Won 5, Drawn 4, Lost 4 and won the Shackleford Sixes.
Tilford 15 September
SCCC 186-8 dec
Won by 90 runs
A glorious late summer day at beautiful Tilford started for some with lunch in the child unfriendly Barley Mow, but for the second successive week we were embarrassed by having only six players present at the scheduled start time and a mysterious no show. Stand up Kirk West wherever you are.
Informed that we were batting first, Wright chopped the second ball of the match onto his stumps and Hogben played all round a straight one to his fourth ball leaving us 5 (extras) -2. Seeckts (8) briefly flattered to deceive, Andrell (32) pinged some short stuff into the car park over the short boundary and Streeter batted like a man who is getting married this weekend. His fine 61 dug us out of the mire but at 97-6 it still didn’t look clever with a tail – Greenhough at number 7 on merit – batting more in hope than expectation.
Once again Cryptic grit was shown as Nick Pow (30*) and Tom Ware (21) took full advantage of some declaration bowling. The injured Ware only stepped in at the last moment and was delighted to increase his aggregate for the season to….. er……. 21 runs from four innings. The champagne moment of the Cryptic innings was Mark McLoughlin’s blistering straight drive (also his first runs of the year) which was worthy of Doug Walters, whose name adorns Mark’s bat. Dear old Blamphers had a pointless journey from Northampton again.
Pimms was served for the drinks intervals, and beer with tea. Little wonder the pub landlord got a bowl, albeit a 15 ball over, and a bat at No. 5, albeit a painful duck.
Enter the familiar figure of Ross Greenwood who, having announced on Radio 5 that he got carted last week in the now regular ‘Wake up to the Cryptics’ slot, took a wicket in each of his first four overs leaving Tilford reeling. He ended with 5-19. Again Mark McLoughlin went wicketless at the other end, leaving Greenhough and Blamphin to clean up and find some vital pre-tour form. Jimmy still has enough venom in him to necessitate post match bridge building and Blamphers’ long drive home was all pleasure with the scalps of Watership Down to his name.
So with 9 overs to spare we jingled our bells. Some locals thought we had killed the game but the book says we won convincingly and that Big Jim pouched two top catches, Pippa one and Greg got a stumping off guess who.
Readers will be pleased to know that the Players’ Wives section of the site will be live imminently.
Conference fixtures have thrown up all sorts over the years, but rarely have we visited such a fine club as Cove in respect of ground, pitch, pavilion, teas, sponsors logos and (this was the catch) youth policy. If the quality of a cricket team bears any relation to the amount of writing on their clothes, this was a team to be reckoned with. Embarrassed by the mysterious non appearance of Rizwan Sheikh and David Grindrod we borrowed the opposition captain for a 10-a-side game, negotiated a batting second situation without use of a coin and watched the Cove openers carve Greenwood in all directions.
It was quickly apparant that Cove would score as many as they wanted off whatever bowling was offered so eight bowlers were used and some ugly figures will appear in the also bowleds of the averages. Birthday boy Pippa 2-0-26-0. Pilot Pat Hicks 1-0-14-1. Ouch. Greenwood’s 6-0-53-1 will get lost in his rather better figures from the rest of the season. Goss with 8-2-28-2 was the only survivor as 224 came from 36 overs. Special mention of Dwight Cupit’s first stumping for the club, another mug falling for Jimmy’s lack of pace.
Birthday boy was smartly caught at short leg for 3, makeshift opener Greenwood chopped on for 6 while the pinch hitting burly Welsh form of James John clouted a face saving 38. Pippa, his runner, slipped and injured herself, almost requiring a runner’s runner. Ringer Matt Smith chipped in with 26, the newlywed Puppy Ware got a straight one before scoring and Cupit drew back his bow only far enough to spoon it to extra cover.
At 84-6 with 140 required and 18 overs remaining Seeckts emerged from the hutch to join Hicks. 8 an over was unlikely without a few risks being taken but a Claygate 2000 style victory still looked possible with 70 needed from the final 8 overs. Goss replaced Hicks (15) but lacked the captain’s ambition (and timing). Cove’s nerve was tested by Seeckts’ belligerent 62, taken from about 40 balls with strokes all round the wicket, classical driving and twinkling footwork to loft the ball straight enough to knock paint off the sightscreens at both ends. When Seeckts was sawn off by a miraculous catch, Goss managed to get to the strikers end, and get out before the unfortunate Greenhough faced a ball.
