Sunday 18th July 2021
Ripley CC 188-7 35 overs
SCCC 189-6 33.3 overs
35 over match
SCCC won by 4 wickets
Ripley CC won the toss

Philip Wright writes:

A second visit to Ripley saw the Cryptics reprise last year’s blend of youth and experience to similar effect.

A defibrillator on the clubhouse wall and a children’s playground over the road meant there was something for everyone and even encouraged PAJA to put in a mid-afternoon appearance (the former not the latter). Rumours that he was there to fight Ed Grindrod for control of the scorebook proved sadly unfounded.

On the hottest day of the year thus far, Seeckts confirmed what a useless tosser he is and the Cryptics duly took to the field. The benefit of the youth policy, however, meant the opening pair combined would require only about two-thirds of the candles on a classic Cryptics bowler’s birthday cake. Heat? What heat?

Joe Witt bowled some lovely stuff and looks better by the week, while Freddie Guy bowled some lovely stuff and some other stuff. So much so that little of interest happened for the first 10 or so overs, the Ripley batters, as they seem to be called in some spheres nowadays, playing each ball on its merits in a break with Sunday tradition.

Little continued to happen when Daddy G and Marcus Ruffell came on first and second change, apart from the latter’s discovery of a remarkable and unsuspected talent of being able to bowl no balls off a three-pace run-up.

But never underestimate the value of experience, Grinders bowling a cunning straight one on off stump that inexplicably led to the first cross-batted stroke of the day and a castling. One brought him two, courtesy of Hugh auditioning for the circus, and 76-0 had become 87-2 in fairly short order.

That still left one opener playing ‘proper cricket’, however, and not looking remotely inclined to do anything else. The best way to combat orthodoxy? With something so outrageously unorthodox that it shakes deeply held values to the core. So, on came Seeckts, simultaneously answering the question of what had happened to Pick ‘n’ Mix since the demise of Woolworths. And it nearly worked – if only the Grindrod bridge had come down a little quicker, although that was a theme of the day.

There followed three overs of ‘fun’ from one end and some cricket at the other, until said opener signalled he had had quite enough by bitch-slapping what thankfully turned out to be the final ball of the spell into the turf.

Be careful what you wish for, though, with replacement Scottie seeing him off a few overs later via one, possibly two legs and maybe something wooden, but look in the book.

Batsmen came and went, displaying effective shots and rather chaotic running, the result being 188-7 at a slightly quicker pace than at one stage looked likely. Most who deserved a wicket got one apart from Freddie Guy. Seeckts didn’t.

DIY tea dispatched, the reply began with Pippa sticking to this season’s script: inside edge into stumps for nought. Keith came, Keith went; Puppy came, Puppy went – both within seven overs, to an opener who now had 3-4. Toby, meanwhile, played him the best way – from the other end, not facing him until his fifth over and then wondering what all the fuss was about.

That was his approach all along as he put on 90 for the fourth wicket with Hugs, who contributed 14 of them, and who replaced a seeming reticence to run with a complete inability to do so when his calf went pop. Cue a frantic search for someone to do the running, agreement being reached that ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah’ Scottie could do it despite being next in.

Most amusing possible scenario? Toby next out, Scottie stays, Toby has to do running for Hugs, just when he wants to come off to well-deserved applause for an impressive 68 and bemoan the fact that he’s hit the ball straight to the mid-wicket put there for that purpose. Guess what happened.

Anyway, as luck would have it, Hugs did the decent thing/played all round a straight one after one more boundary, so the torture did not endure too long.

Enter Grindrod Pater. Channelling his inner Jimmy Edwards (one for the youngsters), he whacked his way to an entertaining 35, putting on 70 with Scottie (28), before being bowled looking to finish with a big one (the scores were level at the time). Freddie Guy – one ball, one run, job done. Jingle Bells.