Remnants vs. UCLES

Tuesday, August 9, 2005
Fitzwilliam College

Remnants (99/8; 15 eight-ball overs)
lost to
UCLES (101/2; 11 eight-ball overs)
by 8 wicekts.

What a disaster! Just when we were on the verge of getting our season's win-loss record back towards the respectable, with four comfortable wins on the trot, we were brought back to earth with a thud. Our previous fixture against UCLES didn't happen when they were unable to field a team; today, in stark contrast, they fielded a very good team indeed, with some punishing batsmen, agile fielders and, most of all, two decidedly sharp opening bowlers.

And it was this pair of Daniels who quickly got the upper hand against our opening pair of Johns (Gull and Richer), both of whom were dismissed by the best of the two bowlers, a lanky Harmisoneaque in-swing merchant. Of the top order only John Gull got into double figures, and the difficulties we had can be just as well gauged by the fact his 13 took 22 balls, by which stage he'd normally have scored at least forty. After 10 eight-ball overs the score was 56/5 and, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, the match was once again over despite being just one-third gone.

The field.

John Gull (facing, with his bat in the air) and John Richer (backing up) take on UCLES's pair of Daniels.

John Richer.

First blood to UCLES: John Richer, caught behind for a duck.

John Richer, Dave Williams, Paul Jordan and Russell Woolf.

John Richer, Dave Williams and Russell Woolf show understandable pensiveness whilst Paul Jordan (in the background) readies himself for a few easy singles.

The scoreboard.

Another Remnants top order disaster.

Joe White (27 off 45 balls), Daniel Mortlock (18 off 14 balls) and extras (26) managed something of a comeback, even fantasising about totals in excess of 110 at one point, but after they got out the innings sort of faded away, and in the end we didn't even make it into triple figures.

Heading out into the field I don't think any of us really believed we had any chance of defending our total and it showed in our performances. Even though John Gull gave even more than his usual hundred per cent, Dave Green made a number of good leg-side takes, and John Richer kept his cool to complete a sharp run out, there was a general lack of intensity in the field. The bowling wasn't much better, Russell Woolf (1/16) bowling one of the UCLES openers with a nice in-swinger, although Stas Shabala (0/19) was dead unlucky not to get a wicket as well.

Daniel Mortlock, conversely, was lucky not to get a wicket: having been smashed all ovet the park he finally managed to hit the batsman on the pads, albeit with a ball spearing down leg-side, and was just turning back to his mark when a rather enthusiastic LBW appeal was heard . . . from the umpire. The implications of this act were unclear and, after a minute's confusion, we finished up with the Pythonesque situation of the bowler (and batsman) calmly explaining to the umpire why it wasn't out.

A few overs later that the winning runs were duly hit -- and not a moment too soon if you ask me. At least the fact that we're back to being two down for the season shouldn't be too much of a worry -- as long as we bat, bowl and field better we should be fine.