SCCC 165-8 (40 overs)
Ottershaw 150 all out (39 overs)
Won by 15 runs
SCCC won the toss, 40 over match
With only seven
players on the ground at the scheduled start time, none of
whom could keep wicket, the decision to bat first was easy.
On a beautiful day, with a respectably long batting line up
and a pitch that looked full of runs, the Cryptic plan was
to score 240 in style, then play festival cricket after tea,
use 10 or 11 bowlers and Jingle Bell our way to Malta. It
wasn't quite that easy.
Ed Dyson became
Pippa's 437th opening partner and, like so many before him,
outscored the veteran at the first attempt. Their solid foundation
was made to look better by the relative shambles that followed
as the Cryptics tried in vain to get that big score. Truth
was that the bowling was better and the pitch more tricky
than first thought. At 102-6 after 29 overs the skipper was
having kittens. The Aussies, Geraint Cupit and Shane Skarott
took the innings by the scuff of the neck. Cupit scored four
and watched Skarott biff a farrier's 38*. The Andrew twins
- separated by 40 years and 8 stone - held out for long enough
to prevent any humiliation for Seeckts, listed to go in number
The perceived lack
of serious Cryptic bowling options (there are always
plenty of comic ones) saw Grindrod and the captain open.
The former was the more successful by a distance as a score
of 30-3 after 10 overs showed. Greenhough had an off day,
Peter Andrew performed stoutly with the ball but crucially
dropped A. Summers on about 15. Summers went on to get 72
and, but for the dreary accuracy of Scott and improbable turn
from Skarott, would probably have won the match for Ottershaw.
Modesty prevents your correspondent from describing a brilliant
run out. Grindrod took the final wicket with one over to spare
and the season ended with a 10th victory in 15 games.
Headley 130 (33.2 overs)
SCCC 131-6 (32.3 overs)
Won by 4 wickets
Headley won the toss
came into this game on the back of some high scoring matches.
Again the Cryptics fielded a team containing little recognised
bowling and managed to rise to the challenge, using five bowlers
with a combined weight of around 80 stone, (thanks to Tommy
H-D's recent fitness campaign).
like millionaires, but the real millionaires weren't playing
and mostly they got themselves out. Nevertheless there was
some top notch Cryptic catching from Wright, Hogben and debutant
James Mawson. Skarott's figures, 6-3-9-3 flatter the big Queenslander
and his day got worse as he watched the climax of the Trent
Bridge Test Match.
The chase looked
easier than England's parallel persuit of a similar score,
but was no less nerve jangling while Chapman, Headley's best
batsman, best bowler and captain was on. The game finished
early enough for the usual merry post match banter to be prolonged,
which was hard work for Cupit who had made his first Primary
Club contribution for the club. The run scoring had been shared
20 August 2005
Toss by arrangement
20th August is
not a bad date for the first match of the season to finish
without victory or tension, or both. The draw was tame in
the end and had there been a full Cryptic team the chase would
have continued for longer. With only Mark McLoughlin to bat
and 77 required from eight overs, the Cryptic skipper decided
(for the first time in years) to save a game that could no
longer be won. It was baffling that the Tappers made no effort
to take the last two wickets. Their defensive field included
a longstop and betrayed a team that had lost interest in a
game they could easily have won.
The roots of the
problem were the Cryptics fielding only nine players and the
Tappers' late declaration. Pre-determining a time to stop
without regard for a rapidly mounting score or the fielding
side's lack of bowling options is somewhat unsophisticated,
and setting nine men a target of 6 an over from the start
against decent bowling is unlikely to produce a thrilling
finish. That said, the Cryptic chase was off to a fine start.
Wright and Andrell took advantage of the three overs of joke
bowling offered, and debutant Cameron Matthews hit an impressive
27. Matthews' brother Fraser looked the part before chipping
one to midwicket and the final 20 overs began with 120 needed.
around but could not find his usual form. He and Seeckts got
the Cryptics to 159 but the skipper was quickly followed to
the pavilion by Cupit and Ware, leaving Skarott to partner
Andrell quietly through the final overs. Andrell had been
on 49 for eight overs when he was told his score with one
ball remaining. Suddenly he found his form.
