I've been trying to come up with ideas for practice formats with limited numbers of people. At the start of the MPA 1st XI we used to have a knock about in the hall after nets where it was one bloke against everyone else, but it lacked something and the obvious thing is the running between the wickets in pairs. Then over the last couple of summers as my lads have got older we've been playing cricket on the local field sometimes in pairs, sometimes as singles, but again even in pairs the onus of the game was the individuals score. Also these variations were played in a 'Terrier cricket" style where there was a limit of two overs each and there was a tendency for the better kids to hog the Strike. So I've come up with another variation which I'm calling Pair 25's.
The idea of the game is that the onus is on the pairs to play for each other and instill the need to communicate with reach other and work together. The game can be played over as many overs as they like, so that the approach they take is up to them, but they're looking to reach 25 runs and do so on the 1st ball of a new over, because as soon as they reach the 25 they have to declare but then have the opportunity to bat out the remainder of the over. So theoretically if they reach 25 or pass 25 on the first ball of the over they can potentially hit 5 more sixes off the remainder of the balls in the over and get their score up to in excess of 55.
The partnership ends as soon as one of the pair is dismissed, but the other batsman remains to make up the new pair, so in effect good batting is rewarded with more batting. That batsman has to stay focussed and it kind of emulates a real game situation. The format suits our new set up where we've been practicing in tennis courts and the like and would probably suit indoor cricket in sports halls. But the potential of it is that it appears to work quite well using a backyard cricket approach to it http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backyard_cricket and if you've got 10 or more players you can even have 2 umpires. But in a small area it seems to be workable with as little as six people.