Report by Grant Kennedy:
In the greatest of early season cricket traditions, the weather as we approached the anticipated early start time of 5:45pm was deteriorating. Breaking tradition however, the opposition were not only present when I arrived at about 5:30pm, but enthusiastically practising. Dave Norman said they'd been doing that for an hour.
Another anomaly was their age, explained by the last-minute inabilities of both Cherry Hinton, and whoever the Cambridge University Thirds were to play [A university team from Bedford, apparently - ed.], to field a team. These unfortunate incidents had been established last night by Daniel Mortlock and Remnants/Thirds player Matt Samson, who'd quickly managed to sort out a new fixture, and thus we were to face a rather stiffer opposition than we might have expected Cherry Hinton to provide.
Bearing in mind the impressive pace attack that had been practising on my arrival, I opted to field first. Faruk Kara got us started, with an economical first over, and what was generally agreed to be a rather good, if unsuccessful, shout for LBW. The batter concerned apparently later said upon return to the pavilion "that LBW was quite close", clearly indicating that it was so close that he'd considered walking.
This early chance gave way to some rather impressive hitting by Matt Samson, who reached 44 before his captain decided his mates should be given a go too. They had plenty of time, as his retirement was at the end of the 5th (eight-ball) over, of which he spent most at the non-striker's end.
We were understandably a little demoralised at this point. Julius, having gone for 34 off two overs, gave the ball to newcomer Nathan Wright. His sixth ball for Remnants brought our first wicket, their other opener out bowled. The next ball was equally good, caught behind by yours truly, and our spirits returned. The field moved in for the hat-trick ball, which was also good but was just a dot ball.
With two new batsmen, the tides looked like they might turn, which was good given they had 68 runs off only 6 overs. Nathan's second over had brought a third wicket, a high ball ably caught by Julius, and at the start of his third Andy Owen decided he needed to get 5 on debut. This ambition was brought closer by another man out bowled, and the field came in to maximise our chances of the fifth. Andrew Granville was brought to a widish first slip, allowing an edge to pass through the gap. This gap was plugged, and the next ball was dutifully snicked and cleanly caught by Andrew. Five wickets for Nathan on debut, thanks to his ability to bowl a great line, some good Remnants catching, and Andy's enthusiasm.
The Thirds finished with a bit of good old fashioned clubbing, thus retaining a bit of dignity towards the end. Nevertheless, we felt we'd done well having kept them to 130, off 13 x 8-ball overs, not that much more than a run a ball really.
We might only be half way through the game at this point, but there's not that much more actually. The impressiveness of the Thirds' bowlers in practise was matched by our inability to score runs off them in our innings. Todd Bridgman, fresh from down under for a season's sabbatical, was tentative for several overs before making a couple of super strikes through the covers. He had brought a full cheerleading team in his kids, who also knew how to keep score and say things like "that was a pretty bad piece of fielding". From the mouths of babes . . .
Repeated cut attempts by Tom Serby yielded a few runs, but mostly dot balls; 26 in total for his 7 runs. [Tom's innings of 7 off 33 balls is in the "top" ten slowest Remnants innings, at least where the balls faced were recoreded. - ed.] With Tom, Todd, and John Young (#3) back in the shed we had just 19 off 7 overs, and Michael McCann and I tried to up things a little. We put on nearly 30, but it was clear the ask was a bit steep. In the second to last over, Michael faced their fastest bowler in the fading light (a.k.a dark), which was apparently OK because he wan't using his full run up. Despite the slower pace, Michael's gentle upper-cut to a wide delivery sailed easily over the backward point boundary. We ended not with a bang, but with 66 for our efforts.
We could have done better with the bat, but their bowling was definitely a cut above the typical weekday standard. We could be proud with our fielding effort, and enjoyed a pint or two courtesy of Julius and Nathan after. A bit cold to sit outside, but summer is on the way. I promise.