Old Cranleighans 200-4 dec (41 overs)
SCCC 201-4 (41.3 overs)
Won by 6 wickets
of the game may think this result peculiar in the way that
several higher grade cricket matches in recent years have
been - for the formbook made us serious underdogs. The Old
Cranleighan side was neither their youngest nor strongest
but contained enough glitterati to overcome the Cryptics nine
times out of ten. OC's had played five games in the week without
losing to teams containing First Class and Test Match players.
We had (rightly) not been deemed worthy of a fixture since
four thrashings 1993-1996, so were honoured to be invited
back to play the 'Golden Oldies' under the stewardship of
occasional Cryptic, Martin Williamson.
After winning the
toss and electing to field, the Cryptics restricted OC's to
32-2 in the first hour, Goss (8-3-14-1) and Kowalski (8-3-22-1)
swinging the ball beautifully. Talented veteran GB hockey
ace David Westcott survived three chances on his way to 50
and the Watkinson brothers, Sam (68) and Henry (46*), did
the rest with clean hitting and a bit of luck - Henry being
dropped four times in five balls off the hapless Grindrod,
all in the deep, in the closing overs. Meantime, debutant
left arm spinner Ed Dyson had a first over to remember. A
wicket with his first ball looked likely as Polish Kowalski
got under a skier only to drop it. More remarkably the over
contained seven full tosses and one that pitched. Greenhough
bowled five expensive overs but stole two good wickets and
Follies Farm ringer David Leng was predictably mean in conceding
33 from ten overs. How Paul Goss - fielding 'on the boundary'
- managed to let consecutive catches go over his head for
four, only he can explain.
Kowalski, Grindrod, Seeckts relax as victory unfolds
was sporting, given that the Cryptics had bowled only 41 overs
in two and a half hours and would have received 44 had the
game gone the distance.
The reply started
poorly, runs proving hard to find off Sam Watkinson and PJL
Rollings who removed Hope-Dunbar and Cupit cheaply. Wright
anchored the innings while allowing (or forcing?) firstly
debutant South African Graham McLean (46) and then Leng (32)
to apply their natural aggression. Grindrod played coolly
for 30* late on, the match being won with 2.3 overs to spare.
No less than three Cryptics were padded up to bat at the end,
marvelling at the absence of any form of collapse and Wright's
ability to bat for two and three quarter hours without a Camel
and still being able to run threes to the last.
This was truly
an innings to justify missing his first born's ninth birthday
party. He remained calm all day, allowed those around him
to seek the glory in vain, and those future students of the
game will recognise the 70* he scored at Cranleigh as a 43
year old as one of his finest days as a Cryptic. Later on
he rolled out of the pub suggesting to the captain that we
couldn't have written it better. The captain's secret of another
giant killing? - not to allow himself to bat or bowl in the
30 overs per side
FAS about 70-2 (15 overs)
A rain ruined farce
of a day. Men who know English weather and cricket well might
have thought better of encouraging a midweek side to travel
to Warwickshire on a morning when all but blind optimists
knew a meaningful game of cricket was impossible. The beer
was cheap, the club sandwiches excellent, but the tedious
journey plus a wet and windy hour in the field left many wondering
why. Big Jim took two fine catches but the game was not deemed
SCCC 151 all out
Lost by 5 wickets
A scorching day,
riddled with incident, saw the Cryptics regress about eight
years which, since many of the team came from that era, was
not too surprising. 10 players, lousy batting, about a dozen
dropped catches, poor fielding and a teatime set to with the
opposing captain made it a day to forget, but we won't.
Seeckts and Wright
opened but when 23-0 became 25-3 the former began to bat like
a total sheet anchor, amassing 8 of the 49 scored before edging
to slip. Wright had nicked a good one to the 'keeper, Hogben
spooned a bad one to mid off and Ware ran himself out. Renowned
for his good arm, the puppy then gave a fine display of bat
throwing and later in the field gave the same treatment to
the rest of his toys. Rizwan clattered a few again, PAJA and
B-W were unable to repeat Claygate 2000, Pow was brilliantly
run out and it was left to Tommy Hope-Dunbar (49) and Greenhough
(22) to restore some respectability with some lusty blows.
