Report by Daniel Mortlock:
Both Remnants and The Techonology Partnership (TTP) were pretty slow arriving tonight - Remnants agreed to field first because they only had five players, but we only had nine when captain Joe White began to set his field. Last of these onto the ground was Daniel Mortlock, who was starting to amble off to third-man when Joe, now at the top of his run, directed him to first slip (despite never having held a proper edge in over a decade of Cambridge cricket). And so of course the laws of physics would now allow nothing other than that Joe's rather wide loosener to be edged out of 'keeper Rob Harvey's reach and into a disbelieving Daniel's hands.
This perfect start, combined with the fact that TTP's captain had made various statements about "being short of players" and "some of them never having played cricket before", gave the sense that we were set for a relaxing evening of casual dominance with fielders crowded 'round the bat and all the batsmen getting their one over of the season. But it wasn't to be: despite not having the cultured stylings of The CB XI line-up who slaughtered us last night, TTP's batsmen more than held their own by doing the simple things well: dispatching the bad balls and running hard and often. Our bowling was okay - Joe (1/13), Daniel (1/23), Andy Bell (2/14) and Tom Jordan (1/40) all got wickets, and Julius Rix and Adrian Mellish (both 0/16) were unlucky not to - but the fielding was abysmal. It was bad enough to drop simple catches and concede some disastrous overthrows, but even worse was the general feeling of malaise, with no energy off the ball (as exemplified by the near total lack of backing up). As a result TTP managed to trundle along at more than a run a ball - and that's even before the final over blow-out that saw 25 runs come from Tom's last 8 balls (and ensured that he established a new Remnants record for most runs conceded in a week: 86).
Still, we had plenty of batting and there seemed to be a generally relaxed sense that we'd be able to get the runs. Our top order kept us in touch, as Tom Serby (38 off 35 balls) continued his good early-season form, but then it turned out that TTP were short a bowler, and that was just about that. TTP's captain manfully stepped into the breach and saw 46 runs clubbed from his 19 deliveries, although he did get the wicket of Martin Law (11 off 5 balls) when Martin couldn't resist trying to despoit a straight ball in the same place he'd landed the marginally wider previous delivery. That left Tom Jordan (21 off 13 balls) and Daniel Mortlock (37 off 24 balls) to put together a rather enjoyable partnership at about two runs a ball . . . although it was rather poetic that both were dismissed with the end in sight, as that gave ex-TTP man Julius Rix (2* off 2 balls) a chance to bat, albeit briefly, against his erstwhile team-mates.
Given the hidings we've taken so far this year (losses by 92 runs, 8 wickets and 121 runs), any sort of win is welcome, although given how under-manned TTP was tonight it's not clear that we'd have gotten through if they'd been at full-strength. That said, Remnants is also some way off full-strength at the moment, with half the top order out injured and plenty of regular bowlers missing through injury or work commitments (or both). Indeed, we're in danger of being out-numbered by our support crew: at tonight's game we had not just Geoff, Sal and Nicky in attendance, but also visits by Russell Woolf, Dave Williams, Andrew Lea, Dave Green and Richard Rex (and Dave Norman, but that's obviously a bit different). At this rate we'll have to introduce a new "non-playing member" category, or charge admission to the ground . . .