Remnants vs. The Engineering Department

Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Fitzwilliam College

The Engineering Department (143/6 in 20 6-ball overs)
Remnants (126/6 in 20 6-ball overs)
by 17 runs.

We had yet another new opponent tonight as we took on Cambridge University's Engineering Department for the first time. With no Remnant playing for them to provide critical inside information they were an almost completely unknown quantity, although what little we knew wasn't good. The fact they keep having close matches against The Cavendish (who of course tend to thrash us with ease) was certainly rather worrying; and Phil Hastings wasn't the only one to notice that they all arrived sporting big coffins and professional-looking kit. The match itself seems to have been the subject of intense media coverage, with rumours flying around the internet and both Sally Hales and Dave Williams filing full match reports which combine to tell the following story.

Remnants fielded first, Julian Chilvers (0/22) and John Moore (0/17) opening the bowling, but without any early joy (and, indeed, some early misery when a ball was lost over the fence in the second over). Engineering had reached 63 for no loss before our new signing Deepak Gajjala (1/19) got the breakthrough, courtesy of a good catch by John. Mike Jones (1/15) then started with three consecutive wides before getting a wicket himself (Phil Hastings taking the catch this time), after which Dave Williams (1/12) landed a pefect leggie to bowl Engineering's seemingly invincible opener, Viraj, who'd scored 41 off just 37 balls. Rob Harvey (1/16) decided to try Mike's approach, delivering his own hat-trick of wides. This prompted a sarcastic "get ready for a catch" from the boundary, but Rob defied the predictions by bowling the batsmen with his variation ball (i.e., a straight one) instead. Phil Hastings (1/13) then produced the best spell of the day (and was the only Remnant to warrant a full four over spell), offering some much-needed containment as he repeatedly landed the ball in the block hole. Our grand wide count topped out an impressive 18 at about this stage, although the general consensus was that this was largely because the Engineering umpires gave up calling them in the hope of finishing the innings sometime before Yom Kippur. After their superb opening stand had given them the ideal platform, Engineering's middle order lifted their total to an eventual 143/6, with Prad in particular playing a pleasingly wristy cameo towards the end of the innings.

Remnants opened with Nick Clarke and John Richer, the latter falling for 1 (off 8 balls), but not before running so aggressively that Nick suffered a pulled leg muscle. Dave Williams (15 off 18 balls, with 2 fours) then came to the crease to join Nick, and together they put on a run-a-ball partnership of 34 before he succumbed to a superb in-swinger from Jega. The bowling was just a bit good for us, as evidenced by Phil Hastings (0 off 2 balls) falling quickly and then John Gull to starting off with an unprecedented 8 consecutive dot balls. Meanwhile Nick had been playing the best innings of the season, hitting the ball as hard as the opposition had earlier in the day, before being well caught for 53 (off just 42 balls, with 7 fours). Nick's depature spurred John into a less defensive mode and, with support from Richard Rex (4 off 6 balls) and then Deepak Gajjala (6), he took the total to 106 with two overs to go.

Was 19 an over possible? Anything is with John at the crease, and sure enough he got the bit between his teeth and hit 4 4 2 2 4 2 from the penultimate over. Deepak had sacrificed himself trying to get a third run off the final ball, but while he didn't make his ground, this did at least this leave John on strike, and having just hit 18 from 6 balls there was surely a chance he'd be able to get 20 from the next 6. But at this point Engineering pulled a rabbit out of the hat, producing a final trump card as their wicket-keeper (the above-mentioned Viraj) emerged from the chrysalis of his pads as a fully fledged fast bowler. And he was simply too good, conceding just 2 runs, while John did well just to survive as he repeatedly attempted ambitious drives at a succession of short balls.

So once again we were beaten by one of the nerdier university departments (although maybe they're all nerdy by definition). Having succumbed to Physics and Engineering, we've really got to make sure we don't get beaten by Computer Science next Tuesday or it will represent a hat-trick every bit as unwelcome as Mike's and Rob's earlier today.