With Dave Norman still off on holiday, it was off to the distant Queens' ground again today, to take on Cambridge Consultants. We hadn't played them since the early '90s, so any early intelligence was likely to be valuable. What was immediately clear was that they were better organised than us, having a full eleven at the ground by 6pm, whereas we only numbered five at that stage (and only ever got up to ten). However the prevalence of black shorts, interesting hats and strangely coloured shoes suggested that there were only a few regular cricketers in their team.
This impression was only confirmed when their fielders allowed plenty of extra runs and their bowlers delivered a glut of wides and no balls (several for beamers and one for having more than two fielders behind square-leg). Thus the runs flowed pretty freely, even if not so much from the batsmen. Tom Serby (14 off 17 balls), Daniel Mortlock (24 off 38 balls, thus continuing his Queens' "go slow" from a week ago) and Joe White (44 off 32 balls) all struggled to play themselves in, and all three ended up being bowled by fairly unthreatening deliveries that they tried to slog. Still, they took the score to 89/1 in the 13th over, which was a good platform for a final push; but instead of accelerating smoothly, we hit a stumbling block as a succession of new batsmen seemed intent on playing the ball with their, er, lower rear abdomens. Fortunately this curious phase was short-lived, with both Chris McNeill (20* off 15 balls) and John Moore (10* off 9 balls) getting things moving again in the last few overs, eventually lifting Remnants to a tota of 141/5.
It quickly became clear that CamCons weren't going to threaten our total, runs coming only sporadically while wickets were falling with reassuring regularity. Joe White (2/3) starred with the ball as well as the bat (maybe no surprise given he took 1/16 in his debut match in the East Anglia Premier League on the weekend), while Russell Woolf (2/16), Adrian Mellish (2/27) and John Moore (2/6) all matched his wicket-tally. We backed up our bowlers well in the field, Jamie Smith, Matt Hughes, Tom Serby and John Moore all saving numerous singles, and Rob Harvey completing a lightning-fast TV-style stumping. But probably the most significant contribution came from a CamCons supporter by the name of Tom who fielded for us and had the dubious honour of taking two nice catches (the second of which resulted in his bike being hidden by the dismissed batsman). There were also a couple of run outs when pairs of inexperienced batsmen stranded themselves mid-pitch (or started running in the same direction), although such light-hearted moments couldn't disguise the lack of drama to proceedings. In the end the main excitement was whether the CamCons last pair could take their team's total into triple figures . . . which they couldn't, as Remnants dismissed an opposition batting line-up for the third time this season.
That brings our ledger to 9 wins, 1 tie and 4 losses (and, incredibly, still no wash-outs). Given this momentum, Thursday should be a great chance to inflict a rare defeat on Granta, even if Joe has, sadly, refused to take sides (or, specifically, ours) in the conflict.