Sunday 28 April 2019
Avorians 192-8 (40 overs)
SCCC 166-9 (40 overs)
Lost by 26 runs
Avorians won the toss

Keith Taylor writes:

So a new season begins: The temperature dropped; the grey clouds rolled in; there was a threat of rain in the air; Pippa was carrying an injury; Scottie was late; the skipper lost the toss; early optimism was scotched by youthful batting against geriatric bowling and fielding; there were dropped catches; the batting never really got going; we lost. Many boxes ticked.

Avorians got off to a steady start and waited until Scottie arrived before offering him the first catch, which he duly dropped – thanks for coming. Grinders and Skipper Bridges opened up steadily without taking a wicket (both also dropped catches during the afternoon). The first Cryptic wicket of the season was a run out with the score on 38, scored at about 4 an over. Bowling changes brought PAJA and Rod to the party. Who would have thought that the next wicket would involve a catch by Rod off his own bowling? Readers will find it hard to imagine that Rod could bowl and then run to the boundary for a catch; but no, this was his good ball and a good catch on the strip. He later added another victim. However, Rod’s day was best remembered by the sound of leather on willow and car park tarmac as he returned 2 for 61 off 8 overs, and also the sound of leather on bone as he used the less padded parts of his body to stop the ball. We know why he is called Rod-Knee now!

In between times, Ingo became the first Cryptic wicket keeper to take a catch at mid-wicket, when he decided that he would go for the steepling catch off PAJA’s bowling that Rod and Scottie refused to budge for. He followed this later with a spectacular keepy-uppy catch off Stu, catching at the third attempt as the ball bounced up off the pads whilst laying on his back.

The ball seemed to be flying over the ropes at such frequency that it was with some surprise that four of the five bowlers used only went for 30s from their 8 overs and Avorians closed on 192-8 from their 40 overs.

Tea was taken in the warmth of the pavilion and the discussion turned to bets on who would be the first Cryptic duck of the season and who the first run out.

Big Jim, making a welcome return to the Cryptics, opened with Pippa. But that didn’t last long as Jim was bowled for 2 and joined the queue to umpire. Enter the author at three; the bookies favourite to win the duck and run out accumulator. However, it wasn’t long before Keith was off the mark and running with a couple of sumptuous off drives (even if I say so myself). Things were ticking along, as Pippa does, until the nineteenth over, when with the stand on 67, Keith hit the ball to mid-on and called a loud “No”. Why both batsmen decided that this meant run, stop in the middle and then run back, we still don’t know, but bets were won, and Keith was back in the shed for 34.

This brought Scottie to the wicket. A stand of 45 off 11 overs ended when Scottie was caught on 20 and left us needing 73 to win off the last 11 overs. Seeckts came and went, but still no duck. Ingo slashed away for 13 but the win looked ever more distant. Meanwhile Pippa survived a very loud and theatrical lbw appeal to reach the first 50 of the season. Stu and the Skipper went for it and went, but still no duck. Enter Grinders. Surely our last chance of a win; but no, he became the first duck. PAJA wielded the willow but didn’t connect. As they say, “it’s never over till the fat lad swings”. Rod did, but it was too little too late to make up for his bowling and we stuttered to a 26 run defeat.

Then off to the bar for a beer. Last box ticked.