We lost the cricket in good style but would have won the Tug-of-War easily, being a good 4 stone a man heavier (and twenty years a man older) than the opposition.
The now habitual slaughter of Headley was repeated in glorious conditions, and in front of a reasonable crowd after Ross had managed to promote the game on his Radio 5 breakfast time business slot on Friday. His inflamatory language, using terms such as ‘grudge match’ and ‘never without incident’ ensured the deckchairs were packed by the time he arrived in the sixth over of the match.
The captain’s decision to insert Headley looked good when Mark McLoughlin, using a new ball for the last time, found the edge with his second ball and Andrell held on to the catch behind. “No ball” called the umpire. Fourth ball the same batsman chopped onto his stumps but again the umpire had called Mark for overstepping. The umpire was nephew Andrew McLoughlin and the old chap ended wicketless. They travelled home separately.
For the first 80 minutes we looked a proper cricket team as Goss, McLoughlin and Greenwood bowled exceptionally well with up to 6 men around the bat as Headley edged their way to 61-4. Andrell took a blindingly acrobatic catch before a more regulation one, the rest were bowled, Greenwood ending up with 13-4-37-5, and Goss as good but less lucky with 10-3-15-2.
Blamphin and Greenhough then quickly got Headley back in the game with some canteen bowling that Harmsworth slogged without mercy.
Wright took six from the first over after tea but perished for 12 shortly after in a rare bid to get after the bowling. Streeter’s strokeplay for 33 was typically stylish as he took a single from the sixth ball time and again. Andrell actually lost form mid innings, so little of the strike did he get. His 67 had everything, classy cuts and drives, solid defence, filthy dropped catches behind and in the deep, desperate running, consecutive sixes, and finally a yorker when he expected a short one. On balance it wasn’t pretty but it set up the win which was secured by Andrew and Goss with 17 balls to spare.
Champagne all round followed as we celebrated Mark’s testimonial / retirement in the company of the several former Headley players and, happily, Ross will have to inform his radio audience that the day passed without incident.
It was credit to all present that the Cryptics looked far better on grass than on paper, a complete turnaround from the first month of the season. A team made up of nine bowlers – some of whom would describe themselves as allrounders – a wicketkeeper / batsman and a captain somewhat under the weather, did not have high hopes of chasing a big score.
Selection difficulties saw to the imbalance in the side which included the return after 5 years of a prosperous looking Paul Neate. Entrusted with the new ball, he rolled back the years with an accurate spell of 9-4-17-2 as Claygate struggled to cope with irregular bounce in the opening hour. McLoughlin laboured without reward from the other end before late arrival Greenwood joined the fray, entertaining all with some emotional reactions to the batsmen’s good fortune. The bowling was unimaginatively shared among eight players before the declaration after 46 overs.
Consider this batting order: Greenwood, Greenhough, Cupit, Seeckts, Donald, B-W, West, Andrew, Neate, Hicks, McLoughlin. With four Aussies it sounded more than it looked like Hayden, Langer, Ponting, the twins etc
Jim (5) got a straight one early, Dwight (26) scored a 5 before being run out by Greenwood who had set about his work with characteristic vigour and forged a respectable partnership with Seeckts (25) when the last 20 overs started with 130 required. Narrowly avoiding a jug with 46, Ross ensured that several others got a bat, notably debutant Scott Donald who stayed to the end for 31, Brooke-Webb who was cleaned up for 81 less than last time, and Kirk West who has yet to play in a losing Cryptic team. PAJ Andrew smote four fours near the end but it was too late and another club first was achieved when stumps were drawn with an over remaining. It is doubtful that Claygate would have taken 4 wickets, equally so that we would have scored 26 runs.
Extras chipped in with 39 so everybody contributed on a day when it might all have been so different.
Ottershaw opted to insert the Cryptics on a very green and wet pitch, quite the opposite of the belters we are accustomed to at Havant on this weekend most years. Batting required immense patience to cope with naggingly accurate (though rather gentle) bowling and some unpredictable bounce and deviation.
