Sunday 25th June 2023

Roehampton 285-7 (40 overs)
SCCC 280-4 (40 overs)
Roehampton won by five runs
Roehampton won the toss
40 over game

Toby Seeckts writes:

On the hottest day of the year the Cryptics were set to take on Teddington, but their midweek cancellation resulted in a first time fixture against Roehampton CC. The match didn’t disappoint, 11 wickets, 565 runs and a game that went down to the final ball.

Roehampton elected to bat facing the orange ball, propelled by father and son duo of Paul and Archie Goss at markedly different speeds with the same result, each taking a wicket in their opening spell. 

Merilhat arrived at number 3 in the first over and was dropped in the cordon (no names? Thanks – Ed) off Stu on roughly 20. He went on to score 157* off 127 balls dispatching all bowlers in all directions but seemingly singling out Roland as his fielder of choice. His innings was the standout performance. Extras second top scored with 45 and no other Roehampton batsman reached 30. 

Ed Grinders and Stu were respectable change bowlers, the former snaffling two wickets while the latter suffered from dropped catches, some deep in the surrounding woods. The ‘fifth bowler’ comprised Pranay, Wade and both Seeckts (who took a wicket each) but truly evidence that filthy bowling comes in many guises. Fielding highlights were two blinding one handed catches by Stu, one of which was primarily an act of self perseveration. Roehampton reached 285 in their 40 overs. 

BYO tea was had in what little shade the ground offered the 11 Cryptics (four of whom are ginger) and talk of chasing down 286 which, if successful, would break a 16 year standing club record of 261. 

Pranay and Toby got the Cryptics off to a flyer, immediately up with the run rate. Swashbuckling Pranay looked in a hurry, scything his way to a Bazball 32 before top edging a booming swipe skywards. 63-1 after 9 overs, Hugh toddling to the crease, game on. 

Ginger instinct to minimise time (and motion – Ed) in the sun kicked in as Hugh motored to 65 (50 in boundaries) and the partnership reached 137 before fatigue and the thought of a beer got the better of Hugh, who duly let a straight one through and headed for the bar. 

Ed joined Toby to try and see the game home with 84 required off 11overs, or so they thought! Ed, who had been in charge of the scoreboard, came out to bat without delegating his task which briefly became neglected. So the batsmen were shocked to see that two more overs had been added to the total bowled on the board and the run rate jumped higher than they had calculated. (Saying you faced the overs but didn’t know they had been bowled? -Ed) A handful of overs struggling to hit the gaps pushed the required run rate higher and Ed’s ‘nothing silly’ chat between overs was  followed by a wild swipe across the line to dismiss him for an otherwise cultured 31. Pup arrived intent upon getting the game done in half the amount of time left, and was bowled for a golden duck. Ricky delighted at the prospect of his move to Chelsea.

It was up to Archie Goss and Toby to score the remaining 31 runs off 3 overs. Hard running and fortuitous boundary gap finding got the match situation to 7 required off the last ball which Archie could only smack along the ground to long off for 1. The Cryptics missed out on a record breaking win by ‘the barest of margins’ in a contest that swung both ways throughout. 

Toby scored his maiden century and carried his bat to reach 108* off 105 balls in the unsuccessful chase as he was correctly and appropriately reminded by his team mates, after shaking hands with the oppo.  

All 22 players and spectators around the boundary were gripped by the game until the end and we hope to return to face the orange ball again in 2024.

Woulda coulda shoulda been Jingle Bells (but it wasn’t.)

Editor’s stats footnote: Modesty prevents Toby claiming to be the youngest Cryptic centurion and his aggregate jumping two other significant Cryptic lefties, Rod and James MacDonald in the process. One of them was quite handy with a bat. Some say the first ton is the hardest, but I wouldn’t know about that.