Oxford Downs 131 all out (Joe Ireland 3-13, Will Buckland 2-22, Chris Fox 2-25, Jamie Firth 2-41)
Cryptics 132-1 (Billy Mead 83*, Rob Walker 35*)
The Cryptics took to the field a little after the scheduled start time ensuring that everyone knew who everyone else was. We welcomed Billy Mead on debut and Jamie Firth (on debut in this country having previously represented the club in Spain and Malta). The setting at Standlake with the characteristic hospitality of the Downs promised a good afternoon of cricket. The weather was glorious and the pitch looked to be a good batting track. Chris Fox took the new ball and despite erring on a few occasions, took the outside edge for the first wicket caught behind by Chris Ward and then cut one back to clean bowl Costley who had previously clipped him over square leg for 6. Marcus Ward (7-2-12-0) toiled at the other end going past the edge of the right handers frequently but without reward beyond the satisfaction of sending down seven overs for only 12 runs. The first change saw William Buckland (6-2-22-2) claim a wicket in his first over as Collins, who had avoided Marcus for so long, edged to Joe Ireland at slip. A few overs later a half tracker was graciously driven low to Rob Walker at cover who held on comfortably. Meanwhile Jamie Firth was introduced and opened with a tidy maiden over. He persevered through nine overs and picked up two wickets for 41 runs. The first a beautifully floated off break was scooped up to Ed Montague at mid on who after a few slightly torrid encounters in the field held on to the skier, the second a full toss which was popped up to William Buckland at square leg. Joe Ireland (7-4-13-3) who was leading the Cryptics in the field had demurred to join the attack until the 25th over. His first two deliveries soared and ripped past batsmen, stumps and keeper but within his first over he bowled Beck the top scorer for 29. His next two victims were both bowled after being totally misled by the line as the ball straightened and turned into the woodwork. Sathya Vadivale joined the attack in what turned out to the be closing overs and removed the last man who drove to Andrew Ward at cover, who tumbled forward to scoop the ball up before it found the ground. This rounded off a very proficient performance in the field. The early close to the innings meant that the Cryptics had to start batting before tea. The ten overs were negotiated for the loss of Ed Montague for six who supported Billy Mead for an opening partnership of 34. A leisurely and excellent tea did not have any negative impact on Rob Walker and Billy. Billy Mead gave a masterclass to aspiring batters with immaculate straight hitting in attack and defence and an ability to keep the score quietly ticking along whilst accumulating well over half the runs. The number of false shots could be counted on the foot of a three-toed sloth… The Cryptics finished the chase in the twenty seventh over shortly before 6pm.
Cryptics CC: Chris Ward, Marcus Ward, Andrew Ward, Jamie Firth, Chris Fox, Joe Ireland, William Buckland, Rob Walker, Ed Montague, Sathya Vadivale, Billy Mead.