It is no secret that Cryptic batsmen do not habitually display the required level of patience and concentration so to get to 55-1 and then 103-3 was commendable, Wright, Seeckts and Cupit all doing the right thing for a while. It was Big Jim Streeter who held the innings together with a brilliantly judged knock of 56 lasting 31 overs. After two weeks laid low by gastric problems, the lanky allrounder looked thinner than ever and required regular drinks. On another pitch his knock might have been worth 98, a point well made as we lurched to 109-7. The rain became heavy some time before the game was abandoned, as TV’s Ross Greenwood continued his crafty assault on the batting statistics with another 5*.
140 was probably a winning total, we were stacked with bowling and, given the recent run of form, would surely have won. The day was otherwise noteable for James John’s first game of the season in which he failed to get on the pitch but showed what a size 48 XXX long with XXX girth sweater looks like. Big.
“Cryptics are red hot favourites” and “they were a class above the others” may have some in the club wondering whether the team has experienced some sort of acid flashback.
Indeed if your tastes in cricket run to cold, damp affairs played on soft tracks at a leisurely 2-runs an over, read no more. This was calypso-cricket, Cryptic style, played at the rate of two runs a ball and as aggressively in the field.
The Shackleford-sixes tournament was this year played in 30-degree weather and on a hard, fast track. The Cryptic ensemble of Blamphin, Brooke-Webb, Goss, Grinrod, Greenwood and McLoughlin (Andrew) played with a confidence and supremacy rarely experienced in the Club’s history. The team was ably supported by manager Pip Wright and assistant manager Nick Pow (thanks boys or organising the free transfer of Goss from The Blues after he beat us here last year).
The 40-ball games brought forward some supreme performances: 87 runs in the first match against the gobby Charterhouse boys (“we only need to turn up to win”). That included 64644 out from McLoughlin; runs for both openers Goss and Brooke-Webb, Greenwood planted a ball over the barbeque and Blamphin, stone-walling at the rear whacked 15* from 8 deliveries. In the field the oppo were held to 42 with wickets down in the first, second and fourth overs – big catches held all over the field and other teams reassessing the required run rates.
Lunch a jolly affair as the Cryptics went large on the lager and the burgers.
In the second match against the Old Newts we tried chasing. We held them to 40 (three run outs – consider this Cryptics – three) and the McLoughlin pistol was kept in the holster as Goss and Brooke-Webb swept to victory by five wickets in the first ball of the fourth over.
The next test was home-side Shackleford. Brooke-Webb generously gave McLoughlin one over to face while Goss made a three over 50. The five over score was 82 and the home side failed to master the guile of Blamphin and Grinrod and gave scarcely a whimper.
Afternoon tea and the Cryptics changed to the barrel of ale, but the form in the final was not diminished.
The Cryptics played their earlier foes, the Charterhouse boys, and early tight overs from Greenwood and Grinrod – together with fine fielding – kept the boys at just 7 from two overs and 18 from three. They finished with the inadequate total of 37 – Blamphin on a hatrick confirmed his status as bowler of the day. Goss’s performance of running twice around a falling ball off his own bowling before missing it completely may have had something to do with the rapidly diminishing keg, or the setting sun, but his attempt at a one-hander next ball was impressive, if inconclusive. The Cryptics set about the task with the confidence of having Goss and McLoughlin opening for the side. A few lusty blows later they were back in the pavilion and Grinrod, Greenwood and Brooke-Webb completed the task with a few flutters.
A round of jingle bells, the the silver-ware (ok, small cricket bats) was handed out and it was back to the pub for celebrations. A great day out in the sun for all Cryppos.
Victorious team at Shackleford-sixes
Cedars 21 July
Cedars 193-8 dec (61 overs)
SCCC 194-4 (30.5 overs)
WON by 6 wickets
This was a ruthless hiding of the good folk of Northamptonshire, dished out with 10 or 11 overs to spare thanks to the savage batting of Andrew McLoughlin. For the second time in five days we were royally entertained, this time by Cedars at Holcot near to nobody but Blamphin. It was worth the journey. The beauty and quality of the ground, the wicket, pavilion, lunch (for this was an all day game) were all the best experienced by Cryptics in living memory. Our dressing room alone was larger than some pavilions we use. The Cryptic team on the day was light on batting, with a tail that started at Number 4 on the season’s evidence to date.
