Report by Tom Serby:
Events outside the control of the players assembled at Fitz were heavily determinative of this evening's encounter. Firstly, the weather, which meant that that for large parts of the day any match at all seemed an outside chance. However the Remnants' weatherman, Faruk Kara, called it correctly after a teatime inspection of his back garden, and everyone was ready to go shortly after 6pm.
Remnants agreed to field first as three TTP players were yet to arrive, being en route from Glasgow. Happily, Remnants own travelling player, Joe White, who was only coming from Newmarket, arrived unusually early, not just before the change of innings, or even during the first half of the first innings, but comfortably before the start time. The lack of traffic on the A14 therefore meant that Joe could open the bowling, and he dismissed the TTP opener with pace and generally kept things quiet in a spell of 1/18. At the Windsor Road end Alec Armstrong (1/12) also bowled well and accounted for the TTP number three (like Joe's effort, clean bowled). Alec's new role as opening bowler became clear as he was positively rapid in the air compared to the succeeding bowlers. John Moore (1/32) lived up to his reputation as the Remnants go-to wicket-taker, with his flighted deliveries having their customary discombobulatory effect on opposition batsmen; although one leg-side full toss disappeared over the new netting beside the pavilion (which must be at least twenty feet) and was only narrowly impeded from clearing Oxford Road by a glancing blow on the top of a roof. Quentin Harmer (0/12), who had been tigerish in the outfield, was unlucky not to be in the wickets with a number of well-flighted deliveries inducing aerial shots narrowly evading fielders (on occasions one suspected with some contrivance from said fielders). Julius Rix took a blinder running around at mid wicket, only for the ball to be declared a no-ball, but he had saved a six. John Moore entertained in the outfield with nifty footwork and ball juggling. Catherine Owen (1/21) ensured the closing over was relatively inexpensive.
After all this Remnants were set 145 to win off 14 eight-ball overs. The Glasgow three had not yet materialised and Remnants skipper Andy Owen wrestled with his conscience and decided he wasn't going to accede to the TTP request for Remnants substitute fielders, although neither would he prevent any volunteers. A variety of excuses were proferred by Andy for not ordering out three Remnants into the field: "the players had to stay fresh for club games on Saturday"; "we were tired after fielding 14 overs already" - this had more of a ring of truth about it, although as this was not a young Remnants side by any stretch, we were mostly pretty tired even before fielding.
About a quarter of the way through the innings Alec and Quentin nobly swelled the seven TTP players who had cheerfully contrived the almost impossible job of preventing the Remnants openers from their task of a run a ball target. Tom Serby (63* off 48 balls) and Julius Rix (67 off 43 balls) were not going to pass up on the opportunity of what felt like a net, the bowlers' deliveries being largely straight but unthreatening, unlike Julius's clubbing shot-making. Young cricketers are taught to back up as the non-striker, but adopting this technique when batting with Julius would be suicidal; a fraction short and the ball is belted straight back with a cross bat at waist height, often for four.
There was time for a brief cameo from John Young (2* off 7 balls), who ensured that Remnants were not going to lose their last nine wickets chasing a further 10 runs in about 30 balls. The TTP fielders (who probably were seriously tired) enjoyed jugs bought by Tom and Julius. Julius's jug of lager was left only half-drunk since the Glasgow three (in my imagination they are definitely lager drinkers) had still not arrived, when time was called on what would probably have been a very close encounter had TTP not been handicapped by their own errant technophiles.