Sunday 20 September 2020
SCCC 182-8 (35 overs)
Windsor Great Park CC 140 all out (27.1 overs)
Won by 42 runs
35 over match
Windsor GP won the toss

Richard Seeckts writes:

Windsor Great Park Cricket Club

Fine weather, as forecast, allowed us to stretch the summer into what we prefer to consider the touring season. With overseas forays off the agenda, we made a winning bid to play this fixture at Her Majesty’s beautiful private ground, seeing off half a dozen other clubs with, inter alia, an assurance that we walk when we are out. By teatime, we had comprehensively proved that we also walk when we are not out if either umpire thinks we should.

No teas or changing rooms – Covid rules – but a proper flag pole and the bar, adorned with countless pictures of (mostly disastrous) royal marriages, was open from noon until after we left. Behind the pavilion, Grinders discovered, stand a multitude of oak trees, allegedly planted by The Queen Mother with her own spade, each representing a Commonwealth country. We didn’t check that none had subsequently been felled.

Grinders putting the flag up at Windsor Great Park CC

The delightful surroundings largely excused the condition of the wicket, which showed the scars of intermittent availability of both water and roller earlier in the summer, although the outfield was the best we’ve encountered this year. Same for both sides, whatever.

Pippa and Toby, all-time and and season’s leading run scorers respectively, braved the minefield. Second ball leaped at Pippa, ballooned off the top of his bat gently enough for square lag to lollop in and take the simplest of catches. Except he dropped it like Rod after being dipped in Lurpak. The tone was set. Option A: play with great caution until the pitch gives you a shocker. Option B: slog until the pitch gives you a shocker.

Option A saw both openers, Keith and James Grinders all fall for single figures. Option B saw Seb get to 37, Ed Grinders 23, Scottie 25 and Jonny Wright, in his first game against non-Cryptic opponents, blitz a highly entertaining 49* including three sixes, one of which overshot the green on the adjacent golf course. Full of attacking intent, Jonny’s contribution ensured 69 runs came in the final 10 overs. He also broke a bat. That he got to the crease at all may have been connected to batting Option C: allow ball to strike body (alright Keith, or bat – Ed) with debutant umpiring, a fate taken in typically good humour by both Seb and Keith. Scottie was given by the home umpire so it must have been out. Will Hicks and Daddy G added some merry swipes at the end while the skipper hid, surplus at No.11 having noted the track at the toss.

Brilliant plans to indulge players with opportunities that may have been denied by the abundance of big wins this summer were dashed partly by some bowlers struggling to locate the pitch and partly by Windsor skipper, Harry Hill, batting as though auditioning for the IPL. Daddy Grinders snapped up three wickets before we temporarily lost control, including a first baller for the man who had graciously recalled Grinders when he was unceremoniously ‘Mankaded’ in the final over of our innings. Less said about that, the better.

Windsor were 68-3 off 10 when common sense, in the dubious form of Scottie and Jonny, was applied. The former was spanked, the latter confirmed his all-rounder status with a hostile spell of six overs that tamed the scoring rate and had several batsmen exposing their tentative footwork. Once he had dismissed the only two players to score more than a dozen, the game was all but done. Ed Grinders was summoned from the long grass to bamboozle just enough tailenders to stay one ahead of his Dad on wickets taken for the summer and Seeckts enticed one down the track for the stumping to be completed by Toby, press ganged into ‘keeping again for lack of alternatives.

End of term drinks took a while, the game being over by 5pm after the early start. Cheap pints and contented reflections on a season that could have been so much worse for a variety of reasons. Grinders took the flag down and we disappeared into winter wondering where, when and how we will ever have a club dinner.

Jingle Bells.

Team at Windsor Great Park CC