Played 12 Won 7 Drawn 3 Lost 2

Tilford 14.09.03
SCCC 209 all out
Tilford 193-7
Match drawn

An odd game really, ultimately providing a rather flat end to a generally successful season. Unusual things happened, some for the sake of it and others out of end of term sentimentality, on another gloriously sunny day.

We elected to bat, fiddled around with the batting order to give the deprived a chance, and predictably sped to 39-4 in the sixth over when the real openers, Wright and Andrell got their chance. Meantime Hogben had been cruelly sawn off by a filthy call from Goss which left the big vegetarian yards out on 8. Goss’ 18 came from only 4 scoring shots, Andrew’s 8 from 2 and Seeckts’ 1 from …….er 1, desperately unlucky as he was to have a neat clip off his legs miraculously snaffled by a razor sharp short leg fielder.

From then Andrell led the way, making up for his lack of appearances during the summer with a stylish knock as his partners came and went. Wright carefully mustered 19, McLoughlin, lacking the pulling power displayed before his recent trip to Australia fell for 2, Williamson knicked one on 1. Ware then smote a semi-cultured 27 with the usual mix of aggression and lack of footwork and Hicks, whose cricketing sorties are usually reserved for low tide at Salcombe, tonked one so high that it drifted onto the road for six. Last man Pow did a sterling job of trying to see Andrell from 72 to a century but on 94 he edged to the keeper and nobly walked while all around shrugged their shoulders.

Tea was sabotaged by the Cryptics’ three Atkins dieters pinching the fillings out of many sandwiches leaving the athletes of the team to dine on bread and cakes only while listening to more detail than we wanted of the effects of crackpot dieting.

It was a mercy to resume, for there was no evidence that the Tilford top order had fallen for the Atkins fad. McLoughlin bowled fast and aggressively, becoming incensed by Cartwright’s only shot through third man. More and more fielders were set for it but he reached 34 before Wright took a blinding catch in the gully to appease the young African. LBW’s have always been rare at Tilford, just ask Jimmy Greenhough, but McLoughlin got one and Pow’s tidy spell (2-26) saw them at 51-5.

Team at Tilford 14.09.03

Then almost everybody got a bowl. Hicks’ dobbers were soon found out, Andrell bowled a good line to a lefthander but the batsman was righthanded, Andrew floated down some crafty canteen stuff. Goss bowled five fine overs for 4 runs, switched ends and was spanked for 28 from 2 more to the amusement of all. In desperation Wright and Seeckts had a go too but Tilford batted cussedly in the last 20 overs, losing only one wicket while never having a hope of winning the game. That they scored as many as they did late on was down to our generosity and some cultured slogging by Jocky Crawte who raced to 62* without once smiling.

Headley 31.08.03
Headley 138 all out 36 overs
Surrey Cryptics 142-4 28.4 overs
Won by 6 wickets

Seeckts’ attempts to ensure a defeat in absentia by sending us to Headley with just 10 were thwarted by the eleventh hour (literally) call-up of one-cap Ed Dyson, plucked from his local in no fit state to refuse.

Skipper-for-the-day Ware chose to field on a damp wicket and the opening attack of Goss (11-3-34) and Grindrod (9-1-38) bowled tightly, reducing Headley to 43-4. Two fell to catches by newly-discovered second slip sensation Hope-Dunbar, although given that first slip was one PAJ Andrew and H-D’s not inconsiderable girth, both would probably have flown through the vacant fourth slip area on any other day.

Said PAJ was then introduced into the attack and set about proving that his penchant for pies extends beyond the gourmet. New cap Parrish spared his blushes with a well-judged catch on the (very) deep mid-wicket boundary.

If Williamson’s spell the previous week was deemed ‘good shopping’, then this was the kind more readily understood by the majority of Cryptic partners….At least the exercise enabled the out-fielders to sample the fine crop of blackberries on offer in the undergrowth.

