Well fuck this for a joke.
Once again we found ourselves faced with the uncoordinated nerds of the university's physics department (who'd fluked massive wins against us in the previous two seasons), and once again we were thrashed. With the exception of the brief sunny hour during which we were batting, the day was miserable from beginning to end, both in terms of shitty weather and grim cricket. The match went oh-so-close to being washed out, but sadly the ground was just dry enough to allow play to begin at the scheduled time of 6pm.
We started rather slowly, not scoring a run 'til the tenth ball, but George Speller (61) and Nick Clarke (51) gradually got their eyes in, and mis-timed hoiks made way for glorious cover drives (George) and quick pulls to leg (Nick). By the second half of the innings our openers were having a go at anything, resulting in pissed off bowlers (although it may well have been a bad move to have smashed 27 off Arindam Ghosh's two overs, as will be seen below) and anarchic fielding (the number of dropped catches pushing into double figures). A catch was finally held, ending a great 107-run partnership, and George was clapped off the ground for the rare achievement of out-scoring Nick. His dismissal did, however, seem to herald the turning of the tide, with four more wickets falling in quick succession. Of the middle order, only Tony Malik (12*) made it into double figures -- and even he only made it at the price of two rather silly run outs. Our total of 149/5 was an impressive 15 (eight-ball) overs' work, but we knew the Cavendish had some top batsmen, and vicious grey clouds were already covering the Sun . . .
. . . and our time in the field was just horrid. The main problem was that the aforementioned Dr Ghosh was in the mood for revenge, and it was our bowling ``attack'' that suffered -- Daniel Mortlock, Rich Savage, Barry Dare and Anton Garret were all smashed to boundary repeatedly. Space restrictions mean that their bowling figures cannot be reproduced in full, but all of the plentiful bad balls and many of the good balls were dealt with in no uncertain terms. Unsurprisingly, the fielding cracked under the strain, although Ev Fox had moments of brilliance standing up to the stumps behind the batsmen's flashing blades. This debacle continued for about seven overs, after which The Cavendish had zoomed along to 90-odd for no wicket.
The match was all but over and entered a new phase, with Arindam retiring on 68 (off about 40 balls), the umpiring becoming casual, fielders warming their hands in their pockets, and even easy runs needlessly refused. The principal beneficiary of all this was the Brown family, with Alex's and Rupert's bowling figures (2/18 and 1/2, respectively) being in stark contrast with those not mentioned above. There was even room for a little poetry, Alex's first wicket coming when Rupert held a difficult catch in the deep -- just imagine the different world we (and Rupert, in particular) would be living in today if that chance had gone begging. But the overall result was never in doubt, and the winning runs were hit (after a bye had been refused the previous ball) with several overs to spare.
Oh, and eventually it rained and rained hard, just a few hours late.