Peter Andrew writes:
On September 20th, the biggest Cryptic tour party of all time assembled for the second Maltese tour. Economy passengers got to Gatwick at sparrow-fart, for the Air Malta flight, and an early introduction to Cisk, the Malteser’s beer of choice. Business class gathered later, and more luxuriously, flying the flag on British Airways (additional jingoism courtesy of Ware, T). Tom Hufton popped over even later on the Learjet. And there was a welcome return for Cryptics veteran Greg Andrell, making his first contribution since the 2005 tour. To Malta, ironically (a dnb in an easy win against Maori Oxshott in 2006 isn’t really a contribution.......).
Early acquaintance was made with the hotel’s seventh floor sundeck and bar, overlooking lovely Sliema. The hotel, recommended by the opposition, was ideally situated for bars, restaurants and other attractions for special interest splinter groups.
Because of our bloated tour party [what, PAJ and Rod? Ed], we had three matches lined up: a warm-up T20 game on Friday followed by a couple of 40-over matches through the weekend. For the purist, T20 is a funny little hit-and-giggle match a bit like 10-year olds play, except you can be out, and don’t have to bat in pairs.
Friday, 21st September 2018
Marsa Cricket Club 104 (18 overs)
SCCC 107-6 (19.2 overs)
SCCC won by 4 wickets
T20 game, toss negotiated
In a typical 20/20 innings, Marsa slumped to 47 for 6 after 10 overs, recovering with an 11-run 11th over, and a 12-run over in the 18th, which culminated in Keith’s first Cryptic wicket, achieved by PAJ’s 50th Cryptic catch.
This was one of eight catches we held, Scottie getting half of them. Eight of us bowled, only Hufton putting in the full four-over shift and being rewarded with a couple of wickets. All the bowlers got at least one wicket. Except Gossy. Top scorer was wides, contributing exactly a quarter of the Marsa runs (26, for those without a calculator to hand). They scored one 6 and two 4s, boundaries being hard to come by in a deep, wet and grassy outfield.
In reply we opened with Seb and Scottie. Having watched a wide and a couple of byes, Seb got into his rhythm. See the ball, hit the ball. Our first 4. Seven without loss. See the ball, miss the ball. Seven for one. End of the first over.
This opened the floodgates for a stereotypical cryptic middle order collapse. Hufton went for five; Keith hung around for three balls, scoring fewer runs than the wickets he’d taken. Greg lasted less time, scoring nine runs fewer than the nine runs he last got batting for us here. Gossy hung around for a few overs, but still only got one run more than he got wickets.
But then Puppy joined Scottie and these two put on 67 in ten overs until Tom perished for 26. Stu clipped three from his first ball, Scottie farmed the strike at the end of the over and then biffed his fifth four to take us over the line, two balls into the final over. He finished on a jug-avoiding 44. They gave us 18 wides.
Saturday, 22nd September 2018
SCCC 108 (31.1 overs)
Marsa Cricket Club 110 for 8 (19.1 overs)
Marsa won by 2 wickets
40 over game, Marsa won toss
Our second attempt to master the intricacies of Marsa’s matting wicket at least lasted longer than our first, as we took almost 12 more overs to score one more run. An opening partnership of 29 between Philip and Keith (in almost 10 overs) flattered to deceive, and wickets fell regularly thereafter. We scored three fours (Keith, Rod, Stu). Only Keith (19) got more than 11. We were massively buoyed by the 40 extras that Marsa contributed to our final total of 108. We’ve batted better.
A Bridges wicket and an Edwards/Ware run out had Marsa’s reply stuttering to 19 for 2. But from this point Varun, the opposition’s #3, took a grip, scoring steadily as Muldoon and Edwards clattered the timbers at the other end.
At 81 for 4 it looked a lost cause, even though by this time Marsa only had 10 players, one of their number having gone off to the local hospital after being treated by Seb for a trapped nerve. Skipper tossed the ball to fourth change Seeckts, cruelly underused in the 2018 season thus far.
Two from the first ball, then a catch to Goss. They don’t go down. Three balls later, the vital wicket of Varun, caught by Stu for 48. 85 for 6. Marsa skipper David Marks watched from the non-striker’s end as Rod claimed a second, caught by Keith. 92-8. Then Seeckts again, bowling Cottontail for a duck. 102 for 8 (in effect, 9), Seeckts 3 for 15. A reversion to pace should have blown through the remaining defence. But it was not to be, and we lost a close and entertaining game by a narrow margin. At least we only bowled 14 wides this time.