The early part
of the game had seen Mark McLoughlin bowl 14 fine overs for
no reward. Three years after retirement he was by far the
best Cryptic bowler on show. The body that persuaded Mark
to retire is now in much better shape than three (or even
10) years ago, but the head is wise enough to make every comeback
game his "last". The rest is best described as enthusiastic
dross, but the lack of bowling is attributable not to those
who turned up, rather those who didn't. Messrs Skarott, Ware,
Cupit and Seeckts were all happy to get among the wickets,
however far away the catches were taken.
14 August 2005
SCCC 223-7 dec (49 overs)
Claygate 139 all out (39.4 overs)
WON by 84 runs
Claygate won the toss
The Cryptics have
enjoyed a very successful summer chasing totals in every game
before this, and probably would have won this game batting
second too, but the skipper called wrong again and the usual
mid August runfest at Claygate was soon under way. Wright
and Hogben cruised to the highest opening stand of the year,
72, in 16 overs before Hoggers managed to be both caught behind
and stumped off the same ball. It was as if the Claygate 'keeper
knew something about Cryptic umpiring. Pippa went on to score
71 in fine style and rescue his otherwise poor summer.
Yet another unconventional
batting order allowed us a strong tail, but Cryptic cricket
never was a meritocracy and guests and the less talented always
have their opportunities. So it was of no concern that wickets
kept tumbling in pursuit of our par Claygate score of 250.
With Grindrod (32) and Scott (25*) doing their bit, we were
never short of runs. Scott had talked himself up to such an
extent that even he was disappointed with the performance,
but a chance at the top of the order will have to wait until
he arrives before the game starts.
After tea we played
our trump card, ringer Colin Day who plays real cricket on
Saturdays and is just a tad quicker than Jimmy. Figures of
9.4-4-9-4 tell the story, although three of the wickets were
tailenders in his second spell. At the other end Goss was
accurate and faster than ever, betraying a little competition
with his (faster) mate, and restricting Claygate to 16-2 from
14 overs. Scotty had performed a marvellous run out only made
possible by his misfield at shortish leg. The buffet trolley
was wheeled out before 6 o'clock, gaping holes were left in
the field and the score grew to respectability at the beginning
of the last 20 overs.
Sadly for Claygate,
their wickets were being bought at summer sales prices with
dobbers from Skarott, Craig-Wood, Cupit and Seeckts. They
fell into the traps and unwisely heeded advice from behind
the wicket on how to play the bowling. The wicketless Goss
was doing his nut at the injustice of it all, and with nine
overs remaining Day was recalled to hasten us all to the bar.
As ever the warm welcome, hospitality and excellent tea made
it a thoroughly enjoyable day and Corinne stayed off the port
7 August 2005
Kingstonian 206-6 dec (45 overs)
SCCC 205-7 (40 overs)
Kingstonian won the toss
As the cricketing
world absorbed Australia's noble, but ultimately doomed, attempt
to overcome England at Edgbaston, the Cryptics were involved
in an equally tense finish in New Malden. Trouble was that
with two Aussies, Cupit and Goss, at the crease come the moment
of reckoning, we were probably doomed as well. That is not
to condemn two of the individuals who do so much more for
the club than many others, just to observe that if a match
is there to be won, a few Poms seem to be what are required
Six an over from
the last 20 overs with six wickets in hand is not a daunting
task for 21st century Cryptics, and so it proved as we needed
only nine from the last over. But it was not to be, and an
honourable draw was reached at 8 pm after Kingstonian had
bowled the last 20 overs in record slow time.
The chase had been
a mixed affair as Scotty biffed his second consecutive 50
in quick time after Hope-Dunbar had wacked 40 even quicker.
Glen Skarott batted 80 minutes for his 25 which was both solid
and vital, but the cuddly Queenslander is built for hitting
boundaries, and running between the wickets is not his natural
way. Wright, Hogben and Seeckts did what long serving Cryptics
are entitled to do, got a few and left the glory for others.
to bat first and slumped to 54-5 at the hands of Goss and
David Grindrod, who were then generously removed from the
attack. What followed was a masterclass in rebuilding an innings
as Sirimanne constructed a patient but classy century. The
Cryptic change bowlers were luckless, Hope-Dunbar in particular
taking punishment, and both openers had to be brought back
before the declaration. Cupit kept wicket beautifully, taking
three catches including a leg side strangle off the first
ball of the match.