Debutant number 11 Nick Andrew watchfully kept Jimmy
company while they added 18 but at 150-9 the home side marched
off the field, thus providing the first known instance of
the fielding captain calling the declaration.
Then the fun started
and lively debate resulted in the Cryptics batting on after
tea, comically adding only a wide to the score before Greenhough
over ambitiously holed out.
B-W's second (and
last) over went for 18 but Pow and Andrew Snr bowled with
great control for long spells. However, with a small total
to defend and fielders who had spent the tea interval smearing
butter all over their hands we never had a chance. Greenhough
more than repaid the wides and Nick Andrew's first ball for
the club sailed straight through the puppy for the winning
We probably rescued
the fixture for next year in the pub, where the "impoverished
Scot" Hope Dunbar provided another Cryptic first by shamelessly
buying a (small) jug of lager shandy. The kind of thing
even James Andrew Donald MacDonald didn't quite have the nerve
to do. Summed up the day really.
Bounders 179-7 (35 overs)
SCCC 185-4 (30.1 overs)
Won by 4 wickets
As trouncings go,
this was particularly satisfying - not least for a captain
whose refusal to bat or bowl in the match served first to
ensure, and then to hasten the victory. The Cryptics are rapidly
learning the tricks of the limited overs game and keep surprising
opponents this year.
stole the show, marching his hangover to the crease with 111
runs required from 17 overs at 6.5 per over. Brutal boy that
he is, he sauntered off with 71 to his name, five overs to
spare, the ball lost in a car park and the Bounders in tatters.
Earlier the Cryptic bowlers had done themselves proud. The
Bounders were off to a lively start, but soon pegged back
by some surprisingly intelligent bowling from all the bowlers,
McLoughlin, Goss and Andrew, and later Edwards and Grindrod.
Kowalski also bowled. Edwards 6-2-13-1 was hugely impressive
in the circumstances, and briefly others began to think he
was Richard Hadlee too.
The target of 180
was reasonable on a good pitch and fast outfield. Andrell
(30) and Wright (24) carved 33 from the first six overs before
reaching the doldrums and doing well to fend off very tight
bowling for a while. Cupit biffed 5 at more than a run a ball,
Rizwan clouted 35 at a similar rate, bouncing one drive off
the sightscreen and David Grindrod was there at the end on
16 having cleared the sightscreen by a distance. They were
all overshadowed by the belligerent South African -scoring
as many runs in 12 overs as his uncle had in the last 12 years.
Sumptuous drives and savage pulling are his trademarks, but
here was proper batting for there was defence too when required.
The Bounders toured
the Cayman Islands in May, a gift from the captain to his
players for winning al 18 games they played in 2002. At least
he might be relieved the two year unbeaten run is at an end.
We play them again at Follies Farm on 24 August. Young McLoughlin
will be in Australia. Who's paying for his ticket?
Cobham 206-8 dec
The Cryptics had
twelve players on the ground before the start. Obvious choice
for twelfth man, therefore, was Ross Greenwood who scored
more runs and took more wickets and catches than anybody in
2002 and had travelled from Sydney in the hope of playing
on his birthday. Great leveller, cricket.
Cobham and boldly vowing to chase anything up to 300, the
skipper's decision was looking good with the hosts reeling
at 11-3 thanks to some fine opening overs from Goss and McLoughlin.
The fourth wicket pair of Barnes and Hunt then added 95 during
which time Edwards proved that half volleys reach the boundary
and Cupit, surprise bowler of the day, discovered that canteen
bowling is not always tucked in to as it should be. Ware and
provocative Polish Kowalski then kept it tidy when Cobham
should have been looking to score fast and declare but they
showed no inclination to do either until 48 overs had been
sent down at 5 pm.
Mr Hunt had unluckily
chopped a Kowalski long hop on to his stumps for 99, an injustice
for both of them.