Sunday, 23rd September 2018
Marsa Cricket Club 108 (29.3 overs)
SCCC 91 (31.5 overs)
Marsa won by 17 runs
40 over game, SCCC won toss
And so to the decider. Inserting the opposition, we first kept them quiet (7 from the first four overs), and then looked as though we would blow them away when skipper Bridges hit first the stumps and then pads plumb, in his third over.
But a 50 stand put Marsa back on the right track, until gloveman Greg rolled back the years and took a fine catch from an attempted cut, standing up to PAJ. Dwight opened his account shortly after, providing Rod with a catch, and Scottie with another shortly afterwards. Another sharp effort from Greg, this time off Goss, took the score to 93 for 6. Rarely had a wicket been more deserved, Gossy by this time having bowled eleven overs for a meagre 27 runs, until this success cemented his position as Cryptics’ leading wicket-taker outside the UK.
His overall figures of 1 for 5 were, however, overshadowed as Bridges (4 for nine from five overs, without assistance – two bowled and two LBW) and Scottie (two for one, both bowled, off three balls) clattered through the tail. And we only gave them 21 wides in their total of 108.
Our reply, notwithstanding following the tour tradition of ensuring that non-batsmen bat, can only be called dismal. At 28 for seven from 15 overs, record books were being searched to find our lowest score (37, against both Spencer and Old Salesians, back in the last century). Of the first eight batsmen, only Scottie achieved double figures (with 20). Half had not troubled the scorer.
Nevertheless, Keith remained resilient to put on 15 more with Scottie. Seb joined him, and they put on a further 32. 75 for 9. By this time Seb had graduated to ‘see the ball, hit the ball a long way away’. Two massive sixes, one of which wasn’t found and may still be in orbit.
Skipper kept him company, but again it was not to be, Seb eventually holing out for 30 as we fell 17 runs short.
These were three low-scoring but massively entertaining games. It is remarkable that the average score was just 109. Last time we toured Malta, the innings average was 213. Although the average number of wides per innings was 21, this was only a mild increase on the 18 from our 2005 tour. This may be attributable to the ground (and pitch) being watered early doors, rendering the matting unexpectedly slippery.
But any of the three matches would only have needed a single intervention to swing the result the other way. And as noted, the tour ethos held throughout. We used eight bowlers on two occasions, and six on the third. Everyone got a bat or two, even if many did not make best use of the chances.
On another level, we ate and drank well, and nobody got arrested. This year’s kittybitch, Chris Muldoon, set the bar extremely high for his eventual successor. He ran a virtual shuttle service between the rooftop bar and thirsty Cryptics, reminiscent of feeding a nest of squabbling screeching chicks. Although it remains to be seen whether the drink of choice will become the next hipster ‘thing’. Gin and strawberry Slush Puppy, anyone?
Photo gallery to follow...
Sunday 19 August 2018
Stoke d'Abernon 223-7 dec (42 overs)
SCCC 123-7 (42 overs)
Stoke won the toss, declaration match
Richard Seeckts writes:
Ten months elapsed while we tried to get this fixture confirmed, though it never really seemed in doubt that Ralph would see things right in the end. Stoke’s stalwart skipper is a master puppeteer when it comes to managing the Punch and Judy of a declaration game, not least in arranging things so that he neither bats nor bowls, even when he’s only got 10 men.
A glance at the history, available through PAJA’s magnificent new argument-settling publication of almost every scorecard since 1990, suggested a 50% chance of a draw, 40% win. In other words, they always want to bat first but can’t get us all out. Over the years there have been some notable rearguard Cryptic batting performances for the purists - proper cricket.
Stoke were off at a canter, almost a run-a-ball as captain Bridges re-acquainted himself with cricket and the merits of playing under a bacchanalian cloud. Rod got away with some dirt, skied into the outfield more than clearing the fence. Grinders and PAJA spread the field to prevent the canter turning into a Hector the Horse gallop and we waited for Stoke’s batsmen to get themselves out. A few catches went down as ever (Scottie’s crocodile hands having a sleep at slip) but three were held by Cryptics and one by a sub fielder who then went off to pad up, returning to get a golden duck. As he waddled off, his skipper was heard to say, “You take catches for the opposition, you get a first baller, you can look forward to fine leg at both ends after tea.”
How the sub came to be required was a turning point in the game. Seb, fresh from 100* at Crondall, had collapsed with a torn hamstring as he hurtled round the boundary at great speed for a ball he was never going to stop. Full marks for effort, enthusiasm and power, but a touch of Joey the Clown and off to see the doctor. Stoke weren’t to know how Seb’s demise dented our batting hopes, not to mention his prospects for Malta.
