Report by Paul Jordan:
A quick scan at our previous encounter against UCLES in June revealed a closely-fought game resulting in a narrow Remnants victory by 8 runs. To ensure that we maintained this advantage today Remnants fielded a team of 12 and it was only at the beginning of the UCLES innings that an alert CJ Barrie mouthed to me rather conspiratorially "We have twelve!" This had escaped the attention of skipper Badger but after some hasty fielding adjustments resumed with a team of eleven.
The UCLES openers looked well organised and were kept relatively quiet by our opening partnership of Sushant Achawal (0/13), bowling with his usual accuracy and movement and Qaiser Ahmed (0/15 in his first spell). There was a sense that the openers were rather enjoying the extra pace and bounce of Qaiser, so a change of bowling was deemed necessary, with UCLES cruising at 37/0 after 5 (eight-ball) overs. The first wicket to fall was the opener and skipper Andi Thwaites, who was finding Quentin Harmer's change of pace and flight tricky. He attempted an aggressive cross-bat shot which travelled low and hard and was brilliantly caught by Quentin by diving to his right. The other opener was proving more stubborn and was being restricted by Will Phelps (0/15) and eventually fell to a great catch by CJ Barrie, also off the bowling of Quentin, who thus finished up with figures of 2/31. UCLES were now 77/2 off 10 overs - with 5 overs to go a score of 120 would be a decent total and with the introduction of Kara and Jordan this was indeed proved to be just beyond their reach. Faruk bowled his usual nagging length and although wicket-less on this occasion, finished on 0/15. Paul along with Qaiser (0/22 in his second spell) were left to bowl at the death. Paul (2/13) managed to grab 2 wickets, his second from was a spectacular stumping from keeper Neil Grover whose demolition of the stumps would have made Fred Dibnah smile in appreciation. Overall a good fielding and bowling performance from Remnants, and the reward for our endeavours was a surely chaseable target of 116 to win.
Our reply was rather hesitant, largely due to the tight and on occasions testing bowling of the Cambridge Assessment's openers. Unfortunately, CJ'S batting didn't match his fielding and perished to a quick delivery from the opener for 1 (off 11 balls). What followed was a measured response from Richard Rex (14 off 16 balls) and Tom Serby. There weren't many loose balls, so the boundaries were few and far between and meant after 7 overs our score stood at just 31/?. This continued much in the same vein when at ten overs we had accrued 50, where as our opposition were at 77 at the same stage. After Richard's injury-induced retirement the scoring was accelerated thanks to the cavalier and creative batting of James Robinson, who was eventually bowled for 12 (off 13 balls). After Tom Serby was run out for a dogged 24 (off 46 balls) the chase was in the the more than capable hands of skipper Badger (12* off 14 balls) and Qaiser (23 off 16 balls). At this point of the game after 13 overs we stood at 77 compared to the UCLES score of 102. A big ask to score 39 in 2 overs, so to get within 4 runs was better than we could have hoped for. Qaiser almost managed this single handedly at one point after heaving a huge six into the gardens. A special mention to Neil Grover (#justiceforgrover) who didn't face a ball and was run out on the final ball of the match in a vain attempt to scamper the 5 runs we needed for victory.