Report by Paul Jordan:
I arrived at Oxford Road to witness the sight that I never grow tired of: a beautiful baize-like surface bathed in late spring sunshine. By this time the great and good of Remnants had already arrived chiefly Geoff Hales and Russell Woolf. This was also my first game and an early opportunity to acquaint myself with Aatish Maharaj who had stepped in to replace the injured Sam Thomas.
Having lost the toss the opposition skipper elected to field and so I tried to follow Russ's advice: score a lot and then make sure they don't score as many-fair enough. Some of our batting was an unknown quantity, so I decided to open with Julius and Saad and back this up with Aatish at number 3 and Qaiser at number 5, hoping we could get through with a decent score, albeit with ten not eleven players due to a miscommunication.
This worked to some extent in that Julius made a steady start dispatching some firm drives to the off side before falling for a spirited 27 (off 22 balls), whilst Saad dispatched pretty well every shot to the leg side before falling for 4. Aatish then came to the crease and things became much more alive with some spectacular straight drives and huge sixes, some of which cleared the gardens in Oxford Road. He raced away to a quick fifty before falling to a spectacular catch on the square leg boundary for 95 (off 47 balls). It is worth pointing out at this stage that the Philanderers bowling was generally straight backed up by some excellent fielding.
We stood at one point at 99/2 off 10 (six-ball) overs and a score close to 200 was optimistically in my mind. The second half of the innings rather stagnated and the remaining batsmen only managed 21 runs between them. A total of 154/5 was never going to be enough but we could only hope to contain the rather cavalier Philanderers batsmen and hope the wickets would fall.
In truth our bowling was not really consistent enough but we somehow managed to eke out some batsmen and at the 10-over mark our scores were almost identical. Saad Shoukat was the surprise package among the bowlers who bowled at a brisk medium pace and finished up with a creditable 2/22.
In the end the Philanderers batting was deeper and stronger, so it was no surprise that they passed our total with overs to spare. Unfortunately, I was unable to redress the Remnants ledger [Which now stands at 1 from 6, which might sound awful, but it turns the last time we started the season this badly was just four years ago, in 2015 - and we finished that year with seven more wins than losses. - ed.] with a win, but here will always be another time.