Left with enough
time for only 38 overs to score 207, the Cryptics were off
to an uncharacteristic flyer, Andrell falling in the ninth
over for 25 with the score on 49. Wright, the old man of the
team returning from serious illness and keen to keep his place,
hit a lively 34 containing only one single! From 89-1 we were
strangled by our own enthusiasm to beat them in the limited
time available and a young left arm spinner whose excellent
control and length reaped him 5-50. Keeping up the chase until
the ninth wicket fell gave Ware and Goss an excuse for getting
out to horrible shots (where did they go to school?), leaving
the naturally aggressive Kowalski and Edwards to stonewall
the final three overs and deprive Cobham of a win they didn't
The day was cheered
by the presence of several charming Cryptic groupies and former
players: Greenwood, Richard Atkinson and Mark McLoughlin.
Again the average age of the team was well under 40, suggesting
that we just might have a future.
35 overs per side match. Won by 21 runs
The Cryptics are not known for their mastery of limited overs
matches but this was a fine all round performance from a side
with 10 players younger than Steve Waugh (which should cause
the old boy to hang up his boots when he finds out). Evensong
decreed that the schoolmasters should bat second and the game
be restricted to 35 overs each.
36-3 in the eleventh over was cause for concern as Polish
debutant Peter Kowalski, with a reputation for giving it some
long handle, sauntered off with 2 from 11 balls. Streeter
and Mattock were also enjoying the sunshine by this stage
but colleagues in law James Hogben and Joss Dare ran themselves
ragged putting on 70 in 14 overs. Hogben eventually fell for
63 but had still not recovered his breath at the time of going
to press. Dare hit his first boundary on 39, then got himself
out twice in successive balls, first surviving a justified
appeal for a catch behind and then, laden with guilt, allowing
a straight one through. Cameos from McLoughlin, Seeckts and
Stevens added 80 in the final 12 overs and 181 looked respectable.
Top scorers from Menorca, Ware and Greenhough were listed
at No's 10 and 11 prompting mild grumpiness.
The vast expanse of Cranleigh's outfield has proved the undoing
of Cryptic fielding sides in the past but this was a bowling
and fielding show to live in the memory. A masterstroke of
captaincy saw Brooke-Webb open the bowling, his tidy dobbers
in sharp contrast to the hostile fare hurled down by McLoughlin
from the other end. Stand in wicketkeeper Ware, who kept brilliantly
throughout, was wringing his hands in pain several times early
steadily but were soon behind the clock and looking to their
cream, Boddington and Kemp to pull them back into the match.
Kowalski took care of them both in the space of three balls,
first having Boddington somewhat surprisingly caught at mid
on by Greenhough, then shattering Kemp's stumps. The Cryptics
tightened their grip further as Greenhough and the all too
occasional Harry Stevens were shown due reverence, and by
the time Dare, Mattock and Seeckts lobbed some cafeteria stuff
in the final six overs, the game was won.
As the school chapel
bell rang for evensong, the Cryptice bells jingled once more.
Putney CC 142 all out (36.3 overs)
SCCC 143-7 (23.3 overs)
Won by 3 wickets
The Club Captain
could not make the journey to SW15, saving his ticket for
NW8 later in the week, so in his absence the Pup skippered
the side (and wrote this garbage, Ed.). On his debut as captain
he won the toss and after one look at a classic Putney track
had no hesitation in putting Putney in. Despite some amazing
variances in bounce Goss and Edwards struggled to find the
breakthrough as the Putney openers played their shots and
took their chances as nothing went to hand. It took the unlikely
partnership of Ware and Cupit to run out the danger man and
have Putney at 35/1. Edwards took the hint and soon bowled
out the other opener. However move over Australia and New
Zealand this was a South African show. McLoughlin Jr struck
early and bowled a lovely line and length to finish with excellent
figures of 5-32. James Murray also a Bok bowled well on debut
taking 3-17. Earlier Streeter tempted the batsmen with some
off spin, unfortunately a little too tempting and Putney looked
to be capable of making over 150. They finished on a mere142
thanks to some fantastic fielding by the Cryptics.
This was a gettable
total and there was much hope that the openers would give
us a solid start. Unfortunately Streeter, Dare and Hope-Dunbar
were back in the hutch early on as SCCC slumped to 28/3 and
when Wright, who played solidly (stolidly?) was out for 21
it became 32/4. Cupit and McLoughlin steadied the ship, until
McLoughlin skied one to midwicket. 58/5 with Putney's infamous
fast bowler Smallshaw taking wickets for fun, 142 seemed a
long way off. Murray had other ideas. Spectators and wildlife
scattered as 6 sixes and 5 fours later Murray returned to
the pavilion undefeated on 67. Murray was ably supported by
Cupit for most of his innings as he farmed the strike.