Cedars elected to bat first and, having lost a wicket in the first over to Greenwood’s slower loosener, reached 64-4 at lunch. Greenwood’s and Edwards’ opening spells were good once they realised that on a flat pitch they could afford the batsmen no width. With the bonus of a run out before the interval the Cryptics lunched happy. Blamphers was back on his feet by lunch having taken a catch at second slip in his “midriff” using his hands only some time after the initial impact, and to the amusement of all others on the ground.
Cedars batsmen completely lost the will to score and in the hour after lunch managed a feeble 32 runs from the tame medium pace of Brook-Webb and whatever the McLoughlin twins hurled at them. None of the bowlers bowled badly but it was respect on a level previously unseen as Cedars’ opener Schanshieff crawled to 108 without getting out of first gear in over three hours.
Declaring necessarily very late, Cedars set us to score at 5 an over. Wright went early for (a beautiful) 4, Hogben bludgeoned a rapid 28 and Cupit scatched a typical 19 but when Seeckts joined the younger McLoughlin at 82-3 with 19 overs remaining, the South African tyro cut loose and brutally assaulted the bowling. Better known for not reading his emails, he plainly had not read the script for the game either. One six cleared the boundary by fully 40 yards, the captain joined in the fun as the fielders firstly went quiet and then went to the horizon. Never has a ball been hit so hard in Cryptic history than by Mcloughlin. The pair added 104 in 7 overs of mayhem. McLoughlin perished for 88, allowing Greenwood to sneak a cheeky 7 not out to secure a remarkable victory with Seeckts there at the end on 36*.
Numerous Cryptics have had their day in the sun which passes into folklore. We can only hope that this day is not remembered as ‘McLoughlin’s match’ for the boy has the talent and the belligerence to do it many more times and it will be a surprise and a shame if we do not see such a sparkling display again soon.
Jubilant scenes were caught on camera before we embarked on the long journey home but it was a cracking day in all respects and worth every mile.
The unusual looking numbers above reflect an unsatisfactory game in which ten Cryptics easily overcame eight men of Deansbank. While it is always nice to dish out a jolly good hiding, even the victory starved Cryptics would have preferred a stiffer test than this from a club who, in recent years, have been a good match and sometimes too strong for us. Only a young South African called McLoughlin will be able to explain why there were ten Cryptics…
Deansbank plodded to 50 odd for 2 after 20 overs, unable to plunder Greenwood (10-5-12-2) and the debutant left arm flight and guile man Bridger (11-2-32-0). Blamphin and Grindrod entered the attack for a bit of variety, the former bowling six overs of unpunished trash while stealing 3-18 and leaving the day’s better bowlers seething. But he hadn’t had all the luck last time out at Dunsfold.
Still short of runs to chase the Cryptic skipper obligingly served up some pies but the innings ended in farce when the last man, batting alone, whacked the bails off while the ball was not in play after his running partner had been clearly run out but not sent on his way by the umpire. Confused? You should have been there. We decided to give him not out but adjourned for tea anyway.
James Hogben and Rizwan Sheikh (are there any other Cryptics with a ‘z’ in their name?) got off to a flying start, Riz skying one all too soon and allowing Dwight Cupit to the crease. Dwight scored eight in a partnership of 64 with Hogben who gave the impression of having a plane to catch, flaying the bowling to all parts while Dwight resisted the temptation to knock the middle of his new bat in. Hogben was caught attempting to send the ball towards Rudgwick again, Cupit came out of his shell when joined by Wright who clouted seven from six balls (he said) before shovelling one to mid on with three required. Skipper achieved a not out in the only possible way by being up the bowler’s end as the next ball went to the fence. Jingle Bells was a muted hum.
So much fuel was left in the Cryptic tank at the 5.45pm finish that we played a five a side ‘beer match’ before heading for the pub. This was notable only for Andrell being caught and bowled by Pippa. Ye Gods…
For once a Cryptic side proved to be stronger on grass than it looked on paper, which was stronger than usual. Given fair weather, good opposition and decent ground conditions, the team, showing five changes, played even better than last week at Dunsfold where the pitch was more suited to producing a result.
