Sunday 7 August 2022

SCCC 228-9 (40 overs)
Claygate 230-6 (39 overs)
SCCC lost by 4 wickets
40 over match 
SCCC won the toss

Richard Seeckts writes:

Traffic troubles meant Gossy stood in for the toss with seven Cryptics on the ground. Lucky he won it but, when later offered the captaincy for the day with a ten match winning streak on the line, he hid under a table with fingers in his ears and sang loudly. And we lost, vindicating his reluctance.

The batting order took care of itself with four missing, Grinders and Pup jumping at chances to join the youths in the top five with mixed results. Grinders was predictably outshone by younger son and opening partner Jimmy who looks a better player every time he turns up. Pup’s enthusiasm and a measure of good fortune took him to 31. 

At 77-3, 15-year-old rugby and cricket chums Archie Goss and Henry Weekes joined forces, each looking to score his first Cryptic run, Henry on debut and Archie with one game behind him. If Archie felt any ‘pair pressure’, it evaporated immediately as he smote 13 off his first eight balls and kept going to an elegant 41. Henry’s 18 was promising; that he can also keep wicket doubles his promise. Their lively partnership of 70 from 10 overs set up the final 14 over thrash which, needless to say commenced with both of them and Ed perishing inside two overs. Natural born Cryptics.

From 154-6, it could have gone either way but, fortified by patronage of the all day bar in Claygate’s spanking new, fireproof pavilion and in the knowledge that the club’s (statistically) best batsman was lurking at No.11 with a hamstring twinge, the tail wagged. Debutant Carl Desouza, playing his first game in England after previous experience in India and Germany, held an end up while Seeckts nurdled a few, the latter then being joined by Will Hicks for a 27 off 15 balls partnership. Curiously, Hicks had run a half marathon in the morning 10 minutes faster than the skipper had travelled 33 miles by car. Gossy entered to wallop a dozen and bring up the family jug and Hicks’s last ball dismissal left Scottie unused for the 14th time in his 117 matches. 228-9 was alright.

Ample tea done, Grinders’ regular parsimonious dobbers came from one end while Archie briefly searched in vain for his radar. No doubt he will find it at Follies next week. Daddy G(oss), chirped by Scottie as the imposter of Daddy G(rindrod), took over and was back to his pre-surgery best. Streaky runs were scored, as happens on scorched outfields, batsmen played with growing confidence and, without doing much wrong, we had conceded 70 off ten overs. Hmm. 

We tried sharing the bowling around but most of them were afflicted with the scourge of the day, delivering a no-ball beamer first ball before improving. Limping Scottie was last resort after 19 overs with Claygate’s openers running riot at 132-0. Within nine balls he had bagged both openers singled handedly and didn’t look very injured at all. Annoying little chap, eh? His full allotment of eight overs went for 39, the highlight being one mammoth six that bounced off the new pavilion at least 20 feet up and came halfway back.

Claygate were always ahead of the game, the top four all smart enough the pick the right balls to hit. They faltered, however, needing 43 off the final 10 overs with eight wickets in hand. Was it the Cryptic fielding getting tighter with Puppy vociferously patrolling after gracefully giving the gloves to Henry? Was it that they just couldn’t get Hicks and the wily Daddies G away or did they just get the jitters? Some rash shots and a comical run out kept the game interesting as four wickets fell for 22 in the final six overs before, inevitably, they got there with an over to spare.

It was great to be back at our most frequent opponents since records began where the record now reads played 28, won 15, lost 6, drawn 5, tied 1, rained 1. It’s hard to recall a dull game at Claygate, a club that can be mighty proud of how they have fought through two pavilion fires to ‘build back better’ (Oh, please don’t quote that idiot – Ed) and maintained their entertaining approach to cricket and hospitality.