News & Events 2016

 

Indoor Cricket fixtures. Eversley Indoor School. Wednesday nights

28th Sept. 21.00 - 22.00. v Cove
5th Oct. 20.00 - 21.00 v Reading
12th Oct. 19.00 - 20.00 v Hartley Juniors
26th Oct. 21.00 - 22.00 v Farley Hill
2nd Nov. 20.00 - 21.00 v The Wanderers
9th Nov. 21.00 - 22.00 v Odiham
16th Nov. 21.00 - 22.00 v Cove
23rd Nov. 20.00 - 21.00 v Reading
30th Nov. 19.00 - 20.00 v Hartley Juniors
14th Dec. 21.00 - 22.00 v Farley Hill
21st Dec. 20.00 - 21.00 v The Wanderers
4th Jan. 21.00 - 22.00 v Odiham

tmwcc

Sunday September 26 was the last fixture of the season and it very nearly didn’t happen: our guests and long-time adversaries Steep CC could not get a team together and had to pull out. But thanks to some quick work by David Rook we managed to arrange a replacement, Trinity Mid-Whitgiftian CC, whose own season had already finished.
Trinity Mid-Whitgiftian are based in Croydon, so it was good that they were rewarded with (after a little rain) a perfect autumn afternoon. Hook Meadow looked as lush and green as ever, although there was an unmistakeable late September chill in the air.
Crondall, skippered by Jonny Grant, batted first. I was driving back from Devon at the time, so didn’t see any of the innings. It was a shame I missed Toby Elstow’s innings because he had a terrific knock, making 62 not out and hitting eight fours in the process. David Rook was also unbeaten, making a useful 36, and Dan Jones might have gone on to great things had he not been bowled when on 19 by J. Jegatheeswaran.
These were the highlights for Crondall – there was very little help from the bowlers, in particular Jegatheeswaran, who took 2 for a mere 15 off 7 overs, three of which were maidens. There was a single, lonely extra in the innings (a wide) and Crondall finished their 35 overs with 141 for 4.
In reply TMWCC looked in some trouble, the first two wickets falling for 15. However, opener J. Baxter took control and with R. Unnithan added 59 for the 3rd wicket. Baxter was eventually bowled by Alec Goldsworthy for 34 and Unnithan made 26 before falling to a catch by Alec off Jonny Grant. Skipper A. Brady came in at no. 5 and made 35: another victim for Jonny, this time caught by Dan Jones.
Dan was the pick of Crondall’s bowlers, with 2 for 15 from 7 overs, including a maiden. Scott Shepherd did exactly what was needed, going for just 19 from his 7 over spell, and Alec Goldsworthy was economical with 1 for 27 off 7. Sadly, these efforts did not prevent TMWCC chasing down 142 runs, as they reached 143 for 6 in the 32nd over.
Under the circumstances, this was a good effort by our bowlers and had Crondall made another 20, the result could have been a win. However, as I watched the shadows stretching across Hook meadow, it was clear how much everyone had enjoyed this final outing. Many thanks to TMWCC for stepping in at such short notice – it would have been a sad end to the season if this golden afternoon had gone cricketless.
I’ve at last managed to take some photos. See the gallery section.

David Twibill.

 

Binsted strangle Crondall as autumn creeps in

Summer is nearly gone, but at times on Sunday September 18, the sun managed to break through the cloud cover. The north westerly wind had an autumn chill, reminding us that the season is nearly over.
We welcomed Binsted CC to Hook Meadow. I don’t think we had played them before, although they share a ground and possibly the odd player with Rowledge Casuals.
Crondall’s captain was David Rook and he won the toss and put Binsted into bat. We’d had a spectacular thunderstorm a few nights before, with torrential rain and flooding. Consequently, the wicket was green and looked like it might have a few tricks up its sleeve.
Binsted’s openers rose to the challenge and openers Paul Knight and Ben Krempl played positively and with great application. Paul was caught by Toby Elstow off Alec Goldsworthy when he’d made 11 and with the score on 34. Then Ben Krempl and Ben Henshelland (apologies, both Bens, if my spelling is incorrect) put on 57 for the 2nd wicket.
After this solid start, the game became competitive and very interesting, and it felt like Crondall just had the upper hand. Runs came steadily, but wickets fell throughout the allotted 35 overs. David Rook spread the bowling amongst seven of us, and nearly everybody took wickets.
In the context of the match, Matt White had the best time with the ball. Although wicketless, he bowled with consistent pace and accuracy for 7 overs, going for just 25. Toby Elstow and Scott Shepherd both took 3 wickets, Toby missing out on a hat trick. Alec Goldsworthy took 2 for 27 off 7, and I bowled a very unlucky batsman and finished with 1 for 28 off 5.
Despite the steady exodus of batsmen, Binsted continued to score with help from George King’s 31, James Dines’s 24, and (let’s not deny it) 23 extras. They finished with 196 for 9.
Alec Goldsworthy looked belligerent as he and Dan Jones set about chasing down Binsted’s total. Sadly, Dan was bowled by Nick Wakefield for 3. Alec batted on to make 38, falling to a catch by Luke Johnson off Ben Henshelland.
This wasn’t the start we’d hoped for, but Toby Elstow came in at number 4 and looked as if he might turn things around. With the steadying influence of Ricky Gunner, the pair put on 38 for the fifth wicket, Toby going on to top-score with 42 before he was caught by Ben Krempl off George King.
Toby was the high point of the innings. No one else got on top of the great bowling and fielding of our guests. Apart from the aforementioned, only David Rook and Ricky Gunner got into double figures, with 17 not out and 11 respectively.  Like Crondall, Binsted’s bowling was spread amongst seven, with five of them taking wickets, and this team effort put the brakes on our scoring. Crondall ended the day with 138 for 8, giving Binsted victory by 58 runs.
After the great score of last Sunday, Crondall might have felt 196 wasn’t too big a chase. In the event, it turned out to be a terrific knock and so Binsted are to be congratulated both for their total and for containing Crondall’s in-form batsmen.

