Sunday 4 September 2022

Woking 162-9 (35 overs)
SCCC 163-7 (33.4 overs)
SCCC won by 3 wickets
35 over match 
Woking won the toss

Richard Seeckts writes:

2022 came to a thrilling climax with a glorious ambush on our great friends at Woking. 16 previous trips to Brewery Road had produced only three wins, in 2007 (Grinders famous 100), 2013 (Hoggers 89* in heavy rain) and 2017 (by one wicket). With a day to spare, we extended the record of one under each of the last four Prime Ministers. 

Scottie was appointed skipper for the day, somewhat reluctantly when he realised we had ‘no bowling’. On such occasions, part-timers invariably rise to the challenge then wonder why when, at tea, they are shoved down the batting order by way of reward. Welcome to the Cryptics. 

What unfolded was a cockeyed game. Our bowlers were tonked around by their bowlers batting up the order. Our batsmen’s bowling got the better of their real batsmen. Their bowlers becalmed and dismissed our senior batsmen. Our bowlers (for the day) batted us to victory against all comers. If tea towels explained Cryptic cricket to foreigners……

Daddy Grinders’ Covid absence forced us to open the bowling with son, Ed, and Young Joe Witt, the best pair available. 53-0 off 8 overs and thoughts of conceding 250 or more. Toby and Jimbo Grinders were employed to rush through a few ‘fifth bowler’ overs but tore up the script in taking 1-28 and 4-26  respectively from their full quotas of seven. Jimbo put down a simple caught and bowled that might have given him a five-for just 30 years younger than when his old man bought his first bowling jug. 

Scottie spied a bunny or two and brought himself on along with debutant Jamie Hall who claimed to be a leg spinner and actually spun the ball. No wickets but we will have him back, not least because he also showed un-Cryptic competence when faced with an airborne cricket ball approaching and caught it – twice. Scottie sensed a slog in the final overs and took himself off.

Woking, to their credit, played throughout in the festival style that has long been a feature of this last game of the season. They slumped from 112-5 to 162-9  in their final 12 overs and, from having no bowling at the start, Ed was not required after his opening spell. Half the job done, a plan was hatched to lure Woking into thinking they would thrash us and then send in the talent. 

Ruffell and Keith became the Cryptics’ 15th opening partnership in 16 games this year and, despite Marcus taking two from a first ball misfield and Keith being season’s top scorer, the least successful. Keith made for the pavilion and Marcus for the doldrums until running (dawdling? – Ed)  himself out. Pup, who earlier had another storming day with the big gloves on, swiped to little avail. Hugs ran himself out Under 11’s style, having two attempts at completing the first run and none at the second. Seeckts Snr played all round a straight one while Toby did enough to make them the only father and son combination to score over 100 runs each in the same season, repeating 2016’s record. 

At 56-6 from 18 overs, Woking were well and truly lured. We had collapsed rather too well, now requiring 107 off 17. What better then, than a skipper desperate to keep his unbeaten record in tact and the fraternal rivalry of two Grinders boys, one of whom found himself eight places lower than usual after his bowling success?

Bang, bang, bang! Scottie was gritty and occasionally flamboyant for 30, a mammoth six back over a genuine bowler’s head prompting chuckles from both teams and a lengthening of the run-up. Ed’s stroke making was excellent to the end, all that coaching now really paying off as the drives off front and back foot looked effortless. Jimbo replaced Scottie at 106-7 with 10 overs remaining but only two self-styled rabbits twitching in their pads by the pavilion.

The brothers G traded shot for shot, run for run. Whether spurred by gene sharing or the pure quest to beat Woking matters not, it worked a treat. They guided each other through an unbroken partnership of 58 off 49 balls to victory with eight balls remaining to the delight of all, especially YJW and YJH who had munched many a radish in that last half hour. Ed (54*) and Jimbo (23*) thus set a record season’s aggregate of 550 runs for a pair of brothers, unlikely to be beaten by anyone but themselves for a while.

As ever, Woking’s men played in appropriate spirit with fun the priority. So scarce are Cryptic victories there that we didn’t know how they would take defeat but it was, naturally, with a big smile.

Jingle Bells.