Sunday 2nd August 2020
SCCC 230-5 (35 overs)
Blackheath 139 all out (33.2 overs)
Won by 91 runs
35 over match
Blackheath won the toss

Grinders Juniors write:

Entering August undefeated the Cryptics were flying high but expected a tough game against a Blackheath side that usually put up a strong fight. Seeckts lost his first toss of the season and the opposition captain momentarily elected to bat before Seeckts convinced him to bowl by commenting on the reported weakness of their side compared to previous years.

Grinders puzzling the flag pole

How does this thing work?

Two 21st Century born Cryptics, James Grindrod and Toby Seeckts, put the pads on and strode out to the crease. An exciting start saw 55 runs in the first 10 overs, 33 more than last week’s gritty opening partnership between Pippa and Ed Grindrod. Toby took a fancy to “Gareth Bale’s” medium fast, taking three consecutive boundaries in the 5th over.  Blackheath’s R. Greenway, not to be confused with our Hugh Greenway, was impressive with the ball from the houses end. Keith was soon regretting his refusal of the opportunity to open as he irritated last week’s pad-rash for another 22 overs. Light relief was provided by Grindrod Senior as he struggled to hoist the Cryptic flag to half-mast beside the Blackheath flag. 

Toby bought up his maiden Cryptic half century with a two from the bowling of occasional Cryptic, Tom Hufton. With the opening stand at 131, James Grindrod was told by his umpiring father to play the ball later, whereupon he played too late and got cleaned up by their Senior Greenway. James had doubled his Cryptic career aggregate to 82, having batted 6 times before. Toby continued to lay into the bowling with Keith making the most of his chance at the other end. Having passed his Dad’s highest ever Cryptic score (74) Toby accelerated into the 90’s. 

Unfortunately, his eagerness to score the family’s first Cryptic ton was his undoing as he leathered a half volley at short cover only for it to rebound off the fielder’s knee and straight to the bowler. Toby felt the shot deserved runs so set off but, in true Cryptic fashion, Keith hadn’t moved an inch and proceeded to authoritatively send Toby back. He had no chance of making it home and had to trudge off after a brilliant 91 from 79 balls. His innings had taken him past three Cryptic legends (Ross Greenwood, David Gazzola and Paul Dickson) in the run scoring aggregates. 

Keith and our Greenway batted aggressively before Keith cleared the front leg, leaving an inviting gap between bat and pad to be bowled through for 21. He was quick to mention that those runs had taken him into the top 10 Cryptic run scorers of all time, knocking Dwight Cupit to No.11. Seeckts Senior walked out knowing he needed nine runs to complete a family hundred. He scored 9 exactly before playing across the line of a straight one, in the manner of his idol Keith. Scottie took the score past 200 before being well caught off the bowling of their Greenway, leaving him with figures of 7-0-59-4. Our Greenway and Ingo batted the remaining overs to finish with 29* and 13* respectively. 

BYO tea was consumed amid a throng of spectators from both clubs (all at a safe distance BoJo – Ed). Joseph Muldoon and Grindrod Senior opened the bowling to two left-handed batsmen, whose combined age was easily three times higher that of our left-handed opening pair. Joseph bowled tidily, even more so if the batsman had been right-handers. Grindrod Senior got the first wicket, with some help from Ed taking the catch. Joseph soon delivered the prize wicket of Hufton with a dirty full toss (slightly over-pitched yorker – Ed) that evaded the bat and crashed into middle. 

‘Uncle Stu’ had taken over duties from the houses end to rapturous excitement from the crowd who’d come to watch him play. Among them was a former Cryptic captain with a dodgy knee, which really doesn’t narrow it down, “Bridge the Fridge”. In his final over Joseph removed the remaining opener, to finish with 7-0-28-2, thanks to Keith taking a very composed high catch at point. Ed Grindrod replaced Joseph only for Ingo to stand back for his first ball having been told ‘Ed bowls spin but faster than his Dad’. Ed’s fourth ball was smoked over mid-on, but he calmly replied by giving a tad more air to beat the batsmen with flight. The office had been relatively quiet up to this point but was about to show an entertaining lack of sharpness. The first ball of Ed’s next over went straight between keeper and first slip. An over later Seeckts shelled a diving catch to his right. Ingo also missed a stumping before deciding to stand back to Ed. 

Uncle Stu picked up the fifth wicket with James Grindrod taking the catch at mid-on. Joseph later showed that he was a true Cryptic in the field by using both hands, feet and 3 pirouettes to field a rolling ball at square leg. Ed proceeded through the lower middle order to take 3 wickets in eleven balls, the last of which was spectacularly caught by his Dad at mid-wicket having leapt like a paraplegic walrus, palmed the ball up like the dolphins at SeaWorld and finally caught it on its way back down. The catch was a welcome relief however after the ball before was heaved high into the Blackheath sky with its trajectory falling into the hands of Seeckts at first slip. Both Seeckts and Ingo called for it, both got under it and inevitably it fell to earth in the most village piece of cricket seen all afternoon.  

The wicket had secured a Grinders family Michelle (to match the Seeckts family 100), Ed finishing with figures of 7-2-20-4. Seeckts Senior replaced Uncle Stu to bowl three overs, each preceded by the umpire telling the batsmen, ‘Right arm over, six to come’. The umpire only got it half right on each occasion! Grindrod Senior came back and quickly removed the number 9 batsman, to leave Blackheath nine down with 120 to win. 

The number 11, Harrison, strode out and was followed by his ageing dog, older than at least one of their players, who sat stubborn on the outfield. He nicked his first ball between Ingo and Seeckts to record his highest score in the last three seasons. He edged another towards first and second slip but was reprieved by both Keith and Seeckts. His third was hoicked into the leg side where Toby proceeded to join the circus, juggling the ball three times before putting it down. Harrison proceeded to frustrate the Cryptics to make 24 before being bowled by Scottie with the score at 139. This left the Cryptics with their 19th highest ever winning margin by runs. 

The youth policy employed by the club so far this season is obviously working with James Grindrod and Toby Seeckts registering new high scores and Ed Grindrod and Joseph Muldoon finishing with new best figures. (Good thing you didn’t mention Scottie’s season average of 2 – Ed) Family jugs should have been aplenty at the bar however the makeshift arrangements only allowed for consumption of the bottled beverages. Good ones like Hogsback TEA.

Jingle Bells (Verse 4)

James grindrod and toby seeckts blackheath 2020

Youth policy openers: 38 years and 132 runs