As happens after
close games, several incidents were highlighted as moments
when the 'vital' two runs were missed. None, however, stood
out like the moment when T H-D hit his first six and umpire
Scotty signalled four.
31 July 2005
Crondall 218-8 dec (41 overs)
SCCC 221-8 (47.2 overs)
Won by 2 wickets
Crondall won the toss
The Cryptics eased to an impressive win to brighten up a dark
and wet evening in Crondall. The rain that had threatened
all day arrived with 31 runs needed from five overs, and three
wickets in hand. It was dark enough for fielders to move the
wrong way, wet enough for bowlers and batsmen to be sliding
around the crease, but still good enough David Grindrod and
Peter Andrew to complete a victory that had looked unlikely
for most of the day. Credit to the Crondall team for staying
out in foul conditions, and members of the Cryptic side who
were instructed to stay outside to give the impression that
the torrents were no more than drizzle.
Victory had looked
impossible at six o'clock with the board showing 60-5. Glen
Skarott opened with Wright for the first time (on the back
of offering the skipper a ticket to the Oval Test) but edged
a hook to the 'keeper. Hogben capped a miserable day in the
field with a first baller, Wright and Nick Benham got starts
but got out and 14 year old Nick Andrew played a fine shot
to deep cover and ran himself out deciding against an impossible
third. The lad's undoubted ability to bat will soon overcome
the inexperience that showed this time. Cupit and Seeckts
all but put up the shutters for a while with eight chirping
fielders around the bat. Occupation led to a few runs, then
a few big blows before the captain perished to the glaring
trap that was Crondall's best catcher posted on the cow shot
boundary. Enter Scotty who confidently pulled and cut his
way to a fine 52. Cupit continued his solid form from Shackleford
and built a patient 61, the pair adding 93 in 14 overs. The
fielders were now scattered and the chirps had been silenced.
Scotty didn't fancy batting in the rain so let Grindrod come
in and smack 22 of the last 30. Cupit narrowly failed to get
the not out he covets and when PAJA carved the second ball
of the last over past cover, soggy bells began to jingle.
This was the third consecutive 2 wicket win, each time Jimmy
Greenhough being the padded but untested last man.
The earlier part
of the day had been far less dramatic. David Grindrod bowled
well for 13-5-34-3 but the others were freely milked. The
65 runs Scotty conceded from eight overs may have been a spur
for his later heroics with the bat. Father and son Andrew
both took good catches with one hand when two would have made
more sense, and a hatful of others were dropped. Three stumping
appeals probably resulted in three bad umpiring decisions
(2-1 against us) but that was all long forgotten by the time
the smallest jugs of ale on the circuit were being drained
in The Plume of Feathers. Even Tommy H-D might have bought
one of them.
16 July 2005
Old Cranleighans 196 all out (36 overs)
SCCC 198-7 (30.1 overs)
Won by 2 wickets
SCCC won the toss
As wins over decent teams go, this was not one that will live
long in the memory. The Old Cranleighan team was brim-full
of batting but contained only one recognised bowler, Henry
Watkinson, who was saving himself for the greater rigours
of a Brewers Cup match next day. Chasing 196 was made
to look easy by Simon Parrish (46), Andrew McLoughlin (48)
and Tom Ware (28). Greg Andrell and Paul Goss finished the
job with a flurry of boundaries. Three fine catches on the
boundary was as good as the OC's got in the field.
Earlier Goss and McLoughlin had put in excellent bowling spells,
only Watkinson (55) getting the better of them. Johnson fell
to a fabulous legside catch by Andrell, and Ware held on to
two skied catches - one right out of the sun and against all
expectation. 196 was a respectable recovery from 114-7 but
the wicket was good, the outfield bone dry and the lack of
OC bowling options was quickly exposed.
10 July 2005
Shackleford 162 all out (26 overs)
SCCC 163-8 (34 overs)
Won by 2 wickets
Shackleford won the toss
A beautiful day at the charming Shackleford ground looked
like going horribly wrong as the home team openers brought
up 50 inside five overs. The fourth ball of the match was
hit far over the trees into the mushroom farm. £12 gone
and Goss' reputation on the slide again. The mayhem came at
both ends, Edwards being removed from the attack after two
overs had cost him 25 runs. Happily, the fire was put out
with Goss and the late Andrew McLoughlin bagging one danger
man each. The South African ended with 4-40 and may well leave
for Australia next month having pipped Ross Greenwood in the
career bowling averages, if three years constitutes a career.
bowled as the figures suggest, expensive shopping, PAJ Andrew
only had time for one over before Shackleford's collapse was
complete. We had to bat before tea!
