Played 10   Won 2   Drawn 5   Lost 3

Follies Farm 13/5/01
Follies Farm 141-6 (40 overs)
SCCC 135-9 (40 overs)
Lost by 6 runs

In real cricket it was a draw but in this age of instant gratification and cheap thrills Follies have decided to adopt the limited overs, hit and giggle formula with all its faults, not least of which is that we scored less runs than them.

A slow track, long grassy outfield and early season caution meant it was never going to be a Claygate. The Cryptics bowled and fielded like a far better team than we are most of the time, still managing to spill sufficient catches for the the absent Thompson to get a mention while he worked off the hangover from Copenhagen’s Eurovision bonanza.

The Cryptic reply saw Wright and MacDonald back in the hut inside 11 balls and from 8-2 it was hard graft. Hogben scored 39 inspite of running as if in quicksand, Ware got off the mark with a six, Greenwood, Greenhough and Andrew all butchered a few, the latter being farcically run out for 31 when it looked like he might pull off a win for us. Pow and Blamphin found 12 from 5 balls too much and Seeckts and Brooke-Webb are mentioned for doing little worthy of a mention.

An enjoyable day in fine weather on a wonderful ground was refreshing. It was also memorable for being the first occasion on which James MacDonald has been seen holding hands with his lover, suggesting that foot and mouth restrictions are already being lifted. Putney 20/5/01
SCCC 137 all out
Putney 116-9
Match drawn

Bearing out last week’s comments about hit and giggle overs games, this was a tense game throughout, swinging back and forth several times and even keeping the interest of reluctant Ukrainian spectators!

Unpredicatble Putney pitch.  Wet, bumpy, dog turded outfield but a better opposition than in recent years. We lurched to 29-4, Hogben, Wright and MacDonald all failing before the “mighty Dwight” Cupit (46) and Andrell (31) put on 78 and we crept to 137 in almost 45 overs.

Putney raced to 62-2 and should have romped home with plenty to spare but inspired (desperate?) captaincy brought the spin twins Streeter and MacDonald on in tandem and they strangled the Putney middle order with huge variations of length and a disgraceful LBW decision in our favour respectively. We attacked throughout, unnerved the Putney tail and nearly pulled of a splendid win.

Macca can now claim all rounder status as his batting average (8) is higher than his bowling average (7.66) as he takes a deserved break to Skye to investigate his convict ancestory. Platypods 10/6/01
Platypods 161-7
SCCC 112 all out
Lost by 49 runs

This was nowhere near as humiliating as it looks. Against a team of disturbingly young looking schoolmasters we bowled and fielded well throughout, Greenwood and McLoughlin in new boots looking particularly menacing early on. Not a catch was dropped and Greenwood’s astonishing catch off his own bowling was the first of 4 he took in the afternoon. Is this a record Pauly? 2 in successive balls left Greenhough on a hat trick but it wasn’t to be.

Greg attempted to eat a McLoughlin legside delivery, taking a sickening blow on the kisser and departing for stitches midway through. Deprived of an opener and given not enough time, the chase never got going with most of us out for 7, only the solid (slow?) Wright (24) and belligerent (slogging) Ware (24) making much impact although the universally acclaimed shot of the day was the captain’s cover drive off the headmaster’s bowling.

We only lost with 2 overs remaining because we chased up till the ninth wicket. Andrell (3*) came in at number 10 confirming what we all know about our Kiwis playing for their averages.Dunsfold 24/6/01
SCCC 196-6 dec
Dunsfold 161-6
Match Drawn

On a scorching day it was a popular toss to win and bat first. After Pippa’s morning withdrawal the makeshift openers, Inzimam Hogben and Dwight Gilchrist (44) walloped a partnership of 108 in 24 overs. The pitch, the conditions and the bowling meant we needed a big total so Ricky MacDonald’s first decent knock of the year (44*) was welcome, even though he and Hogben were seen running in the same direction away from stumps about to be demolished, the big man being harshly sacrificed for 76.

From 153-1 a series of Cryptics did passable impressions of Mark Ealham, missing straight ones and skying short ones without reaching double figures. PAJ Andrew’s score of 2 includes the 2 leg byes wrongly attributed to him.
Dunsfold’s reply was predictably fiery from the start, 50 coming up in the 8th over before the hapless Pow 4-0-30-0 was replaced by the disappointingly occasional Harry Stevens whose proper left arm twirlies were the perfect mix of control and teasing flight.

