Sunday 11 July 2021
SCCC 176-5 (35 overs)
Frensham 170-6 (35 overs)
35 over match
SCCC won by 6 runs
Toss by negotiation

Richard Seeckts writes:

A new fixture produced a tight game on a lovely ground against like-minded opponents with no rain until post-match beer time – we can really look forward to returning to Frensham in 2022 when we are promised teas will be back on the menu.

The game ebbed and flowed to a climactic finale with Frensham needing 17 off a Daddy Grinders over and Frensham’s star turn Nick Green on strike. Green had come in with 81 required from the final eight overs and already despatched at least three sixes and three fours (the scorebook didn’t add up!) to previously undiscovered acres so we knew he could win the match. Grinders managed three dots – the batsmen spurned singles – before a massive six cleared the cars and fell near the distant playground. Fifth ball bounced a yard inside the boundary for four and we could breath easy as long as DG didn’t fluff his lines and conspire to concede seven off one. Jingle Bells.

That we were competitive was largely down to Thursday’s Cryptic nine being supplemented by late call-ups for 17 year old paceman Alex Callingham and increasingly demon left-armer Will Hicks. Indeed, they had the best bowling figures, each taking 2-23 from his seven overs. Without them we would have had to find 21 overs from 2 x Seeckts, Cupit, Pippa, Keith and Hugs and be two fielders short. Carnage….

Alex’s pace was a handful for the top order who looked to Stu’s fruit machine bowling for scoring opportunities. There were few and, when Grinders and Hicks replaced the openers, three wickets fell quickly as Hicks hit the timbers and was fortunate with an LBW decision, and Alex ignored Dwight’s call for a catch from the heavens to take it himself. You’d think he had seen Cryptic fielding before. The Seeckts duo made up the ‘fifth bowler’ and it was Toby who foolishly took the sixth wicket, heralding Green’s entrance and the riotous last half hour.

Proceedings had started unconscionably early due to the anticipated homecoming of football in the evening. It missed the homeward turning and very few of us will be around to offer better directions in 2076.

Pippa’s screen swipe this week paired him with Marcus Ruffell at the top of the order but brought him no more luck as he chopped one on to retain Ricky the duck. Marcus ran himself out for 18 courtesy of a direct hit, giving him the rare distinction of not being the victim of partner Keith ul Haq, whose solid 20 ended with a shovel to mid-on. Hugh’s first boundary, an uncultured smear back past the bowler,  finally brought up his 1000th Cryptic run, 28 days after his 999th thanks to rain and reticence. Fielders looked a tad bemused by such appreciation for a middle-aged No5 getting off the mark. 92-4 in the 23rd over when breezy, confident, stroke playing Toby was joined by his father, who hadn’t walked to the wicket since September 2020 and needed reminding which end of the bat to hold. Duly briefed by Junior, a series of sumptuous off drives flowed, each of them straight to mid off who stopped them all.

By now Frensham had brought on their best bowler, one Nick Green (yep, him again) who bowled with absurdly nagging line and length that, of all the players in the match, only he would have been able to clout. 2-9 off his first six ‘death’ overs, but by jingo did we wreck his figures in the 35th over, taking a further nine from it.

Toby had perished, naively allowing Green to strike his pad while Keith was umpiring. Was it out? Undoubtedly. Would Pup have given it? Rhetorical. But it allowed Dwight to take centre stage for the last eight overs and reprise his Wood Street heroics with a relatively savage 36 not out while the skipper looked on from the non-striker’s end and mustered 17 when permitted a go. A partnership of 61 from the last 49 balls was just enough, as things turned out.

Did I mention we dropped a lot of catches as evening approached? You had already guessed that. Oh, and Dwight refused to bowl because “the boundaries are too short”. Nothing wrong with that, dear chap.

A thoroughly enjoyable day all round, until everyone got home and turned on the telly.