David Twibill


header

Sometimes I wonder what somebody who has no understanding of cricket, an alien or Frenchman perhaps, would think if he accidently lit upon this website.
Why, for instance, would you stick your hand in the way of a ball that was coming at you like a meteor when the game was all but won? Maybe you should ask Jonny Grant [peut-être vous devez en demander à Jonny Grant].  But if the cause is in doubt, the effect is all too obvious as can be seen in the x-ray above.
Once again reader, I only have the scantiest information about the match against Whiteditch Rams on Sunday September 11. The weather in Gloucestershire was very nice so I guess it was the same in Hampshire. Last year the Rams beat us heavily, by 9 wickets, and since Crondall has been languishing a little this season, I wasn’t expecting great news.
How wrong I was! I heard we had a stunning victory, batting first and knocking up around 260 and beating our guests by nearly 100 runs. This was brought about by two centurions; the ever-reliable Alec Goldsworthy, and making what I guess is his first hundred for Crondall, Dan Jones.
Sincere congratulations to both Alec and Dan, but especially to Dan who has been playing cricket for a ridiculously short amount of time – is it only 5 years? When I get more information, I will not be at all surprised if I learn Dan also took wickets on Sunday.
Whiteditch Rams are old adversaries (was Leroy playing?) who always play with great spirit, so we must thank them for taking part in this memorable game. We know you’ll be back!
We hope that Jonny will also be back soon but it is unlikely to be this season, judging by the x-ray. What kind of irrational instinct makes one attempt such a dangerous catch? It’s what we call the Spirit of Cricket [C’est qu’on t’appele l’Ésprit de Cricket].

David Twibill

 

team photo

 

Grasshoppers make it three in a row

‘You might have just won us the match!’ I congratulated Roger Wiltshire, as he took a catch off Jon Grant’s bowling to dismiss the Grasshoppers’ number 5. At this stage, as the Hoppers batted first during a stormy afternoon on Sunday September 4, my optimism was well-founded. They were struggling on a wicket that showed a tinge of green following rain on Saturday, and our bowlers were keeping the runs down to around 4 per over.
I am never going to say that again. I cannot help thinking of General Sedgwick’s last words, ‘They couldn’t hit an elephant at this dist . . .’
From this point onwards, the Hoppers emerged from the shadows and began to express themselves. Kieran Rooney and Jamie Strachan took control as Kieran blasted a quick 23 before being bowled by Alec Goldsworthy. Jamie had a hundred in his sights, but was caught by Ben Ungaretti off Jonny Grant for 70.
However, Crondall’s bowlers were not massacred: our full-timers all took a wicket apiece at around 4 per over.  Jonny, despite taking two prized scalps, was more expensive, going for 51 from his 6 overs.
At the close of the Hoppers’ 36 overs, Julian Ranger and myself had the unenviable job of keeping the score down. Under the circumstances, we didn’t do too badly, both of us going for around 8 per over. Jamie Strachan’s big score was compounded by a quickfire 54 not out from Ali, and the Grasshoppers finished with 211 for 5.
Alec Goldsworthy is a colossus who strides Crondall’s achievements both in the field and at the crease, so on the rare occasions when he has a bad day, it hurts. Imagine then, our dismay as Geoff Close’s first ball to Crondall found the edge of Alec’s bat and drew a horrible ellipse against the grey sky, to be snaffled by the grateful hands of Chris Dorman.
Roger Wiltshire looked good as he settled down after this early crisis, patiently playing himself in, but was unfortunate to fall for another catch by Chris Dorman when on 12, this time off the bowling of Chris’s son Henry. Dan Jones also looked in good form, hitting 5 fours in an innings of 28 before being bowled by 14 year-old Henry Turrell.
Sadly, Dan’s effort was the highlight of Crondall’s batting. However, Jonny Grant was impressive in the face of some challenging bowling, spending time (and a little luck) to reach 15 not out.
The Grasshoppers used eight bowlers, most of them taking 1wicket except for young Henry Dorman who took 3 for 17 off 6. They did not need to call upon Jamie Strachan as they reduced Crondall to 128 for 8, winning by 83 runs.
This was the third consecutive win for the Grasshoppers, and a great team effort. Congratulations Hoppers – you were a slumbering giant on this day, possibly woken up by me and my big mouth!
Sorry about the lack of photos – I’m doing a scoring apprenticeship these days.

David Twibill

 

Thoughts from an apprentice scorer

If you’ve never had a go at scoring, I can thoroughly recommend it: it isn’t difficult provided you have a sharp pencil and somebody to mentor you. I’ve been lucky to have the tutelage of David Rook and on Sunday September 4, the Grasshoppers’ scorer Dave was a reassuring presence – I knew that if I missed something, such as Jonny Grant’s four, Dave would be there to put me right. Also, my companion taught me some of the hieroglyphics scorers use. Thanks for this, Dave, as well as grappling with our user-aggressive scoreboard.
When you are scoring, it is a little bit like looking at the game through a camera lens (I have done this, too). You feel strangely detached from what’s happening in the middle and no matter what horrors are unfolding, you suppress your emotions and concentrate on notating the drama. All that matters is that you create a legible, accurate account of the match. A well-filled score sheet is a thing of beauty, notwithstanding the carnage encrypted in its delicate pencil markings.
Anyone involved in cricket should have a go at scoring. If you’re thinking about it, this guide by Snitterfield Cricket Club (near Stratford-upon-Avon) is a very good starting point. Click here.

