Sunday 4 August 2019
Blackheath 202/7 35 overs innings closed
SCCC 189/6 35 overs innings closed
Blackheath won by 13 runs
Blackheath won the toss, 35 over match

Peter Andrew writes:

And so to Blackheath, by whatever circuitous route available to avoid the Lycra Louts in their annual ‘let’s block up the roads in Surrey’ charity bash.  Pre-match discussion revolved around the Test match, and noted that Travis Head had been dismissed in the morning session.  ‘Hmmm,’ mused Keith.  ‘Head before lunch.  Makes up for missing breakfast, I suppose.’  The team assembled, local boys Scottie and Dwight last to check in. 

This season’s only ever-present, skipper Seeckts, went out for a discussion with his opposite number and came back with a 35-over match and the chance to bowl first.  ‘Right, we need a keeper.’  Marcus Ruffell, third Cryptic start, took one look at the deep, deep boundary over towards the woods and recognised the imminent need for young legs to patrol it.  ‘I’ll take the gloves skipper, done it before.’  The boy will go far.  Wasn’t bad behind the sticks either, just six byes, held one catch and could have had more.  Very tidy down the leg side.  Our fourth keeper in eight games this year.

Rod and Grinders restrained Blackheath’s openers, the first nine overs yielding 28 runs and a return catch for Rod.  Another wicket for Rod, well-pouched by Scottie, brought together a couple of teenagers who took the game deep into Blackheath’s allocation.  They added 112 in the next 18 overs, generally by playing proper cricket strokes, before Keith held a low drive at extra cover off PAJ.  Another pebble added to the hill for Gossy to climb.  Next over Chris Muldoon bowled one of the Harrison brothers who took the game out of our reach last year, for a cheap and welcome 5.  Grinders returned for a second spell that brought him three wickets in the last five overs, and took him past the wicketless Stu to lead the season’s tally with 12.  Dwight’s equally barren spell means a drop of four places this season in the strike rate leaderboard.  With a couple of big overs late on, Blackheath closed on 202.

Although not quite TEA (see Holybourne report),  Blackheath provide Tea, certainly the best we’re offered in Surrey.  As ever, justice was done to it.

Chasing roughly a run a ball, Keith faced most of our first two overs, and scored a run off them.  James Hogben then took 10 off the third over, and we were under way.  Especially when Keith launched a big maximum into the car park next over.  Ten overs in we were two down (Keith and Marcus), but were 20 runs ahead of Blackheath’s comparable tally.  Scottie wasn’t hanging about, with six boundaries in his first nine scoring strokes, including two sixes to reassert his lead over Tommy in their private duel.

Hoggers departed for 31 in the 13th, our score on 73.  At the equivalent point, Blackheath had 50.  Dwight continued the aggressive trend, two fours in his first three balls, but he’d gone four overs later for 17, out of a stand of 37.  Seeckts joined Scottie, and these two pushed us on with another solid partnership, amassing a further 49 until we lost Scottie for 71, cementing his place at the top of the run aggregates for the season.  Unless Keith gets 150 at Woking, of course.  But by now the short boundary was packed, the bowling was getting more aggressive and we were behind the run-rate.  Grinders came and went, the tail was padded up and ready, but despite a doughty and undefeated 34 from the skipper, he eventually went down with the ship as we ran out of overs, still 13 runs short.

This was our second defeat here in 10 visits, with five draws.  The statistics suggest close games; in ten matches, we have scored only 13 more runs than our opponents, taken four more wickets than we have lost, and faced just a single over more than we have bowled.  It is arguably the most pleasant location we play at.  Nowhere have we had more spectators this year, both partisan supporters and casual walkers stopping for a breather.  Club skipper Bridges brought a clutch of relatives and his injured knee for an afternoon out, and late on some Scottlets rocked up as well.

But they were in time to join the CSI Guildford sweep of the outfield, as players and spectators lined up to try and find Dwight’s wedding ring, which had somehow escaped from the drawstring on his whites.  [no, don’t ask, mother.  Ed].  The searchers held formation for half the circuit, and then fractured, wandering Grindrod-like hither and yon, with no success in finding the missing silverware.  A happy ending ensued early in the following days, however, when an offered bounty was claimed by a diligent metal detectorist.