And so to wide open spaces of Churchill College's massive ground on Madingley Road. As always seems to be the case, the game against Churchill was blessed by one of the first genuinely warm evenings of the year, somehow all the more splendid for the surroundings. International jets left vapour trails hanging above us and the clouds glowed a pale golden colour as the sun set in the west. Surely this perfect picture would be completed by a resounding Remnants win?
Churchill batted first, and their top three -- all decent batsmen -- took the score to 70-odd with the loss of just the one wicket. Our top three bowlers -- George Speller (1/20, heroic in the face of a distended nipple), Colin Anderson (1/28, persistence personified after two catches were dropped in his first over) and Paul Jordan (0/30-odd and immortalised below) -- were a bit unlucky, not least because the rest of the batting was pretty scratchy. Daniel Mortlock (1/12, dogged in the haze of a bad cold) made some use of this fact, but it was young Les Collings (3/21, when he wasn't scampering about the outfield like a man three fifths his age) who cashed in most effectively, with three wickets in one over. He appeared to be headed for record figures, but will have to be content with having the better off the two openers stumped off a (possibly strategic) leg-side wide. As this implies, it was another great piece of work by Andy Owen behind the stumps, remiscent of Jack Russell's stumping of Dean Jones in a one-dayer in Australia a few seasons back. Churchill's long tail certainly led to a lot of wickets falling, but they also scored plenty of runs, ending up with 120 -- the second time this season we've conceded exactly a run a ball.
``So this Jordan fellow's likely to be bowling for a while, is he?''
(Image and caption sent in by Les Collings.)
It was a different story when we came out to bat. Rather than a feast of runs and wickets, it was a famine on both fronts. The Churchill attack gained plenty of movement in the air and bounce of the pitch, and we limped to 45/2 off the first ten overs. Most of these had been obtained by today's captain, Dave Williams, pushing and cutting to keep the scoreboard ticking over, but it was clearly ticking too slowly. The second half of the innings saw the required run-rate billow out to more than ten an over, at which point Andy (62*) finally went up a gear (or several), scoring half of his runs in the last few overs. He and Dave Green (7 against his own disrespectful students) got us within miracle-win distance, but we couldn't muster the 13 required off the last three balls, eventually going down by 8 runs.
In a show of civility somewhat unexpected from students we were provided with squash and ``sarnies'' after the game, but these were soon replaced with the healthier combination of beer and crisps when the stayers eventually made it to the college bar.