Rod Edwards was
given the chance to redeem himself with the bat, and showed
how to open an innings properly. Three in 25 minutes. Benham's
25 was classy, Hope-Dunbar's 37 brutal. Dwight Cupit found
his missing form with a steady 31*, built with care while
Seeckts, McLoughlin and Goss perished, wrecklessly trying
to win the game too quickly. 44 were still needed when Andrew
strutted to the crease, with only Greenhough to follow. It
wasn't quite Claygate 2000 but all his aerial shots went into
gaps as he chipped and biffed 22*. Cupit joined in and the
blushes of others were spared.
3 July 2005
Bounders 123 all out (28.1 overs)
SCCC 127-3 (20.1 overs)
35 overs match
SCCC won the toss
The annual trip to the Bank of England ground produced its
first mismatch as a weaker than usual Bounders Xl capitulated.
The Cryptic team was short of many regulars, but the occasionals
and debutants who replaced them looked and talked like old
New boy Simon Millard was unruffled as he notched 65, being
out just before Scotty secured the win with another cheeky
not out. Keith Taylor, in his second game, again couldn't
give his wicket away. Thanks to the Ashursts boys, Hogben
and Pawson for giving the game some balance and the Bounders
a couple of wickets. Pawson's career record: 2 games,
4 catches, 1 stumping, 1 shot, 6 runs, 1 dinner. (That's more
catches than Edwards has taken in 10 years.)
The game began with Bounders' big gun Speno hitting the first
ball to the fence for the third successive year. He soon ran
his skipper out and was then triggered, LBW to an Edwards
ball that saw wicketkeeper Pawson hastily moving to his left.
The previous ball had been flogged so far out of the ground
that nobody even looked for it. Bounders reached 90-3 after
16 overs but it all went wrong for them. Their large contingent
of young South Africans was not up to the Cryptic change bowlers,
debutant Justin Sharp and Andrew Pryde. Pryde's 4-21, taken
with a mixture of good, bad and terrible balls, ripped out
the Bounders' middle and it only remained for Goss and Seeckts
to polish off the bunnies.
123 was not a challenging score on a small ground. Glen Skarott
was unable to get involved with bat or ball, but cheerfully
pondered coming on tour to Malta in the week in which his
first child is due. A fine example to several Cryptics.
25 June 2005
SCCC Northern Hemisphere 142 all out
SCCC Southern Hemisphere 141-9
Southern Hemisphere won the toss
North / South and
The most eagerly anticipated Cryptic match in years - if not
ever - ended in a thrilling draw with all results possible
right up to the last ball. Mark McLoughlin resolutely played
it back to the bowler and so, fittingly, denied either team
the extended bragging that would undoubtedly have followed
in the event of a positive result, however narrow the margin.
This game had everything.
The familiarity of opposing players made for a very convivial
day off the field, and an equally competitive one on it. There
was 'white line fever' aplenty, no shortage of chat on the
pitch and a determination from bowlers and fielders alike
that produced a catching performance untypically good. That
some of the batting was flaky can be attributed to a sporting
pitch (after heavy rain the previous day) and the pressure
some batsmen felt in the middle. It was impossible not to
enjoy the spirit of the day, even for the nine batsmen who
failed to score a run. Cryptics of yore - Atkinson, Thompson,
Greenwood, MacDonald - would have loved this.
Greg Andrell captained
the South team and sensibly inserted Richard Seeckts' North
team. Wright and Streeter were comfortable facing the McLoughlins'
loose stuff early on. Wright was exemplary in playing the
ball on its merit rather than the bowler on his reputation.
That he made 55 and the rest of his side managed only 74 off
the bat illustrates a general reluctance to follow his example.
Streeter (8) and Will Taunton-Burnett (2) perished attacking,
but the innings was rescued by Ware (24) whose unconvential
footwork and free swinging of the bat always keep bowlers
interested. Mark McLoughlin bowled him, but only via the Puppy's
chest and the back of his bat. The late James Scott (32) and
Wright saw the North to 124-3, Scott hammering 16 from the
first five balls of a Glen Skarott over before lofting the
sixth to Cupit's safe hands. At that time, talk in the pavilion
was of a declaration on 200!
