Report by Cameron Petrie:
As Geoff Hales walked off at the end of tonight's match, he wisely noted that 152 has been enough to win many a match, while Alec Armstrong had noted about 30 minutes earlier that "they got 30 runs too many". These sage words summed up the fate of Remnants tonight as we came up against a rampant Philanderers batting attack that pretty much took us to pieces for the first seven or eight overs, and barely slowed down from the rest.
We won the toss and elected to bowl, hoping that our array of bowling talent would give us a range of options, but the fact that eight out of the ten of us had the somewhat dubious pleasure of being handed the ball demonstrates that we didn't really have an easy time of it. Alec Armstrong (0/11) opened the bowling from the Huntingdon Road end, and was quickly latched onto, and the hitting continued into Adam Long's (1/20) first over before one opener lofted a catch to mid-on. The Philanderers second wicket pair then proceeded to rough up pretty much everyone to the tune of ten runs an over until their second wicket fell in the twelfth over with the score pushing 120. Hugh Davies, Teddy Fletcher, John Moore and Nathan Wright all managed some decent lengths and probing lines, but none of that really mattered as lose balls were hammered and pretty much everything else was being treated with disdain. We did manage to grass a number of chances unfortunately, but basically too much of the bowling was either too loose, too short or too full, and the score-sheet was dominated by singles, 4s and 6s, including one that went over the pavilion, but then ricocheted off something (perhaps Dave's roller) and bounced back onto the field of play. This pair could easily have continued in the same vain until they had attempted a cheeky second on the arm of Ben Stone, who hurled the ball from deep mid-off to Cam Petrie at ‘keeper, who managed to get the bails off in time. Ben (0/20) exerted a measure of control between the growls of frustration that became increasingly audible, and it was not until Julius Rix (1/32) came on as our eighth bowler that we managed to get the Philanderers opener out for an 80 off a lot fewer balls. Attempts at damage control continued into the final overs, which miraculously included a maiden from Adam and a few more growls from Ben as Philanderers trotted to 177/3 off their full complement of 20 6-ball overs.
A quick turnaround saw Cam Petrie (41 off 34 balls) and John Young (8 off 11 balls) head out to try and keep up with the 9+ runs an over required run rate. They both started in fine fashion with the pace of the Philanderers opening bowling helping the ball to the boundary - with Cam dabbing the first ball past a flailing first slip, and John clipping away the last ball of the over. Things slowed down a bit and John was soon bowled, but Cam and Julius (25 off 23 balls) then proceeded to accelerate. Cam in particular seemed in a bit of a hurry as he proceeded to belt the Philanderers zippy opener through and over the straight fielders, but the appearance of a slower left arm bowler meant that the last eight balls he faced were dots that we really couldn't afford before frustration saw him play a lame mishit that was caught. Adam (30* off 22 balls) kept the score board ticking over with a mix of effective nudges, pushes and drives before Julius started to hit out to cow and was then also caught off the left armer. Ben (34* off 21 balls) joined Adam for what would be our last partnership and took a while to get his eye in resulting in more frustrated growls, but ultimately smokied a brace of boundaries. Howeve, despite our efforts, the unavoidable truth was that we were too far behind the rate. At 141/4 at the end of the 19th over, there was much discussion of the statistical possibility of a draw, should Adam or Ben have been able to shift out of fifth into hyperdrive, but we had to settle for 11 runs, and a perfectly respectable 152/4. Alec and Geoff were both right.