Report by Russell Woolf:
What a difference a day makes. Last night the covers were on, but tonight the covers were off wooden sticks were standing tall at either end of the wicket and although overcast it was dry and the game was afoot . . . or was it? Rummaging inside the kit box no cherry rouge could be found. The clue was there - a note stating that balls could be found behind the bar - but this was unnoticed and more importantly the door was locked so we had to make do by using an orange sphere instead.
Woozlers won the toss and elected to field. Now I'm a bit superstitious and knowing that trouble comes in threes and we were using i) an orange ball, ii) I was wearing an orange T-shirt, and iii) I had recently purchased an orange tea set. With fingers crossed I watch with trepidation. James Crozier faced the opening Woozler bowler Cole unfortunately James edged the 3rd ball of over to the keeper for a duck. Pete Ames enters the fray but quickly returns to the pavilion having been bowled with the 6th ball of the over at the end of which Coles achieved a double wicket maiden and Remnants were 0/2.
The 2nd over passed without incident apart from a wide so Cole proceeded with his own 2nd over Chris Badger faces the 1st ball which smashes into the stumps. In 9 minutes of mayhem the top 3 Remnant batsmen had been sliced and diced like a raw carrot and Coles was on a hat trick - what next? Next ball was faced by Steve Bidwell who had nothing to fear - a poor ball nowhere near the stumps and could have been called a wide. So 3/3 off 3, but recalculated as it was my turn too get a shock as the penny suddenly dropped that we were playing 20 overs but wides and no balls count as 2 with no re-bowling. So having gorged himself on 3 helpings of duck a la orange (ball), his appetite sated, Cole was removed from the attack.
It was now up to Bidwell and John Young to attempt to regroup and consolidate which they successfully did taking the score to 36 before Bidwell (12 off 18 balls) is dismissed and John Young (7 off 15 balls) follows shortly, leaving us 38/5.
Saad Shoukat and Everton Fox (having landed in the UK last night) make small contributions and it is up to captain Richard Rex to lead from the front with the top score off the bat with 22 (from 17 balls with 3 boundaries). The score is now 83/8. Further resistance from Alec Armstrong (2 off 10 balls), John Moore (7* off 10 balls, including a nice pull to leg for a boundary) and Naveen Chouksey (5 off 7 balls) pushed the score past a hundred, to finish on 105 all out.
The difficulty was always going to be that we had again set a below par total for the opposition to chase but could we "Tango" them with the orange ball. The answer was soon apparent with Saad Shoukat's first ball not only racing to the boundary but being called a no ball as well, and Alec Armstrong in his first outing this year going for 2 fours in his first over. The score at 3 overs was 18/0 and things were looking bleak, but Alec spun some magic having the dangerous Briggs caught by Shoukat and with an LBW going in his favour the very next ball (for which the umpire felt he had to apologize to the batsman - why?). He found himself on the game's second hat-trick the result of which was the same as the first with one big difference - Alec at least bowled a ball which the batsman had to play. It's always interesting to hear the other teams comments about Remmants players whilst scoring and the consensus of opinion was that Alec was very difficult to read because you didn't know "when he was going to release the bloody ball".
However, the game continues with Woozlers making steady progress towards the required total. Alec claims another wicket to finish with 3/16. Saad and Naveen bowl out with no luck, so Richard reverts to the slow bowling of John Moore. At one stage we had John Moore bowling to a batsman named Mor (because his surname was unpronounceable), reciprocating what had occurred in Remnants innings reversed until he was run out off John's bowling going for a second run to Shoukat's arm a direct hit proving good enough.
Richard entered the bowling attack with his own style of bowling gentle lobs which proved so effective against the County Council, but not unfortunately today. Our main tormentor was the opener Morgan, who batted through the run chase scoring 46* from 46 balls, and the Woozlers' captain Ryan Bridger who decided to finish the game early with 17* from 7 balls, hence denying Morgan the opportunity of making a half century at the death.
Remnants record for the season falls to just 2 wins from 9 matches played [Yes, as you've guessed, unprecendented in club history - ed.]. will God and luck be on our side against St Barnabas Church when we take our trip out to Quy on Tuesday? I for once will not be wearing an orange shirt that night . . .