The North's big
hope, Hope-Dunbar, was completely done by receiving three
consecutive good length balls from Andrew McLoughlin. The
third was straight. First duck of the day and the collapse
was gathering momentum. Seeckts (1) scooped Edwards to mid
on, Grindrod (7) looked uncomfortable and fell to a fabulous
one handed catch by Graham McLean. Harry Stevens (0) fluffed
one to the keeper and Mark Blamphin (0) left the gate open.
Nick Pow played 18 dot balls, to remain undefeated amid the
mayhem of seven wickets falling for 18.
Paul Goss went
wicketless. Accustomed to being hit back over his head by
swashbuckling village tailenders, his bowling reputation took
a nosedive when Philip Wright became the latest to give him
With Cryptics batting
all day, the collapse was able to continue after tea. Four
overs in, the South were 8-3, all falling to Pow. Warrick
King had travelled from Melbourne for his duck, being well
caught by a diving Scott at short leg. Cupit (4) went the
same way and Pryde was gone next ball. At the non striker's
end, meanwhile, makeshift opener Goss sensed that he had something
of a job on his hands. McLean bashed 16 but missed a Blamphin
full toss before a nervous Kowalski came in. The talkative
Pole was so quiet it was tempting to keep him in, but when
he gloved a ball that rolled down his bat and into Ware's
waiting gloves, he had to go. Up went the appeal - hardly
necessary - but Kowalski stood there like a War Memorial.
Umpire Mark McLoughlin knew he was out, but gave him ample
opportunity to walk. He just wouldn't budge. Eventually the
finger went up and we were able to get on with the game. No
explanation followed. 28-5. Either side of tea, 12 Cryptic
wickets had fallen for 46.
Goss got his helmeted
head down in company with Andrew McLoughlin, now taking his
batting more seriously than ever. The pair were quiet models
of concentration as the fielders chirped away, the only retort
coming when a confident appeal for a catch behind was turned
down. McLoughlin heaved Grindrod into the bushes but fell
15 overs remained,
the South required 51 runs with four wickets in hand. A draw
looked impossible. Goss soldiered on unnoticed past 50, Edwards
joined the pondful of ducks, and Andrell was surprisingly
impotent as he mustered one run in a partnership of 22. Why
the captain had come in so late was inexplicable to all bar
students of the career averages. It did him no favours, however,
for when he finally got hold of one that looked to be sailing
to the midwicket boundary, it was pouched by his opposite
number leaping salmon-like to trump McLean's earlier effort.
Whatever other reports may say, the delirious celebrations
of the entire fielding side were testament to the popularity
of the catch, regardless of its rare brilliance!
a charming and affable gent until he gets a cricket ball in
his hands, toiled away down the hill as the game reached its
climax. Giving little away - he went for only two boundaries
in nine overs - he remained wicketless. His consolation was
to take the catch to dismiss Goss who had played brilliantly
for his 67 and was ninth man out on 139.
Three were needed
from Stevens' last over. One was scored. Everyone was happy.
an evening of revelry in the captain's garden. No serious
casualties have been reported. Photographs of the day may
appear in the future but none are available yet.
Mark McLoughlin's inability to bowl down the offside is renowned
across the Cryptic world, however by doing just that on the
opening ball of his first over when bowling to a 7:2 field
( that is 7 leg slips and 2 leg gulleys) he conceded the three
runs that cost the South victory and therefore a clean sweep
of rugby and cricket results on the day.
With the Souths
captain conceding runs with over aggressive field placements
in both opening overs the McLoughlin family joined in the
fun with Andrew in particular giving away runs from a succession
of short pitched deliveries which Pippa put away in a fizzing
innings. It was only the arrival of Edwards at the bowling
crease with the score at 120 odd for 4 that put the brake
on the Norths innings and made us realise how badly we had
bowled on the pitch.
North had a very Cryptic collapse and found their way from
124-3 to 141 runs all out, a score later suspiciously and
controversially increased to 142.
Knowing we were
chasing a tough target on a pitch that Edwards had shown how
to bowl on we made a disastrous start to be 3 for 8 after
3 overs. McLean and Goss steadied the ship only for McLean
to miss a full bunger from Fin with the score on 28. Polish
Pete who later failed to signal a clear wide when umpiring,
came to the crease and became the first Cryptic since Thompson
to hit the ball with both bat and glove and still not walk.