David Twibill

 

Odiham and Greywell’s young guns blaze

One of Odiham’s young fielders chases the ball to the boundary, loses his footing, falls over, and it goes for four. ‘Get some spikes!’ comes the advice from his dad and teammate. ‘I would if you weren’t such a cheapskate!’ his boy replies, as he picks himself up.
The group of Crondall players around the pavilion collapses into merriment; it’s a grey drizzly afternoon and the exchange lights up the day. Moreover, it is one of many instances on Sunday August 28 when the younger generation puts us oldies in our place. These are too numerous to describe in much detail, but it’s worth pausing on two examples of under 14 year-old bowling figures: Reece Lane (possibly the spikeless fielder) took 2 for 29 off 7 with a maiden and wicket-maiden, and George Guy got 2 for 12 off 7(!) with 2 wicket-maidens.
This is remarkable considering the great start Crondall made having won the toss and batting first in the 35 over format. Alec Goldsworthy smacked the first 4 balls to the boundary, and went on to hit another 8 fours before getting caught off George Guy for 59. Alec created a solid platform for Crondall, keeping the run rate to around 10 during the first dozen or so overs.
But our guests didn’t panic. They bowled tidily and kept a good length during the opening onslaught and once Alec was out, their patience was rewarded as the following 4 wickets added just 39.
Crondall were becalmed until Ben Ungaretti came in at number 6, unusually low down the order. Ben has been short of runs lately, so it was no surprise to see him play himself in, just getting used to being at the crease and getting his eye in. The result was an unbeaten 78 during which he hit 11 fours and 3 sixes. This tremendous effort took Crondall to 195 all out in the 35th over.
In the early stages of Odiham & Greywell’s reply, it felt as if they were behind but this was deceptive – they actually kept the run rate around the 5.57 needed.
Like the spikeless fielder, 14 year-old Jonty Sebborn may also have cheapskate parents, but this was not reflected in the extravagant way he set about our bowlers. He batted throughout the innings and was unbeaten on 102. Being helmeted, most of us had no idea of his age: such was the maturity with which he set about the chase, never fazed by the blinding start Alec Goldsworthy had given Crondall, that I for one assumed he must be in his twenties.
Chris Lane was also unbeaten, hitting 39, and James Hine batted well for 21 before he was caught off Ben Ungaretti. But these two were satyrs to the Hyperion Jonty, who was far and away man of the match.
Crondall were reduced to 9 men in the final stages. Fielding felt like trying to be in three places at once as Chris Lane and Jonty exploited the gaps. With our regular bowlers bowled out, the task was left to myself, Julian Ranger and Andrew Whitehouse – a task which proved too much as Odiham cruised home with an over to spare and 5 wickets in hand. Alec Goldsworthy was the pick of Crondalls’ bowlers, taking 2 for 23 off 6.
This was a match with twists and turns that was unpredictable up until the final 10 overs. Odiham & Greywell CC are to be congratulated for what they are doing with their younger players. You’re doing a great job, Odiham – don’t worry if your young charges answer you back now and then.

David Twibill

 

Military Mappers struggle under leaden skies

Wednesday August 24 saw temperatures rise into the thirties, but by the evening the sky had clouded over and it became gloomy, thundery and very humid. Sensing that we weren’t likely to get 40 overs before nightfall, we agreed to reduce the match to 16 overs per innings.
Crondall went in first and Alec Goldsworthy continued his terrific form, hitting his first freebie ball for 6. Wickets then fell, and we seemed to be in some disarray, but runs continued to flow at a decent rate.
Then like a pair of rottweilers savaging a luckless postman, Ed Hellings and Julian Ranger got stuck into the bowling and before long, the rate had climbed to around 8 per over. Ed, Julian and Alec all hit over 25 and were retired.
The Mappers did well to knock over 5 of our wickets, but despite this and some good fielding, Crondall finished their 16 overs with 124.
By the time the Mappers began their reply, the light had deteriorated and they found it hard to get going. Matt White found some searing pace and bounce, causing all sorts of trouble in the gloom, and Cameron Smith, who is developing into an indispensable player, took 2 excellent wickets in a single over.
Ed Hellings did fine work with the ball as well as the bat. At one point, Matt White almost pulled off a blinding catch off Ed’s bowling, leaping high and wide, and almost hanging on one hand-handed. A couple of balls later, Matt had another easier chance off Ed and this time, the batter didn’t get away with it.
Rain fell during the closing stages, and we were alarmed by the odd flash of lightning, yet our opposition bravely stuck it out, finishing some 30 runs short. This was not the drama of last year’s tie (Jim Cranswick’s heroic bowling in the last over was mentioned), but it always felt like a keen contest and the challenging conditions gave it a certain edge.

