Report by Daniel Mortlock:
We didn't even get close to having this match: The Cavendish Laboratory had decided to draw a line under the 2020 cricket season long before match-day; and Churchill College wasn't yet allowing cricket to be played there. We toyed with the idea of an away match at Saffron Walden, but with car-sharing ill-advised at best it was (literally) a bridge too far.
But then, just two days before, the nominal start time, the Sharks organiser got in contact with us, and less than 24 hours later we had a confirmed fixture . . .
Report by Cam Petrie:
A significantly different Remnants side took the field against Sharks for our second match of the 2020 seasons at Fen Ditton. Not sure which version of Sharks would turn out today, but confident that we had good batting and bowling stocks, yours truly won the toss and sent Sharks in. This was before remembering that we only had nine players at the ground at that point, as one (Kanwar Singh) had a flat tyre on his bicycle, and another (Minaam Abbas in his first game for Remnants) was having trouble finding the ground.
Ben Stone (1/10 off 4 overs) opened up at the Pavillion end, and immediately put the ball in the corridor of uncertainty, despite not having bowled for the last eight months. Naveen Chouksey (or perhaps "Chuxy"!?! 3/31 off 4 overs) came on from the other end and kept things tight, so that by the time Kanwar and Minaam arrived in the third over, Sharks were limping at 7/0. One Sharks opener decided enough was enough and smeared a few boundaries before a fabulous slower ball from Naveen opened our account. Stoney grabbed an LBW in the next over, and Saad Shoukat (1/23 off 4 overs) came on and snaffled another wicket. More action came as a Sharks batter appeared to put his shoulder out and left the field, and their number one batsman retired once passing the agreed 30, so we were effectively half-way through the order in the 11th over with 64 runs on the board. John Moore (0/20 off 3 overs) and Kanwar (0/18 off 2 overs) came in for a bit of stick as the Sharks middle order cut loose, but the number of dot balls told, so that when Naveen returned to the attack, he was able to draw one into a lofted shot that was well caught by Sam Thomas. Naveen and Craig Driver (0/23 off 3 overs) bowled us home, and left Sharks on a solid but unimposing 137/5. By and large our fielding was great, including excellent keeping from Marcus Baker, and generally clean takes from everyone except the skipper, who managed to get a smashed fingernail and a bruised knee all in one go. Minaam was tireless having been asked (by Saad?!) to field at cow from both ends, and he was constantly in the game.
Unlike last week, our batting started solidly, as Sam (30* retired off 26 balls) and John Platten (15 off 18 balls) saw off the opening spinner and a much faster and more erratic bowler trundling in from the non-pavillion end with a ball release that involved a noticably straightening arm (. . .). John was unfortunate enough to be trapped LBW in the 9th over with our score at a reasonable 54/1. While there were a few muttered words about how long our bowling had taken due to the need for sanitising breaks, any concerns were proven unnecessary as Marcus (23* off 16 balls), Kanwar (30* retired off 13 balls) and Cam Petrie (26* off 13 balls) went to town on the nicely paced and helpfully placed bowling. Hitting six to win with the scores tied was a little bit of overkill, but really showed that we totally bossed this chase, and were able to zoom past the Sharks total with five overs to spare.
While it was odd to be keeping our distances and coming off the field every six overs (largely due to us [or perhaps the captain] not realising that we should have had personalised hand sanitisers to avoid that problem . . .), it was lovely to be playing cricket again on a i balmy evening.
One in the victory column for Remnants in 2020.