At 28-5 we were in a bit of trouble until McLoughlin A made
up for his profligacy with the ball by smashing 40 while Goss
who opened the innings was looking increasingly assured at
the other end. Having passed 100 with 5 wickets down we were
looking good until Edwards quickly followed McLoughlin back
to the Pavilion which left the stage for a victorious captains
knock by myself. Unfortunately I gave a simple chance to Seeckts
at square leg who made it look far harder than it was and
shortly after, with a handful of runs to go, Goss joined me
in the pavilion after an excellent 68, leaving Skarrot who
had hit Stevens for 4 with a lovely straight drive, and McLoughlin
M at the crease. A couple of runs ensued from Skarrot and
then McLoughlin was faced needing 2 runs off the last 2 balls
to win the match.
In the style of
the true gentleman he is, he patted back a couple of innocuous
Stevens deliveries in order the North were left with some
dignity from a day of sporting carnage.
19 June 2005
Platypods 147 all (8) out (27.2 overs)
SCCC 149-3 (18 overs)
WON by 6 wickets
SCCC won the toss
30 overs per side match!
This was a thoroughly convincing win, albeit against a Platypods
side weakened by lack of availability. It should be remembered
that the boot was on the other foot last year when the Cryptics
folded under minimal pressure.
This time though, their
nine players were no match for our ten. The Cranleigh
ground looked marvellous on a belting hot day, and is worthy
of better cricket than this - however enjoyable it was.
Rod Edwards won
a dubious LBW decision in the first over, bringing the dangerously
talented Platypod skipper Peter Kemp to the crease. Runs flowed
until Hope-Dunbar took a fabulous left handed catch off his
own bowling to dismiss Saxel in the 12th over with the score
about 70. The bulky Scot had put in a good spell with the
ball which, combined with his wicketkeeping and batting from
the previous week, gives the northern hemisphere a range of
options for the impending North v South clash.
Kemp cruised past
50 but some tidy slow bowling (it might have been off spin)
from debutant Glen Skarott (6-0-15-2) wrestled the game back
the Cryptics' way. Skarott looked a true Cryptic from the
start. Amply filling his new kit, he misfielded the first
ball of the match only to take a spectacular running catch
on the long on boundary and give Nick Pow a well deserved
wicket. Hope-Dunbar's direct hit from 30 yards opened up the
rabbit hutch and when Seeckts clung on to Kemp's rapier-like
clout at mid-wicket, Grindrod was able to finish off the tail
Nick Benham became
Philip Wright's latest opening partner and both looked comfortable
as they put on 31 at a run a ball. Wright missed a straight
one on 17, Grindrod
ran himself out and Kowalski took the opportunity to redeem
himself for his second successive 2.45pm arrival. One day
he will arrive on time and be all grumpy when Scotty is late.
He may have missed the beginning, but was still there at the
end on 32. By then Benham had paid the price for being hit
on the pad for a stylish 55. Seeckts smote a quickfire 22*
from six scoring shots to seal the win, achieved at a rate
of 8.28 runs per over.
The big guns, Skarott,
Cupit and Hope-Dunbar couldn't get in, Pow and Edwards were
happy not to, and the game was over well before 6pm. The short
form of the game is catching on rapidly at the top level (especially
now it emerges that Australia are no good at it) but too many
designated 30 over games might make it seem like a long journey
to play regardless of where you live.
Follies Farm 174-6 (40 overs)
SCCC 175-5 (34.4 overs)
WON by 5 wickets
Follies Farm won the toss
Truely a victory
to savour. The Cryptics had not won on the farm since May
1999, in the era when the host club still played conventional
Sunday cricket. Since then they have dominated under the pyjama
format, something the Cryptics have been contentedly slow
Having to chase
a total for the fourth successive game this year, a teatime
strategy meeting resolved that sheer weight of opening batsmen
might produce sheer weight of runs. Wright volunteered to
vacate his cherished opening slot, allowing the in form (but
sleep deprived) Hogben to partner the reluctant Hope-Dunbar.
Whatever nerves the 'laird elect' showed as he padded up soon
vanished, and by the time he returned to the pavilion, caught
on the fence for a splendid 90, the game was all but won.