David Twibill

 

Run-chase at Hook Meadow as Invalids set daunting target

Bearing in mind the maxim that you should never turn your nose up at a good cliché, the match against the Invalids on Sunday August 21 was a game of two halves.
The weather had looked threatening during the morning but the Invalids, put into bat, enjoyed most of their innings in perfect sunny conditions. Hook Meadow was in its usual lovely condition (it seems to be getting better with each season) and our guests took advantage, scoring quickly from the outset.
The opening partnership of Shaw and Wilson made a solid foundation, Wilson scoring 27 before he was caught off Alec Goldsworthy, and Shaw going on to be the game’s top-scorer with 75. He eventually fell to the lightning reactions of Goldsworthy, who ran him out with a direct hit.
The Invalids never let up and the run rate continued at around 6 per over. Only Matt White managed to keep them in check, bowling 8 overs for just 32. Cameron Smith is going from strength-to-strength and gave the more experienced players a lesson in how to create trouble on a flat wicket, taking 3 for 33 from 6.
But not even Cam could slow down the runs as Vaibim hit 30 and Clarke was unbeaten, also on 30. The Invalids accelerated in the closing overs and finished with 234 for 7, just as the clouds reappeared.
As Crondall began their innings the weather closed in, deteriorating to a persistent mizzle that threatened to bring things to an early close. However, openers Keith Knox and Alec Goldsworthy were undaunted by the big run-chase. Keith fell for 17, caught behind off Jones in the 13th over with 77 runs on the board – a stand that put us well in the hunt. Julian Ranger continued with the good work, making 21 before being bowled by Ravi; he and Alec put on 64 for the 3rd wicket.
Alec had made 66 before he was bowled by Ravi. Like a lot of left-handers, Alec makes his shots look effortless and it is extraordinary that he hit 12 fours in this innings: maybe he just doesn’t like running unless he really has to!
George Osborne also middled the ball consistently, yet some great fielding stopped many of his ballistic shots reaching the boundary. He made 43 before being bowled by Ravi, and David Rook kept hopes alive with 17 before he was run out.
With the outfield becoming increasingly wet, and pinned back by some terrific bowling and fielding, Crondall’s runs dwindled and we eventually drew the match with 209 for 8. Actually, a decent score in any circumstances. Of the Invalids’ bowlers, Jones and Ravi were outstanding, each taking 3 wickets.
Many thanks to the Invalids for joining us – this may have been a game of two halves, but you played superb cricket in both of them. We’ll look forward to welcoming you back next year.

David Twibill

 

hatters

Jonny Grant’s and my erstwhile teammates, Piccadilly CC, with whom we spent a lively few days in Spain back in April, were Crondall’s guests on Sunday August 14. It was a beautiful afternoon and the scene was set for an exhilarating day’s cricket.
Piccadilly won the toss and batted first. An opening stand of 35 made a good platform, and runs came quickly at around 6 per over. Alex Whittet’s and Jon Grant’s bowling spells slowed it down, Jon taking 2 for 29 in 7. Alex is never easy to score against and at this stage, Crondall seemed to be taking control. However, Piccadilly were always positive and even facing the pace of George Osborne and Ben Ungaretti, managed to keep the score board turning over (well, clacking over – it’s not that kind of score board).
Hitesh top-scored with 47 before he fell to a great stumping by Clive Lindsay off Toby Elstow, and he was joined by Simon and Vernon, who showed us some great strokeplay as they hit 31 and 29. These two were also victims of Clive Lindsay’s gloves, both being caught off George Osborne and Toby Elstow.
Alongside Jonny Grant, George and Toby were the stars of Crondall’s bowlers, taking 2 for 26 off 5 and 2 for 22 off 5 respectively. 15 year-old Cameron Smith was impressive in the field and bowled with good pace, taking 1 for 18 off 2.
At the close of their allotted 35 overs, Piccadilly had made 194 – a good solid start would be needed from Crondall’s batters. Sadly, such a start eluded us as Ben Ungaretti’s bat inexplicably adhered itself to his pad and he was bowled first ball. Scott Shepherd then hit a 6 which broke the window of a car parked in Croft Lane. The owner of this vehicle may have been delighted to see Scott dismissed the following ball.
Shock-waves from this eventful first over reverberated throughout the early stages of the innings, and Crondall found it hard to get going. Then, a stand between George Osborne and Toby Elstow turned things back in our favour and with plenty of wickets in hand, the total began to look within our reach. Toby was eventually bowled for 58 by Bharat Rughani and George went for 39, but David Rook continued the good work, making 30 before being bowled by skipper Jay Mehta. Jay took 5 wickets for 28 off 7, a tremendous effort on such a flat, slow wicket.
In the penultimate over, I joined Jonny Grant at the crease. Crondall needed about 24 and I confess, reader, that I am not the man most people would vote for in such a crisis. So, we finished up on 172 for 7, giving Piccadilly victory by 22 runs.
Congratulations to Piccadilly, and in particular to Jay for his five-for, and many thanks for making the lengthy trip down here. This was a memorable game for more reasons than I can describe here and although the season is far from over, we’re already looking forward to a return fixture next year.

