Report by Paul Jordan:
This game could be summarised simply in two words: match abandoned. But, on a brighter note, it could equally well be summarised in these two words: birthday boy, Ferdi Rex. [But that's four words . . . - ed.] From the moment we gathered in the changing room we knew we were in for a treat as the words "Hap-py birthday, hap-py birthday" could be heard from that '80s music fan Andy Owen. Not the traditional tune but that of Altered Images and the sweet voice of Claire Grogan (of Gregory's Girl fame).
At this point the weather had held fair and by a gentleman's agreement Richard Rex and I decided the order of events. As in the the previous week I decided to bat first set a big target and enjoy a handsome victory. Well that is the theory. The previous week the opposition nearly chased down 157. Surely history wouldn't repeat itself?
Ferdi and Grant Kennedy opened the batting and got off to a steady start, in the first (eight-ball) over at least, courtesy of the Academicals opening bowler [Oli Melvill, who became a Remnants opening bowler a few weeks later - ed.] who clearly enjoyed the extra bounce from the wicket and conceded just one run. The other opening bowler struggled with his line and found Ferdi in an unsympathetic mood. In fact most bowlers found Ferdi in an unsympathetic mood as he proceeded to produce a selection of cover drives, pulls and huge straight drives. After 7 overs we were cruising along at almost 12 an over. It's worth saying at this point that although Ferdi provided the fireworks - ask his brother Olly about the straight six that hit the sightscreen! - his partner Grant gave able support with a delightful range of cultured cuts and drives too.
The weather at this point (around 8 overs) worsened and it looked as if we might have to call it a day. And, having come off for about 10 minutes, we offered our current total of 157/0 (off just 10 overs) as a quasi-declaration target with a generous 12 overs for the opposition to win the game. There was a beautiful symmetry about our final score, as it was the same as last week, although it was a pity that we didn't get the chance to play out our 40 remaining deliveries, as we might have been able to post our highest total (currently 220/5) and Ferdi might have been able to make the highest score for the club (currently Tony Malik's 142). As things stood it was our fastest ever team innings and Ferdi had to be content with his remarkable personal score of 116* (off 51 balls, with 15 fours and 7 sixes) being second on the individual list and, maybe more relevantly, breaking Dave Norman's previous record of 111 for the highest score in a 20-over format evening game. At the other end Grant Kennedy, who's been our outstanding batsman this season with 411 runs at 102.75), was made to look pedestrian by comparison, although in most circumstances his innings of 35* off 29 balls would have drawn plenty of praise in itself.
The Academicals batsmen clearly had not read the script and were scoring quite freely off our bowling with both Ollies (Rex and Melvill) flashing sumptuous drives and moving along in cruise control. As the game progressed the rain was just too much and sadly the game had to be abandoned after 8 overs, with the Academicals on a rather frightening 108/2.
It would have been interesting to see what might have been in the two overs to come. Suffice to say a most enjoyable game and what a way to celebrate your birthday Ferdi.