Report by Daniel Mortlock:
This evening's Remnants vs. Remnants match began in the pub, with Daniel and Andy horse-trading over the teams that they would lead in this evening's game (as well as deflecting the attentions of an aged regular who insisted Daniel had "a lovely smile" and seemed to be trying to wheedle his phonenumber from Andy). The two elevens were split up pretty evenly, although one rather glaring omission was that we ended up without names for our two sides. One possibility was to split according to country of birth, but that would have been rather unfair to the six players not born on this island as they attempted to take on the sixteen who were. There was also talk of splitting down political lines, with a Remain vs. Brexit match, but this never really got any traction, hopefully because nobody's silly enough to be in the latter camp. (Probably just as well Nick Clarke's retired from Remnants.) In the end we settled on the Green Remnants (led by Daniel) and the Red Remnants (led, you'll be astounded to know, by Andy). Horribly unoriginal and meaningful only because that was the colour of the pens used to circle the players during the selection process.
The match was set for 22 overs a side (i.e., a semi-Malik), with batsmen to retire on 40 (which it is tempting to inform Cambridge's tech companies is "Remnants rules"). After a toss that neither captain seemed to want to win Daniel elected to field first, partly so that Joe White could finally get access to a physically (as opposed to metaphorically) new ball, but mainly so he could put his feet up with a beer for the second half of the evening.
While there were plenty of club veterans playing - eight of the nine people with 250+ Remnants games were present, with only Tony Malik missing - the key early contest was between two players with just one previous appearnace for the club, as Ramiz Muhammad (0/17) had an ultimately unsuccessful crack at Adeel Khursheed (22). The first breakthrough came at the other end, where Joe White (1/25) induced Dave Williams (14 off 11 balls) to chip the ball to Robin Eddington at mid-off, who somehow managed to hold the ball between the tips of three fingers. This led into a sequence of rather poor dropped catches, before the game reached its first - and maybe most - critical moment, with Dave Norman coming in second drop for the Red Remnants.
The Greens' slowest bowlers, Quentin Harmer (1/30), Phil Watson (0/20) and Daniel Mortlock (0/8, strictly in spin-mode) were then brought on to try and deny Dave the pace (or "pace") which he deals with all too easily, and were largely successful. There were some setbacks - most notably when a full-toss from Quentin hit the batsman's pad below the knee-roll but the resultant LBW appeal was rendered moot as there had already been a "no ball" call for height - and while Dave did eventually reach the retirement score of 40*, it was far more significant that it took him the best part of 10 overs to do get there. Julius Rix (23) and John Moore (15) then helped get the Red Remnants up to a decent total, while Robin Eddington (2/1) and Samuel Serby (1/12) both made breakthroughs, the highlight of which was when Sam induced his brother Felix (6) to miscue a shot into the safe - or at least large - hands of Phil Watson (who last grabbed multiple catches in a Remnants match exactly 11 years ago).
The Green Remnants' chase began with Ramiz Muhammad (16 off 10 balls) announcing himself to the club with some enormous drives, one of which was the game's first six. He looked good to brutalize his way to retirement, but unfortunately his running wasn't quite as good as his hitting, and after a couple of mix-ups with partner Tom Serby the inevitable happened when he called Tom through for what should have been a comfortable single . . . but, when Tom refused, Ramiz found himself stranded mid-pitch when Adeel Khursheed's throw hit the stumps. Robin Eddington (11 off 16 balls) would have perished in much the same way, but for the fact that Red Remnants 'keeper Rob Harvey demolished the stumps without the ball in his hands. When Samuel Serby (10 off 9 balls) joined his father, Andy immediately brought Felix Serby (0/29) back on to bowl, and while he couldn't get Sam out with his bowling, he did have a hand - well, strictly two - in his dismissal, when John Moore (2/25) saw his first ball smacked to the square-leg boundary where Felix and Dave Norman converged on it, Felix calling Dave off at the last second and taking the most nonchalant of catches. But any question about who's boss of the Serby household was answered decisively by Tom, who smashed some huge boundaries off Felix's bowling before retiring on 40* off 29 balls.
Tom's innings had put the Green Remnants well ahead of the chase, and their position was then cemented by Remnants veterans Phil Watson (12 off 14 balls, despite cramping up) and Nick Johnson (18 off 14 balls). The highlight of their partnership was some great drives by Nick that went all the way to the boundary - although in one case only because Adeel obligingly trotted along beside the ball until it came to rest just a few inches over the line. Still, Adeel made up for this when he caught Phil off the bowling of Andy Owen (1/27), who interrupted his spell of experimental leg-spin bowling to unveil the new "run out of ideas ball with a twist" - literrally, a pirouette having been added to the 45-degree run up. The result was broadly successful, in the sense that it was a dot ball that slid past Daniel Mortlock's attempted leg-glance and into his ankle, but not the wicket the Red Remnants needed. Daniel (23* off 24 balls, despite some uncalled for hairstyle-based sledging) and Quentin Harmer (10* off 11 balls) seemed to be calmly finishing the job their top order started, although Julius Rix (0/5) did manage to take things to the last over when, thanks in part to some superb stops by Dave Williams and Andy, he conceded just the one run from from the penultimate over. But 2 runs just wasn't enough to defend, as Dave (0/4) found his reward for helping take the game to the final over was that he was going to have to bowl it, the result of which was a beamer and the winning runs.
After (nearly) 44 overs, 285 runs and 11 wickets it was definitely time for a drink, which we had plenty of thanks to generosity from Sally, Phil and Steve Gull (who'd just turned up to watch). The latter two, along with Nick and Dave, even made it to The Tandoori Palace, but the rest of us were happy to head home for a healthy kale and qunioa salad (maybe).