David Twibill

 

hatters

The summer is more settled than it was in June and July, and the good weather held for our return match against Rowledge Casuals on Sunday August 7. The game was played to the 35 over format of the previous encounter.
The pitch at Binsted was in good shape and with a strong batting line-up, Crondall were happy to go in first. Some hard hitting from openers Ben Ungaretti and Alec Goldsworthy got us off to a brisk start and after 14 overs, they had retired on 37 and 36 respectively.
Things then slowed down for Crondall as Keith Knox was run-out by a superb throw: if it hadn’t been a direct hit, he would very likely have got home. Toby Elstow, making a risky but not suicidal run, was the victim of another good shy at the stumps.
Nathan Thorpe batted with care, playing himself in and looking like he would bat all afternoon. Then, he went on the attack and eventually retired on 35. Scott Shepherd has scored well lately, and he continued his good batting form, blasting 35 in next to no time.
Rowledge’s Rohan Wills bowled with good pace and accuracy and he was well supported by his fellow bowlers. Crondall batters don’t often fall to run-outs, so three such dismissals shows what a great fielding side our hosts are. But despite this, Crondall finished with 193.
A required rate of 5.6 an over needed a good start from Rowledge’s openers. Unfortunately, they struggled against Alex Whittet and Jonny Grant, both falling to each bowler for 2. However, the middle order of Fosilett, Philipson and Williams made runs relatively easily, each of them retiring on 35. The run rate began to look well within reach, and Rowledge seemed to be heading for a repeat of their victory in May.
Then 2 wickets each for David Goldsworthy and Ben Ungaretti staunched the flow of runs and Rowledge eventually finished their 35 overs on 181, giving Crondall victory by 12 runs.
We must thank Rowledge CC for hosting a great match which despite running away from them in the last couple of overs, was pretty damn close. Thanks also, for treating us to pizzas at the Cedars pub afterwards – they were very good and very welcome.
There’s a few photos (mainly Toby and Nathan) in the Gallery section.

David Twibill

 

hatters

On Sunday July 31 Crondall welcomed the Mad Hatters for our annual bash. The weather was bright and breezy – perfect conditions for cricket, and the pitch looked in excellent nick.
Crondall won the toss and invited the Hatters to have a bat. We were a man short, but Tom Millward’s girlfriend Tor Fenwick very kindly offered to don a spare set of whites.
Openers James Richardson and Rorie Evans made a great start, pushing the run rate up to nearly 8 in the first 5 overs before James was superbly caught and bowled by Tom Millward for 20. Fergus O’Callaghan fell in the next over, bowled by Scott Shepherd without scoring. Rorie retired on 25 and later returned, finishing as Hatters’ top-scorer with 45 not out.
The Hatters continued to score freely until Andy McLeod was caught and bowled by Scott Shepherd when he’d made 7. It was one of the most brilliant reflex catches we’ve ever seen – the ball was hit with ballistic power and Scott will have its impression on his palm for a few years.
The next 3 overs saw the Hatters wobble as another 3 wickets  fell, each man bowled by David Goldsworthy. Then things steadied for the remaining half of the innings as brothers Ed and Tom Richardson, along with Alistair Bressington and Ralph Roylance pushed the score up to a lofty 185 for 7 declared.
Crondall’s openers Keith Knox and Scott Shepherd got off to a similar start to the Hatters. Opening pace man Kasper Welling had the most populous slip cordon I’ve seen at Hook meadow: five or six and a gully, I think. However, Keith and Scott managed to middle the ball and runs came quickly in the early stages, and they’d put on 37 when Scott was bowled by Kasper for 17 in the 7th over.
From then on the match was evenly poised, although the Hatters were always ahead on run rate. Crondall’s progress was helped in particular by Tom Millward and David Rook, Tom making 20 before falling lbw to Alex Whittet, and David an assured-looking 31, also bowled Whittet. Our usual team-mate Alex created trouble with his off-spin and was the pick of the Hatters’ bowlers, achieving 5 for just 15 off 7. Despite the lack of defensive fielders, Kasper was also economical and bowled 4 maidens in his 2 for 23 off 8.
Ricky Gunner was the backbone to Crondall’s innings and (with a little luck) made a sterling 45 not out, in which he hit 5 fours and 2 sixes. In the closing overs Ricky accelerated and with help from a four off Tor’s first ever ball in cricket, got us to 3 runs short of victory. I then came in, green-faced, at no.11 and Alex pinned me to the striker’s end without my scoring.
So, the game was drawn through a combination of Ricky’s hard work and the Hatters’ great sportsmanship and generosity. As always, it was a huge pleasure to welcome them to Crondall. If I seem unusually diligent with my stats, this is entirely due to Ed Richardson’s analysis of the game. Many thanks, Ed. I can’t really do it justice here, so it can be seen in all its meticulous detail by clicking here.
There are lots of photos in the gallery, including some lovely ones of Tor.

David Twibill

 

Not the MCC, nor a cloud in sight as Crondall triumph

I should get nominated for the Bad Cricket Writing Awards 2016. The art of writing a great bad match report is to make sure you weren’t actually there, and since I’ve now done this twice on the trot, I reckon I’m in with a shout.
So, I’m relying on a text message from Jonny Grant. Maybe I should just quote it verbatim and save myself some effort as well as cementing my nomination. No. The game against Not the MCC on Sunday July 17 was too remarkable for me to get away with this.
In rare and glorious sunshine, Crondall won. Not only did we win, but we won against a strong side who last year scored a whopping 264 for 4 in a match that we were relieved ended in a draw.
I’m assuming we won the toss and elected to bat first, since we posted our highest score this season – 191. We’ve missed Ben Ungaretti lately but surprisingly, he got out in the first over for just a single. But Ben’s confidence must have charged the rest of the team like static from a Van de Graaff generator, because everyone else stepped up.
Scott Shepherd accelerated Crondall’s run rate in a blazing innings of 30 or so and in the latter stages, Jonny Grant made an excellent 28 not out. David Rook should have made at least 37, but he was caught on the boundary for 33. These feats were in the face of some great bowling and fielding from the Nots. Their pace bowler (whose name still escapes me) with the Christ the Redeemer run-up was, so Jonny tells me, in particularly fine fettle.
However, unlike last year, the Nots found batting a real struggle. Ben Ungaretti, as if to compensate for his misadventure with the bat, had a superb spell with the ball and took 3 wickets. It must have been good to see Toby Elstow get a couple – he’s worked hard this season and deserved some reward. Jonny Grant also took a wicket, and made a catch which I’m sure was not easy (for me, there’s no such thing as an easy catch). Another great catch was made by Julian Ranger.
191 suggests a good batting pitch, so Crondall’s bowlers and fielders did well to dismiss the Nots relatively cheaply, for around 137. Congratulations, Crondall! And commiserations to Not the MCC – we know from last year what you’re capable of, so we’re particularly pleased with this result.
Thank you, Jonny, for the message. I’ll make sure I mention you in my acceptance speech.