Scottie and Toby had longer and better spells with the ball than might have been expected, collecting three wickets between them before the openers returned to
knock over the tail hasten the declaration.
637 Cryptic caps-worth of experience was sent over the top to start the chase, sensing Stoke would want a few scalps before opening up the game for the Pretty Pollies of the middle order. Thomson W (a distant relative of JR) flung down his first offering, a snorter heading straight for Pippa’s unguarded chin, mercifully gloved past the keeper for four. By over’s end Pippa, bowled, and Keith, caught and bowled, were heading for the shower, Scottie had arrived and Seeckts was formulating a plan to stay at the other end. Five off the second over saw that plan fail and Thomson soon had his third wicket, the Cryptics 9-3 off 15 balls with Seb out of the game. Ralph quickly removed the hangman from the attack, a recovery ensued - Scottie 19, Grinders 18, Tommy 38, Rod 12 - but at 82-5 with 20 overs remaining, a sixth draw in the series was the best we could hope for.
Tommy and Rod went in the 30th over, leaving the father of the Cryptics, PAJA, in company with the baby, Toby, whose uncharacteristic, dogged resistance saw us through the final 12 overs without incident or, vitally, the need to wheel the skipper’s hangover out to the middle.
Honours even, but they could have wiped the floor with us. Hats off to the puppeteer.
Sunday 5th August 2018
Blackheath 251 for 8 dec (39 overs)
SCCC 161 for 8 (41 overs)
SCCC won the toss
Peter Andrew writes:
This is without doubt the most attractive ground on our current roster. Suggestions are that the track can be a road, but we arrived having taken 62 wickets in eight previous visits, so Claygate it isn’t. Blackheath are also one of our most hospitable opponents, notably last year when we had free beer and an afternoon watching the test match, because the game had been debatably called off (and Gossy had his phone off).
Anyway, back to this year. We rocked up a trifle thin on bowling, and managed to negotiate both a declaration game, and second use of the wicket. Rod and Stu took the new ball, and wickets began to fall. Literally. Stu bowled two, Rod bowled one. Ingo caught one off Rod. Four down for less than 50. Double change, PAJ and Rob Milner. Runs becoming easier, until PAJ rapped a pad, and then everyone – batsman and cordon alike – watched the ball meander up to the stumps, and casually dislodge a bail. And there were still fewer than 100 on the board when Seeckts pouched a neat catch at slip. No need to identify which Seeckts, given that the younger and more athletic one had been dispatched from the outset to distant parts on boundary patrol.
This brought together the Harrison brothers, who proceeded to make a mockery of their positions at 7 and 8 in the order. Both passed 50, flaying anything loose across the sun-baked outfield. Both were eventually bowled, one by the returning Stu, the other by Toby. But by now Blackheath were approaching 250, with us having tried all six bowlers that bowl in this country (skipper wisely denying himself the chance of his first Cryptic overs of the season), but not even Dwight’s partnership-breaking skills worked. Declaration came as 250 was passed, and we repaired to the pavilion. Ingo had conceded by a single parsimonious bye.
‘I don’t want anything left’ was the challenge from the tea hostess. Half an hour later, she had her wish.
Philip and Ingo went off at a decent clip (well, largely Ingo). And he was first back, with 27 in a stand of 38, after only six overs. Keith followed, just four balls later. The run rate had slowed by the tenth over, when Philip returned with the score on 46, having assembled a neat run of singles to complement his only boundary. Hugh then played a support role as Toby and extras piled on runs in a stand of 44, before Toby fell for a season’s best 33. Hugh followed shortly afterwards.
We were then 100 for five at the start of the final 20 overs. Not looking likely. So Dwight and Rob pushed on but cautiously, adding 25 in the next eight overs, before Dwight went for 21. A brief acceleration followed (mainly because Stu only knows one way to bat), but it was a lost cause by the time the skipper entered the fray with eight overs remaining, as Rob departed for 22. Leaving anything wide, and patting back the straight ones, Richard set a shining example for Stu, who studiously copied this alien approach until being caught behind for 11, halfway through the final over. But Rod saw out the final balls, and we were safe for a draw. In swiping the penultimate ball for two, Rod passed 1000 Cryptic runs, a marathon feat achieved in slightly more time than it took for him to evolve from a childless young buck to a grandfather.
This was a more enjoyable and entertaining match than the statistics suggest, not least due to the opposition who were prepared to engage throughout in a spirit of Sunday competition and banter. We’ll happily return next year.
