After the well-organised nostalgia of last week's celebration of a quarter of a century of Remnants cricket it was time for some all-round anarchy in the form of a match against a Zoology side which numbered an implausible ``six and a half'' mid-way through the afternoon. After frantic phoning around by Dave Williams and Sally some 22 cricketers converged on Fitz; although, given that about 14 of them were Remnants, there was still the problem of who was going to play for which team.
In the end Rupert Brown, Nick Clarke and Dave Green joined 8 bona fide zoologists in the field and watched on as the innings began with three scarily fast beamers. The first two were (correctly) called as no balls, and John Gull hit the second to the boundary, so after zero balls we were 6/0. But, even before we had the chance to get excited by our nominally infinite run rate, the bowler was taking the simplest of return catches from his third full toss, this one allegedly below waist height.
After this rather wild start the Zoology bowlers found their length, restricting us to an uninspiring 30/2 after 8 overs. Tony Malik (13), Robin Woolley (27), Daniel Mortlock (32*) and Phil Watson (26, despite having a serious migrane) then set about accelerating the scoring, which they did, although the batting always had an unsatisfyingly scratchy feel to it. There were several near run outs, a few dropped catches and lots of wild swishes (largely at the bowling of one Dave Green, who accounted for both Robin and Phil), but somehow we scored exactly 100 runs off the last 12 overs, and finished up with a healthy total of 130/5.
Nick Clarke (23) opened for Zoology and immediately hit some big boundaries, but before he could have too much of an influence on the game Robin Woolley held onto a tracer bullet of a drive, and our total was never threatened after that. This was mainly thanks to the junior contingent: Alex Brown (2/28), Guy Wiedermann (1/8) and Robin (1/7) were penetrating and economical, and John Gull put in another great day's work tearing 'round the boundary. The other star was Julius ``Julie'' Rix who, having impressed with the bat this season (second in the averages with 90.00), fielded brilliantly and then took 2/8 with his medium pacers. Oh, and a final special mention for captain Dave Williams who reluctantly took on 'keeping duties and, as well as taking a sharp catch, used both gloves and rump to ensure just one bye went next to his name.
The closing stages of the game were, sadly, rather soporific, but it was this period which saw the game's most elegant moment. Batting for the opposition, Rupert Brown (26*) responded to the traditional cries of ``tonk it, boys'' by effortlessly flicking the next ball for a six over the clubhouse. This was greeted with great enthusiasm and, by game's end, Rupert seemed to have developed something of a cult following amongst the Zoology crowd.
Indeed, despite being humbled on the field, Zoology proved to be one of the friendliest teams we've played this year. Rupert, Dave and Nick seemed to instantly become valued team members -- so much so that the latter played the role of surrogate captain at times. Moreover, their Antipodean ringer was a cultured and charming Australian, in stark contrast to the South Efreecan and New Zland riff raff whose services most other teams see fit to call on . . .