David Twibill

 

James shines as Crondall draw at Valley End

Our away match against Valley End on Sunday July 3 sounds an intriguing game. I was abroad, so did not have the benefit of the internet and other gimmicks to keep me in touch, therefore this will be the scantiest of reports. It seems I was not the only one unavailable, as we were three men short. Fortunately, our hosts lent us three of their own so a game was possible.
Valley End batted first and made 189 for 7 off 42 overs. Scott Shepherd and Jon Grant opened the bowling, Scott taking 1 for 25 from 8, and Jon taking 1 for 32 in his spell of 8 – a great effort in difficult circumstances.
But the undoubted hero of Crondall’s bowling was James Gunner, who found the wicket suited his spin. Although less economical than Scott and Jon, James troubled Valley End’s batters and he finished with 3 for 31 from 4. Congratulations, James – this must be a career best for Crondall.
Crondall’s innings was never going to be easy as we lacked some of our big hitters, and our borrowed players helped us out with one making 32 and another scoring 28. At the close, Crondall had forced a draw with 135 for 8.
I’m sure the game must have been great fun; it seems quite a bonus to play at all in this unsettled summer. But it was Valley End’s generosity that made it all possible, so many thanks go to our hosts. We would no doubt do the same for you Valley End, but it will almost certainly be me who gets loaned.

David Twibill

 

oakley

The chap who does the BBC weather website should resign. We were promised a fair, breezy day with the possibility of rain at 8 o’clock. What we got on Sunday June 27 at Oakley was a leaden sky, then a wind which died so there was nothing to blow away a steady drizzle.
Our hosts won the toss and batted first on what didn’t seem a great surface; the wicket had the consistency of plasticene, and our deliveries soon left a number of muddy scuff marks. However, Oakley’s openers Dan Sumner and Alex Brundle made a solid stand with 56 coming off 11 overs. Alex hit 20 before he was caught by Ollie Godden off Toby Elstow.
Oakley’s Dan Jones batted very well for 42 but the star of their innings was Dan Sumner, who never looked troubled and went on to make an unbeaten 104.
Aside from Dan Sumner’s dominance, Crondall kept things tight for a large part of the innings, with wickets falling and the run rate held at under 5 per over. Our Dan Jones bowled with good pace and venom and took 3 wickets for 45 off 9, and Alec Goldsworthy’s spin accounted for 2 for 33 off 8.
But once Dan Sumner had passed 50, he and Dan Jones accelerated so that at the close of their 40 overs, Oakley had made 233 for 8.
Crondall’s reply never felt as if it were likely to chase this total down, even though we were never far off the required rate. As has happened so often this season, we wanted a good early stand and plenty of wickets in hand during the closing overs from which to launch a fightback. Toby Elstow made our only significant contribution, hitting 41 before unfortunately running himself out. In the 29th over, we were all out for 116, giving Oakley victory by 117 runs.
Oakley’s chief wicket-takers were Bob Lethaby with 3 for 5 off 3, Perry Ries who took 2 for 26 from 6, and Dan (Oakley) Jones who almost matched Perry with 2 for 27 from 6.
Crondall shoulders are drooping a bit this season, but we are not yet half way through our fixtures and there is ample time to turn things around. Congratulations to Dan Sumner for a great display of batting, and thanks go to Bob Lethaby and his men for their hospitality. It is always a pleasure to play at Oakley’s picturesque ground – we’ll look forward to meeting again some sunny day.

David Twibill


T20 drama as Wadham & Isherwood triumph again

Wednesday June 8 was a hot, humid day with the threat of thunder. Our match at Farnham Park was due to begin at 18.00 and on the dot of 17.30, rain began to fall. Fortunately, it never amounted to more than a light drizzle and the match began more or less on time. Later, the weather cleared and we enjoyed a spectacular golden sunset over the Surrey hills.
Crondall made a decent total of 147; in the early stages we were running at around 10 an over. Alec Goldsworthy got to 25 (the mandatory retiring score) in next to no time – if you had needed the bathroom you, (or at least I) would certainly have missed it. Also, George Osborne and David Rook achieved 25 and Jonny Grant just missed out, falling to an excellent catch when he was on 23. We were pleased to welcome David Goldsworthy back in the side and coming in at number 8, he made runs and was unbeaten at the close of the innings.
This was always a delicately poised match and W&I were very calm and collected in the way they went about their innings. They too made a strong start and three of them also reached 25. They were always in touch with the 7.35 run rate although at times, with the big hitters retired, Crondall’s bowlers looked as if they would pull it back.
David Goldsworthy, Scott Shepherd and George Osborne led the attack and all took wickets. In a sense, Crondall was a victim of its own success because W&I were bowled out relatively quickly and this allowed the retirees back into the attack. They reached 148 with just a couple of balls to spare.
Many thanks to W&I for your hospitality and a great game, and congratulations – this is becoming a habit!