Greenhough (7-3-27) was meanwhile plying his trade at the other end, even claiming an LBW that anyone side-on to the action could have testified should have been turned down on the grounds that it would not have reached the wicket. He was joined by spin twin Parrish, whose three overs accounted for two batsmen for the cost of just three runs. Headley eventually capitulated at 138, the final wicket a Greenhough caught & bowled. Sometimes you just know it’s the Cryptics’ day!

The reply began apace, with Wright taking a single off the first ball of the innings and then watching in awe the antics of pinch-hitter Hope-Dunbar at the other end. When Wright was out for six in the sixth over (good strike rate) with the score on 42, H-D had already raced to 36 and was looking well-set for his first Cryptics half century. That he was seeing the ball well was no better exempified than by the fact that he almost middled the delivery to which he was adjudged LBW on 43. The Headley umpire was perhaps mindful of sparing us another (small) jug of lager shandy.

Dyson justified his choice of hangover cure with a stylish 30 to add to his two catches, while debutant Parrish concluded a convincing all-round display with 36*. He struck the winning runs with a possible 17.2 overs still remaining, bringing up as decisive a Cryptic’s victory as has been witnessed at Headley. Captain Ware followed the tried and tested tactic of neither bowling nor batting himself (he did keep wicket rather well, however) and was heard departing into the Surrey dusk muttering: “Who Seeckts?”

PS. Another possible candidate for the Fathers & Sons web-page: Father & Sons Drops.
Headley 31/8/03…..PAJ and Nick Andrew, two in three balls – neither a gimme, but, hey, who cares?

Farley Hill 24.08.03
SCCC 207-5 dec
Farley Hill 154 all out
WON by 53 runs

When the challenge of playing the Bounders again evaporated due to their inability to raise a side, we gambled on a Club Conference fixture and ended up at Farley Hill’s cosy ground (not to mention the dressing room) in a forest near nowhere. Like all grounds we win on, it had a certain charm, fine teas and welcoming hosts, but also a desperately low and slow wicket amid a rough and bone dry outfield.

The Cryptic mix included the club’s highest run scorer, highest wicket taker, richest man, poorest man and best ever cricketer. Tony Dodemaide (Victoria, Sussex and Australia, 10 Tests, 24 ODI’s) now claims the perch occupied for years by Graham Atkinson. It was a treat for the Cryptics to have him for a day and we hope to entice him back for one or two of the bigger games next year.

Tony Dodemaide is awarded the baggy pink and black - Farley Hill 24 August '03
Tony Dodemaide is awarded the baggy pink and black

Necessarily inserted with only seven men on the ground at the start, Wright and the in form skipper set cautiously about their task. When Wright spooned one to cover on four, Cupit arrived even more cautious and took 25 minutes to score the first of his three runs. Seeckts was strangled on 27, gloving one down the legside to a Guinness fuelled wicketkeeper and from 48-3 Dodemaide and 17 year-old debutant John Mousinho added 145 in 75 minutes. International experience and youthful talent exposed Cryptic cricket for what we all know it is, but took nothing away from the enjoyment of the spectacle as the Australian carried out a thorough examination of Farley Hill’s ball finding abilities in the trees and bracken. On reaching 103 Dodemaide chipped one to square leg, allowing father Gordon Mousinho – in his first game since scoring a legendry 100* at Headley in 1995 – to join his progeny at the crease. It was brief, a straight one accounting for the old man just after he got off the mark. Son ended with 30*, David Grindrod notched another cheeky not out and an abundance of talent (Chetwode, Williamson and Greenhough) was not required.

So the abundance opened the bowling after tea. Chetwode was typically miserly and surprisingly wicketless with 8-4-8-0, in neat contrast to Greenhough’s daringly flighted 10-0-39-2. Opening the bowling under Allan Border guarantees nothing here, a fact clearly sensed by Dodemaide when he obligingly offered to keep wicket. Three stumpings and a fine running catch at least got him in the frame for Man of the Match. His description of Martin Williamson’s last over, 1 for 16, (8-1-49-2 overall) as “good shopping” secured the award.

