Sunday 24 July 2022

SCCC 222 – 6 (35 overs)
Crondall 183 – 6 (35 overs)
SCCC won by 39 runs
35 over match
SCCC won the toss and decided to bat

Peter Andrew writes:

Not to be outdone by the massed ranks of Hogbens at Ripley last week, a quartet of Milners (3 + WAG) bailed us out after a week of volatile team numbers.  We were finally quorate thanks to Rob Ledger, neighbour of Ingo’s and a man looking to return to the greensward after a hiatus caused three years ago by the arrival of twins.  Crondall’s ground was dry, bumpy and windswept, which did no favours to the ground fielding of either side. 

Not having played for three years naturally made Rob the ideal opening partner for Seeckts, and so it transpired after Richard won yet another toss, the result of which was agreed before the coin went up for the cameras.  This was planned as a 30-over game, but when one of our number threw a Gossy fit, it was rapidly extended to 35 after the fall of the first wicket.                                         

We went off at a good lick, Extras picking up a couple of early boundaries, and moving on to 10 before Richard took ownership of Ricky the Duck.  10-1.  Rob was still cautiously finding his feet, and opened his account shortly afterwards.  Keith was determined to make hay on his 100th Cryptic appearance, and was moving through the gears after an early drop when Rob went down the wicket and took one on the pad.  34-2.

Next, a 15-over partnership between Keith and Hugs, yielding 80 runs and threatening both batsmen with the local ‘retire at 50’ rule.  Hugh was gradually reeling Keith in, until he was bowled on the last ball of the 21st over for a jug-avoiding 44.  David Lloyd’s adage of ‘one brings two’ was never so clearly demonstrated as Keith missed the next ball while just a single short of his 12thCryptic 50, and we were 114-4.

This brought together a somewhat more athletic partnership of Elliot Milner and Freddie Guy, who set about some slightly friendlier Crondall bowling.  They amassed 89 runs in just 11 overs with Elliott especially brutal as he reached the retirement score with his third maximum, simultaneously bringing up our 200.  Ingo came and went, another LBW victim, and the recuperating Goss joined Freddie with a request to avoid any sharp singles.  A couple of balls later, Freddie’s instincts overrode his memory, and he called for a quick one.  Gossy responded, with the inevitable result.  And if we’d been playing a 30-over game, none of this would have happened…….

It only remained for Dylan Milner to biff his first and only ball for four, and we were done and dusted for a double Nelson.  Extras had calmed down somewhat, but still managed a creditable 32.  Freddie was undefeated on 36, his fifth red-inker in seven Cryptic innings.

Contrary to the general trend, a decent tea was provided, and treated with appropriate gusto.

We opened with Goss and Dylan, until Gossy’s body warned him he was doing too much, so we let Freddie take over.  After 10 overs, Crondall’s 46-1 (catch by stumper Ingo off Dylan) shaded our 44-2.  A well-judged steepling catch at mid-off by Rob Ledger gave Freddie the next wicket, bringing the dangerous Maltby to the crease.  Not a man with much interest in running, he rapidly put together a collection of 10 fours and a six, and a meagre five singles, before being retired for 51.  After 25 overs, Crondall’s 135-2 matched our 137-4.

At this point PAJA was in the middle of an expensive spell, redeemed only by an instinctive left-handed [what else? Ed] grab of a half-tracker smeared back like an Exocet.  Fortunately Gossy had fixed himself, and put in a parsimonious spell where he took two for five from four overs.  This, plus Maltby’s retirement, put the brakes on Crondall’s charge.  Some excitement was caused late on by a couple of very quick overs from Elliott, where he only occasionally made use of the track.  

Crondall finished on 183, 39 short, Rob Milner picking up a wicket with the final ball.  They scored only in singles and boundaries.  Ingo conceded no byes.

And so we jingled down to the Plume of Feathers to indulge in Wadworths 6X and big, fat, hot chips.  This makes us 10 from 13 against Crondall, as well as a memorable tie, but it’s never as easy as the statistics suggest.  We’ll happily return to the sound of church bells summoning to Evensong again next year.