Report by Russell Woolf:
Having been informed by tonight's captain Richard Rex that NCI would be batting first by agreement, I settled down to score the game. Opening the innings for NCI was Tom Cadmore, who had been one of our tormentors from ARM last week - could we get some form of payback today?
Our opening bowlers had very opposite levels of success: Seth Aycock (0/11) was hit for one scoring shot in his 2-over spell, but his radar was a bit wonky, going for 7 wides; at the other end Naveen Chouksey's radar was good from the very beginning with a first ball dismissal of the other opener, Rob Elder, and he also claimed Tom with gentle catch to Richard Rex, but his figures (2/22) were somewhat ruined going for 14 in 3 balls later on. The next 2 wickets to fall was a double act Marcus Baker taking 2 stumpings (5 in 2 games) off Nathan Wright (2/21), removing the dangerous Matt Biss and Mike Sewell (28), who was rapidly approaching tonight's retirement total of 30. One person who didn't get to retire was Saad Shoukat, a Remnants turncoat for the night, who was decieved by Faruk Kara (1/20) for a first ball duck, trapped LBW. But one person who did retire was Dave Furlough (30* in 22 balls): he took a liking to Maha Ramanathan's bowling (1/21) who did get the compensation of Joy Lisney's wicket. Temoor Khan (1/4) became the next Remnants bowler to succeed in the wickets column leaving my namesake Russell Ward (5) and the wonderfully named Canadian Brandon McCool (2*) to try to shore up the NCI innings. Brandon is nearly the victim of a Remnants "double play" when our fielders shy at the stumps twice in one ball to effect a run out, but he survives. Russell is a victim of the usual Sam Serby spectacular catch, this time off Richard Rex (1/16), who brings himself on for the last over to boost the NCI total. This succeeds as it brings an now-unretired Dave Furlough (44*) back to the crease and he smashes 14 off the last 4 balls of the innings, taking the NCI final total to a run a ball 120/8.
In reply Remnants start off slowly with Sam Serby scoring only a boundary in his first 10 balls and losing Chris Badger (4 off 4 balls) early. But this brings in Temoor Khan who gives the innings a needed increase in momentum, retiring with a quickfire 30 off only 18 balls. Dave Williams (26* off 32 balls) joins Sam and plays some nicely timed shots. He is the foundation around which the rest of the innings is based. Sam's fine innings of 22 off 28 balls comes to an end when he is stumped off the bowling of Ward - his back foot seems to be stuck on the crease but with no part of it behind the line he has to go. Marcus Baker (16 from 11 balls) continues to increase the pace before holing out to Sewell off Joy Lisney (2/25), who also claims the wicket of Seth Aycock (4) and is the most successful of the NCI bowlers on the night. Maha Ramanathan makes up for his relatively expensive bowling with a very destructive 18* from only 10 balls, finishing the game with a big six that was "more like a nine" to complete a 6-wicket Remnants win using 13.6 overs chasing down 120. This all took place under the watchful eye of umpire and club President Geoff Hales and ended a run of three successive defeats, in contrast to yesterday's game against Lidgate, which, somewhat uncannily, also ended with a big six in 13.7 overs chasing down 121 . . . but sadly not one hit by one of our batsmen.