Farley Hill took the invitation to chase and with 120 needed from the last 20 overs and eight wickets in hand, it may have been a contest. They never recovered from 125-5, the tail was weak and Grindrod was a touch flattered by figures of 4-14 from 7.5 overs. John Mousinho’s spell was shorter than planned, his own fault since his second and third deliveries both hit the off stump. Bowling a No-ball when on a hat-trick merely indicates what a fine Cryptic this man may become.

Six wins and two draws from ten completed matches this year. We drank the bar as dry as the outfield and departed happy to have been part of another day that will pass into Cryptic folklore.

Team at Farley Hill + Charlie

Claygate 17.8.03
SCCC 224-8 dec
Claygate 202-9
Match drawn

Those of the opinion that limited overs games are the way forward and that  declaration cricket has had its day would not have had much of a case on the evidence of this match. Perhaps it was best summed up by the non-bowling, reluctant fielder James Hogben, who got a second ball duck but announced afterwards that it had been a great game and he had thoroughly enjoyed his day!

Inserted on a pitch of variable bounce, surrounded by a rapid outfield, it was hard to gauge a decent score and at 18-2 (Cupit 9 and Hogben back in the hutch) we were none the wiser. Wright, moving quickly after a Saturday vindaloo, and Seeckts set about repairing the damage with a stand of 49 in half an hour before the balding opener nicked one to the ‘keeper on 28 and walked so quickly the ball had hardly been caught. Australian umpire Cupit was aghast. Seeckts thrashed his way blissfully to 50 in the company of the classy looking McLean (27) and Grindrod (24) who kept the runs flowing while the skipper briefly lost form, and a score of 250 looked possible. A masterclass in cover driving was ended by a wicked lifter off a good length robbing Seeckts of his first century ever on 74. It opened the way for debutant Jamie Craig-Wood (6), the equally double barrelled Tommy Hope-Dunbar (24*) and the just plain barrelled Peter Andrew (17*) to long handle their way to tea, carving the ball to all parts without reference to the coaching manual.

Claygate invariable produces high scoring, close games and the home side were competitive throughout. Wright spilled a hard but vital chance off Goss early on and the runs flowed in spite of fine bowling from Goss, Grindrod, H-D and C-W. Excellent running and well judged big shots kept Claygate in it right up to the last four overs but the fielders stayed uncharacteristically alert, good catches were held in the deep and as PAJ Andrew put the noose around the home side from the bottom end, Goss returned to tighten it from the top. Wickets fell at just the right times to keep both sides interested and stumps were drawn after a comical last ball run out at about ten to eight. Goss finished with an admirable 15-5-49-4 and Andrew 10-0-53-2.

The eleventh man was again 12 year old Nick Andrew who fielded well and will bat and bowl more when his old man retires to the scorebook. The skipper bought a batting jug. It might be a while before that happens again.

Old Cranleighans 19.7.03
Old Cranleighans 200-4 dec (41 overs)
SCCC 201-4 (41.3 overs)
Won by 6 wickets

Future students of the game may think this result peculiar in the way that several higher grade cricket matches in recent years have been – for the formbook made us serious underdogs. The Old Cranleighan side was neither their youngest nor strongest but contained enough glitterati to overcome the Cryptics nine times out of ten. OC’s had played five games in the week without losing to teams containing First Class and Test Match players. We had (rightly) not been deemed worthy of a fixture since four thrashings 1993-1996, so were honoured to be invited back to play the ‘Golden Oldies’ under the stewardship of occasional Cryptic, Martin Williamson.

