Report by Alec Armstrong:
Despite posting a relatively low score the game was decided in the final over of the game . . .
On another bright and sunny evening at Fitz we faced a mainly young Coton team. We batted first with Adam Long and John Young opening the batting. Unfortunately, John only survived 5 balls before being bowled by one of Coton's opening bowlers.
Alec Armstrong and Adam Long next put on a 58 run partnership (albeit off 11 overs) - scoring started notably slowly, but picked up as time went on. However, two slightly bizarre run-outs then occurred! First - Coton bought on their captain bowling his left-arm-over seam-bowling - his first ball went down the leg-side and was called a wide. However, Alec Armstrong thought the ball had gone past the wicket-keeper and set-off for a run convinced there were at least two runs to be had! However, by the time Alec realised this was not the case the wicketkeeper was running up to the stumps and removed the bails with the ball! Tom Davison then also managed to run himself out the very next ball - however, this time Tom was convinced he had hit a single, only to find himself frantically running back to the stumps (similarly to Alec) after realising he had hit it straight to the fielder at short-mid-wicket . . .
After 20 overs Remnants finished on a meagre 121/7. Adam Long carried his bat through the entire Remnant's innings (69* off 59 balls with 9 boundaries). For the second half of the innings Adam had been assisted by five other batters who all battled in vain to try and take Remnants to a more competitive score. First Julius Rix hit two successive boundaries from his 3rd and 4th balls before being bowled (9 runs off 6 balls). Next Joe White hit a four on his first ball, before being adjudged to be lbw on his third ball. Kabir Khwaja (on debut for the club) scored 2 off 5 and Ed Fox scored two boundaries in his 9 runs from 6 balls, before being run out. Amit Kumar finished off the innings with 2 runs (not out) off one ball. So Remnants were left to defend a 121 runs. Not an impressive total by normal Remnants match standards, but we hoped that we would bowl well and restrict Coton in their run chase.
Remnants did indeed manage to restrict the scoring and the game went to the last over. Joe White and Andrew Granville opened the bowling. Joe bowled with his usual pace and restricted Coton to just 18 runs off his four overs. Meanwhile, Andrew bewildered the batsmen with his flight and guile (22 runs off 3 overs). When the opening bowlers had finished Coton were on 41 without loss off 7 overs.
Kabir Khwaja came on and bowled with some pace and restricted Coton to just 9 runs off his two overs.
However, it was the introduction of the very pacy Tom Davison who made the break through with a lightning yorker - ending the game's second 58 run partnership! Tom finished with an impressive 1 wicket for 13 runs off his four overs.
At the end of the 11th over Coton were on 63 for 1. The game looked fairly evenly poised. The scoring rate had never gone above the required 6 runs an over, although Coton had many wickets at hand . . .
In the 16th over Alec Armstrong claimed his 100th Remnants wicket, making him the 16th member of this exclusive club. Coton finished the 16th over on 91 for 2 still needing 32 runs to win off 4 overs. Surely a tough but possible target for Remnants to defend?
Adam Long was introduced to the bowling attack in over 17 and the score at the end of his first over increased 98 for 2. Alec Armstrong struck again (wicket 101!) in over 18 - this time the Coton captain tried to hit one of Alec Armstrong's arm-balls only to be superbly caught by Julius Rix who had to take a catch at long-off made awkward by the need to move both sideways and backwards. At the end of the 18th over Coton were on 102 for 3. This meant Coton needed 20 off 2 overs.
However, at this point another unexpected incident took place. With Adam Long bowling - the young opening Coton batsman hit a big four, but was subsequently hobbling around after somehow pulling a muscle! Consequently he retired hurt. At this point Coton put in one of their bigger hitting batsman - darn the luck!
Coton scored a total of 12 runs off the game's penultimate over (Adam Long finished with 2 overs for 15 runs) - meaning Coton needed 8 runs to win off the final over. Julius Rix bravely took on the responsibility of bowling the final tense over:
We had the usual post-match conversations reviewing what had cost us the game. Some considered that we were probably 10 runs short of scoring a match winning total. It was put forward there was no one single event to blame, but a combination of factors such as slightly bizarre run-outs and none of the Remnants latter batsman had managed to get into double figures. However, it was also suggested that Coton may well have had some more aggressive batsman which could have been utilised earlier in their innings. Overall it had been an enjoyable game - played in good spirit.
Only four weeks of midweek cricket left to the end of the season! Let's enjoy it while we can.