Romsey Town vs. Remnants

Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Fitzwilliam College

Remnants (133/3 in 15 8-ball overs)
Romsey Town (130/8 in 15 8-ball overs)
by 3 runs.

It was somehow very Romsey that our traditional pre-season warm-up game against Remnants should come after, rather than before, we'd already played our first league game. Still, despite the positive outcome on Saturday there was still some room for improvement -- and besides, it was the most glorious of days on which to play some cricket.

We took to the field first and Rob Palmer (0/16) and Marcelino Gopal (0/25) started brilliantly, both being dead unlucky to go wicketless as the ball managed to evade both stumps and outside edges by tantalising amounts. In the end the breakthrough came from a most unlikely source, super-ringer Dave Norman stepping up to take 2/16 with his seldom-seen off-breaks. Andy Owen (1/21) got our only other wicket, although his neighbour, Roy Walker (0/35), who'd been drafted in when he'd spied Catherine Owen carrying some kit, also impressed with his Chris Gayle-style darts.

Our eventual target, 133, was ironically only seven fewer than we'd chased in a full 40 overs on Saturday; but we had the batting line-up to do it, and our scoring rate never dropped below a run a ball for the entire innings. Phil Bradford made a welcome return to the fold, batting well for 9 (off 13 balls), although it really should have been 13 but for the fact that a lovely leg-glance was called as leg byes by the umpire. A middle-order collapse was halted by Rob Palmer (15 off 20 balls), but the real reason we were in the hunt was Jon Steele's superb innings of 67*, the highest score for Romsey in any form of cricket since 2006. Having erroneously clapped his half-century when he was still on 49, we then watched in horror as ex-Romsey boy Joe White was brought on to send down his bullets in the gloom, but fortunately Steelo squeezed a single to get past that milestone and spare the scorers' blushes. And he kept going, too, until we were left needing 12 off the last over which, after some scampered runs, then became 6 needed off 3 balls. A wicket looked to have ended our late charge, but this brought Mr Norman to the crease, and an easy two left him needing 4 to win from the final ball. He gave it an almighty heave and missed . . . but more frustratingly the umpire also missed a rather big front foot no ball that should have given Dave a second chance for heroics.

Still, it was a top game of cricket, and the sort of fast-scoring batting effort that should see us pile up a few decent totals in the longer form of the game.