Sunday 22nd July 2018
SCCC 249-5, innings closed (33 overs)
Crondall 210-3 (38 overs)
Crondall won the toss
Peter Andrew writes:
We returned to Crondall, first time for a couple of years. Another sunny day, first overcast then just hot, interrupted by peripheral flypasts from the nearby Farnborough Air Show. A match dictated by tea, taken on a schedule not to disrupt the local bowls club. Gossy lost the toss, and Philip started us off with a semi-reluctant Seeckts. Don’t know why, his average when opening is substantially better than any other position for us. The scale of our challenge was apparent early doors, as a couple of openers more often found down the road at Farnham, in the upper reaches of the Surrey Championship, got stuck in at a pace a tad brisker than we’re used to. Philip got most of an initial stand of 36 before edging to slip, Keith following sadly too swiftly afterwards.
Richard and Tommy then put on a gutsy stand of 56, until Tommy holed out at cover. With la toute famille Seeckts in attendance, there was a chance for Richard and Toby to put on a show, an opportunity missed as Toby also found cover’s hands early on. Enter Seb, who hadn’t trekked down from north London for nothing. Third and fifth scoring shots went over the ropes, followed eventually by another three. The bowling had changed by now, but that took nothing from the majesty of the ball being carved to all corners.
But Richard still beat Seb to 50, and ticked the score along while taking a more relaxed part in proceedings. He was eventually run out for 65, a score he has matched twice and only bettered once this century (or matched once, depending on your pedantry level). He and Seb had put on exactly 100 in 10 overs, Richard anchoring the partnership by contributing 23 of them. It remained only for Rod to watch the last three overs as Seb plundered them for 29 more, finishing our timed innings with the exact ten runs needed to complete a maiden century. The speed of the outfield, and the frequency of delays as fielders searched for and retrieved balls from all parts of the post code meant that we had received a modest 33 overs. With 31, extras were our again friend, the majority coming in byes.
A veil is best drawn over the Crondall innings. Their brisk opening bowler demonstrated that it is still his lesser discipline, collecting a powerful century before retiring to attend a prior engagement. Toby, Tommy and Grinders put in tidy spells. Others were more profligate. We picked up a couple of wickets (Tommy and Gossy). Rod got a catch. Yes, Rod got a catch. Ingo had a tidy day behind the timbers, conceding a miserly four byes. But we never looked like running through their batting, and – after the departure of their swash-buckling opener – it was increasingly unlikely that they would overtake our total.
Scoring duties had been left with trainees, so parts of the record are dubious, but it’s likely that the Crondall innings closed on 210 for 3. We probably bowled 38 overs. Bells unjingled.
Sunday 8th July 2018
Holybourne 204 for 9 dec (38 overs)
SCCC 131 all out (38 overs)
Lost by 73 runs
SCCC ‘won’ the toss
Peter Andrew writes:
And so we arrived at our seventh visit to Holybourne, with a side a little lacking in bowling, and indeed in Cryptics, necessitating hauling Toby Seeckts out of the opposition ranks, calling up Holybourne local Hamish Hudson for his second Cryptic cap and press-ganging local Charlie Fletcher for his first Cryptic appearance. Thanks to them all.
Seeckts (snr) had warned that our hosts had assembled a side stronger than usual, the local dynasties of Milner and Maddock providing more than half the Holybourne side. The pitch, after so much heat and drought, was bone-hard and unpredictable. The outfield, though broad, took no pace off a well-hit ball.
A negotiated toss saw us in the field. Chris Muldoon opened with Hamish. The first few overs were ominous, the first four leaking 33 runs after Cann nicked his second ball between ‘keeper Pup and slip Keith without a twitch from either. Chris put the brakes on with a maiden, then Hamish demonstrated the fickle nature of the track with a couple of balls that barely rose to ankle-height. But both were straight, and one from each dynasty was gone, Maddock (major) and Milner (minor). [Is this going to get alliterative? – Ed]. This left Hamish with a strike rate even better than Dwight’s.
Chris then had dangerous opener Cann pouched by Charlie Fletcher for 43, who was rewarded with a bowl and picked up his own wicket in a tidy spell of nine overs which conceded only 31. PAJ replaced Chris, his leg trap working from his first ball, when Chris took a fine catch off his bootlaces at square leg. This brought together Maddocks minor and minimus, and they proceeded to build a partnership of 80 in some dozen overs. PAJ’s leg trap was still working, to the extent that the ball was regularly being trapped by the long grass beyond the leg-side boundary. Eventually a rank long-hop leaped from the pitch, to be swatted again into Chris’s safe hands, bootlace-high. Maddock minor gone for an excellent 65.
