Remnants vs. Cambridge Granta

Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Fitzwilliam College

Remnants (138/3 in 20 6-ball overs)
lost to
Cambridge Granta (140/4 in 15.2 6-ball overs)
by 6 wickets.

As you no doubt noted when read the Remnants AGM minutes, Geoff is planning to hand over the running of Remnants in the next year or so. And whilst that prospect might fill some of you with fear, solace can be drawn from the fact that Remnants managed to self-organise this week while Geoff was away on tour with Fathers And Sons (who Remnants beat a few weeks ago). Our vice-captain and web-site scribe had also been lured to the Cotswolds, one result of which was the rather less jarring (and possibly even welcome) change in match report authorship, with today's coming from Dave Williams. However he did not supply the wonderfully imaginative photo captions.

People playing cricket.

On a windy, cloudy day with sunny intervals (as our own media meteorologist, Ev Fox, in town hot-foot from Doha, could attest), Russell Woolf won the toss and decided to bat. He backed the tried and tested Dave Williams and Nick Clarke opening combo, whose collective weight of experience probably came to more than that of 75 per cent of a (mostly) youthful Granta team. The first two balls were long hops that were hit for four and three by Dave, bringing Nick on strike; the third ball of the over found line and length, with Nick playing down the wrong line and losing his off stump. John Gull, having apparently discovered the elixir of everlasting batting, came in and played himself in in his usual way, smashing two straight drives, one on to the bowler's-end stumps, and one for four. Against brisk and mostly accurate bowling, John and Dave piled on the runs to be 81/1 after 9 overs, before Dave (33 off 34 balls) holed out to deepish mid-on, mistiming a hoik off a full toss from their hard-spinning but erratic off-break bowler. Tom Jordan (12 off 29 balls) came to the wicket and played some immaculate forward defensive shots but couldn't get off strike; after 4 or 5 overs of this Sally assumed the Dave Green ``tonkmeister'' role, offering a surprisingly generous amount of advice from behind the scorers' table. With Tom stuck in first gear against the Granta slow bowling, John went into overdrive, finishing unbeaten on 78* off 51 balls. After Tom's departure to a smart caught and bowled, Ev Fox (4* off 5 balls) came to the crease for a small cameo which took us to a reasonable 138/3, although that was really a little disappointing after our good start.

People playing cricket.

Having opened the batting with experience, we did the same in the field, Paul Jordan (1/27) opening up, and producing an unplayable, in-swinging yorker that rattled the Granta opener's stumps in his first over. Indeed Sal was insistent that it be made absolutely clear that it was a truly stunning ball, although the fact that she described it as ``Alderman-esque'' rather than, say, ``Younis-esque'' is a bit surprising. But the Granta batsman then played themselves in and seemed to have plenty of time against Paul and Deepak Gajjala (0/40), all their shots coming off the middle of their bat and picking the gaps in the field with ease when not actually hitting it right over the boundary. Deepak was unlucky not to get an opener out stumped when Ev whipped off the bails, but the umpire had already called no ball. Mike Jones (0/35) then induced a freak dismissal, getting his foot to straight drive in his follow through and somehow deflecting it onto the stumps, with the non-striker backing-up and out of his ground. Russell Woolf (2/10) brought himself on for and produced our best spell of the day: two batsmen both perished getting edges to his deceptive floaters and both got edges, which were well caught by Nick Clarke and Tom Jordan (who also made some fantastic boundary saves), respectively.

Had Remnants broken the back of the Granta batting and got down to the weaker players? Not a bit of it. The new batsmen had the same crisp timing and intelligent placement as their team-mates, one of them hitting a memorable slog sweep off Adrian Mellish (0/21) that smashed four or five tiles at the very top of the pavilion roof -- and that the longest boundary on the ground. With 4.4 overs still to go when Granta hit yet another six to win the match, the feeling was they would have chased down any total up to about 200.

People who have just played cricket.

We all stayed for a beer, John Gull having (again) to damage his bank account and his liver by buying a jug for another compelling batting performance. While we were well beaten it was in some ways pleasing to see that young players are playing the game and playing it well, even if largely not for us.