Report by Daniel Mortlock:
This decade has seen Remnants establish symbiotic relationships with various Cambridgeshire cricket clubs: they provide us with players; we provide them with recruiting opportunities and evening friendlies. Cambridge St Giles and NCI are the two big names here, with their seemingly infinite player lists; but the village club of Bassingbourn isn't far behind, with their regulars James Robinson, Max Ayliffe and Mike Foulkes all turning out for us over the last few years. Of course this evening it was inevitable that they'd all be playing for Bassingbourn - although less predictable was the last-minute pilfering of our twelfth man Tim Simmance.
On a grey and gloomy evening we had only minimal hesitation before deciding, upon James's incorrect call of "tails", to bat first - the delay was because it was surely going to even colder in the field later on. Initially, it seemed that this might have been a bad call: Max and Mike sconceded just 4 and 5 runs off their opening overs, in what looked set to be yet another case of Remnants upping their game when playing against the club. Temoor Khan in particular seemed under their spell, being unable to score off his first five balls . . . only to then flick some internal switch, as he smashed 32 runs off the next 11 (legal) deliveries he faced. Retirement at 40 seemed inevitable until Tim got a slower ball through his defenses - but TK's innings of 38 off 22 balls was easily the best batting performance of the evening. Seb Hammersley (17 off 20 balls), Stephen Doel (19 off 21 balls, before finally acquiring a season's batting average, 136.00) and Cam Petrie (17* off 19 balls) all did well enough, although were both metaphorically and literally becalmed in comparison to Marcus Baker, who was so insistent about being "out of form" that he tried to get Stephen to go in ahead of him, only to then bludgeon his way to a destructive 37* off 28 balls.
We felt pretty confident heading out into the field with 155 runs to defend - the only real threat seemed to be the fact that it was now freezing cold and most of us had stiffened up in the pavilion. Sure enough, Joe White (2/11) and Daniel Mortlock (1/14) combined to dismiss the Bassingbourn top order - literally in the case of the first wicket, when James tried to take a bye following a fumbled take by Marcus: Daniel under-armed the ball back up the pitch where Joe managed his own fumbled take, eventually completing the run out by bashing the ball repeatedly against an extracted stump (not as painful as it sounds).
We then got a lesson in how to take wickets - and how not to take wickets - in mid-week evening cricket. Dian Weerakonda (0/12) sent down three largely immaculate overs in the corridor of uncertainty, beating the bat but ending up with nothing to show for it. Faruk Kara (2/32) then demonstrated the correct technique by offering up a full toss that was pulled to John Young at square leg, who completed a neat catch. Thus inspired, an injured Seth Aycock (2/19) came on to send down some filthy off spin, taking his first wicket of the season also with a full toss, which was this time bunted to TK at mid-off. With Marcus also completing a sharp stumping off Seth, he finished with a strike rate of 8.00 for the evening, in stark contrast to his Remnants previous strike rate of 48.00 bowling immaculate out-swing at pace.
If this all sounds like one-way traffic . . . well, it was. As Joe said later on, it's sometimes (but definitely not always) nice to have a comfortable game like this. Perhaps one measure of our ascendancy is that Bassingbourn managed just two boundaries in the first dozen overs . . . the second of which was a huge six that was effortlessly swatted off one of Faruk's wicket balls (i.e., a full toss) that we all watched arcing its way towards . . . the windscreen of Dave Norman's shiny new BMW.