Report by Grant Kennedy:
At this end of the season the light isn't great at the best of times, so, with an eye to a quick game and possibly time for a pint or two afterwards, the captains agreed on 12 eight-ball overs. As loser of the toss I sent Todd Bridgman and James Crozier in to lead the charge, which fell a little flat with Todd bowled for 2 (off 8 balls), going for a mighty heave at the end of the first over. Coming in at three, my partnership with James basically involved him hitting boundaries while I watched, me having given up the strike by running one on a wide, taking the score to 36/1 off 4 overs before James was caught at mid-on (for 15 off 15 balls). Kshitij Sabnis, yet to be out this season [And, indeed, yet to ever be out for Remnants - ed.] and leading the averages, thus had 8 overs to ruin his average, and possibly score a few runs.
Our partnership was much the same as the previous. I watched while Kshitij scored at about 10 an over and we made multiple attempts to run ourselves out with quick singles. Success was guaranteed eventually, a direct hit sending me back (for 16 off 13 balls), but with the total fairly healthy at 79/2 off 8 overs. Dave Green's brief innings (0 off 3 balls) was followed by some Julius Rix (13 off 11 balls) stroke-making to keep the run rate up. The innings briefly looked like it would end with John Moore being stretchered off, having taken a fast ball in that bit between the thigh and leg pads that bowlers always aim for. [And which, in John's case, had presumably only just recovered from a similar incident last week - ed.] He recovered, however, with the final total a healthy 115/6, and with Kshitij's 45 not out (off 35 balls) ensuring his season average = NaN.
Knowing that "at a minimum" (I recently learned that a Kiwi phrase that beats "fish and chips" is "keep that shit to a minimum". For maximum effect ensure you pronounce all the i's correctly.) they could rely on the batting skills of Temoor Khan, and probably some others, whether 115 was enough was always unclear. Quentin Harmer cleanly took a high catch off Julius's opening over, and Alec Armstrong's first over showed some promise of chances, so we were at least optimistic. Alec's efforts were rewarded in his second with a tidy LBW, and again in his third with a diving James Crozier catch at cover (taking his figures to 2/20). James managed both two hands to the ball, and to hold it up in one hand as he fell to the ground to make it beyond doubt. Wonderful to watch from my vantage point at mid-off.
These wickets had not stemmed the run rate much however, with the Centaurs at 43/2 after 5 overs, and had also brought in one of those heavy boundary-hitters that you hope will just miss it and get bowled but don’t. He did actually, thanks to some tenacity from John Moore (1/25), but not before scoring 24 runs plus a few clubhouse tiles. Having garnered regular wickets our spirits remained high, and were then buoyed by the Paul Jordan show - an LBW followed by clean bowling Temoor in his first over, but sadly no hat-trick magic, and another bowled in his second. A John Moore run-out made four wickets off Paul's 3 overs (3/31).
Twenty one runs were required off the last two overs, and by this point it was nearing 8pm and pretty much dark. Unfortunately, the first ball of Quentin's penultimate over also dislodged a few clubhouse roof tiles which eased the pressure, but he recovered to keep the over to 10. With 11 now required, the field drew closer, but Paul was unable to contain their captain, who finished on a tidy 20 not out, from scoring four on the penultimate ball to bring the scores level. The last ball was clipped towards fine leg for the winning run, ending what we all agreed had nevertheless been an exciting and fun match. [Amazingly, this was the fourth time we've had the opposition 9 down only to for them to win off the final ball of the match. - ed.] The light was now gone, but since it was only 8pm there was plenty of time for a yarn and a beer.
This marks my last regular Remnants game for the foreseeable future. I officially move to the University of Warwick on Friday, but look forward to the odd game in the future. So long, and thanks [For all the "fush"? - ed.]!