Sunday 26th July 2020
Crondall 113-9 (35 overs)
SCCC 117-0 (24.3 overs)
Won by 10 wickets
35 over match
SCCC won the toss

Toby Seeckts writes:

Our third fixture of the shortened 2020 season saw us return to Crondall, one of Tom Ware’s favourites. This week, selection included four players under the age of 21 and seven over 48. Heavy rain in Hampshire the day before meant the coverless Crondall wicket, which played rather consistently, had some drying to do. On winning his third consecutive toss, Captain, Leader, Cryptic legend Richard Seeckts took the easy decision to bowl first, despite there being few Cryptics at the ground with neither wicketkeeper nor opening bowler among them.

Nevertheless, eleven Cryptics took to the field, with Paul Goss returning after two years away. The first hour was played in a very dark, fine drizzle. Chris Muldoon and Gossy took the new ball and the first wicket came in the third over thanks to Chris. His first two long hops were clattered to the boundary, but the third long hop found its way into the hands of Ed Grindrod at cover. Next over, 10 deliveries into his comeback Gossy took a sharp caught and bowled off a firm straight drive. His mid-on and mid-off had little faith in him stopping it as they were already sprinting towards the boundary. Gossy was taken off after 4 overs having gone for 2 runs, with 2 maidens taking just the one wicket.

He was replaced by Joseph Muldoon who bowled tightly in partnership with his father, to bog down the new pair at the crease. The Muldoons bowled straight through their six over allocation with a maiden and a wicket each, Joseph conceding 5 runs fewer (19) than father Chris (24). 

Similarly, Grindrod senior and Jimmy Grindrod shared almost identical figures each conceding 10 off 5 overs with Senior taking a wicket. There was resistance from Crondall’s  No.3, Ranger, scoring 23 before chipping one up to Keith in the cordon. Crondall were 59-4 after 22 overs, so Seeckts came on to entice some stroke play. Batsmen Rook and Gunner cashed in on the occasional wayward delivery from Seeckts, the latter eventually succumbing to him, having too much time to think about what shot to play. Beattie shovelled his first ball to cover and, all of a sudden, Seeckts was on a hat-trick. What did he deliver next? A wide. Nevertheless, he finished with figures of 6-0-33-3.

Pippa and Toby came on to bowl the overs at the death, taking a wicket each. It was Pippa’s first wicket since Menorca 2016, his 9th since he took 5-27 at Headley in 1997, the day Princess Diana died. 

Eight catches were taken, a further five were dropped, whilst the other wicket was a brave one-handed stumping from Hugh who had missed two the previous over. He will argue the second one wasn’t missed, as after gathering the ball a pitch across from where we were playing, thanks to a Seeckts wide, he had quite a journey to embark on to get back to the stumps. Missed stumping, nonetheless. Hugh did manage to have a bye-free day. Crondall skipper Rook top scored with 36* to get his side up to 113 in their 35 overs.

After another BYO tea, Pippa set out to start the chase with Ed Grindrod and found runs hard to come by early on, 22-0 after 10 overs. The change bowlers had a job to contain two men now settled at the crease, both Ed and Pippa hitting glorious fours all around the ground. Crondall accepted the challenge of trying to drop more than five catches, helping both openers reach their fifties. 

Three not out batsmen (under Crondall rules).

Ed’s came with a handful of runs to win and, with the retire at 50 rule in place, Keith went out to bat with absolutely nothing to gain, and everything to lose, with three runs required. The two deliveries he faced were short down the leg side, both were supposed to land on the tennis courts, both passing his sanitised bat. One bye and one run to Pippa to take the strike for the next over meant that the scores were level with Pippa on 47*. He cut the third ball of the 24th over away to the fence to finish on 51* and get the Cryptics over the line for our third 10 wicket victory since records began. This is the first July since 2009 where SCCC have had a 100% win record having played more than one game.

Shortly after, Ed and Pippa did the honourable thing in buying a jug each at the Plume of Feathers. We look forward to returning to Crondall next year. 

Jingle Bells.