That was in the 20th over.
had not been so comfortable earlier. Press ganged into keeping
wicket, he was surprised by the pace bowling of new recruit
James Bailey, fresh from the Yorkshire league and keen to
make his mark. Rapid away swing was, happily, too good for
the batsmen to edge to a trembling slip cordon. So impressive
was Bailey that it was quickly decided to keep a few of his
overs in reserve for the later entry of Follies' danger man,
David Leng. At the other end Nick Pow produced a fine spell,
conceding only 18 from his eight overs. Peter Andrew's spell
was something of a curate's egg, his wicket with the last
ball of his sixth over not being enough to keep him on. With
another debutant, Dom Mochan, and David Grindrod doing their
bit admirably, the Cryptics had the luxury (to considerable
sniggering) of leaving Paul Goss grazing in the deep until
the 32nd over.
Bailey duly returned
when Leng came in, but Leng pitched camp at the non-striker's
end for three overs before being castled by the second Bailey
ball he faced. Nice plan. Goss was thumped back over his head
once or twice in a largely respectable 'death' spell.
Then came the Hope-Dunbar
show, tea and batting. Hogben (6), Wright (20) and Grindrod
(3) were more circumspect. Cupit batted an age for an anchoring
14*. Had he connected with all the late cuts he played, he
would have scored at least 70. Seeckts slapped an uncharacteristically
fast 25 (including a six!) but was caught trying to hit the
winning boundary. A scrambled three, 19 balls later, saw us
home. Hope-Dunbar was the hero, but what score he considers
worthy of a jug of beer remains a mystery.
22 May 2005
Woking and Horsell 182 all out (45.4 overs)
SCCC 139 all out (40.5 overs)
Lost by 43 runs
SCCC won the toss
As at Follies Farm, this game was won by the less bad of two
sides that batted well below their capabilities. The Cryptics
won a third successive toss and inserted Woking and Horsell,
recent history suggesting that we can chase better than we
can take ten wickets after egg sandwiches and jam tarts. Past
performance is not necessarily a guide, although again we
dismissed the opposition for a score we were happy to chase.
left - "I've been on my feet all day...")
Woking and Horsell's
innings was a three part affair. From 56 without loss after
8 overs they were pegged back to 132-9 before a last wicket
stand of 50 masterfully engineered by a man called Saf Nawaz.
Needless to say Paul Goss bowled at the beginning and the
The express start
brought on fears of a Conference fixture mismatch but once
David Grindrod had sent both openers back, the batting side
wilted under pressure of tight Cryptic bowling and unusually
good catching and ground fielding. Grindrod cheerfully plays
a different role in the team each week, and if he couldn't
bat at all he could justifiably take the new ball on the strength
of this spell of 13-6-46-3. One day we'll stick the 'keeper's
gloves on him.
One W&H opener
ostentaciously wore a Surrey CCC helmet, formerly the property
of Mark Ramprakash. The attacking aerial shots were not the
stuff of his mentor, though a slightly petulant reaction to
being given LBW was.
cover and mid off were the positions for the best catchers
to be all day. The pitch had been soaked the previous day,
accentuating the habit of Sunday cricketers hitting the ball
in the air. Cupit ducked a head high screamer before taking
a more gentle offering. Peter Andrew took one that was simply
coming too fast for him to avoid. The petrified look on his
face as the ball approached turned to pain as his cut and
dislocated finger left blood on the ball which stayed in despite
his questionable technique. Unable to continue bowling, he
was replaced by the captain who bowled wides and wicket taking
balls aplenty, seeing off the W&H captain in the process,
thanks to Hope-Dunbar's second fine catch of the day.
wicket stand was to prove the difference between the teams.
Wright fell cheaply again, Hogben crashed 32 in the company
of debutant Nick Benham, yet another Ashurst lawyer. Benham
held the innings together while more established Cryptics
gave him a lesson in middle order collapses. Grindrod stroked
24, even Ware clubbed 19 but there was too much for the tail
to manage. Andrew had vowed to bat like Colin Cowdrey, but
he meant Cowdrey at Lords in 1963 with a plastercast on. True
to his word, he didn't face a ball before Greenhough was the
last to hole out.
Dwight Cupit reflects on his first duck for
the club - 22.05.05
15 May 2005
Putney 158 (37 overs)
SCCC 161-8 (39.4 overs)
Won by 2 wickets
SCCC won the toss
The Cryptic wagon began to roll again in the sunshine at Putney.