After winning the toss and electing to field, the Cryptics restricted OC’s to 32-2 in the first hour, Goss (8-3-14-1) and Kowalski (8-3-22-1) swinging the ball beautifully. Talented veteran GB hockey ace David Westcott survived three chances on his way to 50 and the Watkinson brothers, Sam (68) and Henry (46*), did the rest with clean hitting and a bit of luck – Henry being dropped four times in five balls off the hapless Grindrod, all in the deep, in the closing overs. Meantime, debutant left arm spinner Ed Dyson had a first over to remember. A wicket with his first ball looked likely as Polish Kowalski got under a skier only to drop it. More remarkably the over contained seven full tosses and one that pitched. Greenhough bowled five expensive overs but stole two good wickets and Follies Farm ringer David Leng was predictably mean in conceding 33 from ten overs. How Paul Goss – fielding ‘on the boundary’ – managed to let consecutive catches go over his head for four, only he can explain.

Leng, Goss, Kowalski, Grindrod, Seeckts relax as victory unfolds
Leng, Goss, Kowalski, Grindrod, Seeckts relax as victory unfolds

Williamson’s declaration was sporting, given that the Cryptics had bowled only 41 overs in two and a half hours and would have received 44 had the game gone the distance.

The reply started poorly, runs proving hard to find off Sam Watkinson and PJL Rollings who removed Hope-Dunbar and Cupit cheaply. Wright anchored the innings while allowing (or forcing?) firstly debutant South African Graham McLean (46) and then Leng (32) to apply their natural aggression. Grindrod played coolly for 30* late on, the match being won with 2.3 overs to spare. No less than three Cryptics were padded up to bat at the end, marvelling at the absence of any form of collapse and Wright’s ability to bat for two and three quarter hours without a Camel and still being able to run threes to the last.

This was truly an innings to justify missing his first born’s ninth birthday party. He remained calm all day, allowed those around him to seek the glory in vain, and those future students of the game will recognise the 70* he scored at Cranleigh as a 43 year old as one of his finest days as a Cryptic. Later on he rolled out of the pub suggesting to the captain that we couldn’t have written it better. The captain’s secret of another giant killing? – not to allow himself to bat or bowl in the match again.

Jingle Bells

FAS 17.7.03
30 overs per side
FAS about 70-2 (15 overs)
Match abandoned

A rain ruined farce of a day. Men who know English weather and cricket well might have thought better of encouraging a midweek side to travel to Warwickshire on a morning when all but blind optimists knew a meaningful game of cricket was impossible. The beer was cheap, the club sandwiches excellent, but the tedious journey plus a wet and windy hour in the field left many wondering why. Big Jim took two fine catches but the game was not deemed first class.

Shackleford 13.7.03
SCCC 151 all out
Shackleford 154-5
Lost by 5 wickets

A scorching day, riddled with incident, saw the Cryptics regress about eight years which, since many of the team came from that era, was not too surprising. 10 players, lousy batting, about a dozen dropped catches, poor fielding and a teatime set to with the opposing captain made it a day to forget, but we won’t.

Seeckts and Wright opened but when 23-0 became 25-3 the former began to bat like a total sheet anchor, amassing 8 of the 49 scored before edging to slip. Wright had nicked a good one to the ‘keeper, Hogben spooned a bad one to mid off and Ware ran himself out. Renowned for his good arm, the puppy then gave a fine display of bat throwing and later in the field gave the same treatment to the rest of his toys. Rizwan clattered a few again, PAJA and B-W were unable to repeat Claygate 2000, Pow was brilliantly run out and it was left to Tommy Hope-Dunbar (49) and Greenhough (22) to restore some respectability with some lusty blows.  Debutant number 11 Nick Andrew watchfully kept Jimmy company while they added 18 but at 150-9 the home side marched off the field, thus providing the first known instance of the fielding captain calling the declaration.

Then the fun started and lively debate resulted in the Cryptics batting on after tea, comically adding only a wide to the score before Greenhough over ambitiously holed out.

B-W’s second (and last) over went for 18 but Pow and Andrew Snr bowled with great control for long spells. However, with a small total to defend and fielders who had spent the tea interval smearing butter all over their hands we never had a chance. Greenhough more than repaid the wides and Nick Andrew’s first ball for the club sailed straight through the puppy for the winning runs.

