Sunday 28th July 2019
35 over match, won by 143 runs
Toss negotiated and SCCC batted first
SCCC 237 for 5 off 35 overs
Crondall 95 for 7 off 35 overs

Hugh Greenway writes:

As David Niven said, “Much in life is simply a matter of perspective. It’s not inherently good or bad, a success or failure; it’s how we choose to look at things that makes the difference.” 

From a Cryptic perspective this was a resounding victory with everyone involved in the action. From a Crondall perspective this was an epic rearguard action against the odds resulting in a tenacious draw. But history is written by the winners and I currently hold the pen, so jingle bells Cryptics win away! 

Crondall must be one of the few teams, this side of Father Time, whose average age exceeds that of the Cryptics. So Seeckts, acting skipper for the nth time this season, acceded to the dual requests from the opposition skipper to bowl first to make a game of it and to restrict to a 35 over game to ensure that the majority of participants reached the end with a pulse. 

Keith’s personal perspective has long been the lofty heights of best batsmen batsmen in the village and, having talked about it for much of this season, he finally passed Gossy’s aggregate run total for the club with his third stroke. For once however, he also let the willow do the talking too in an opening partnership with new boy Josh Watson of 98 which passed 50 in the 9th over and concluded in the 17th when Josh was the first of the openers to be “retired at 50” by the opposition; a small detail that had been omitted from the agreed terms of the match.

Runs continued to flow at nearly seven an over throughout the innings as all Cryptic batsmen scored at least one boundary until Joseph Muldoon was marooned not out for three. In fact all Cryptics reached double figures bar debutant ‘keeper Pat Garlick who was caught behind for five and the aforementioned Muldoon jnr. Seeckts successfully swerved his jug avoidance penalty in the pub because drink driving is now frowned upon and too many others had a been incurred but he looked nailed on for a half century before also being caught behind on 47. It was later noted [by Keith actually] that in this innings Seeckts had scored his 3,500th run for the club. And his seventh six. Other batsmen largely performed to type with swift but brief innings taking the total to 237 for 5.

After a rich tea [geddit] that contained flapjacks which continue to harden my arteries merely in their memory, the Cryptics took to the field with a father and son pair of opening bowlers. Muldoons père et fils started parsimoniously with only 12 runs being conceded off the first 9 overs. Thanks to Pat Garlick’s excellent keeping (three catches in all) and a sharp and uncryptic catch by Marcus Ruffell, they combined to deliver 10 overs, 2 maidens, 3 for 16. In fact Marcus’s sharp catch was off a reverse smear so pre-meditated that the Crondall opener took up his switch position before Muldoon jnr. had even reached his mark let alone begun his delivery stride.

As wickets continued to fall Seeckts, like the butter in the flapjacks, generously spread the bowling around going so far as to even offer the author a trundle. Light’ning Edwards took 1 for 11 including two maidens, which rarely strike even once in his offerings these days. Not to be outdone, Grinders bagged a brace of wickets and maidens in his 2 for 13 off 6. Henniker-Smith and Marcus were slightly undone by some left/right handed batting partnerships which enabled them to find wides in all directions contributing to the total of 20 in the game, although their blushes may be spared by an incomplete scorebook. In any event extras top scored for Crondall with 30. Such was the slowing of the run rate that the skipper even brought himself on to attempt some shopping at the end, buying his only wicket for 18 runs off three overs.

As the game spluttered to its end with only 65 runs scored from the final 20 overs (compared to the blistering pace of 30 off the first 15), the Crondall umpire suggested that the game might be a draw following local, and previously undisclosed, rules. This suggestion was treated with the contempt it deserved and we all rushed off to the pub to devour the wonderful roast potatoes with jugs a plenty to celebrate the win.