Remnants vs. The Philanderers

Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Gonville & Caius College

The Philanderers (102/5 in 20 6-ball overs)
lost to
Remnants (105/3 in 18.5 6-ball overs)
by 7 wickets.

Report by Daniel Mortlock:

Where yesterday was glorious until match time, after which it became grey and dark and wet, today was crap in the morning and increasingly pleasant as the day went on. Despite various phonecalls bouncing around Cambridgeshire (and London) nervously trying to confirm that the game was still on, nobody bottled it, and a full Remnants eleven assembled in good time. Given both the opposition (The Philanderers, whose cagey bowlers strangled our batting in 2007 and 2008) and venue (Cauis, where The Computer Laboratory, RIP, also managed to defend ridiculoudly low totals against us in 2002, 2003 and 2007), a low-scoring game was on the cards . . .

. . . and that's just what we got, as we restricted The Philanderers to just 102/5 off their 20 (six-ball) overs. Not knowing too many of the details of our time in the field today, it seems sufficient to let the immaculate bowling figures tell the story: Mick Watson 1/13; Paul Jordan 1/22; Les Collings 2/18; Tom Jordan 1/11; Oliver Rex 0/19; and John Moore 0/12. Add in a stumping to Rob Harvey and a stunning catch by Nick Clarke (which he told Geoff about at length when Geoff made the mistake of giving him a "quick" call after the game) and it was a top team effort in the field, perhaps our best so far this year.

102 could, as argued above, have been a testing target, but for the presence of the aforementioned Mr Clarke in the team. Whereas every other batsman (on either side) had struggled to stay in, let alone to make runs, he smashed an imperious 62 off just 41 balls. Nick and Richard Rex (who struggled to 13 off 40 balls) took us to the surely impregnable position of 71/0 in the 9th over, but after Nick was dismissed our potentially crushing victory was rapidly downgraded to comfortable, then close-fought and even uncertain.

With the scoring now at a stand-still there was suddenly the absurd fear that we might fail to get 32 runs in 10 overs. Richard and Mike Sneyd (11 off 17 balls) tried their best to inch us towards victory, but we scored just 23 runs between overs 11 to 18 (inclusive) to leave us needing 9 more runs from the final dozen balls. The tension was beginning to tell off the ground as well, with Sal at one stage hollering that the batsman should "hit out or get out" . . . which they duly did, leaving our youngest players, Oliver Rex (8* off 7 balls) and Tom Jordan (5* off 5 balls), to finally finish the game off.

And thus Remnants won its fifth consecutive match, something we haven't managed since May/June 2004. That means we've ended our first month of the season with a very healthy record of 6 wins, 1 tie and 2 losses from our 9 games. The key to this has been our batting, which has been the paradigm of team consistency. With Phil Hastings (85 runs at 42.50), Nick Clarke (78 runs at 39.00) Andy Owen (75 runs at 37.50), Richard Rex (also 75 runs at 37.50) and George Speller (96 runs at 32.00) all with 70+ runs at an average above 30, it's no surprise that we've been scoring 140-odd when we've batted first. While the bowling hasn't been as trustworthy, it has occasionally been spectacular, with the competition to top the averages seemingly a two horse race between Kiran Sakhamuri (6 wickets at 7.17) and Russell Woolf (7 wickets at 7.71). Also worthy of note are the efforts of 'keeper Rob Harvey, who's not only completed 6 dismissals (3 catches and 3 stumpings), but somehow contrived to play in every game (in some cases by wandering past the ground only to find us one short; in others by taking the kit hostage; and occasionally by actually being selected). But maybe even more remarkable than Rob having played all 9 games is that Remnants have played all 9 games: the last cancellation-free May we had was back in 1999. To put that in perspective, it's so long ago that the club didn't even have a web-site to record such important matters back then . . .