The 2010 Remnants season

Report by Daniel Mortlock:

The main challenge for Remnants most years is trying to win matches; this year it was just to organise them in the first place. After Geoff Hales stepped down from running the club - and fair enough, having done so almost single-handedly for three decades - it fell to a loosely organised "management team" of Daniel Mortlock, Dave Williams and Nicky Mellish to "take the club forward" into a new era of prosperity. It wasn't at all clear exactly how - of if - this was going to work, but the happy news post-season is that the transition was surprisingly smooth. In 2010 Remnants had a full list of 39 fixtures and fielded full elevens (except on the occasions we expaneded to twelve) for every single match.

Having passed the hurdle of getting onto the field, it's also pleasing to be able to report that we played some pretty good cricket, too. Of the 39 fixtures, 6 were cancelled without a ball being bowled and 3 were internal; of the 30 external games that went ahead we won 17 and lost 12, the remaining game being abandoned. Whilst it's not quite the 2:1 ratio of wins to losses that the club has been able to boast for most of its 800-game history, it represents definite progress after a couple of seasons in which the improving standard of Cambridge evening cricket has seen us struggle to break even. (And even the one abandonment was significant, as it meant we came away from the season with a 1-0 record against Cambridge Granta, something not too many clubs - including Remnants in the past - have been able to boast.)

The secret of our (moderate) success seems to have been consistency - not a concept that is often linked to Remnants cricket. Six batsmen scored more than 100 runs at an average of over 30.00; or, alternatively, six batsmen scored over 200 runs at an average of greater than 25.00. Of these, pride of place goes to John Richer, who comfortably topped the aggregates and the averages with 415 runs at 46.11. However the deeds of Tom Jordan also demand mention: he came second in the batting with 282 runs at 40.29, topped the bowling averages with a fantastic return of 25 wickets at 9.64, took 5 catches, and even managed a few spectacular run outs. All in all Tom managed one of the best all-round season's efforts in Remnants history. Maybe even more important, though, was that the bowling, like the batting, was far from a one-man show: five players took 10 or more wickets at under 16.00, and ten took 7 or more wickets at under 20.00.

The one mild side-effect of all these great team efforts is that there weren't too many truly spectacular individual performances - the highest innings was Nick Clarke's 78 (off 46 balls) in the two-innings Charities XI game, and the only two four-wicket hauls were Tom's 4/11 against a weak Tektronix batting line-up and Joe White's Remnants-best 4/21 coming off a two-pace run-up in the dark against The President's XI. In the end even the much-coveted Champagne moment seemed to have been awarded (by Geoff at the annual dinner) to John Richer as much for his overall season's efforts as for the cited diving catch.

All in all, it was possible to entertain fantasies of Remnants elevens operating as cohesive units in the seasons to come . . .