Report by Daniel Mortlock:
At least when Australia's 15-year run of Ashes victories came to an end in 2005 it was in an all-time classic series that went all the way 'til the final heart-breaking day. Those involved - or who witnessed the classic battle - will remember it for their whole lives. It is unlikely that any Remnants will look back on May 17, 2016, with anything other than a dissatisfied shrug. After five straight victories (and a wash-out) to start the season, our winning streak came to an end with what is only the club's third ever ten-wicket loss, as we watched our decent total comfortably chased down not by county-level superstars brought in as ringer, but just two decent club batsmen who played well.
We bowled okay (although there were plenty of loose balls); we fielded pretty well (with Andrew Granville and Dave Green particular stars); and we didn't drop any catches or stuff up any run out chances. There were a some edges and plays-and-misses - it wasn't chanceless batting - but well before the winning runs were hit it was clear that, well, the winning runs would be hit. Or, strictly the winning run, since it was a comfortable single pushed off the first ball of the punultimate (eight-ball) over. This was delivered by Josh Nall (0/6), who suggested he'd been given the ball because his captain wanted to start drinking sooner, whereas what his captain should have introduced Josh to the attack (or, really, "attack") sooner, since he was our most economical bowler; and, along with Samuel Serby (0/7, also bowling at the end), the only one to go for less than 9 an over.
But that's enough of our woes in the field - our time batting was much more fun, particularly for Samuel, who stroked a calm and elegant 68 (off 51 balls). Indeed, we started the match in a somewhat halcyon fashion as Samuel, Martin Law (2* off 8 balls, before retiring with a pulled muscle) and Andrew Granville (8 off 12 balls) all played late and with a straight bat, in a manner more reminiscent of Greg Chappell or David Gower than Steve Smith or Chris Gayle. As nice as it was to watch, though, there was a certain sense of the scoreboard only ticking over in third gear, as a total of 37/1 off 6 (eight-ball) overs might suggest. We did then accelerate, first due to Samuel getting his eye in and then thanks to some rather less elegant hitting from James Crozier (25 off 19 balls), Dave Williams (6 off 7 balls) and Daniel Mortlock (11* off 11 balls). For the last few overs Daniel was joined by Dave Norman (who obviously can't be included in the above list of village sloggers), who said that he wasn't going to get out because "I'm all about averages, me." And so he duly got caught (for 15 off 11 balls) going for a big hit off the last ball of our innings.
Our final total was a decidedly healthy 151/5 (the sixth time we've scored at more than 10 runs per eight-ball over in as many matches this year!), or at least it felt as if it was; but, in the end, we'd have probably needed closer to 200 to have won. We hence finished the day drinking the beer provided by the tired but pleased Fen Ditton openers, ?. Hayward and M. Wilson, who finished on 73* and 64*, respectively. Hopefully they at least wake up stiff tomorrow . . .