Cambridge, Tuesday -- Following a sequence of bad results, Remnants CC is back on the winner's list after defeating UCLES by 20-runs at the Fitzwilliam College ground. Today's game was dominated by the remarkable individual performance of Andy Owen, who batted through his team's 20 overs to make 79 not out, completed a great outfield catch, and then took 1/8 in the final overs of UCLES's run chase to seal the victory for Remnants. However the fact that Remnants' last two losses have featured comparable performances (61* and 2/23 from Phil Watson against the Education Nomads and 79*, 1/16 and 2 catches from Tony Malik against the Philanderers) implies that contributions from the rest of the team were of significance as well.
In the first innings the UCLES bowlers never looked likely to threaten, with only Phil Marshall (17) losing his wicket, leaving Owen and Faruk Kara (31*) to bat out the 20 overs. With Owen, Nick Clarke and Rich Savage all averaging close to 100 and Malik and Dave Williams averaging over 40 it is clear that Remnants have the strongest and deepest batting line-up of the mid-week teams. The fact that Remnants have been losing just one or two wickets per innings does, however, have a downside as well, namely that the middle order is short of time at the crease, a fact that could well see a batting collapse if any team dismisses the top three cheaply.
In the field UCLES were able to score at about a run-a-ball for most of their innings, with only Russell Woolf (2/17) able to do much damage. Indeed it appears likely that only Woolf and ex-captain Tony Malik will emerge from this season with respectable bowling figures, the rest of the Remnants attack conceding close to six runs an over and averaging close to 30.
It is clear, however, that the hard men of the club are not letting themselves be affected by the lack of wickets, as evidenced by an exchange caught on the stump microphones this evening. After UCLES's foreign player chopped the ball off his stumps in a rather ungainly fashion the unlucky bowler informed the umpire that he'd ``have to look that fucking shot up in the book'' when he got home, only to find that the batsmen had taken a single and was well within earshot. A stream of Afrikaan expletives followed, but the batsmen was clearly unsettled, holing out to Owen on the boundary next over. As the batsmen trudged past the above-unmentioned bowler he was given the consoling message, ``How about that -- first one off the middle of the bat and you get caught?''
This incident notwithstanding, UCLES might still have won the match with four overs to go and 50 needed with wickets in hand. The batsmen scored at the required rate off Kara (0/28, but unlucky to see three catches go down in his first over), but the ever-reliable Owen closed down the other end to complete a comfortable Remnants win.