Sunday 11 May Stragglers of Asia vs Cryptics
Result: Won by 2 wickets
Team Batting First: Cryptics
|1||S Halliday||Caught M Hobley||D Vila||4|
|2||T Chappell||Caught D Vila||S Booth||70|
|3||A Davidson||Caught M Suckling||D Vila||4|
|4||A Lewis (capt)||Bowled||S Booth||29|
|5||M Price||LBW||D Vila||0|
|6||J Doole (+)||Caught J Allsop||D Vila||4|
|7||G Gibson||LBW||A Duff||5|
|8||K Noll||Bowled||J Allsop||8|
|10||M Ward||Bowled||A Duff||4|
|11||C Fox||Caught M Coombs||A Duff||0|
|Extras: 33||TOTAL: 165 all out|
Team Batting Second: Stragglers of Asia
|1||J Cavanagh||Bowled||K Knoll||18|
|2||J Viljoen (g)||Caught & bowled||K Noll||48|
|3||M Suckling (+)(g)||Caught A Davidson||M Price||0|
|4||M Coombs (g)||Caught C Fox||M Price||0|
|5||M Hobley (g)||LBW||C Fox||19|
|7||T Calder (g)||Caught J Doole||C Fox||0|
|8||S Booth||Caught J Doole||C Fox||0|
|9||A Duff||Bowled||A Davidson||18|
|10||T Vila (capt)||NOT||OUT||14|
|11||D Vila (g)||DID||NOT||BAT|
|Extras: 15||TOTAL: 168 for 8|
Quite a few Stragglers arrived at Ascott Park not quite on the tippest of top form having played the rain gamble (and lost) at various social events the previous evening. For the forecasted rain held off and the ground was dry. In spite of the collective squad hangover, Tom Vila won the toss and elected to bowl, recognising the favourable conditions. Our thanks must go to the ground staff for working hard to keep us on.
Having been up late supervising a mess function, Royal Artillery Captain Steve Booth’s radar seemed incorrectly calibrated during his opening barrage. Perhaps suffering from double vision and not being entirely sure which set of stumps to bowl at, he elected to try variously for both and as a result conceded 13 wides. Steve was not alone in his indiscipline and some further wayward bowling and fielding contributed to extras’ impressive score of 31; the second highest total on The Cryptics’ batting card.
Guest David Vila (14-3-33-4) was denied what would have been a well deserve five wicket haul by the opposition captain who, evoking the spirit of WG Grace, adjudged himself not out having clearly nicked the ball behind. Explaining his actions as the players made for lunch, he claimed that while he did indeed hit it, he thought the delivery to be illegal, for the bowler had grunted during his follow through. Eleven bemused stragglers pointed out that the umpire had not signalled a no ball so perhaps he ought to have volunteered his wicket…
At 120 for 2 during lunch The Cryptics would have been confident of posting 230. However, restored by black coffee and a plate of cheese, the now sober Booth had other ideas; producing the ball of the day to knock over The Cryptics’ skipper’s off stump. This time he had to walk. Opener Chappell then fell for a well complied 70, succumbing to a two-gully trap, set after he had ridden some early luck hitting the ball in the air through that unmanned region. The remaining Cryptics offered little resistance as first Vila, then the accurate Andy Duff (4-1-6-3) and disarmingly slow James Allsop (4-1-3-1) picked off the last eight wickets for 43 runs.
Joe Cavanagh (18) and visiting South African Jacques Viljoen made steady progress into the target of 165 until the former was bowled by turncoat Straggler Karl Noll for 18 having got himself set in style. Viljoen was not hanging around and his 48 from 26 balls seemed to take the game away from The Cryptics. However, when Noll denied him his half century by snaffling a smart return catch, the Stragglers entered into something of a middle order collapse either side of tea. After similarly named Matt and Matt had each chipped similarly to similarly placed fielders for a very similar duck, Hobley (19) and Allsop’s partnership promised much but added only 10. Cryptics Doole and Fox combined twice in two balls to dismiss first Tom Calder then Steve Booth for the third and fourth ducks of the innings and it really was panic stations.
A pragmatic Duff (18) came together once again with Allsop (36*) in an essential 34 run partnership which took the Stragglers within sight of a win. With three wickets in hand but only 35 required and before six o’clock, time was not going to be an issue. When Duff was undone by lack of pace, The Cryptics might have smelled blood, though Allsop and the skipper had other ideas. Both plugged away sensibly (but sometimes swished less sensibly) and it was sweet that the opposition skipper, having brought himself on to mop up the tail, was twice dispatched to the fence to seal the win by two wickets for the Stragglers. A great start to the season, with many thanks to all involved.