With Holybourne on 166 for six, we were approaching the last knockings. A bit of long-handle brought another 40 or so runs, along with another wicket for PAJ, a smart run out (Toby and keeper Puppy), and a catch for Charlie off Toby. At this point Milner (major) exercised skipper’s privilege, and declared without troubling his average.
Tea? Too small a word. Feast. Banquet. More cake than a summer of Test Match Special. Awesome. So glad we fielded first.
Wright and Taylor began our reply. It was never going to be at Holybourne’s pace, but we were 14 off two. 15 off three. And off four. But in that fourth over we were victims of the pitch’s demons, with Keith and then Hugh being undone by one that spat and a shooter respectively [Don’t worry, mother. We weren’t playing in Croydon. Ed]. Philip followed shortly afterwards - another shooter - then a stand of 35 between Toby and Dwight steadied us for a while.
But both had gone, along with Seeckts père and Charlie, by the time we reached 84. Chris held up one end as Puppy biffed a quick-fire 33. Hamish went cheaply, and last man PAJ joined Chris deep into the last 20 overs, with 82 needed from 56 balls. It’s been done before, and by the Cryptics too. But in the last four seasons put together, PAJ and Chris have collected just 77 runs between them. It wasn’t looking likely.
So the Maddocks and the Milners and their cohorts clustered around the bat, in the expectation that the pitch would play its part, in support of the toiling bowlers. Turn and turn about, the batsmen tapped and padded and refused, and saw out another maiden. The last over went to the last delivery, at which point a ball that needed playing jumped a little more than expected, and was eagerly grabbed, close on the leg side. The church clock struck eight. Or would have done if it was ten minutes fast.
A sad end to a good day’s cricket. But we were outplayed with the bat, and Holybourne duly registered their second win against us. We will be back. [And it won’t be with a PPI claim. Ed]
Sunday 17th June 2018
SCCC 203 for 5 (40 overs)
Wood Street 199 all out (38.5 overs)
Won by 4 runs
40 over match
Wood Street won the toss
Peter Andrew writes:
And so to Wood Street, lovely secluded ground in a pleasant village close to the scruffy bit of Guildford. Our fourth time here, 100% success record at start of play.
Bridges came away from the toss empty-handed, and we took to the field against a side liberally sprinkled with teenagers. Wright and his (increasingly familiar) opening partner Seeckts put on the second-best opening partnership of the season (51), until Richard was caught for 20. He was given an enthusiastic valediction by one of Wood Street’s youngsters, who had suffered somewhat at the hands of Puppy’s typically recalcitrant umpiring.
Boundaries had been hard to come by on a deep, lush outfield, each batsman having picked up only one thus far. Scotty, who lives so close that he almost arrived on time, promptly redressed the balance adding five of them in his first seven scoring strokes. Both he and Philip passed their 50s in amassing the first Cryptic century stand of the season, Scotty then being caught for 53. Hugh joined Philip. Hugh nudged a leg bye. Hugh ambled down the track. The teenage keeper athletically retrieved the ball and fizzed it to the bowler’s end. Ball faster than Hugh. Result predictable. Scorer untroubled. Rob Milner joined Philip.
On 70, Philip was indisputable plumb, and given. 173 for 4. It remained only for Rob to be caught for a baker’s dozen, and for Stu and Chris Muldoon to biff another 20-odd before our innings closed on 203. Extras of all kinds were our friends, contributing 23 to the total.
Tea, as so many are these days, was excellent, such that virtually none remained to snack on during post-match drinks. Egg mayo sandwiches especially noteworthy.
Wood Street also began with a 50 partnership, before Philip held a regulation chance off Stu. Runs were gathered, wickets fell. 92 for 2 (Muldoon). 120 for 3 (Muldoon again). 151 for 4 (Bridges bowled a teenager). [Surprise! Ed] By now Scotty had pulled a hamstring, and departed for more tea (and, maybe, sympathy). At 177 for 4 with overs in hand, Wood Street were definitely in the box seat. Bridges turned to Rob Milner. First ball lobbed temptingly, driven hard to extra cover to be magnificently snaffled by our own teenaged Dylan Milner. At which point nerves began to show. Skipper bowled another two (yes, another teenage there) and it was 178 for 7.
Now came Seeckts’ mind games. Suggesting to the young batsmen that he’d only go halfway to the boundary as they couldn’t hit it further than that, two perished to Rob in quick succession – one bowled, one stumped by Puppy – both looking to prove Seeckts wrong, Rob’s 3 for 12 the pick of the bowling.