David Twibill

 

Old Isleworthians worthy winners

Sunday May 29 was another beautiful day, and our guests Old Isleworthians/Heston CC enjoyed sunshine for the third year running.
Crondall batted first and it looked like we were in a strong position with 185 for 5. George Osborne, playing in his first match of the season, top-scored with 61. Alec Goldsworthy also made runs, scoring 40, and David Rook made 23 not out. Of Isleworthians’ bowlers, Sharif was the most impressive, taking 2 for 15 off 5.
Isleworthians’ reply got off to a shaky start as George Osborne bowled one of their openers for 0, but they soon settled down and began to make runs. Sharif was again in the thick of things, and he made a decisive 81 before being caught off Alex Whittet. Alex finished with 2 for 15 off 5.
On paper, Isleworthians’ victory by 5 wickets looks one-sided, but for much of the afternoon the result was uncertain and there was a lot of positive play by Crondall. Man of the match was undoubtedly Sharif, but this was a great team effort by Old Isleworthians. In 2014 they helped us out at very short notice and they have to travel some distance to play us – this was a well-deserved win.

Keith Knox

 

Cryptics enjoy runfest in sunshine

The fine weather held for Sunday May 15, and our guests Surrey Cryptics enjoyed good batting conditions as they amassed a total of 215. Crondall welcomed young Reece Hewitt into the side, and he gave us some cheer by taking his first wicket.
Crondall’s reply soon ran into trouble and apart from a well-crafted 60 from Alec Goldsworthy, nobody could get going. We lost wickets regularly, and eventually found ourselves on 92 for 9 and facing a heavy defeat.
Then an explosive innings from Scott Shepherd and some great support from Ricky Gunner saw Crondall make a recovery. This last wicket stand of 61 was sadly not enough to see us home and we were all out for 153, but for several overs a Crondall win looked possible.
Congratulations to Surrey Cryptics, who lost heavily last year, but played brilliantly on this occasion and deserved their emphatic win.

Keith Knox


rowledge

Due to rain and other reasons, in 2015 Crondall did not play a single away game, so on Sunday May 8 it was a rare pleasure to be the guests of Coombe Bissett CC near Salisbury. The time spent travelling was rewarded by a perfect day and a really beautiful ground set in rolling Wiltshire countryside – we really should get out more!
Our hosts suggested a 40 over game and won the toss, deciding with little hesitation to bat first. It was a fast outfield with a close boundary and as Crondall had only 10 men, we knew we were in for some pressure.
However, some excellent bowling from Adam Elstow gave Crondall a great start. With support from Scott Shepherd, he thwarted Coombe’s batters with 3 for just 7 in 6 overs, including 2 maidens.  
Coombe Bissett’s main contributors were James Taylor and Ben Vincent, who scored 44 and 62 respectively. There was some great running between the wickets and lofty stroke-play; the ball occasionally soaring towards the Salisbury Plain. James was eventually bowled by Alec Goldsworthy and Ben fell to Jonny Grant, stumped by the lightning gloves of newboy Clive Lindsay. Jonny did well with the ball, taking 3 wickets and found support in Dan Jones who took 2 for 38 off 7. Ollie Godden found some pace and bounce, and took 1 for 19 off 3.
Coombe Bissett were all out for 193 with a couple of overs to spare, and we felt that keeping them to under 200 was a pretty good effort. Unfortunately, we didn’t know about a pace bowler called David Webber. If our bowlers had found the wicket helpful, for David it provided unlimited babysitting, car maintenance, help in the garden, and expert advice on final salary pensions. He ripped through our top and middle order with 5 for 41 off 8. Even Alec Goldsworthy’s defences were breached as Webber bowled him for 23.
I know, reader. 41 divided by 8 is a little over 5 – the rate Crondall required for victory and to our credit, we always managed to keep this run rate in check. All it needed was a couple of batsmen to hang around, and the day could still be ours. These two looked like being Ollie Godden and Clive Lindsay who toughed it out, Ollie eventually being caught by David Webber off James Taylor for 30.
But not even Webber could intimidate Clive as he cut and drove his way through Coombe Bissett’s attack, the ball despatched to the boundary time and time again. A little luck and a shedful of bloody-minded determination saw Clive unbeaten on 47.
Sadly, Clive and Ollie’s heroic efforts could not stem the tide, and our depleted line-up was all out for 131 with plenty of overs to spare, giving our hosts victory by 62 runs. Thanks Coombe Bissett, for the excellent tea and hospitality (we’re all suffering from pavilion-envy), and congratulations for an emphatic win.
Photos of the day are in the gallery section.