Requiring 90 from 15 overs with 7 wickets in tact Dunsfold still fancied their chances but Stevens and the lively Brett Blamphin never let them off the hook inspite of several chances going begging in the outfield. It was tense till they gave up the chase with 4 overs left. Deansbank 7/7/01
SCCC 194-5 dec
Deansbank 90-4
Match abandoned as a draw due to rain

Like Henman, England and the Lions we would undoubtedly have won this match but for the weather. Ho ho. After the flourish of Dunsfold we reverted to the more established opening pair of Wright and Andrell who ushered us gently to 35-3 after 17 overs. Only when Atkinson, the Big Shot from the Big Apple, joined MacDonald did things start to happen – 159 runs in 23 overs in fact – as their competeing egos released a wealth of uncharacteristic shots.

Atkinson revealed previously unseen off side prowess including a delightful late cut in a sound 41. The blister that appeared on his top hand confirmed how soft USA life is and will surprise any who know how he used to bat. His dismissal provided the day’s champagne moment – brilliantly caught by a forward diving Nick Andrew (aged 10, son of PAJA) who was subbing for the oppo and is now conducting catching practice in the garden at home.

MacDonald made amends early season failures with knock of 104* containing the full array of strokes punctuated by singles from the sixth ball of any over he could manage. It was a gem of an innings but as the rain, thunder and lightning took hold after tea it all became rather miserable. We had time for PAJA and Greenwood hideously to drop the only player who could have won the game for Deansbank, Pippa and Atkinson to hold good ones and with 105 required from 15 overs when abandoned we were in charge. Ockham 29/7/01
Cryptics 128
Ockham 129-5
Lost by 5 wickets

This was as sound a thrashing as we have had in a long while. From 44-0 we were dismal and could have been rolled for 80 without a dogged 25 from Big Jim Streeter and some cavalier strokes from the ageless Greenwood.
Ockham looked troubled at 43-4 but were seen home on a pitch of variable bounce by a large number of extras and some calculated slogging from Ross’ latest admirer.

Pick of the bowlers was Blamphin, funniest moment was the returning Dickson being struck on the knee by the ball flying off the stump when a man was bowled, and pick of the fielders was old flypaper Seeckts again taking three snorters that Mark Waugh would have struggled to pouch.

Other notables were the first Kenyan Cryptic, Amman Jesane, and P N Dickson’s bowling figures 0.1- 0- 4- 0. Thanks for coming. Havant 5/8/01
500-1 that the Cryptics first win of the year would be against the talented youths of Havant. It was our first win for 322 days.
Havant 156-6 dec
SCCC 160-2
Won by 8 wickets with 9 overs to spare

A true giant killing, achieved by a combination of verbal bluff and uncharacteristically intelligent bowling and batting.

We got the usual hot day, rapid outfield, flattish track and youthful quality oppo and a strong feeling of deja vu as they rattled up 80-0 in 14 overs. Enter the ginger twins, Stevens and Greenwood who strangled the batsmen quite brilliantly, took the wickets regularly and with fine support from the fielders allowed them 133 runs less than last year.

Breaking with club tradition, we failed to collapse. Andrell dropped anchor at one end and Streeter caressed the ball classically to all parts (does that make up for being called dogged last week big man?) for 44. MacDonald thrashed a rapid 57 while Andrell seemingly went into drydock, then managed to hole out with 2 runs needed and the hopelessly out of form captain was forced to risk further humiliation. Another duck was avoided thanks to a dropped slip catch, the next one was flayed to the fence and I now have 35 runs this year. Dismal.

Andrell meanwhile made 38 not out, found the boundary 3 times in 33 overs and surely the crowds will flock to see him in tandem with Pippa next time!
The sweet tones of Jingle Bells wafted round Havant for the first time.
Headley 2/9/01
Headley 153-all 9 (47 overs)
SCCC 154-7 (33.3 overs)
Won by 3 wickets with 2.3 overs to spare.

Sweet victory over a Headley side who never gave the impression of wanting anything other than a draw. The heavens open in tropical style as we left the field which would have made bowling the remaining 15 balls impossible.

