12 May 2019
SCCC 156-8 (35 overs)
Binsted 109 (25 overs)
SCCC won by 47 runs, 35 over match.
Binsted won the toss

Stu Hennicker-Smith writes:

Having only recently thawed out from the arctic conditions of the opening game of the season, 11 mainly elderly Cryptics turned out at Binsted on a sunny afternoon in high spirits. Stand in skipper Seeckts advised that he had more important things to do than play cricket and would be leaving early so would use all his charm and experience to negotiate the toss, field first, open the batting after tea and then leave in the knowledge that he had set a suitable foundation for success. With the same inevitability of Man City retaining the premiership title, Seeckts returned from the toss 2 minutes later, we were batting first, and due to the opposition taking a beating at the hands of Tilford a week earlier in a declaration game we would now be contesting a 35 over fixture.

Big Jim and Pip got us off to a steady start with the latter learning from his innings and run rate at Avorians, doing the right thing and being caught behind on 2 after 4 overs. Keith joined Jim and set about building a decent total, both playing some fine strokes on a pitch that had extremely variable bounce. With the score at 35 Big Jim had one rear up on him and he lobbed a simple catch to cover to bring Scottie to the crease. Some fine stroke play saw Scottie quickly rack up the runs including 2 sixes to cow. What the score book doesn’t register was that they were both from the bowling of a 13-year-old and also that his brace now puts him 1 ahead of Tommy in the stats tables. Keith was next to go for 29 returning a full bunger to the bowler, however the stats will show that before his demise he passed the 1500 run mark for the Cryptics. Scottie followed soon after, caught on the boundary for 33 by someone his own age, which left Hugh and Seeckts to build on the total of 100 from 23 overs. Seeckts was bowled for 2, and Grinders followed shortly after, running himself out having trodden on the ball, looked around for it and ambled up the wicket. Well into the tail now, and with only 2 overs remaining a brief innings from the author added 7 to the total before he was victim to Binsted’s international bowler (rugby, not cricket – Ed) leaving Rod to see out the final 4 balls which he did without really troubling the scorer. Cryptics ended on 156 and Hugh left the field unbeaten on 23.

On paper, the Cryptics’ bowling attack was lacking in pace, however this was more than made up for in experience. Openers Grinders and Chris Muldoon plugged away with the new ball removing both openers cheaply and restricting the run rate. Binsted’s big hitting South African came in at Nr 4 and on his second ball gave a regulation catch to Rod at mid-off. Rod shelled it (the first of 4 Cryptic drops in the field), a mistake that cost the Cryptics 56 runs before he was finally removed by Scottie’s first ball. The only positive to come from the drop being that the majority of the runs he subsequently scored came from Rod’s bowling. PAJA joined the attack and returned 1 for 33 having also suffered at the hands of Binsted’s slogger.

After 20 overs and drinks, Seeckts finally left the field and was not replaced. At the point of his departure Binsted were on 85 for 5 and looking good for a close finish to the game. Within 5 more overs we had rattled though the remaining batting order with Scottie returning 2 for 1 including the wicket of the minor whom he had treated so poorly as a batsman, and the author managing his best cryptic figures of 3/11, with the final wicket falling to an athletic one-handed catch by a short bald bloke smuggling a football up his jumper – how very cryptic. Binsted all out for 109 and off to the pub which wasn’t as local as it was last year. Jingle bells.

Editor’s footnote. Rod’s second wicket was his 200th for the Cryptics since records began, a fine achievement made finer by the fact he’s never taken more than four in one match. He’s still telling all and sundry about his many five-fers in the Thatcher years, before records began.