But the last pair weren’t going down without a fight, opposition skipper Sharma steadying the ship, shepherding his young partner to a total of 199, just five light of victory. Then Dylan Milner, on at the death, pitched one up, the batsman went for it and skied to extra. Seeckts called it (to himself, unusually) and then safely pouched it. Jingle.
Sunday 10th June 2018
Chipstead 253 for 4 (47 overs)
SCCC 254 for 8 (44 overs)
Won by two wickets
SCCC won the toss
Hugh Greenway writes:
Another beautiful Sunday bathed in balmy sun saw the Cryptics confidently chase down Chipstead’s 253 for 4. On Greenway’s debut as skipper, which would have been much improved if he had bothered to arrive in time for the first over, Puppy won the toss and put Chipstead in to bat. The opening pair put on 128 plundering runs from a shuffled deck of Cryptic bowlers before Puppy had Alex Lang caught behind at 67 by keeper Ingo. This was followed by an equally fluent 77 run partnership for the second wicket before sharp fielding from the ever youthful Puppy ran out Parminter for 79.
The only other wickets to fall were a very uncryptic stumping by Ingo off Muldoon and Lightning securing a rare Sunday LBW (the advantage of Rod’s bowling being that slow motion replays to aid decisions are entirely unnecessary). Chipstead declared sportingly on 253 and a delightful tea was had by all.
Pippa and Ingo opened the batting for the Cryptics putting on 57 before Ingo was caught by by Parminter for 26. This brought Puppy to the crease who, engorged by his success in the field and with the ball, proceeded to spank a delightful 65. A 45 run partnership with Pippa fell into almost jug avoidance territory when Pippa was bowled by Whittenbury for 43. Geoff Warrington, another excellent debutant in a day of debuts, joined Puppy at the crease and enthusiastically plundered 60. When Nelson struck in the 38th over the Cryptics were 222 for four.
There followed the obligatory middle order collapse with Hope-Dunbar, Greenway, Edwards and Eden contributing 25 between them including a canard for Edwards before Grindrod and Taylor who had ruined his hamstring while fielding so came in at 10 saw the Cryptics home with an two balls to spare. Jingle Bells.
Sunday 3rd June 2018
SCCC 196 for 8 40 overs
Banstead 197 for 4 39.5 overs
Lost by 6 wickets
40 over game
SCCC won the toss
Rod Edwards writes:
With a bright sunny day and the game being played on Banstead’s main pitch, Bridges won the toss and changed tradition by deciding a bat would be best on the day. With yet another new opening pair, Seeckts and Taylor set the Cryptics away. Seeckts looked surprisingly in form as he amassed 26, including two 3’s. This clearly had an effect on him as he was run out with the score on 53. Pup quickly came and went without troubling the scorer. Greenway continued his early season form with 5 and was replaced by Pippa batting at no 5 for a change. Pippa showed how picket fences should be built with 10 singles in his 14, while putting on 63 with Keith. Grinders then came and went for 5(all singles), with Taylor immediately getting stumped for a fine 62. This left us on 133 for 6 with 10 overs to go and 2 new batsmen at the crease in Ingo and Hufton. But they liked getting to bat on a true pitch, putting on 45 before Hufton was bowled for 20. Ingo and Gossy put on 12 of which Gossy had an all picket fence 3. Pippa has clearly been training Grinders and Gossy. Edwards hit a one bounce 4 leaving a respectable 196 on the board.
