Report by Pete Ames:
Remnants came into this game on the back of two wins in a row, with some gentle pressure on skipper Chris Badger and associates to make it a hat trick. Pressure that evidently was already taking its toll, with our leader unable to procure anything flippable. He subsequently lost the resulting game of "where's the bail?", with the Grantchester captain correctly guessing "left hand". As a result, Remnants were sent out to toil in the field for 15 perspirous 8-ball overs.
We began with something that was universally accepted as resembling "good cricket", with tight bowling from openers Joe White (1/15 off 3) and Qaiser Ahmed (0/17 off 2) and the only really scoring opportunities coming from genuinely good shots. The result: After 5 overs Grantchester had been limited to 35 runs.
Our middle over bowlers' spells then all seemed to follow the same template; that of steady improvement as each spell went on. John Moore (0/23 off 2), Pete Ames (0/16 off 2) and Naveen Chouksey (0/27 off 3) all ensured the scoring rate only occasionally flirted with heading above a run a ball. This was all aided by the occasional departure: Will Phelps and Seb Hammersley teamed up to effect a run out, while Grantchester's number three, who had hit two towering straight sixes on his way to 31*, was retired to relieved Remnant murmurings.
Mike Foukes (0/13 off 2) found himself in the familiar position of closing out the Remnants bowling innings, doing so with two overs of immaculate line and length. At the other end Will Phelps was almost similarly immaculate, drawing a collection of dots, singles and a sharp stumping from 'keeper Seb Hammersley. There was one notable exception, with a full toss duly dispatched towards Eachard Road. Still, we felt Grantchester's total of 125/3 was both reflective of tight bowling and good fielding and was indeed eminently chaseable.
And so it seemed, with openers Will Phelps (31) and Seb Hammersley (17) putting us well ahead of the rate (46/0 off the first 5). Will was particularly imperious, dispatching most of what Granchester's bowlers could throw at him. The only exceptions were the two longhops that made up his final two balls; these saw him dropped on the Eachard Road boundary before being caught in front of the pavilion the subsequent ball.
Seb, taking on the mantle of aggressor, soon followed back to the picnic benches having missed what we'll call "a yorker". Chris Badger entered the fray, and produced a series of elegant strokes directed largely at fielders. He then fell, for the second time this season, to comfortably the best catch of the game: a low diving chance at point. By this point we were 69/3 and looking decidedly less secure.
What follows is a period of radio silence as your correspondent had to jog, flipflop-ily and rather shamefully, home to collect several missing pieces of batting equipment. I am however told that Quentin Harmer "looked solid before being caught behind" while CJ Barrie, less descriptively, "was out for 2". By this stage, we were precariously placed on 80/5 from 9, with our remaining hopes largely resting with Qaiser who had started his innings in robust form.
This meant messrs White, Ames and Moore were tasked with something that sounds simple on paper: Keep Qaiser on strike, and score runs when he's not. Through a combination of scampering, attempted bludgeoning and the occasional well-timed stroke, the aforementioned were largely able to manage just that. Which, in combination with runs flowing at the other end, meant we had clawed our way back into the game. We begin the final over with 9 required for the win and John Moore to take strike and 8 balls to work with:
So this time we finish on the victorious side of another Remnants nail-biter. Qaiser finished on 39*, a magnificent match-winning innings that secured a victory that at one point wasn't looking especially likely. General consensus was we'd had a good tight game, played in good spirit in cricket-appropriate weather. We couldn't ask for much more.