Sunday 23 July 2023

SCCC 205-3 (35 overs)
Crondall 175-6 (35 overs)
SCCC won by 30 runs
35 over match
Crondall won the toss

Keith Taylor writes:

On the day that the fate of the 2023 Ashes series was decided by heavy rain at Old Trafford, the Cryptics found themselves in bright sunny and breezy North Hampshire to play Crondall. The roller was applied to squeeze out Saturday’s heavy rain, its driver checking the toss result as he drove. Crondall chose to field and the roller chugged off. The local local retire at 50 rule was invoked with Cryptic murmurs about it all being Seb’s fault for scoring a brutal ton at Crondall in 2018. 

Cryptics opened with Toby and Pippa. Some sort of role reversal occurred which had Pippa smashing boundaries, whilst Toby dotted along. Things changed when Pippa reverted to his normal persona and limped off injured for 35 off 38 balls, saving himself having to buy a jug into the bargain. Richard joined Seeckts junior and the pair took the score to 87 off 14 before Richard was caught behind and walked with bat under arm before the appeal went up, as if to make a point to Marnus Labuschagne about the spirit of cricket. Keith joined Toby and escorted him to his fifty (and retire). Debutant Cryptic Lucas then joined Keith who departed shortly after for 21. Lucas looked to assert himself and hit a cover drive that had many senior Cryptics purring (shot of the day!). Hugs had joined Lucas and the pair put on 43 in seven overs before Lucas fell for a respectable 19. Next up Rolly. Everyone reached for the sunglasses as the sun glinted off his brand new kit and bat. Maybe next week he will find the middle of that new bat, but alongside Hugs (32*) he made 14 not out to close the Cryptic innings at 205, a scoring rate slightly higher than England’s in the first innings at Old Trafford.

Noted that Ricky was not required again this this week so continues to reside in Pup’s kennel by the Thames.

Tea was taken al-fresco as if to poke fun at the Ashes weather gods.

Pippa decided that his latest injury meant that he wasn’t mobile enough to be static at gully (though he later made a quick sprint to the pub). Fortunately, Lucas’s dad Yanni was there to watch his son’s Cryptic debut and got kitted up to stand at slip. Grinders and Freddie Guy opened the bowling with the former chuntering (spluttering?) up the hill. Yanni was in the game in the fifth over when he took a good slip catch (Seecktsy would have dropped it) off Grinders to remove one of the openers. A partnership between Goldsworthy and Hook then livened things up, especially when Tom Leonard replaced Freddie who had bowled 4 overs for 6 runs. Coming down the hill didn’t suit Leonard who was carted for a couple of sixes in his first two overs, complaining of slipping in the moist crease.

 Gossy then replaced Grinders and took a wicket in his first over with the score on 65. Toby came on to allow Leonard to change ends but ended up bowling four overs in his first spell. The highlight of the fielding session was when Seecksty chased the ball towards the top end sightscreen. A collision looked imminent, and bets were laid on which would end up with most damage. Luckily both escaped physical injury and the sightscreen retained its dignity whilst Richard rocked backwards and forwards on his belly on the frame for what seemed like an age, showing everyone why he finds it so comfortable sitting. Hook continued to blast away until he inevitably reached his fifty to retire and seemingly end any chance of Crondall winning the match.

Leonard returned, bowling up the hill now, to claim three wickets, and Gossy tied up the other end with only 18 coming off his seven overs. A miscalculation of bowlers’ overs meant that Hugs was drafted in for one over. He almost managed to match Gossy for runs conceded and number of times the ball hit the ground on its way to the other end in that one over compared to Gossy’s seven. With the game secure, Seecktsy bowled a terrible final over, there being no better option, and was even more expensive (and far less jovial) than Hugs. Despite those two gift overs, and numerous questionable wides and no-balls, Crondall limped to 175, making even Richard consider that Bazball may be the future. (You made that bit up – Ed)

So, off to the Plume of Feathers to find Pippa. Unfortunately, the new landlady had not been informed of the customary provision of roast potatoes to the players, but the Toby jug slipped down easily enough.

Jingle Bells, and off to Blackheath.