the temerity to ask Geoff if he'd been no balled for over-stepping). Even though we then lost 40/4 it didn't really matter, as that brought together two of last week's batting stars, Grant Kennedy and James Crozier, with plenty of overs still remaining. They promptly compiled one of the more explosive partnerships in club history, together smashing 80 runs from just 42 balls. They were racing each other to the half century, but in the end both Grant (38* off 20 balls) and James (37* off 24 balls) ran out of time, and had to be content with taking us to our biggest total so far this year: 163/4.
Any doubt that we might have had about whether this was going to be enough was soon erased by Adam Long (2/18), who took wickets in his first two overs to have Coton all but sunk at 6/2. The first wicket was recorded in the scorebook as "bowled FAST" and the second as "bowled VER YEAST" (possibly a misprint), so it was perhaps a pity that Adam was denied a third over and the chance to force the scorer to find an even more evocative mode of dismissal. Andrew Granville (1/22) and Faruk Kara (0/24) were both tidy but came up against a resolute pair of batsmen who took the score onto 77 without further loss, albeit with the help of some dubious leadership decisions. Faruk was the main victim: first he decided he no longer wanted a slip and was granted his wish, only for his next delivery to take the outside edge and fly through the space Dave Norman had occupied for every previous delivery in the innings; and then his skipper demanded "more flight!" with the result that the next rather loopy delivery was smashed back over his head for a dismissive boundary. The obvious follow-up recommendation of "less flight!" sadly didn't have the desired effect either.
Faced with this growing partnership, Daniel Mortlock (2/13) brought himself back on and made the desired breakthrough, deciding that the well-set batsman would be deceived by a floaty yorker . . . which he might well have been, although we'll never know, as the actual delivery was an atrocious half-tracker that was already on the way down again when it reached the batsman, who somehow managed to cross-bat a catch to Dave Williams at mid-off. Dave's second catch of the year was far easier than his first last week, in part because the ball lobbed to him slowly, but mainly because it was a proper cricket ball and not the rock-hard orange sphere of death that we were forced to use in our previous day-night matches. Indeed, our fielding was superb tonight, with Andrew, Tom Serby and Adam Long all making some great stops and boundary rider Samuel Serby completing an effortless running catch, albeit with some clearly unecessary dramatics (basically lots of juggling - although he stopped short of a dramatic dive).
We ended up running out comfortable 50-run winners, after which something very strange happened: treasurer Dave Williams went back to the dressing room and didn't ask anyone for money. The reason was that, after some informal chats that proved much more effective than the discussion at the under-attended AGM, we've decided to try a purely electronic method of collecting match fees. The idea is so simple it's almost embarrassing we haven't tried it earlier: at the end of the season every Remnants player will get an e-mail requesting a single electronic payment to the club account for all their season's match fees. The advantages of this new system were felt immediately, as we used the freed-up time to enjoy a post-match pint while savouring the glorious pink sunset. That fact that, by this stage, it was once again freezing (albeit not fucking freezing) was somehow a secondary consideration; the main thing was that mid-week cricket was fun again.