After a fine tea, the Cryptics felt confident. This grew as both openers returned to their hutch for 0 and 6. But this only brought Saltan and Estall to the crease. Saltan clearly likes Cryptic bowling as he despatched all and sundry to various parts of the field in scoring 122. Estall added 47, while the Cryptics showed that catches win matches, or in Cryptic style dropping catches loses matches. Saltan was finally run out by Ingo hitting the stumps from keeper. The two new batsmen were both 14 years old, but looked younger. Cryptics hopes were gain raised and with the last over to be bowled, Banstead needed 6 to win. Three dot balls by Gossy had the hopes high. But this is Cryptic cricket and in true style a full ball was despatched through the covers for 4. This was then followed by another 2 and Banstead had won with one ball to spare. Gossy as fixture secretary, clearly doing everything he could to retain the fixture.Sunday 3rd June 2018 SCCC 196 for 8 40 overs Banstead 197 for 4 39.5 overs Lost by 6 wickets 40 over game Toss won by Bridges With a bright sunny day and the game being played on Banstead’s main pitch, Bridges won the toss and changed tradition by deciding a bat would be best on the day. With yet another new opening pair, Seeckts and Taylor set the Cryptics away. Seeckts looked surprisingly in form as he amassed 26, including two 3’s. This clearly had an effect on him as he was run out with the score on 53. Pup wuickly came and went without troubling the scorer. Greenway continued his early season form with 5 and was replaced by Pippa batting at no 5 for a change. Pippa showed how picket fences should be built with 10 singles in his 14, while putting on 63 with Keith. Grinders then came and went for 5(all singles), with Taylor immediately getting stumped for a fine 62. This left us on 133 for 6 with 10 overs to go and 2 new batsmen at the crease in Ingo and Hufton. But they liked getting to bat on a true pitch, putting on 45 before Hufton was bowled for 20. Ingo and Gossy put on 12 of which Gossy had an all picket fence 3. Pippa has clearly been training Grinders and Gossy. Edwards hit a one bounce 4 leaving a respectable 196 on the board. After a fine tea, the Cryptics felt confident. This grew as both openers returned to their hutch for 0 and 6. But this only brought Saltan and Estall to the crease. Saltan clearly likes Cryptic bowling as he despatched all and sundry to various parts of the field in scoring 122. Estall added 47, while the Cryptics showed that catches win matches, or in Cryptic style dropping catches loses matches. Saltan was finally run out by Ingo hitting the stumps from keeper. The two new batsmen were both 14 years old, but looked younger. Cryptics hopes were gain raised and with the last over to be bowled, Banstead needed 6 to win. Three dot balls by Gossy had the hopes high. But this is Cryptic cricket and in true style a full ball was despatched through the covers for 4. This was then followed by another 2 and Banstead had won with one ball to spare. Gossy as fixture secretary, clearly doing everything he could to retain the fixture.
Sunday 20th May 2018
SCCC 128 all out (37.2 overs)
Follies Farm Old Spots 129-0 (16 overs)
Lost by 10 wickets
40 over match
FFOCC won the toss
Paul Bridges writes:
We got spanked!
It's not often we have one sided matches but this was one very fine example. Ironically we actually had a plan before we got to the pitch but any plan, however good, needs the players to deliver. Finding ourselves 21 for 3 after losing the toss and being put into bat was not part of it. The high score of 34 from Scottie was about as good as it got. No other player scored more than 15 with 7 of us being caught, leading to Seeckts's comment on the way back to the pavilion "they seem to have a lot of fielders". We dragged ourselves to 128 off 37 overs - mildly justifying the lovely ham sandwiches on offer at tea.
We then took to the field knowing that taking our opportunities would be vital - well, that didn't go well either. We dropped at least a dozen catches before I stopped counting. No wickets from any of the 6 bowlers in the 16 overs used by the oppo's Grant and Griffiths to knock off the runs needed. I took up Cupit's pre-match offer to "give me a bowl when you need a wicket", and he promptly went for 19 runs in over over with 3 sixes to see them home.
Plan for next year, no plan, just better players ;-)
Sunday 13th May 2018
Binsted CC 85 all out (28 overs)
SCCC 86 for 2 (25.4 overs)
Won by 8 wickets
Peter Andrew writes:
There are two key objectives for a Cryptics captain. These are to (a) win the toss, thereby ensuring that we bowl first and can give proper attention to tea, and (b) ensure that everyone gets a chance to contribute. Of course, (b) is much more difficult when (c) the entire match lasts for fewer than 54 overs, and (d) your line-up includes seven of the eight leading wicket takers over the last 10 years. So Bridges can feel pretty damn smug with himself on both counts, since six bowled, four batted, and Stentor kept wicket.
He also proved himself a competent tosser, electing to bowl on a ground where he was last seen roaring in with the early August evening gloom to roll over a couple of Rowledge 12-year olds. This time he came roaring down the hill into the Binsted openers, new opponents for us and yet another game in Hampshire. He had an opener snaffled by Chris Muldoon, Gossy picked up a couple – one LBW [really? to left-arm over? Ed], and another caught by Stu. There are those Cryptics whom the ball seems to follow around, and Stu is one of them – this gave him 20 catches in 46 matches.
Binsted had found the going quite hard, scoring between two and three runs an over, 40-over match notwithstanding. So, skipper probably sought to lift the run-rate by taking some pace off the ball, and brought on PAJ and Stu. This worked really well, as Stu bowled a hugely tidy five overs, conceding only three runs and providing Goss with a catch (another ball magnet – 61 in 142 matches). At the other end, PAJ passed his cap and zimmer frame to the umpire, and trundled six overs for 26, picking up five wickets on the way. A couple were bowled, a couple were caught (by – wait for it – Gossy and Stu), and the fifth was stumped.