So jingle bells
again after the blip of last week, Putney had the last laugh
though, awarding Murray a revolting alcoholic drink for their
"champagne moment" and thus proving that his eye
was better than his stomach. McLoughlin senior turned
up again, drank beer and denied rumours that he was coming
out of retirement. (He wouldn't be selected after that win,
Follies Farm 211-6 (36 overs)
SCCC 175 all out (34.4 overs)
Lost by 36 runs
If there is a weakness
in the Cryptic system anywhere, it is Mickey Mouse limited
overs cricket - or perhaps playing cricket in general. Fortunately
this form of the game remains rare this side of abroad, though
Follies Farm play it every week at their magnificent Chiddingfold
We lost the toss
and effectively lost the game in the first hour as Follies'
openers blasted almost everything to leg, often to the boundary.
We rather fed their strength early on and while some of the
shots played have never appeared in a cricket book, they were
mighty effective, the 100 coming up in the twelfth over. Blamphin
and Grindrod partially recovered the situation with crafty
variation and Greenhough picked up where he left off in September,
taking 2-24 with the usual mixture of guile and lack of pace.
The highlight in the field was Pippa's screaming reflex catch
Two hours of drizzle
made the ball hard to handle and the outfield desperately
slow by teatime, so making a sucessful run chase unlikely.
When Rizwan was run out on the first ball (which Pippa uncharacteristically
hit almost to the edge of the square) it didn't look good
until the home skipper Leng benevolently called him back.
Sure we'd have done the same.
From 43-3 in the
13th we recovered to 134-5 in the 30th, Cupit leading the
way with 54, hist first 50 for the club. David Grindrod, eager
to prove a point with the bat, did so admirably by thrashing
35 in a fine stand with Ware (19) but the needless run outs
of Cupit and Ware left us with no hope. Leng brought himself
back to mop up the tail as Blamphers reminded us all that
he bats like Paula Radcliffe too.
The day was greatly
enjoyed inspite of the rain and the result, there was ample
Cryptic support including old man McLoughlin who asserted
that there wasn't a fibre in his body that wanted him to play
again. He managed the post match drink alright.
Kingstonian 56 all out
Won by 9 wickets
near perfect opening day to the season. Sunshine, won the
toss, held all our catches except two dropped and bowleds
by Pow, knocked off the runs by teatime and beat them again
in the beer match after tea. By that time 11 Cryptics had
bowled, 9 batted and 2 kept wicket.
the real game Edwards (wind assisted) and Pow (into the gale)
bowled with great control from the start and once the vital
wicket of Kychada had been taken with an excellent diving
slip catch, the hosts' resistance was broken. PAJ Andrew joined
the attack and immediately showed the benefit of all those
nets, bagging 2-6 in a tidy spell but the day's champagne
moment belonged to debutant Tony Cupit.
first clergyman to play for the Cryptics, probably the oldest
man to play too at 65, Cupit had stepped off a plane from
Washington not long before his first game of cricket for "about
20 years" and his first ever in England. Being Australian,
he was unsurprised to take a wicket with his first ball and
the spectacular catch be taken by his progeny Dwight.
finished with 5-21 aided by more acrobatic catching from the
skipper and the Puppy fielded like a puppy. Hogben was bowled
for 0 in the reply before Dwight Cupit with 35 and Pippa with
a more circumspect 15 saw us home.
mention the beer match only to appease those who (unsuccessfully)
appealed for it to be deemed first class. 12 overs a side.
We got 93-2 with B-W and Andrell retiring at 30 and umpire
Hogben unwisely triggering his lift home, Ware, and his captain.
Kingstonian were desperate to win but fell 8 short with 9
wickets down. Wickets to Ware, Andrell, Hogben, Cupit Jnr,
B-W and a stumping for Edwards. It was that silly.
we won twice. Jingle jingle bells. Stiffer tests lie ahead
but some wag was heard muttering "Ross who?"