Report by Daniel Mortlock:
A new opposition today, in the form of the rather lengthily-named Trinity College High Table - Remnants has only played eight teams with longer names in our 35.5-year history (and most of those have been cheats with "XI" or "Players" tacked on the end). The Tory government's auserity measures, which now extend all the way to match report word counts, mean that we can't refer to our opposition by their full name and, after careful consultation with a pre-mixed Marks & Spencer gin 'n' tonic on the 21:15 back to London, it has been decided that, for purposes of brevity, they will be referred to as, er, . . . hmmm, well no obviously mocking abbreviation is apparent, so maybe just TCHT, which sounds like some sort of new legal street-high that Young People are using in place of White Lightning. Certainly the make-up of TCHT was largely mysterious, with most of their number unknown to us - no bad thing - although there were four players who've previously turned out for Remnants: captain Cam Petrie (who's played for us 3 times); Robin Eddington (11 Remnants games); James McNamara (1 Remnants game); and Richard Rex (115 Remnants games and already an according-to-Hoyle club legend). It will not surprise you to learn that only two of the above have any official Trinity connections, but that all played significant roles in the drama that unfolded.
TCHT won the toss and chose to bat, which led to a rather anarchic few overs for us: we began with Andy Owen behind the wicket, despite the fact he wasn't in the selected eleven, and the first four overs were delivered by four different bowlers, Shoaib Shahid (0/4) being rewarded for a good over of leg-spin by getting 'keeping duties from over 3 onwards. The batsmen made full use of this - and a couple of dropped catches - to race to 71/1 in the 7th (eight-ball) over, being bowled by Catherine Owen (1/21). Her final ball was well flighted but a bit high, and when Cam came down the track to turn it into a full toss it seemed we it would soon by a surely disastrous 77/1 . . . but he didn't quite get hold of it and instead lobbed the ball straight to Samuel Serby, who held a nice catch. Catherine had thus made a well-deserved breakthrough - she'd continued her good from from last week, and was unlucky that a couple of other chances went down off her bowling - and we finally had some respite.
With the pitch not providing much movement, the rest of the innings was about containment, something we managed pretty well for the most part, as Daniel Mortlock (0/23), Naveen Chouksey (0/16) and Remnants first-timer Khuzaimah Saeed (0/15) all proved hard to get away. Add in some sharp close-in stops by Faruk Kara (who, despite currently topping the wicket-taking list for the season, didn't get a bowl), John Moore and Dave Williams and we'd really managed to haul things back, the total after 12 overs being a much less stressful 102/3. We finally got some wickets in the last few overs, as Joe White (1/38) and Felix Serby (2/9, to go with an hilariously casual low catch off Joe's bowling) added to their season's tallies, although a few late boundaries meant that TCHT finished on a decidedly decent 138/5. A month ago that would have been sub-par, but with the pitch likely to keep low as the temperature dropped it was clear they were ahead at half-time.
Pleasingly, this was much less clear half an hour later. After Dave Williams, (who'd raced to 8 off 4 balls) had been given out caught off what most of the fielders seemed to think was a bump ball, the younger Serbies put on a master class of placement and running, scampering along at 10 an over. It was a joy to watch - except from the perspective of scorers Daniel and Joe, to whom the two batsmen appeared nearly identical: while Felix is shorter than Samuel, the fact that they were generally separated by 22 yards made direct height comparisons difficult; and Naveen's claim that one had a slightly paler blue helmet merely revealed his "superior" eyesight in the gloom.
After 5 overs we were 49/1 and needed "just" 90 off 80 balls - far from trivial, obviously, but well within the Serbies' grasp. Unfortunately, we then got a bowling change, a soft dismissal (Samuel out for 23 off 25 balls, bowled by a ball that he "just missed"), and then another entry in John Moore's sad 2015 tale of LBWs. 53/3 didn't look so rosy and, while Felix continued to score freely, our middle order did not, with John (1 off 3 balls), Shoaib Shahid (3 off 15 balls) and Joe White (1 off 9 balls) all struggling to deal with a ball that was now keeping very low - and increasingly hard to see.
We scored just 29 runs (and lost 3 wickets) during the middle third of our innings, and by the time Daniel Mortlock came out to join Felix we were all but lost - although it wasn't quite clear how much trouble we were in, as the enforced change of scorers (and of scoreboard operator, Keith Turner having made a surprise appearance to take on that role) meant that our total was put up as 195 after 11, when in fact 12 overs had been bowled and, sadly, we weren't 56 runs past our target. Indeed, it turned out we needed 49 runs from 30 balls, a pace that Daniel and Felix briefly matched, largely in overthrows. We'd presumed the highlight on this front was an earlier incident where one of the TCHT fielders attempted a run out, but somehow managed to throw the ball vertically, allowing a second run while the ball was coming back down to him; but now we got an even more absurd sequence in which an easy single turned into a two when the first return sped past the 'keeper, and then into a three when the second return evaded the increasingly irate bowler (our own Richard Rex), and then almost into a four when the third return was also a bit wild . . but by now most of the team was backing up and the ball was eventually brought under control. Having scored 18 runs in 10 deliveries there was suddenly hope, but a silly run out (Daniel gone for 5 off 5) and a pressure-induced stumping (Felix gone for a fantastic 58 off 44) meant we were done. With the light now as low as the bounce, Faruk Kara (2 off 7 balls), Catherine Owen (1 off 7 balls) and Khuzaimah Saeed (1* off 2 balls) did well to ensure we weren't bowled out - although number eleven Naveen Chouksey had complete confidence in them, not even getting padded up.