David Twibill

rowledge

Sunday May 1 began bright and breezy and finished up cloudy and chilly, but we had no complaints with the weather, which was a big improvement on the arctic blast of last Sunday.
Rowledge Casuals requested a different format to our usual Sunday game: 35 overs per innings with 7 overs per bowler and compulsory retirement for batsmen reaching 35. Our guests won the toss and put us in to bat.
Two of our batters, Dan Jones and opener Alec Goldsworthy achieved the maximum score, and David Rook would have done so had Crondall not run out of overs. We finished up with 150 for 6 with David on 22.
Six of our wickets were taken; these were evenly distributed with six Rowledge bowlers taking one apiece. Clive Hartless was impressive, taking his wicket for just 14 off 4 overs, and Anthony Mayheap also bowled very well with 1 for 15 off 4.
We regularly have fathers and sons involved in our matches, but I don’t ever recall father, son and daughter turning out to play together. Rowledge skipper Jon Wills, with son Rohan and daughter Asha must be the first to do this, but I may be wrong. Asha and Rohan both bowled, with 14 year-old Asha taking 1 for 19 off 4, including a maiden. Asha bowled with a textbook action, generating some feisty pace which was Jon Grant’s undoing – he attempted to smash a rare full-toss and was bowled.
In reply, Rowledge batted sensibly, keeping the scoreboard ticking over with some good running between the wickets, maintaining the required rate of just over 4 per over. Will Roberts, Anthony Philipson and Rohan Wills all reached the nirvana of 35, with Rohan seeming to get there in virtually no time.
Crondall welcomed a new wicket-keeper, Clive Lindsay, who did a tidy job behind the stumps – never easy when you’re playing with unfamiliar bowlers.
For most of Rowledge’s innings, Crondall kept in touch with some accurate bowling and one or two moments of fielding brilliance. Dan Jones took the best catch I’ve ever witnessed on Hook Meadow. It involved running, diving, and a great deal of disbelief at what looked like barely the idea of a chance. Another catcher was James Gunner, making his first catch for Crondall, and looking like he does it every day. Alec Goldsworthy was the star of our bowlers, taking 3 for 15 off 7, and David Rook did very well with 2 for 24 off 6.
But these feats did not trouble Rowledge, who knocked off the runs with the loss of 5 wickets. The match felt much closer than the result suggests: it was never predictable and was always a good hard-fought competition.
Congratulations to Rowledge Casuals, and thanks for joining us for such a fun, competitive afternoon.
See the gallery section for photos of the match.

David Twibill

 

Crondall squeeze victory on arctic afternoon

At last – a first game of the season that wasn’t rained off, and a rare match against Woking & Horsell. Sunday April 24 was, however, just about the coldest afternoon I can remember playing on (and I’m including my days in the windy North East).
Woking & Horsell won the toss and batted on what turned out to be a difficult pitch to score on. They started slowly and we bowled well throughout with the pick of the bowlers being Dan Jones with 2-16 in 7 overs and Alec Goldsworthy 4-28 in 9 overs, with half of those runs coming off his first over.
George Osborne, James Gunner, David Rook and Jim Cranswick contributed with a wicket each.
Crondall also started slowly after Alec Goldsworthy had hit 6 off the first two balls and was caught off the third and I was run out in the second over without facing a ball! We then made steady progress with Jim scoring 32,  but wickets started to fall at regular intervals thanks to some excellent spin bowling from Pyle. However, George steadied the ship with 38 not out as the wickets fell around him. In the final over, with 9 wickets down and 1 needed to win, he hit a four off the penultimate ball, giving Crondall a close and memorable victory.
Congratulations to George and to everyone for grafting a win in such unpromising conditions. And thank you to Woking & Horsell – it was great to get a game at last!

Keith Knox

La Manga

Last year my clients Prakash and Bharat Rughani invited me to join them in the Madrid Cricket Club T20 Tournament in La Manga, Spain. I accepted with alacrity and when Prakash asked if I knew of anyone else who might be interested, I sent the details on to Jonny Grant who replied by return, “I’m in!”
So, on April 20 we all turned up at the La Manga Club with little idea of what lay ahead in the next four days, and wondering if our bodies would stand that much activity in such a short period. We soon found ourselves having to deal with one of the hardest games we’ve ever played: cricket.
To say our team was outclassed is a bit like saying Vladimir Horowitz was a dab-hand at the piano. But we all had our moments; Jonny did nothing disgraceful with his bat, and I managed to stop most stuff that came my way – the outfields were hard and fast, and the ball never bobbed up like it can on certain grounds.
Aside from playing in brilliant sunshine and in a spectacular mountainous setting, the highlights for Jonny and me were provided by the excellent company surrounding us: a more effervescent, fun bunch of blokes would be hard to come by.
La Manga seems to be a magnet for sporting celebs. After dining at the excellent Hotel Principe Felipe, we were disturbed by some Danish football hooligans swaggering around reception, drunkenly singing songs. “Bit noisy aren’t you?” Jonny challenged one of them, a man of around 40 with chiseled features, smiling mischievously behind a mop of hair. He looked familiar. “Sorry,” he replied. “I am here playing football with my friends.”
We then recognised this uproarious Scandinavian. It was Mads Mikkelsen, best known for playing Le Chiffre in Casino Royale. He was very charming, and behaved nothing like a typical Bond villain.
Then we bumped into Kenny Dalglish of Liverpool fame. He was there for the Marina Dalglish Appeal Golf Tournament. Many of our party were keen football fans and Kenny soon found himself included in various selfies. He could not have been more gracious about having his evening ram-raided by such a bunch of yahoos. A true gentleman!
On our final afternoon, having a few hours to spare, we descended on a sleepy seaside town that was en-route to Murcia airport. This infamous event has become known as the Great Anglo-Indian Invasion of Cartagena (rather more Indian than Anglo).
This was a perfect ending to what was a terrific way to start the season. We have made a tentative arrangement for Prakash and his Alliance XI to fill the vacant fixture in August. I hope this comes off as it’ll be a great afternoon, even if no Bond villains or football deity turns up.

David Twibill