Report by Olly Rex:
From the outset it was clear that this was not a match that would follow "the script". For starters it wasn't designated captain Andy Owen who contested the toss, since he had passed over his duties to Olly Rex, and any hopes of batting Bar Hill out of the game (as Remnants have many a time this season) were promptly dashed as their captain called correctly and put us in the field. This was particularly problematic since although there had been twelve names on the team sheet, there were only ten Remnants present, meaning Richard Rex had to lend a hand until the eleventh player arrived.
Alec Armstrong and Andrew Granville took the new ball and made life difficult for Bar Hill, taking the pace off and offering no width. The pressure told, and some good work by Julius Rix on the boundary allowed Alec to complete an easy run out as the batsmen attempted a suicidal second run. Alec bowled the other opener with a beautifully flighted delivery soon after, finishing with improbable figures of 4 overs, 2 maidens 1/4. At 8/2 off 5 (six-ball) overs Bar Hill were in all sorts of trouble, but their number 3 then started to play his shots to bring them back into the contest. Slow bowling continued to cause problems, however, and wickets kept falling at the other end. John Moore collected his customary wicket in his first over, and produced another lovely spell of spin bowling to finish with 4/29. In the meantime Ferdi Rex varied his bowling intelligently, taking 1/19 off 3, and then Andrew (1/19 off 4 overs) came back on and claimed a wicket of his own. By now their number 3 had passed 50, but Julius Rix (1/2) took a smart return catch to send him back to the pavilion for a brilliant 63. The last over gave Tom Serby the chance for a rare bowl, and he cleverly waited until the last ball to take the tenth wicket, ensuring he claimed a wicket maiden. Bar Hill had scored only 99 all-out off 20 overs, which seemed unlikely to test a strong batting line-up.
The opening exchanges of the chase went well. Martin Law played a stylish leg glance of the first ball, and partner Tom Serby swatted a big legside four in the next over. Sadly, both openers soon fell trying to repeat their shots, Martin leg before and Tom caught at mid-wicket. Soon afterwards Andy Owen hit one straight to a fielder, and suddenly we were in trouble at 28/3 off 8 overs. Julius Rix came out to join Josh Nall and put the pressure back on the bowlers, but again just as we looked to have gained the momentum a yorker ended Julius's sprightly innings of 11 (off 6 balls). Thankfully new bat Ferdi Rex was coming fresh off a record-breaking century the previous day and looked in an understandably confident mood. He smashed a dismissive (and enormous) six off just his second ball, and when a slow bowler entered the attack it was easy to envisage the game ending in few overs. Maybe by now we should have been expecting what followed: Ferdi charged down the track, missed the ball completely, and was bowled for a dramatic 12 (off 9 balls).
It hence fell to Josh and Olly to steady the ship, and a mixture of careful defence and opportunistic running took the score to a more respectable (if far from ideal) 77/5 off 15. Surely scoring 23 off the last 30 balls with 5 wickets in hand would be a walk in the park? Well it wasn't, and three balls later Josh was dismissed for a well-crafted 26 (off 39 balls), bringing Dave Green to the crease. His stay lasted just one over, although he could (and did) proudly boast that his 3 (off 6 balls) constituted 100% of the runs scored while he was at the crease. Another over brought another wicket, and somehow we were left with a potentially problematic 11 to win off the last 12 balls. Olly (14* off 19) chose a good time to hit his first boundary, and then rather fittingly it was star bowler John Moore (6* off 6 balls) who took us over the line with a glorious pull for four. Thus Remnants secured another victory, despite our best efforts to cock it up.