Sunday 29 August 2021

St Mary’s Alumni CC 182-4 dec (36.3 overs) 
SCCC 178-7 (42 overs)
Declaration match
Match drawn
Toss negotiated

Richard Seeckts writes:

A new fixture against young opponents (all aged 22 ish), in which the ageing Cryptics held our own, bodes well for the future. Either we will recruit some talent from among Ed Grinders’ old uni mates or we will have a regular fixture against them, or both. 

With the playing conditions for the match in the hands of opposing skippers from the same address, Daddy Grinders and Ed, a declaration game was agreed upon and warmly received by traditionalists of all ages. A close finish occurred without any real manipulation from the captains, just a well timed declaration that took account of the relative age and mobility of the respective teams.

The Cryptics actually fielded with 12, but only seven surnames, Jewiss x 3, Grindrod, Seeckts and Hogben x 2 each and individual Scottie, Greenway and Taylor. Will Jewiss and Daddy G kept things very tidy, pegging SMACC to 20-2 off 11overs while Sear and Sissons rebuilt after Jewiss had ripped out the first two. Young, coached batting looks far superior to gnarled village green stuff but the nippers showed great caution against their skipper’s Dad, the like of whom they had clearly never seen before, so he bowled nine overs off the reel – you can’t do that in pyjama cricket – for just 17 runs.

Toby, Alexander Hogben, Dave Jewiss and Scottie all did worthy stints with the ball, Dave taking the only wicket (another blinding catch by Keith) of Sear for 46. Sissons had his eye in by now and treated Scottie’s dirt with contempt as he eyed up a ton before the declaration. Enter James Grinders for the first controversial moment of the day. A full toss roughly midway between head and toe was lofted into the deep and expertly pouched by Will Jewiss, prompting the declaration. Word came too late that Sissons was on 99 and, in the spirit of things, a no ball would surely have been called had anyone known. So, two jug dodgers identified as potential recruits.

With plenty of time for the chase, Hoggers and JG came up against sprightly bowling and some ridiculously agile fielding. JG’s demise for nine brought Seeckts Snr to the crease; two tortoises taking on 11 hares until Hoggers’ nicked one on 35 and Scottie entered to retrieve some of the runs he had conceded before tea. It went well until (now) umpire JG adjudged him LBW to a ball that hit several parts of him and his bat, in no particular order. One look at the man approaching 4000 career runs in his 99th innings plodding off confirmed what the ball hit first, 26 scored leaving him 12 in the red for the day. Seeckts followed immediately, swinging wildly at a fresh bowler who had not long arrived at the ground and come on as substitute fielder, the sort of thing that’s allowed in friendly Sunday games. 

When “Ringer” bundled out Dave Jewiss and Hugh in his next over, allowing him to bowl looked a tad foolish but it gave a symmetry to Dave’s scores for the Cryptics so far; 0, 50, 0. Dangerous if he gets off the mark. By now 14-year-old Alexander was in, with nerves of steel as the alumni threw the kitchen sink at him. Not only was he the classiest looking batsman of the day, he smote 35* from 28 balls to be there at the end with six needed from the last ball of the match, Keith (at No9!) not out on 12 after Toby (at No8!) had perished for his lowest score since a Crondall duck in 2018.

A draw that was never dull, though with the standard of SMACC’s fielding the chase was never easy. Neither skipper got to bat, both marshalled their troops with aplomb and beers were taken merrily by all concerned with honours even. 

Definitely a fixture to repeat, not least because Grinders’ neighbour produced three splendid cakes to supplement BYO tea and if it rains next time we can all pile round to Grinders Towers.

Cricket was the winner, of course.