TCHT thus ran out comfortable winners by 26 runs, although despite this margin there was a curious symmetry about the two teams' efforts, with two batsmen in each side getting most of the runs, mid-innings scoring lulls, and almost perfectly matched contenders for man of the match. They had James McNamara, who scored 58 off 46 balls and took 2/8 off his 2 overs; we had Felix Serby, who scored 58 off 44 balls and took 2/9 off his 2 overs. Felix bowled James; James had Felix stumped off his bowling. The meaning of all this is open to question - although it probably all seems more significant when high on TCHT.
Report by TCHT captain Cam Petrie:
Trinity High Table ventured north of the river today to play the Remnants CC. Some of us had played for the Trinity BAs against the Remnants in 2011 (a fairly comprehensive loss), and in the mean time several High Table stalwarts have played games for Remnants and their related Saturday league team Romsey Town, so this was nonetheless a game against familiar opposition. Winning the toss, Captain Cameron elected to bat, and decided against the staggered batting order that hadn't worked against Autonomy two weeks ago.
Cameron (29 off 24 balls) set out to open with Jason Sepetauc (3 off 2 balls), and although they raced to 6/0 mid-way through the first over, Cameron then called for a quick single that left Jason stranded metres from his crease. Cameron appeared to be suffering from selective deafness as he had somehow failed to hear Jason's loud "NO!" Luckily, this setback only slowed things down until the third over, when Cameron hit the Remnants captain for a pair of beefy straight drives to and over the straight boundary. New bat James McNamara (58 off 46 balls) quickly got into the action and smashed the Remnants second change quick bowler for a pair of equally beefy pull shots to and over the mid-wicket boundary. We quickly raced to 71/1 in the 7th (eight-ball) over before Cameron miss-hit a pull shot and lobbed the ball in range of the fleet of foot teen-Remnant (Samuel Serby) fielding at deep square leg.
This brought Richard Rex (18 off 27 balls) to the wicket, and he and James kept the score ticking, though with less speed than previously as the bowling became more restrictive. Richard was eventually bowled by another speedy teen-Remnant (Felix Serby), and keen to spur us on in the final few overs, James belted four more boundaries from the Remnants quick bowled before he too was bowled. Robin Eddington (3 off 10 balls), Patrick Nielson (5* off 4 balls) and Kshitij Sabnis (2* off 3 balls) were all able to bunt runs off the last two overs, so that we ended on a robust but not entirely imposing 138/5 from our 15 (8 ball) overs.
The Remnants response was swift and merciless, as Jyothish Soman (0/23 of 3 overs) was hit for 9 off his first over, and Nick Hancox (1/25 off 2 overs) was hit for two quick boundaries backward of point before an attempted third cut shot caught an edge and lobbed the ball to Vaughan Wittorf at point. Several of our fielders had no doubt that this was a catch and barely appealed, while the rest thought that it was a bump ball and kept schtum. The umpire gave the batsmen out. This wicket brought the Serby brothers together, and they spent the next four overs exploiting all of the gaps and half gaps in our field by taking ones, twos and even cheeky threes, while also managing to give Vaughan an extensive fielding workout at backward point. With the game quickly running away from us, Robin Bhattacharyya (2/18 off 3 overs, and playing in his first High Table game for two years) was brought on and immediately halted the rot, bowling Samuel Serby and then the Remnants number 4 in his first over. Although Felix Serby was still at the wicket and scoring well, his batting partners were now notably less speedy, and the Remnants number 5 was soon run out. Richard Rex (1/12 off 1 over) came on and secured another wicket with his second ball, but the arrival of the Remnants captain Daniel Mortlock (5 off 5 balls) saw the return of the decisive/cheeky running between the wickets and a period of woeful fielding from High Table as we handed them runs both in the field and from wild and misdirected throws. Luckily this ultimately led to a run out, and we returned to some semblance of control. In the 13th over, James (2/8 off 2 overs) was finally able to dismiss Felix Serby (58 off 44 balls) by making the most of a loss in concentration and having him stumped by Kshitij. Cameron (0/3 off 1 over) came on for the 14th over and managed to maintain the pressure, while James snared another wicket and bowled out the last over with Remnants stalled at 112/8 from their 15 (8 ball) overs.
In the end our victory by 26 runs was fairly comprehensive, and that combined with the beer available at the Fitzwilliam pavilion made this a perfect end to the TCHTCC season.