Remnants was faced with a new opposition tonight, Richard Rex's band of over-qualified Academicals. Given the provenance of the team there was the possibility that this could have been yet another semi-internal game, but in the end it was fairly Remnant-free. The only club regulars turning out for the opposition were Richard himself, Julius Rix, and Daniel Mortlock; and, maybe most relevantly, none of this trio had a big impact on the match, so it felt like the proper external game it was.
The Academicals' top order began scoring very freely from our faster bowlers, with neither Oliver Rex (0/30) nor Paul Jordan (1/24) causing too many problems. With the pitch keeping low, it was time to slow things down. Tom Jordan (1/16) bamboozled several batsmen with some ripping leggies, and was unlucky to get just the one wicket, whereas Ben Armitage (2/15) was rather fortunate in that both his wickets came when good catches were held off chest-high full-tosses. The first was a nice snaffle by captain Tom Serby at gully; the second was an awesome take by Ferdinand Rex, who'd had to steady himself under a spinning top-edge and eventually completed the catch on his knees. However the catch of the day was probably Paul Jordan's nonchalant one-handed overhead grab at point, off the bowling of an understandably pleased Nick Clarke (1/23). We rounded out the innings with Ferdinand Rex (0/15) and John Young (1/14) just about keeping the Academical batsmen in check, although their total of 140/6 was maybe 10 more than we'd have liked.
That said, with Nick Clarke and John Gull (i.e., this year's and last year's dominant batsmen, respectively) in the top three, we had the firepower to chase down a much higher target than this. Unfortunately our innings never really got going, and the slow scoring rate echoed that in the depressingly poor chase against Romsey last week. Both John (18 off 31 balls) and Nick (6 off 10 balls) were dismissed just as they were (maybe) on the verge of breaking free, and after that it was the dreaded sequel "return of the dot monster" as we limped to a dismal 39/3 off 9 (eight-ball) overs. Tom Jordan (25* off 43 balls) was the only other batsman to hang around, but he just couldn't find a way to puncture the in-field. Incredibly, we we didn't score our first boundary until the 96th ball of the innings - and even that required a misfield. Again following the pattern set last week, we added a veneer of respectability with some late hitting (mainly a nice cameo of 15* off 13 balls by Paul Jordan), but we can't really expect to win many games with sub-hundred totals.
So that means that our game against Tektronix next Tuesday suddenly assumes far greater importance: the result will determine whether we're in the black or the red for 2009. Before that, however, there's the small matter of Geoff's retirement game tomorrow.