Report by Russell Woolf:
Responding to sightings of Sharks gathering at Fitzwilliam Cove CC Remnant led by skipper Richard Rex set sail on the green sward laid down bait and on seeing the size of the task ahead thoughts were "we're gonna need a bigger boat" to try to exact revenge for the mauling we suffered back in May.
Having drawn first blood by winning the toss and electing to bat, Remnants had the distinct advantage of not having to bat in fading light as the evenings quickly darken in August. This was backed up by Ralph Woodward, the Sharks fixture secretary, bemoaning "lose the to toss lose the chase in August". Looking back at May's scorecard, it was identified that in a no-retirement game Aditya Jain (61) and Chris Badger (37*) scored 98 of 120 runs off the bat - but neither was playing tonight, so runs would have to come from elsewhere, especially as tonight there were retirements at 30.
The first trick Richard had up his long-sleeved shirt was to move Seth Aycock from opening bowler to opening batsman. And although Simon Godsill (1 off 6 balls) departed early in the 2nd over, this brought Tom Serby to the crease and an excessive amount of Shark repellant was in use as they both took full advantage of the sunny conditions. Tom (33* off 30 balls) retired, as did Seth (31* off 29 balls) sharing a partnership of 76. With the score standing at 81/1 after 10 (eight-ball) overs it was now that Sharks counter-attacked, with Ben Ackers justifying one of cricket's adages that you look at the score and add 2 wickets to the total and having made the breakthrough by bowling both Steve Bidwell (0 off 3 balls) and Maha Ramanathan (5 off 3 balls) who couldn't follow up his power hitting against NCI last week, and after 11 overs the score was a less impressive 87/3.
The tide of the game turned again towards Remnants as Pete Ames (11 off 16 balls) and Kaustav Dutta (8 off 9 balls) moved the score to 108/3 in the 14th over, before they were both bowled in the space of 4 balls by the Sharks' fifth bowler, Pat Conners (2/9). Richard Rex (4 off 4 balls) strolled to the crease looking for some quick runs in the final over but mis-timed a shot, getting underneath it and skying to Conners in the deep off Ackers (3/35), who got some tap in the final over eventually going for 17, with Ajay Joseph, playing his first Remnants innings, smashing 13* off 6 balls and Alec Armstrong contributing with a scampered 2 off the final ball, to take Remnants to 127/6.
Sharks in reply to Remnants total opened the batting with captain Matt Biss (NCI), who played against us last week and Michael "the mouth" McCann (Fen Ditton and erstwhile Remnant) so-called because of his very enthusiastic manner of playing the game encouraging his teammates with every ball and setting the tone in the field with his fielding and why not. His batted in the same positive manner putting on a 31-run opening partnership with Matt his only problem seemed to be removing his helmet several times to clean his glasses until Naveen cleaned him up for 15 off 21 balls and then bowled Rajeev in the same over (2/31). Sharks needed someone to retire whilst keeping the run rate going and Pat Conners (30* off 27 balls) ticked both boxes taking the chasing total to 76/2 in 10 overs, with Alec Armstrong (0/15) bowling economically but without success and Seth Aycock removing himself from the attack after going for 11 his first over, being hit for 2 boundaries in 3 balls by Pat to answer the question in the pavilion of why he doesn't wear a helmet to a fast bowler?
Richards pulled off his master stroke of the game by bringing himself on to bowl removing the pin from his gentle "hand grenade" balls and to observe the results from the subsequent explosions. With no effect from his first over he turned the game on its head in his second with Sharks in good shape on 76/2:
The scores after 12 overs for both sides were 92, but the light is getting darker very quickly. Seth Aycock returns into the fray and even coming off a shorter run is unplayable in the dark - there are times I think we should play with a bell in the ball, as well as using car headlights as floodlights. Sumit Sahai (14) and youngster Will Barbrook (10*) move the score to 107 before Ajay claims 2 wickets in the final over (including another first ball duck) to end proceedings for the evening which results in a win for Remnants by 17 runs.
The silly stat for the night is that five different bowlers bowled double-wicket overs or, in Richard's case a triple-wicket over. We cannot celebrate the victory with a quick drink as, unfortunately the bar is closed, so we all shuffle of home in the gloom contemplating the heavy downpours of rain expected tomorrow.