We stuck them in on a moist strip and they plodded to 60 odd before we got a wicket. McLoughlin was unlucky not to take some wickets, stand in ‘keeper MacDonald having a tricky day behind the timbers. Debutants Kirk West and James Buckland entertained well and will surely return for more but is was the ageing Melton Mowbray, Peter Alastair Jeremy Andrew who claimed two catches he would normally have dropped and four wickets from catches other Cryptics may have dropped. We fielded well but most Cryptic bowlers were made to look rather too good by a batting side intent on doing nothing particularly flamboyant.

After a late tea and in poor light the reply was always likely to be more tricky than it appeared. Unusually all the batsmen contributed, Wright smashed? 23, Macca slashed 28 and Greenhough, up the order for an early departure, blitzed 16 vital runs from 8 balls at the beginning of the last 20 overs. Buckland, Seeckts and Andrew saw us home in near total darkness as Headley tried all sorts to achieve the draw in rapidly fading light. 13 overs an hour, trying to bring on an extra fielder on the quiet – all in vain in the end.

So it turned out quite satisfying, near the end of a season marred by bad weather, bad luck and a good measure of under achievement. Tilford 16/9/01
Tilford 153-9
SCCC 35-2 then lashings of rain
Technically a draw

But since Tilford took one more over than Headley (48) to reach the same score and we were rattling them off at 5 an over from the start, we claimed the win by the Duckworth Greenwood method.

Once again the Cryptic bowlers were made to look good by some dour batting. We did our bit, dropping half a dozen catches and using 8 bowlers. Real bowlers cringed as the skipper sent stumps cartwheeling with his third ball, so breaking Tilford’s only meaningful partnership and opening up the rabbit hutch. It was our eighth bowler who stole the headlines. James Brooke-Webb, former batting hero, put the ball in the right places as Tilford tried to slog their way to respectability. Flopsy and Mopsy succumbed to good catches, Cottontail played all round a straight one and Peter got a harsh LBW decision next ball leaving the fertile property guru on a hat trick for his fifth wicket from the last ball of the innings. It didn’t happen but figures of 5-1-8-4 look quite good.

The brief reply saw the Andrell  / MacDonald challenge go nowhere as both were out for not many, Streeter partly salvaged his dismal day in the field and Wright at No 4 carved a single, so dramatically improving his average, before the heavens opened. Cobham 22/9/01
SCCC 233-9 (45 overs)
Cobham 213-9 (44 overs)
Match drawn

It was very much a team effort with contributions all round. After proving that the stand-in skipper is not the tosser Seeckts is, we were sent in on a green and soft track. Whilst Mr and Mrs Hogben were cruising the streets of Cobham, apparently lost, but looking well rested after their honeymoon, debutant A McLoughlin opened the batting impressively and his quickfire 33 with Pippa’s 19 saw us put on 52 before McLoughlin gave the opening bowleer the charge, missed everything and kept walking. A lovely 55 from the Captain of the day with some glorious strokes to all parts and some felching at the other end saw us limp along to 133-5 before our secret weapons PAJ Andrew and James B-W came together to put on an entertaining and rapid 74. PAJ eventually out for 21 and JB-W smashing everything in sight for 63 not out.

Champagne moment(s) could have been James John’s towering straight 6 in a cameo that went 4-dot-6-out, or Mark McLoughlin’s refusal to pad up because he was not going to risk missing out on afternoon tea by being in the middle at the end of the innings, but was in the end the simple pleasure of watching the Cobham bowlers seeing their bowling with interest over their heads by JB-W.

In the field, and goaded on by his younger relative, McLoughlin snr (aka “Bubba” apparently) opened impressively and with Ross at the other end, soon had Cobham reeling at 20-3, before they sent in their real batsmen and once again it was up to the stand-in skipper to come on and break up a 95-run partnership with a crafty long hop that was obliginginly spponed to Greenwook, who incidently also took a very nice one off Bubba, running backwards at least 10 yards to backward square leg to move ahead in the season’s catching stake. Cobham’s sloggers then threatened to take the game on until our other secret weapon, Nick Pow, was brought on for a devastating spell that yielded 2-0-7-2. With the pressure mounting Greenwood and A McLoughlin got one each but in the dark and bowling at a kid with all 10 around the bat we ran out of overs in a thoroughly entertaining game that Cobham have requested be moved to earlier in the season next year.