Baston closed there season in the same fashion as they began, poorly. If only they could find some consistency in performance there is no doubt they would be up there and challenging for the League two title.
They travelled to the secluded village of Welby for their latest test with a talented side that promised much. Skipper Dyer was almost relieved to see the coin come down on the wrong side as not for the first time this season was at a loss as to whether to bowl or bat first, as it was Welby decided to bat first.
The ‘’superstars’’ opened the bowling with Cunningham running up the hill from the pavilion end and Davies from……..well the other end. Both began well finding good areas as Welby openers struggled to force the ball off the square, Cunninham struck first clean bowling one of the gritty openers.
Enter Welby’s version of Shahid Afridi, for no other reason than I don’t know his name from now on he will be referred to as ‘Dave’. ‘Dave’ had obviously decided that if either bowler had the cheek to pitch the ball in his half of the pitch he was going to unleash the big guns on it. In doing this ‘Dave’ did not always look technically correct however when he hit the ball it stayed hit. Guy Cunningham and Jon Howard can testify to this, in the skipper’s infinite wisdom he placed Howard at silly mid off in order to off-put ‘Dave’ as he attempted to ‘play himself in’. The second ball of his innings ‘Dave’ middled one leaving Howard on the floor screaming like a little girl clutching his nastily bruised thumb. As ‘Dave’ became set he realised Cunningham was no more than a military medium bowling machine and duly despatched him not only over his head but over the 80ft high oak tree on the boundary behind him. ‘Dave’ eventually ran out of luck and holed out to bucket hands Tony Sismey. This sparked a Welby collapse and found themselves on the ropes at 118-9 with 15 overs still remaining, Cunningham profiting mainly taking 5 for37. The 10th wicket however offered stern resistance and remained unbeaten at the end of the 45 over innings bringing up the 150 for Welby.
Baston’s fielding, usually a strength, let them down here at Welby. Catches were shelled throughout the innings, early on Howard performed what an can only be described as an act of a circus juggler on Prozac dropping the ball at least 4 times on its way to the ground. Unfortunately this was not the worst of it, when ‘Dave’ was in full flow Sismey fielding on the long-on boundary decided it had been a long day already and nodded off, just as the ball for once had been miss-timed and was heading straight to him, he did however atone for his error taking the catch to dismiss ‘Dave’ two overs later. Worst of all with Welby deep in trouble 9 wickets down and still 15 overs to bat Cunningham shelled a dolly which an old blind man with one arm could of snaffled, this allowed Welby to take control of the game and at the break were most certainly the happier side.
Baston so often the masters of the run-chase this season, never looked like chasing down the runs. No partnerships were formed and the Baston batsman seemed more concerned with getting back to the local to get pissed up and talk bollocks all night than apply themselves to the task in hand, we are Baston, super Baston. Openers Howard and Bibb could hardly get bat on ball as the Welby openers seemed to somehow extract extravagant movement from the pitch, they were soon sent on the way along with the superstars in the middle order, all-rounder Darren Parker came to the crease hoping to steady the ship only to be sliced in half by a fast off-cutter which moved off the seam 8inches to make a right royal mess of the stumps.
Then it seemed comedy hour kicked in, Tony Sismey missed a straight one and in being clean bowled got himself in a very awkward ugly looking mess and then somehow (were not quite sure how) fell like a sack of shit to his knees, the sight was that of one to treasure. Welby celebrating, stumps everywhere and an 18 stone man brought to his knees. Much to the amusement of his teammates, in fact by the time Sismey reached the boundary dragging his bat there were grown men crying at the spectacle Sismey had just provided. Dyer arrived at he crease to meet a bowler bowling slower than him, which is an achievement of its own, Dyer attempting to hit the ball into the next county only succeeded in skying the ball straight up in the air.
The cricket on show was of the highest level of entertainment and was about to get better. With Baston nowhere near reaching their target of 154 the last two men in were Stevie Barnes and Scottie Richardson. Steve had only played once before in his life and on that occasion did not have chance to show off that perfect forward defensive he had so often showed off in the spinner after 19 bottles of becks. He strode to the crease with such authority that the Welby team could have been forgiven for believing they were in for some rough treatment. As it was Steve showed promise compiling his 2 unbeaten runs, we were left to only imagine what could have been if someone had kept him company in the middle. His last partner was 10-year-old Scottie ‘smiler’ Richardson, dressed in full gear, wicket keeper pads, gloves, bat and helmet that looked like it could over-balance the youngster at any given moment.
Needing around a 100 to win, with only one wicket remaining and Barnsey well set at the other end the Scottie played an extremely rash shot. Bat speed 10 out of 10, but his feet were no where, head in the clouds, it was a shocker.