Oxford Downs v Cryptics Cricket Club on Sun 05 Sep 2021 at 13:00
Cryptics Cricket Club Won by 4 wickets

Match report Oxford Downs 181 all out (M.Watts 54 R.Willis 3-1, J.Smart 3-57)
Cryptics 183-6 (R.Willis 103*)
A near perfect day at the start of September in the immaculate setting at Standlake provided the setting for the end of the Cryptics 2021 season. After previous games which had involved considerable time spent looking for balls along the Abingdon Road, such was the proximity of the pitch to that boundary, it was good to find ourselves more centrally placed and far less time being spent hunting the ball. In fact the Cryptics were able to finish their spell in the field with the same ball they started with. The Cryptics took to the field with just nine and suffered in the opening overs as the Downs raced off to a brisk start scoring at 7-8 an over exploiting the gaps we had to leave. The first wicket came as a surprise to many. Harvey Pynn's full length delivery to Costley was drilled back at him with some ferocity, with precious little time for Graham Frost officiating at the bowler's end to refer to his life insurance policy, and the scorer being poised to press +4 on the electronic scorer.... but ignoring the bowler's reaction. Harvey received the ball as if it had just been tossed back to him by the keeper. The scoring rate did not relent, however and had cleared 50 before Callum Wood sent down contrasting deliveries that bewitched Ling - the first a head high beamer was dispatched to fine leg for four. The next a carefully crafted bouncer was dispatched straight to Ruairi Willis at short mid wicket. In the interim, still languishing with only 9 fielders, the Cryptics were able to welcome the President into the game to perform 12th, or more accurately 10th man duties. In the sixteenth over, Olly Pynn arrived. He took his position at cover, was accosted as "Village" by his brother and then promptly, and brilliantly, scooped the next ball off his brother's bowling inches from the turf to send the opener Watts away after his brisk 45. This was a ground where previously the Cryptics had shelled too many valuable chances and yet today everything was sticking it seemed and in sometimes spectacular style. Jamie Firth contributed to the marked reduction in the run rate with some tidy off spin and was rewarded with a wicket when Hook slapped the ball to mid wicket to find Ed Montague ready and waiting. Captain Dan Hawes had patiently grafted his first 15 runs when he swung across the line at debutant James Smart and missed proffering the latter his first wicket for the club and securing the only wicket that was not caught. However, this brought Matt Watts to the middle, (a previous century maker against us) and he must have been licking his lips at the prospect of knocking the Cryptics bowlers around the ground again. And he did so with a number of deft sixes lofted over the shorter boundary at long off. When it looked as if the Downs were going to post a score over 200 it all came to a sudden halt. Smart's persistence at the Chapel End was rewarded when Watts on 54 slashed outside the off stump and Sathya Vadivale, not long arrived in Standlake (it's a long story) leapt and not only saved four runs but held the catch above his head. Ruairi Willis who had, in the manner of Jonathan Trott, been idling the hours away on the Abingdon Road boundary keeping his powder dry and his mind easy, was given a bowl. After an expensive first over (note the bowling analysis) his second over started with the removal of Hirst who drove a simple return catch to him. The next ball, "a proper off spinner's wicket" (R.Willis), was edged to Chris Ward at slip. He claimed it was the first slip catch he had taken since 1984. In the few remaining balls, Nino Trapani took what was to be his final catch behind the stumps for the Cryptics off Smart. It took Willis just one further ball to claim the final wicket as a simple catch was driven straight to Smart at mid wicket. In recognition of Nino's retirement from wandering cricket as both a Cryptic and a Straggler of Asia, he was invited to lead the side off the field at tea to warm applause. I am mindful that in this paragraph I have named all but one of the Cryptics who took the field. Jason Doole also fielded jolly well.
We look forward to a resumption in due course of the excellent cricket teas provided by the Downs but for the time being, we settled to our garage meal deals and other accumulated snacks and picnics. We would have in the region of 45 overs to overcome 181 having only bowled 35.1 overs at hour hosts. In contrast to the Downs explosive opening overs, the Cryptics had a more sedate start punctuated rudely by the early departure of Callum Wood adjudged LBW to Hirst. The fearsome pace of Costley was an unusual spectacle on a Sunday afternoon as a number of short pitched deliveries sailed past Jason Doole but seemed repeatedly to hit Sathya Vadivale. The painstaking progress was again disrupted by the dispatch of both Jason and Sathya bowled by Costley and Hirst respectively. Jamie Firth and Ruairi Willis started to restore some semblance of order to the chase by taking the total beyond 50. The young Henry Welch had bowled an excellent few overs at Firth in particular going round and through but never finding a stump or an edge. Willis adopted a different strategy and a few blows over the top stemmed the bottleneck that was building. Firth followed suit but in the following over feathered behind and the Cryptics were suddently a more precarious 55-4. Olly Pynn became Welch's only victim, trapped leg before and the Cryptics had half the team back lounging in the sun and still over a hundred runs short. Fortunes were restored with a partnership between Harvey Pynn and Ruari Willis that took us to within 35 runs of the target with time to spare. This ended with the return of Costley who "bounced" Harvey out, the ball grazing the gloves as he went to hook him away and being taken by the keeper. There have been many exciting closes to games at Standlake. Was it about to happen again. Was Costley going to run through the tail? Would common sense fly to the wind. Ruairi quietly played his way through the closing overs getting on to the front foot against the quicks and pulling, sweeping and carving the slower stuff. James Smart played a measured supporting act, careful not to impede a possible century for his partner. 99* on 170-6 - four byes would have spoiled the climax as would the one very sharp chance offered at short fine leg but Ruairi was left to carve a final boundary through extra cover to bring up his hundred and a welcome win.
My thanks to the team who have all been named above including Nick Priestnall (who fielded longer than Sathya). I am also indebted to Ed Montague who once again agreed to lead the team in the field. He has an impressive record in this fixture now so I hope we can rally to his banner again next year. Graham Frost travelled down from Silverstone to stand for us and took both ends for the last twenty overs of our innings. Jamie and Jason ensured that the scorebook was completed accurately to make this report possible. The Downs were once again very good hosts and we endeavoured to mark our appreciation with our patronage of the bar where the caps of countless cricket teams are displayed as well as the boots of many professional players. Winter well one and all.