Those of you who read the e-mail trails that follow our matches will both know that there was some controversy over this wicket. The ball beat both bat and wicket, at which point keeper Puppy, eschewing the gloves, kicked the ball onto the stumps. A brief perusal of the Laws shows this to be an entirely valid stumping, not least as no attempt was being made to take a run. Besides, who keeps the stats, guys?
During the huddle after this wicket, it was noted that we’d held all our catches, some of which were regulation, although Stu’s second was one to write home about. Rod then posed the question as to whether we’d ever had a match where no Cryptic had dropped a catch. Nobody knew. Here was a chance to imitate Arsenal’s Invincibles. Sort of.
With Binsted on 57 for 9, Chris had replaced Stu up the hill, and now Rod came on for PAJ at the top end. His first ball was driven straight back at him, and he promptly shelled it. Oh well. A few overs and a 28-run stand later, Chris got the last wicket, with far less controversy than his wicket at Reigate last week. But then, ‘bowled’ has always had an air of indisputability about it.
Tea was very good, except for the scones with jam and cream which were awesome.
Grinders, the unlucky non-bowling bowler, and Keith started our reply, well aware that the pitch offered occasional variable bounce. Which was proven in the first over when David was almost cut in half by Binsted’s left-armer. They amassed a cautious 20 off the first 10 overs with but a single boundary to show for it. 10 runs off the next over included Keith turning for a third, reluctantly since he wasn’t the one who’d hit it. Our score began to accelerate; 40 from 15, passing 50 in the 18th. Keith was then LBW for a most respectable 34. 56-1, with a remarkably controlled Grinders on just 17. But his control failed him on 28, when he was caught with us just 14 runs short. Hugh went in to watch Scottie biff most of them from the other end, and bells jingled for the first time this season.
A most satisfactory first game against a bunch of sociable opposition, who in other circumstances would most certainly give us a far more challenging afternoon. We look forward to the opportunity.
Sunday 6th May 2018
SCCC 88 all out in 32 overs
Reigate Pilgrims 91-3 in 18 overs
Lost by seven wickets
SCCC lost the toss
Hugh Greenway writes:
Keith announced that he had had his breakfast al fresco as the Cryptics gathered for their first game of 2018 in glorious Surrey sunshine. Readers need not enquire as to the exact meaning of this euphemism but Keith was smiling. Seeckts, returning to captaincy in Bridges’ absence, managed to lose the toss so that Keith was allowed to tuck in to the Pilgrims’ bowling. However, the Pilgrims’ keeper was not to be outshone and was on 8 byes by the end of the first over progressing to a top scoring 25 at the end of an otherwise very average Cryptic showing with the bat.
Keith and Hoggers opened, with Keith essaying cuts from all continents before eventually connecting with a menu selection of the Chinese variety on his way to an eventual 21. Hoggers was bowled for 8 bring an exuberant Puppy to the wicket. Pup’s clear and authoritative calling (other Cryptics take note) could be heard across the home counties and he scampered between the wickets before holing out to mid-on for seven. This brought Greenway to the wicket, who was clearly instructed by Keith that the bowling wasn’t doing much apart from falling down the hill towards leg stump. He dutifully watched and blocked his first before completely missing his second for what, if last year is anything to go by, will be the first of selection of ducks.
Cryptic novice Ingo strode purposefully to the wicket returning almost immediately without troubling the scorers after failing to hook a mid-tracker that climbed to almost ankle height. Skipper Seeckts stuck around for an obdurate nine before the rest of the order collapsed like soggy soufflé leaving Edwards the only one without egg on his face. All Pilgrim bowlers contributed but of note was the fourth change Tintu, who in scuttling Paja for the third and final duck of the innings, delivered an average of zero following his wicket maiden.
A delightful tea preceded the Pilgrim innings which began positively. The Pilgrim openers smashed ten off Rod’s first over and debut wicketkeeper Ingo added his one and only bye of a very promising debut with the gloves. The Pilgrims continued at a clip of about four an over, looking destined to complete the chase without loss as numerous Cryptics shelled fairly simple catches. Until Keith managed to hold the first Cryptic slip catch in reasonable memory to bring Janaardajan’s innings to an end for 30 in the tenth over.
Much of what followed was as forgettable as the Cryptic performance with the bat, save two contributions from Chris Muldoon. His first an astonishing direct hit from deep mid-wicket that astounded all including the run-out batsmen. His second, in the penultimate over, was described by the Pilgrims as the worst decision of the century. The new umpire was invited to consider Muldoon’s rank daisy cutter that pitched outside leg, bounced three times before clipping the bat then pad. The umpire promptly and emphatically decided it was out giving Muldoon the best figures for the Cryptics.