The Computer Laboratory vs. Remnants

Monday, July 7, 2003
Gonville & Caius College

The Computer Laboratory (108/5; 20 six-ball overs)
Remnants (103/9; 20 six-ball overs)
by 5 runs.

After last week's miserable weather (and equally miserable cricket) it was a nice change to walk onto the field in perfect mid-summer sunshine. It was also a nice change to be playing our first away game since mid-May -- today's venue was the wide green space of Gonville & Caius's Barton Road playing fields, where we had our change to exact a revenge on The Computer Laboratory, who'd had thrashed us earlier in the year.

Some people playing cricket on the wide green space of Gonville & Caius's Barton Road playing fields.

A thrashing seemed pretty unlikely after our time in the field: the Computer Lab seemed to be unemcumbered by any serious batting talent (or maybe this is just relative to Granta's star batsman last week) and all our bowlers were on form. The main result of this was that the opposition run rate didn't get above five until near the of their innings, but an added ``bonus'' was that it was a pretty boring hour in the field. The slow bowlers -- Faruk Kara (1/21), Russell Woolf (0/21), Phil Watson (2/16) and Graham Stafford (0/13) -- had most of what little fun was on offer by lobbing the ball onto the soft pitch and watching as the batsmen floundered. That said, Daniel Mortlock (1/4) and Mike Jones (1/21) were comparably successful with their seam-up stuff -- The Computer Lab batsmen just didn't come to the party today.

The only Remnant to really be pushed in the field was Dave Green, who ran tirelessly round the shorter of the square boundaries. Mike Scanlon took a great diving catch behind the stumps (well, beside them, Phil inducing a top edge that would have seen the ball land at short square leg had Mike not slid a glove between it and the turf), but Tony Malik provided the fielding highlight by taking a potentially tricky slips catch with such bored disdain that it almost looked as if he was insulted to have been presented with, what for him, was such an easy chance.

Faruk Kara padded up and ready to take the game by the scruff of its neck.

Faruk Kara returning to the pavilion, having failed to have taken the game by the scruff of the neck.

It seemed a nice, lazy run-chase was in order until Rich Savage broke the mood by slamming a few boundaries. But the bowler got a finger tip to the next cracking drive and fortuitously deflected the ball onto the stumps, leaving the unlucky non-striker, John Young, shrugging his way back to the pavilion. The next big drive was caught one-handed on the boundary and suddenly we weren't so happy. Tony Malik (50*) and Daniel Mortlock (16) took the score on to 64/3 in the 12th over and, with 45 needed off about as many balls, we seemed to have the game under control again.

The scoreboard shows that the game was ours to win (56 needed off 9 overs with 7 wickets left) but our body language isn't so positive. At left Russell Woolf scores impassively, but Faruk Kara, Phil Watson, Mike Jones and Graham Stafford all seem pretty bored with proceedings.

Daniel Mortlock returns to the pavilion, the victim of the day's fourth last run-out.

There followed a bad call and a direct hit, and then another bad call and another direct hit, the result of which was that we were losing for the first time in the match. Continued tight bowling by the computer geeks (just teasing, fellas) saw the runs dry up and more wickets fall. With 17 needed off two overs and just three wickets in hand some desperate measures were called for, the most noteworthy result of which was the fourth and fifth run outs of the innings. Tony got a single to take him to a well-grafted half century, but couldn't hit the six needed off the final ball to take us to what would have been a marginally-deserved victory.

The sun sets on our sad attempt to chase The Computer Laboratory's rather small target.