Remnants vs. Royal Greenwich Observatory

July 17, 1997
Fitzwilliam College

Remnants (138/4 in 15 8-ball overs)
lost to
Royal Greenwich Observatory (142/2 in 9.3 8-ball overs)
by 8 wickets.

Report by Daniel Mortlock:

Given that Remnants CC sprang from the bosom of The Cavendish Lab's Astrophysics Group, today's game against The Royal Greenwich Observatory, situated just across Madingley Road from the Cav, was something like a local derby, albeit one tied to the Galaxy rather than a town or suburb. It was also rather ironic that conditions were completely overcast and miserable -- the sort of weather which no astronomer should be forced to endure.

Certainly bowling and fielding were next to impossible on the wet Fitzwilliam grass, and batting didn't appear too much easier as we struggled to 59/4 after 9 (eight-ball) overs. But then Tony Malik (87*, with 17 fours) and Andy Owen (22*) went on the rampage, smacking 79 runs off the last 48 deliveries with the fielders now unable to do much more than stand up.

The only problem was that we were going to be faced with even more horrid conditions to field in - and a ball that really did feel like a bar of soap. It was a bit hard to work out if 138 was a good total, although the initial signs were that it might be when one opening batsman was dismissed in the 3rd over and the other had to call for a helmet after being hit on the head. And so it was a huge surprise to just about everyone that the RGO hit the winning runs mid-way through the 10th over, with the be-helmeted batsman having smashed 97* (with 15 fours and 2 sixes). It was the fastest a Remnants total has ever been chased and completely humiliating. Four separate overs were smacked for 17 runs (or more) and our bowling figures made for car-crash reading: Jamie Taylor (1/35 from 3 overs); Tony Malik (0/25 from 2 overs); Rupert Brown (0/21 from 1 over); Russell Woolf (0/10 from 3 balls); and Martyn Waterfall (0/50 from 3 overs).

Indeed, perhaps the best strategy in this match was to avoid any significant involvement at all, and four RGO players got "thanks for coming"s (i.e., just fielding) as their captain somehow contrived to give bowlers four-over spells (even though we were playing eight-ball overs) and then give the same players (along with the 'keeper) a bat as well. It's possible, of course, that the unlucky players were "just along for the ride", but that isn't borne out by their credentials: one, Richard Wilson, ended up being our second-highest wicket-taker this year; another, Daniel Mortlock, was to return to Cambridge a few years later, eventually becoming our second-highest wicket-take of all time, as well as setting up a club web-site on which he could gripe about not getting a bowl back in July 1997.