Oxford Downs Batting
Player name RunsMB4s6sSR
1nb 3w 1b  
for 10 wickets
181 (35.1 overs)
Watts W. ct  O.Pynn b. H.Pynn 45
Costley ct  & b H.Pynn 1
Ling ct  Willis b. Wood 12
Hawes * b  Smart 15
Hook ct  Montague b. Firth 5
Watts M. ct  Vadivale b. Smart 54
Hirst ct  & b Willis 34
Wilson ct  Smart b. Willis 10
Welch ct  Ward b. Willis 0
Owens ct  Trapani b. Smart 0
Gauntlet Not Out  0

Cryptics Cricket Club Cryptics Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Harvey Pynn8.0029214.503.63
Callum Wood6.0042142.007.00
Jamie Firth8.0155155.006.87
James Smart11.0057319.005.18
Ruairi Willis2.11130.330.46

Cryptics Cricket Club Cryptics Batting
Player Name RMB4s6sSRCatchesStumpingsRun outs
1nb 2w 3b 2lb 
for 6 wickets

(42.1 overs)
Jason Doole b  Costley 19
Callum Wood lbw  b. Hirst 0
Sathya Vadivale b  Hirst 8
Ruairi Willis Not Out  103
Ollie Pynn lbw  b. Welch 5
Harvey Pynn ct  Watts W. b. Costley 21
James Smart Not Out  13
Chris Ward  
Edward Montague  
Jamie Firth ct  Watts W. b. Slatter 6
Jamie Firth  

Oxford Downs Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy

  • Umpire :
  • Scorer :