Sunday 23 May 2021
Banstead CC 125-3 (22.4 overs)
Lost by 7 wickets
25 over match (due to rain)
SCCC won the toss
Richard Seeckts writes:
May’s foul weather relented just long enough for a 25 over game on a good Banstead strip that had, unfortunately, been left uncovered for a morning downpour. A cold wind and rain all around made it feel nothing like a cricket day but it turned out alright, despite a black sightscreen at one end and nothing at the other.
Short games demand flying starts, who better than Keith and Hugh to blast us to 17-2 after six overs? Both were bowled by shooters after failing to run one another out amid calamitous calling that saw each of them flat on their backsides in extensive mid-pitch skid marks, only to survive as the fielders and ‘keeper juggled and fumbled like circus artists. One blistering square cut from Hugh reminded us of his glorious ton last year and, importantly, got him off the mark for this year.
Ed Grinders took a scarce opportunity at No3 to anchor the innings for a patient 32 that endured until the final over. It made up for Pippa’s absence. Tommy’s rare appearance showed he has lost none of his talent for butchering change bowlers and getting out before the 50 that might have cost him a jug. From 109-4 the innings foundered amid a sprightly 22 from Pup and selfless sacrifice by Jonny Wright, Will Hicks, Gossy, and Pilot who all went cheaply in the cause. Daddy Grinders and debutant Joe Witt were there at the end, DG having arrived very late after watching Sutton United gain promotion to the Football League on his way to the ground. He had been shrewd enough not to reveal the reason for his tardiness when arranging it in midweek.
Seven bowlers were used in defence of a target that was always within Banstead’s reach on the drying pitch. Lack of nets or matches since September inevitably meant some wayward stuff was sent down and punished by umpires and batsmen alike. Daddy G and Gossy were the pick of the bowlers – not their first game, y’see – with Wright and Hicks Jnr picking up wickets, the latter a catch by Keith that he modestly described as “a steepling shot falling from leaden skies, comfortably pouched, as if there were any doubt.” Young Joe, a left armer amply equipped to fill the boots of more senior others, will have bigger opportunities in longer games.
Gossy captained for the day. His leadership now seems to be modelled on fellow convict Adam Gilchrist (in 2001), namely by taking an almost invincible team (80% wins last year) from an injured leader and snatching improbable defeat with consummate ease and a sustained smile on his face. The likeness is authenticated by the fact that Gilly never arranged a fixture at Binsted on 9th May either.
Trivia of the week: this was only the 12th Cryptic match in the last 400 since April 1991 that neither Philip Wright or Richard Seeckts were in the official XI. The latter fielding as sub for a bit does not warrant a ‘cap’. Draw your own conclusions.