Report by Paul Jordan:
Our final game of the season was against the all too familiar opposition of the Woozlers, taking them on for the third time this season. The conditions were pretty good and although there was some cloud build up, nothing too threatening. After problems with light during the previous evening's game, a 12x8s format was agreed and a prompt start ensued. The Remnants skipper lost the toss and we were put into bat.
Our opening partnership of Chris Badger (40 off 32 balls) and Kustav Dutta (22 off 29 balls) gave us a solid enough start, with Chris being the more free-scoring of the two. The Woozlers' bowling was pretty accurate and after 5 overs we were on 41, about a run a ball, with a total of 96 if we continued at this rate. Clearly not enough - 110 would be a minimum. Eventually Chris fell to a sharp stumping, which brought in Temoor Khan, who on the previous evening had smashed a 74* score off 36 balls. Unfortunately for us, history didn't repeat itself and he was stumped for a modest 11 (off 17 balls). We had gone from 56/1 off 6 overs to 71/2 off 9 overs. Our journeyman meteorologist Ev Fox came in at number 4 and suffered the ignominy of a golden duck, plumb LBW. Our innings was brought to a close by John Young (5 off 11 balls, a sub-optimal ordering of those two numbers) and Sam Thomas (11* off 5 balls, a much nicer combination), who believed in the old maxim of attack being the best form of defense, scoring off every ball he faced.
Clearly 92 was not enough, but we had a decent bowling side and if we could restrict their top order, perhaps we could squeeze an unlikely victory out of the proceedings. Opening bowlers Saad Shoukat (0/18 from 3 overs) and Faruk kara (0/13 from 2 overs) bowled extremely well and gave us the platform we needed. This was supported by some good fielding with the tireless running of Sam Thomas and Richard Rex of particular note. Eventually John Moore (1/25 off 2 overs) struck with his range of flight and variation snaring a promising-looking batsman with an excellent catch from Chris Badger in the deep. However, we know that the Woozlers batting line-up is also deep, and their eventual not out batsman was a difficult customer. It needed something special to eke him out and it was one of John's deliveries that nearly snared him: a full toss was smashed to deep square leg where Saad stood and waited as did we all. Unfortunately Saad didn't make it and injured his left hand in the process. This brought on super sub Andy Owen who slotted in to this position perfectly. After 9 overs Woozlers were on 77/1 - 20 needed off 24 balls - so we still felt we were in the chase. The close of the innings brought together Temoor (2/21 from 2.2 overs) and skipper Paul Jordan (1/10 from 1 over) to try and steal an unlikely victory. Temoor managed to remove danger man Sam Hoskins to another catch from Chris in the deep but at the other end was A. Griggs, who finished on 41*. Woozlers in the end passed the winning post with nearly 2 overs to spare which on the face of it made it look a comfortable enough win. However, we made them work hard for it and the bowling and fielding was worthy. We just didn't have enough on the board ultimately.
So we adjourned to the bar for a well deserved beer and in the late summer evening reflected on a season that left us just in debit - if we'd won tonight it would have been 13-13 in external games, but in the end it's 12-14. I'm sure we would all like to thank Dave Norman for all his efforts and look forward to another season at Fitz and an opportunity to get one over the cursed Woozlers - perhaps we should play them four times next year?