We probably rescued the fixture for next year in the pub, where the “impoverished Scot” Hope Dunbar provided another Cryptic first by shamelessly buying a  (small) jug of lager shandy. The kind of thing even James Andrew Donald MacDonald didn’t quite have the nerve to do. Summed up the day really.

Bounders 6.7.03
Bounders 179-7 (35 overs)
SCCC 185-4 (30.1 overs)
Won by 4 wickets

As trouncings go, this was particularly satisfying – not least for a captain whose refusal to bat or bowl in the match served first to ensure, and then to hasten the victory. The Cryptics are rapidly learning the tricks of the limited overs game and keep surprising opponents this year.  

Andrew McLoughlin stole the show, marching his hangover to the crease with 111 runs required from 17 overs at 6.5 per over. Brutal boy that he is, he sauntered off with 71 to his name, five overs to spare, the ball lost in a car park and the Bounders in tatters.
Earlier the Cryptic bowlers had done themselves proud. The Bounders were off to a lively start, but soon pegged back by some surprisingly intelligent bowling from all the bowlers, McLoughlin, Goss and Andrew, and later Edwards and Grindrod. Kowalski also bowled. Edwards 6-2-13-1 was hugely impressive in the circumstances, and briefly others began to think he was Richard Hadlee too.

The target of 180 was reasonable on a good pitch and fast outfield. Andrell (30) and Wright (24) carved 33 from the first six overs before reaching the doldrums and doing well to fend off very tight bowling for a while. Cupit biffed 5 at more than a run a ball, Rizwan clouted 35 at a similar rate, bouncing one drive off the sightscreen and David Grindrod was there at the end on 16 having cleared the sightscreen by a distance. They were all overshadowed by the belligerent South African -scoring as many runs in 12 overs as his uncle had in the last 12 years. Sumptuous drives and savage pulling are his trademarks, but here was proper batting for there was defence too when required.

The Bounders toured the Cayman Islands in May, a gift from the captain to his players for winning al 18 games they played in 2002. At least he might be relieved the two year unbeaten run is at an end. We play them again at Follies Farm on 24 August. Young McLoughlin will be in Australia. Who’s paying for his ticket?

Cobham 29.6.03
Cobham 206-8 dec
SCCC 167-9
Match drawn

The Cryptics had twelve players on the ground before the start. Obvious choice for twelfth man, therefore, was Ross Greenwood who scored more runs and took more wickets and catches than anybody in 2002 and had travelled from Sydney in the hope of playing on his birthday. Great leveller, cricket.

After inserting Cobham and boldly vowing to chase anything up to 300, the skipper’s decision was looking good with the hosts reeling at 11-3 thanks to some fine opening overs from Goss and McLoughlin. The fourth wicket pair of Barnes and Hunt then added 95 during which time Edwards proved that half volleys reach the boundary and Cupit, surprise bowler of the day, discovered that canteen bowling is not always tucked in to as it should be. Ware and provocative Polish Kowalski then kept it tidy when Cobham should have been looking to score fast and declare but they showed no inclination to do either until 48 overs had been sent down at 5 pm.

Mr Hunt had unluckily chopped a Kowalski long hop on to his stumps for 99, an injustice for both of them.

Left with enough time for only 38 overs to score 207, the Cryptics were off to an uncharacteristic flyer, Andrell falling in the ninth over for 25 with the score on 49. Wright, the old man of the team returning from serious illness and keen to keep his place, hit a lively 34 containing only one single! From 89-1 we were strangled by our own enthusiasm to beat them in the limited time available and a young left arm spinner whose excellent control and length reaped him 5-50. Keeping up the chase until the ninth wicket fell gave Ware and Goss an excuse for getting out to horrible shots (where did they go to school?), leaving the naturally aggressive Kowalski and Edwards to stonewall the final three overs and deprive Cobham of a win they didn’t deserve.

The day was cheered by the presence of several charming Cryptic groupies and former players: Greenwood, Richard Atkinson and Mark McLoughlin. Again the average age of the team was well under 40, suggesting that we just might have a future.  

