Report by Daniel Mortlock:
The pre-match action centred around the team list, which oscillated wildly in the week leading up to the match. It went as low as seven and as high as fifteen, but eventually settled on the happy medium (and mean) of eleven . . . until a few minutes before the (impressively early) start time of 5:50pm, when Chris Badger announced that one of our nominal reserves had come along in the hope of a bowl, something Chris would be happy to facillitate by "making a few calls" while Remnants fielded.
Chris's sacrifice soon justified itself as his avatar, one Aatish Maharaj who is over in the UK this year to send down 80mph thunderbolts for St Giles, inevitably proved to be a bit too quick for the ARM top order. Aatish started his Remnants "career" - one suspects evening twenty/20s aren't going to be the focus of his cricketing summer - with a maiden over, and finished with deserved figures of 1/2. With Qaiser Ahmed (1/14) also bowling well from the other end and Temoor Khan swooping in from mid-wicket to effect a direct-hit run out, there was a sense that it was going to be one of those evenings where we could do no wrong. And even when 'keeper Julius Rix failed to hang onto a thin edge, the ball conveniently lobbed up to a grateful Daniel Mortlock at slip. After Daniel (1/22) also got a wicket of his own, ARM were just 58/4 after 8 of their 14 (eight-ball) overs, and we were in a great position to make up for last night's drubbing.
Sadly for us, the second half (or, strictly, 6/14ths) of the ARM innings was a rather different story, as their middle order batsmen chanced their arm with great success - and even if most of the scoring came from lofted shots, there wasn't a single technical chance amongst them. We at least fielded well, with the star being John Young, whose numerous diving stops and superb commitment more than compensated for the fact that he'd taken to the field in a dowdy grey tracksuit rather than the traditional whites. John's efforts notwithstanding, ARM's innings ended with the match having swung in their favour, as two of their batsmen retired on 31* with another well on the way with 16*.
Our top order either got out cheaply or survived but struggled to get going, with only Pete Ames (17 off 25 balls) and Dave Williams (14 off 22 balls) making it to double figures. Indeed, most of our runs seemed to be coming in the form of extras, and what we missed out on with our more generous wide-calling was at least partially compensated for by five penalty runs after the ball hit an unused helmet. (This resulted in the unusual sight of someone fielding at square leg in a helmet and the even more unusual suggestion by Andy Owen that boundary fielders should wear helmets so that "if they can't reach a ball with their hands they can head it back into play", which should prove useful when we recruit our first giraffe.)
After 8 overs our total 57/5 was almost identical to ARM's at the same stage of their innings - but the big difference was that it was now seriously gloomy and the ARM bowlers continued at full pace (and full volume, super-sub Adnan having developed a strange habit of grunting just as the ball reaches the batsman). The single over of slow bowling went for 18 runs, thanks to some superb clean hitting by Tom Davidson (32* retired off 18 balls), but this came too late to make a difference. That left Julius Rix (18* off 19 balls) and Daniel Mortlock (1* off 6 balls, not counting the two being protected by John Young's box) with the task of scoring 23 runs off 7 near-invisible deliveries, which of course they didn't manage.