Debutant Rizwan Sheikh’s opening cameo was excellent but he showed his strong Cryptic credentials early by spooning one to cover on 13. (He later dropped a catch to complete his initiation). On a bouncy track Andrell then set about the Cobham bowlers for 72 runs using every part of the bat and every part of the field, not least the bit over the wicketkeeper’s head. Capably supported by a series of partners, only three of his scoring shots were neither fours nor singles. Brilliant or idle? David Grindrod then thrashed a sparkling 30 in the final overs while Greenwood shamelessly played for his average, squeezing out singles and finally refusing an easy second run from the last ball before the declaration, sacrificing the hapless Edwards in the process.
Cobham’s top three posed the greatest threat so when star batsman Newland edged Goss in the third over, the relief (and surprise) shown when Seeckts juggled and then pouched a sharp chance was understandable. Goss and McLoughlin had the batsmen hopping about for a while but with 20 overs remaining Cobham were 95-2 and well set to score the 5.6 required per over. Edwards was the surprise pick of the bowlers, pitching the ball up and taking 3-14 before succumbing to the old hamstring again. The captain’s second catch, a leaping, flying, reflex miracle of a thing at slip has probably not been bettered by Mark Waugh.
In fact the bowling and fielding all round were of a high standard, even Peter Andrew finding himself compared to our very own Puppy in the field. In the end the win was just out of reach, Cobham’s Everest having batted 41 overs for his 67* but the moral victory belonged to the Cryptics and we take on Deansbank next weekend in far better shape than we were nine days ago.
We won the toss and batted after some refreshment in The Sun.
It must have been the return of the prodigal Thompson from Denmark that made the the batsmen look like cricketers for the first time this year. From the moment Pippa smacked a boundary in the second over (honest) the tone was set, a refreshing change from the sometimes painful blockathons we have seen of late. Wright, Andrell, Williamson and Cupit all got over 25, the prodigal smeared / mooed a four over midwicket before getting a straight one, then Greenwood, aided by Seeckts, added useful runs late on, 68 coming from the final 12 overs before tea of cucumber sandwiches inter alia.
Captain’s shrewd plan of opening up with the change bowlers saw Dunsfold to 30-0 after 4 overs. Blamphin’s second over included three boundaries, two dropped catches (Captain pleads guilty) and a missed stumping. It wasn’t to be his day. Grindrod’s tidy away swingers beat the bat frequently and on another day he could have had several edges put down by the cordon of Seeckts, Thompson and Wright. As it was, Goss and Greenwood both took spectacular catches for him.
Greenwood, meanwhile, set about a demonstration of accuracy by hitting the off stump 5 times for 18 runs. Dunsfold’s groundsman should share the plaudits since four batsmen were victims of wickedly low bounce, helpless as the ball shot under their bats. Greenhough and Goss barely got time for a bowl, both picking up a wicket with sharp catches by Andrell behind the timbers.
Winning with 11.4 overs to spare, it was Jingle Bells all the way back to The Sun and for the prodigal, back to his tax haven.
The horror run continued at Salesians on Sunday with a now familiar tale of batting fragility.
Salesians batted first as they seemed more interested in the fate of the Irish football team. Greenwood and Pow bowled good opening spells to have them 33-4 after 19 overs but they recovered well in ground and weather conditions where big totals were never on. Greenwood’s 4-29 stole the limelight but Mark McLoughlin took 1-14 and now boasts 99 career wickets since 1992.
After tea Andrell treated his knock of 33 as a net, cleverly lofting the ball to avoid the slow outfield, spanking 2 mountainous sixes in the process. Everybody else prodded and poked their way to unflattering single figure scores bar Edwards who slogged an unlikely 17 before we lost with 4 overs to spare.
That we could do with some sunshine and drier pitches to play on is not in doubt. We could also do with considerably more resolve at batting time. Perhaps Salesians’ pitch only suited lefthanders, perhaps Andrew Thompson is the man to pull us out of the trough on Sunday at Dunsfold……..
Well, the Cryptics finally managed to achieve two things that had been threatened all season: 1) bowling a side out 2) failing to reach 100. It was a game of two halves: all looked well until tea, with a workmanlike fielding display restricting the home side to what looked like an attainable 144 all out.