Platypods 08.06.03
SCCC 181-6
Platypods 160-7
35 overs per side match. Won by 21 runs

The Cryptics are not known for their mastery of limited overs matches but this was a fine all round performance from a side with 10 players younger than Steve Waugh (which should cause the old boy to hang up his boots when he finds out). Evensong decreed that the schoolmasters should bat second and the game be restricted to 35 overs each.

Cryptics 36-3 in the eleventh over was cause for concern as Polish debutant Peter Kowalski, with a reputation for giving it some long handle, sauntered off with 2 from 11 balls. Streeter and Mattock were also enjoying the sunshine by this stage but colleagues in law James Hogben and Joss Dare ran themselves ragged putting on 70 in 14 overs. Hogben eventually fell for 63 but had still not recovered his breath at the time of going to press. Dare hit his first boundary on 39, then got himself out twice in successive balls, first surviving a justified appeal for a catch behind and then, laden with guilt, allowing a straight one through. Cameos from McLoughlin, Seeckts and Stevens added 80 in the final 12 overs and 181 looked respectable. Top scorers from Menorca, Ware and Greenhough were listed at No’s 10 and 11 prompting mild grumpiness.

The vast expanse of Cranleigh’s outfield has proved the undoing of Cryptic fielding sides in the past but this was a bowling and fielding show to live in the memory. A masterstroke of captaincy saw Brooke-Webb open the bowling, his tidy dobbers in sharp contrast to the hostile fare hurled down by McLoughlin from the other end. Stand in wicketkeeper Ware, who kept brilliantly throughout, was wringing his hands in pain several times early on.

Platypods started steadily but were soon behind the clock and looking to their cream, Boddington and Kemp to pull them back into the match. Kowalski took care of them both in the space of three balls, first having Boddington somewhat surprisingly caught at mid on by Greenhough, then shattering Kemp’s stumps. The Cryptics tightened their grip further as Greenhough and the all too occasional Harry Stevens were shown due reverence, and by the time Dare, Mattock and Seeckts lobbed some cafeteria stuff in the final six overs, the game was won.

As the school chapel bell rang for evensong, the Cryptice bells jingled once more.

Putney 18.5.03
Putney CC 142 all out (36.3 overs)
SCCC 143-7 (23.3 overs)
Won by 3 wickets

The Club Captain could not make the journey to SW15, saving his ticket for NW8 later in the week, so in his absence the Pup skippered the side (and wrote this garbage, Ed.). On his debut as captain he won the toss and after one look at a classic Putney track had no hesitation in putting Putney in. Despite some amazing variances in bounce Goss and Edwards struggled to find the breakthrough as the Putney openers played their shots and took their chances as nothing went to hand. It took the unlikely partnership of Ware and Cupit to run out the danger man and have Putney at 35/1. Edwards took the hint and soon bowled out the other opener. However move over Australia and New Zealand this was a South African show. McLoughlin Jr struck early and bowled a lovely line and length to finish with excellent figures of 5-32. James Murray also a Bok bowled well on debut taking 3-17. Earlier Streeter tempted the batsmen with some off spin, unfortunately a little too tempting and Putney looked to be capable of making over 150. They finished on a mere142 thanks to some fantastic fielding by the Cryptics.

This was a gettable total and there was much hope that the openers would give us a solid start. Unfortunately Streeter, Dare and Hope-Dunbar were back in the hutch early on as SCCC slumped to 28/3 and when Wright, who played solidly (stolidly?) was out for 21 it became 32/4. Cupit and McLoughlin steadied the ship, until McLoughlin skied one to midwicket. 58/5 with Putney’s infamous fast bowler Smallshaw taking wickets for fun, 142 seemed a long way off. Murray had other ideas. Spectators and wildlife scattered as 6 sixes and 5 fours later Murray returned to the pavilion undefeated on 67. Murray was ably supported by Cupit for most of his innings as he farmed the strike.

