Report by Dave Williams:
It was pleasant and sunny tonight, though at half-time the clouds rolled over to give Remnants, cleverly winning the toss and batting first, the best of the conditions.
Matt Samson and Tom Serby opened for us and were 10-an-over dominant without undue flamboyance, at least to start off with. Seemingly preoccupied by saving his energies for an important tennis match the next day, Tom chipped the CC's opener-spinner to mid-on in the third over for his 10 (off 11 balls); while Chris Badger was soberly settling down to his work Matt smashed a mere 26 off over number 4. Matt's fast footwork and fearless straight driving featured handsomely, but tidy bowling from CC was hit with power to all parts of the ground. Chris's aggressive intent was showcased in a spectacular legside pull into the glass behind Dave's till in the bar (I love the sound of breaking glass) but he was being outscored by Matt at roughly 2:1. When Matt bathetically pulled too high and too soon on a (shorter-than) half-tracker and was bowled for 81 (off 49), his share of the precisely 100-run partnership with Chris was some 65 - a great effort by a class batter. Chris took the lead when I came in, but I squirted a few into the enormous gaps between the deep-set fielders for my 15* (off 17) to see things through to the dominant scoreline at the close. Chris was unbeaten on 47* (off 48). Risking a runout off the last ball was unnecessary, surely . . .
The CC opening batters seemed businesslike and unfazed by the accuracy of Kaustav Dutta and the relatively sharp pace of Qaiser Ahmed. A rule of thumb (for me) is that batters who seem more comfortable against faster pace must be good, and can up their scoring rate at will. The well-matched contest between bat and ball had moved along to 47 without loss before the first change (Kaustav 3 overs for 20 runs, Qaiser 3 overs for 24). A run a ball was pretty good, but the change of bowling would likely decide the match. Nathan Wright's first one seemed a yard slower than Kaustav; his second induced a massive hoik that would have ended up in Sherlock Road - if the batsman had connected. Shattered stumps second ball of a new spell is a satisfying outcome for any captain - and Paul Jordan did well throughout, making decisions that worked and having the right fielders in good positions. Temoor Khan at long on did a great job, ball after ball, in the gathering darkness; Nathan had already made a great effort flinging himself sideways at square leg and nearly hanging on to one; fielding throughout was excellent. Nathan's two overs eventually went for 11 - the tidiest in the match. Temoor's spell (2 overs for 16) kept the pressure on and created a moment of cricketing slapstick: an attempted sweep ran up the batsman's pad, on to the tip of Matt's gloves and from there to the top of his helmet; as Matt stood up to fling himself toward where he imagined the ball was it stayed balanced on his head, as if Matt was a performing seal. Captain Paul brought himself on to excellent effect: 2 overs, 1 wicket (bowled) for 14. Quentin Harmer's gentle pace (albeit Jeff Thomson-like compared with CC's "Fitz") runs the risk of going for plenty; whatever the reason, the CC batters seemed bemused by him; in the final over, chasing a mere 70, one of them chass'ed down the wicket, to be deceived by sharp spin and to have his bails removed. Quentin's spell: three overs, 1 for 27.
Many thanks for CC for a convivial and competitive game. Another commanding effort from the Remnants.