The luckless Goss and Edwards pinned their openers down until late arrival McCloughlin (A) showed what a well-placed half-volley could do; B-W pouching the catch off Bubba Junior’s first ball. (More first ball excitement followed for Little Bok in the second act). Before weariness and genetics kicked in and his arm action came increasingly to resemble that of Uncle Mark, he added four more wickets. Two of these were taken by “I’m not just a stand-in” wicketkeeper Ware (and a third off a no-ball); bizarrely marking his first catches behind the timbers.Even more bizarre was the fact that the stumping off Greenhough was not his first: he also snaffled one at the same venue off the same bowler last year. If it was the same batsman, it is advisable he retire immediately. McCloughlin finished with 5-27. Greenhough didn’t. All the change bowlers chipped in with wickets; the fielders fielded; Rod realised (eventually) that a sightscreen does not fit through a tree and Alan Wood also had a Bois de Putney experience, his head effecting some minor arboreal surgery on the mid-wicket boundary. All-in-all, it was a sanguine Cryptics that went into tea.
Cast in the role of pinch-hitter, McCloughlin then returned the first ball favour, having his leg stumped removed by what transpired to be Putney’s best bowler. Pinch-hitter No.2 arrived in the form of B-W, and departed four balls later along with his middle stump. Arrive stand-in Skipper at No.4 to join Hogben – just the eventuality that the strategy was designed to avoid – with the first over still yet to be completed. A stand of 26 followed before yours truly played all round a straight one to become Smallshaw’s third victim. Of the top (read ‘first’) seven batsmen, only Hogben avoided his clutches: a result achieved by the clever ploy of positioning himself at the other end. 7-3-6-8 are figures that Cryptic bowlers can only dream about until the Fine Young Zionists make a reappearance on the fixture list.
The Cryptics innings contained six ducks (is this a record, Stattos?). The fact that Hogben’s 29 represented the highest score of the match (eclipsing the 25 that Extras scored for Putney) puts it in some perspective, but it was still an abject performance.
A crestfallen Cryptics then trooped back to the pavilion only to find that Hoggers had contrived to lose the key somewhere about the time that the rest of the team were losing the plot. Perfect end to a perfect day.
For a hit and giggle game the Cryptics indulged in little of either. With 18 players available it was a touch infuriating to turn up with 10 while we ventured to a fabulous venue to encounter a strong team.
They lent us a fielder for the first 20 overs but thereafter the lack of an eleventh man proved very costly. We had them 0-2 after 2 balls, Greenwood fooling both openers with his slower one. Follies’ recovery betrayed a team confident in the 40 over format and the fact that their team was stacked with batting, the best players listed to come in at 8, 9 and 10. They murdered the loose stuff, and there was enough of that not to have to take risks against the better stuff. Greenwood ended with 4-30 and debutant Andrew Pryde took 2-29 in 4 varied overs. Young Andrew McLoughlin’s opening spell was tight but wicketless.
The Cryptic chase was bogged down by disciplined bowling and a batting combination in which one partner couldn’t hit it far and the other couldn’t run. With only a tortured 60 on the board at 20 overs there was little hope and, predictably, the middle order fell cheaply trying to make amends. We have not mastered the limited overs format and since there was nothing to play for in the last hour we should be glad we don’t play it very often. Blamphers cracked a straight 4 to bring up the hundred and that was it.
The brave may like to refer to the report of the Follies Farm match on 14/5/2000!
This was just the kind of early season, slow track, cold, windy fare that puts sensible people off cricket. Having lost the toss we lurched from a poor 17-3 to a desperate 39-6 before recalled veteran Martin Williamson and the prosperous looking Ross Greenwood tucked in to the home team’s change bowlers. The pair added 80 before Williamson retired hurt, doubtless looking to improve his average. Skipper delayed the declaration long enough for him to return and be dismissed for 41, by which time Greenwood had notched his first 50 for the club in fine style. The rest of the team were awful, variously playing ridiculous shots and inducing run outs.
Kingstonian’s reply made our run rate look rapid as they flattered our rusty but enthusiastic bowling. A few catches went down, eight bowlers were used, Mark McLoughlin hit the stumps three times but otherwise made life tough for wicketkeeper Edwards. Kingstonian made no attempt to win the match and most of the crowd left well before the end.
Prepare for something completely different at Follies Farm where the hit and giggle limited overs rules promise non stop thrills.