So jingle bells again after the blip of last week, Putney had the last laugh though, awarding Murray a revolting alcoholic drink for their “champagne moment” and thus proving that his eye was better than his stomach.  McLoughlin senior turned up again, drank beer and denied rumours that he was coming out of retirement. (He wouldn’t be selected after that win, Ed.).

Follies Farm 11.5.03
Follies Farm 211-6 (36 overs)
SCCC 175 all out (34.4 overs)
Lost by 36 runs

If there is a weakness in the Cryptic system anywhere, it is Mickey Mouse limited overs cricket – or perhaps playing cricket in general. Fortunately this form of the game remains rare this side of abroad, though Follies Farm play it every week at their magnificent Chiddingfold home.

We lost the toss and effectively lost the game in the first hour as Follies’ openers blasted almost everything to leg, often to the boundary. We rather fed their strength early on and while some of the shots played have never appeared in a cricket book, they were mighty effective, the 100 coming up in the twelfth over. Blamphin and Grindrod partially recovered the situation with crafty variation and Greenhough picked up where he left off in September, taking 2-24 with the usual mixture of guile and lack of pace. The highlight in the field was Pippa’s screaming reflex catch at gully.

Two hours of drizzle made the ball hard to handle and the outfield desperately slow by teatime, so making a sucessful run chase unlikely. When Rizwan was run out on the first ball (which Pippa uncharacteristically hit almost to the edge of the square) it didn’t look good until the home skipper Leng benevolently called him back. Sure we’d have done the same.

From 43-3 in the 13th we recovered to 134-5 in the 30th, Cupit leading the way with 54, hist first 50 for the club. David Grindrod, eager to prove a point with the bat, did so admirably by thrashing 35 in a fine stand with Ware (19) but the needless run outs of Cupit and Ware left us with no hope. Leng brought himself back to mop up the tail as Blamphers reminded us all that he bats like Paula Radcliffe too.

The day was greatly enjoyed inspite of the rain and the result, there was ample Cryptic support including old man McLoughlin who asserted that there wasn’t a fibre in his body that wanted him to play again. He managed the post match drink alright.  

Kingstonian 4.5.03
Kingstonian 56 all out
SCCC 57-1
Won by 9 wickets

A near perfect opening day to the season. Sunshine, won the toss, held all our catches except two dropped and bowleds by Pow, knocked off the runs by teatime and beat them again in the beer match after tea. By that time 11 Cryptics had bowled, 9 batted and 2 kept wicket.

In the real game Edwards (wind assisted) and Pow (into the gale) bowled with great control from the start and once the vital wicket of Kychada had been taken with an excellent diving slip catch, the hosts’ resistance was broken. PAJ Andrew joined the attack and immediately showed the benefit of all those nets, bagging 2-6 in a tidy spell but the day’s champagne moment belonged to debutant Tony Cupit.

The first clergyman to play for the Cryptics, probably the oldest man to play too at 65, Cupit had stepped off a plane from Washington not long before his first game of cricket for “about 20 years” and his first ever in England. Being Australian, he was unsurprised to take a wicket with his first ball and the spectacular catch be taken by his progeny Dwight.

Pow finished with 5-21 aided by more acrobatic catching from the skipper and the Puppy fielded like a puppy. Hogben was bowled for 0 in the reply before Dwight Cupit with 35 and Pippa with a more circumspect 15 saw us home.

I mention the beer match only to appease those who (unsuccessfully) appealed for it to be deemed first class. 12 overs a side. We got 93-2 with B-W and Andrell retiring at 30 and umpire Hogben unwisely triggering his lift home, Ware, and his captain. Kingstonian were desperate to win but fell 8 short with 9 wickets down. Wickets to Ware, Andrell, Hogben, Cupit Jnr, B-W and a stumping for Edwards. It was that silly.

So we won twice. Jingle jingle bells. Stiffer tests lie ahead but some wag was heard muttering “Ross who?”