21st July vs Remnants Home

by Jeremy Penston

Taxi for Clarke…! Not that he was short of offers of a lift after Ollie Clarke (on loan from Remnants) caught his father Nick (a Remnants stalwart), breaking an opening partnership that threatened to take the game away from the Sharks. Was that the game changing moment? Who knows, because there were plenty of other fine moments as we chased down 160 to win in the last over.

It was an odd game for many reasons. Firstly because Remnants (having earlier agreed the principle that home rules apply) decided that we had to play their “normal” cricket rules rather than our usual retire at 25. Perhaps it is unfair to put that one on Remnants as a team, because it was Clarke (N) who imposed his will on the rest of us. It was odd also in that he found Matt Bailey in a very diplomatic and accommodating mood. Oh, the times they are a’changing…

The reason we play our version is simple – to make sure everyone gets a game, even if it means that the best players don’t always end up on the winning team. We do it for fun because we certainly don’t do it for the money! That is not to say that last night wasn’t fun, but for this correspondent it was all the more fun because of the way that the rules ended up being decided.

It was obvious why Clarke (31) didn’t want a retirement game when he and Williams (39) opened the batting for Remnants. They are both clearly used to playing themselves in and dealing in boundaries. Some good bowling by Ralph and especially Derek kept things under control when it could all have gone horribly wrong – the bad balls were being mercilessly punished. Even some good balls were punished, mainly because our skip decided to play an unusual field without a mid-off or mid-on for much of the Remnants innings.

With the score on 60-0 off 8, Matt turned to Paddy who had Clarke caught by Clarke at backward point. It was one of those that you tell your kids about years later, “I caught granddad out!” rather than “You caught me out”, I mean.

Williams continued however and the Remnants scoring accelerated, helped perhaps by the fact that Hugh came on to bowl. It was not his finest hour (which came later) with three overs costing 33 runs, including 13 in wides (2 runs per wide for those not there). There might have been a strategy at work in the last over as he bowled leg-side wides from around the wicket, but from behind the stumps, I can safely say that no one else knew what he was up to.

As the overs passed, there was a fine catch from Clive who was being kept busy in Cow Corner and (for me at least) the move of the match. Jez took the ball down on his chest, turned and lost his opponent before firing an unstoppable shot straight into the back of the net the stumps (to run out T Jordan).

The upshot was 160-4. Without Adam that was going to be a real challenge, but with Clive and Jim in the lineup, anything is possible. The same can also be said of Hugh but for different reasons 🙂

The first over never happened. For some reason I have a mental block, but the game started to take shape as Clive started rattling off the runs. The one concern with Jim was that he was going to change the way he has played all season because he came to the crease in the second over with the score on 7-2. That concern was quickly put to rest with his scorecard reading the usual 4-4-1-4 and no dots appearing until his 10th ball when being the showman that he is, he played a forward defensive shot.

Clive was out to an incredible throw from the boundary, a direct hit running him out for 42 and Jim slowed a little as he tired. This was credit to Remnants who managed to stop most of his boundaries after the initial onslaught and made him run between the wickets rather more than normal. This was a double whammy as it also deprived him of the rest he normally gets between balls as the fielders find the ball in some hedge or other.

The other major contribution to the score came from Hugh, proving to all of us that he can bat given half a chance. His 31 kept the scoreboard ticking over on Derek’s fancy iPhone app and kept the Sharks on track, even when Jim was finally out for 44. Hugh’s innings was unfortunately ended in the last over, caught a foot from the boundary, going for a six that would have won the game in style, but by that stage the hard work was done and we could afford the luxury of such indulgence.

We got there thanks to some splendid batting by Pat made a target of 20 off 2 overs into 4 off 1. Such is the strength in depth in our team that Ralph (averaging over 50 for the season) came in at number 8 and knocked off the winning run.

It was good win, made sweeter by the closeness of the game and the earlier debate about the rules. We can win any which way and can do so with everyone playing their part!

One Response to 21st July vs Remnants Home

  1. adie mellish says:

    Have to agree the better team won on the night. Well done to you all, it was a a very good game. I must apologise for the change of rules. I was very embarassed when I found out what had happened and will be putting in a complaint about it, at our teams annual meeting. It would be a shame for this to cost us a very friendly game in our season.

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