The forecast rain never came but the expected pitch of variable
bounce was true to form. The poor soul who became
Mark McLoughlin's first victim since June 2002 was hit on
the toe by a half tracker that never left the deck. It
seems that like Old Blue Eyes the senior Cryptic can't
quite let go.
Now 56 and adamant that this was not a comeback, Mark arrived
fitter and thinner than at any time since the 1980s, with
new whites to compliment the boots he bought just prior
to 'retiring' in 2002. His sincere assertion that this was
a one off may be questioned when he turns out again for
the Southern Hemisphere against the Northern Hemisphere on
25 June. Happily, he has not 'lost it' and and found
his length - about half way, and his line - outside leg
stump, from his first ball. Figures of 7-2-8-1 flatter but
the wicket was vital to the game and the competitive spirit
in the old man remains admirable.
Nephew Andrew McLoughlin had a productive day too. An opening
spell of 11-6-21-4 kept Putney hoping he would be taken
off as they struggled to cope with his pace, away swing and
variations of length. Hitting the stumps, as he did three
times, remains the best way for Cryptic bowlers to take
wickets, but he also found the edge once for Seeckts to juggle
and eventually pouch the ball at slip. (It come pretty quick
Goss had taken his first wicket of the season in the
first over, and from 63-5 Putney should have been dismissed
for little more than 100. Number 7 Ashworth had different
ideas, striking 47 blacksmith style as Edwards and Ed Dyson
occasionally over pitched.
The chase was well managed once Wright and Basher McLean had
gone early to successive balls. James Hogben
stylishly smote 41 (9 fours, 5 singles) in a welcome
return to form, and David Grindrod made up for his lack of
opportunity to bowl with a confident 25. More surprising
was the maturity shown by Kowalski in a solid 28 that guided
us close to victory from a stage when the Cryptics
have been known to crumble. The Polish migrant had had
a shocking day up to that point. After arriving an hour late,
his fielding had been comically unfortunate. He made amends
with the bat, despite an attempt to run the skipper out in
exactly the same way Goss had done so the previous week.
All that remained was for the demoted Andrew McLoughlin to
come in and smash a quick 24* to speed the Cryptics to
an enjoyable win with 3.2 overs to spare. The show pony was
determined to launch the ball into Roehampton with only
two runs required but had to settle for a thick inside
edge for four. Uncle Mark was relieved to remove his pads
without having to enter the arena.
8 May 2005
Follies Farm Old Spots 96 all out (34 overs)
SCCC 75 all out (34.1 overs)
Lost by 21 runs
No call for the ECB pitch inspector required here. The Follies
Farm strip may have been typically slow and low for the time
of year but it was not reponsible for this low scoring but
gripping encounter. No team had ever been asked to chase less
than 100 on this ground. In the end the Cryptics didn't come
close and had only themselves to blame for self destructing with
The worst offender
was David Grindrod, Man of the Year in 2004, who
lost his stumps trying to clear the car park. Others
were little wiser. Wright advanced and was stumped, Scott
kicked a straight one, Ware hung his bat out on a curtain
rail and edged to the 'keeper, Cupit watched a turning ball remove
the bails and Streeter was too tall for the one that crept
under his bat. Seeckts and Goss were building well on a foundation
of 49-6 until the ginger mist struck. Goss
hit the ball straight to Follies' best fielder, at square
leg, called for a run and the captain was yards short
as the bails were removed. Although time was never a factor,
the bowlers had done their work earlier in the day and were
not about to win this one for us.
The afternoon had
started well. Scott was habitually late and the bowlers all
performed better than anyone might have hoped. Edwards took
the vital wicket of Leng with one that nipped back, Greenhough
was introduced early and fell into a rhythm as if there had
been no winter. Andrew's spell was a strong case for
pre-season nets (until the three full tosses in his sixth
over), and Grindrod produced figures of 5-5-0-1. Cupit's annual
bowl came four months early and he picked up numbers
10 and 11 for a song. Veteran Dennis Winter recovered
from major heart surgery to be stumped Ware, bowled Cupit
for a duck in his first game back. Cricket can be cruel.
handed over £77 to our excellent hosts. The game
cost us more than a pound per run we scored, which is thought
to be another club first.
Team at Follies Farm - 08.05.05