Following last week’s disappointing defeat to Moulton, Baston had the chance to bounce back this Sunday with the visit of... Moulton.
With the game on the Sunday and one of the hottest May weekends of all time, some of the Baston boys got in on the action early with a trip to the Spinning Wheel on Saturday. There was a party on with special guest singer Tina Turner who churned out all the classics: ‘Private Dancer’, ‘What’s Love Got to Do with it?’ and ‘Simply the Best’. Tim also created a new team dance with Ben’s ‘planted feet shovel’ quite a popular move in the pub. It was also a chance for the charitable Jon Howard to show his support for Comic Relief, sporting a big comedy red nose. Delighted with meeting his secret crush Tina, the next morning Tim treated 4 of his younger, more agile fielders to a hefty meal at OK Diner before the game.
Tim uses his loyalty card at the OK Diner
With temperatures close to 30°C, Baston would have been dreaming of Tim winning his first competitive toss of the year, but no, Jake “The Terminator” Morton called it right and sent the Baston boys into the field. It was the first home league game of the season with Lloyd’s wicket looking very good, and the fans were out in force to support their heroes with loads of them gathered on the boundary, enjoying the sunshine and a picnic.
Anthony and Adam shared the new ball, with Adam breaking through in his first over, bowling opener Jack Cusack for a duck. In the following over Anthony had his first wicket of the season, picking up Scourfield’s wicket with Paul Stewart taking an excellent catch at mid-off. Question marks were raised over the condition of the pitch early on with the ball sticking in the wicket a touch but this only seemed to be for the first 10 overs as it dried out nicely. This wicket brought the Moulton Maestro Jack Barnett to the crease, joining cack hander Ian Beale. Anthony thought he’d ousted JB early on as Banks took an unbelievable left handed catch at square leg, but a no ball was called for height. Ben had a chance on the boundary but could only tip it over the fence into a garden.
Barnett and Beale were going nicely as they put on 60 for the third wicket. Captain Dyer called upon new signing Doug Russell and after a few tidy overs; he got a deserved wicket as Paul Stewart hung on for another catch to remove soap opera legend Ian Beale.
With Barnett milking Dyer’s bowling, he turned to prodigy Steve Banks from the pavilion end, and he showed his Captain what he’d been missing opening with a wicket maiden. Skipper ‘Arnie’ Morton not picking the trademark Banks double bouncer and trying to sweep, only for it to loop up and be caught brilliantly by debutant Doug Russell diving forward at short fine leg.
Jack was back to his usual Baston destroying best, smashing all of the bowlers all over the place, and was now joined by Simon Heath who enjoys a good slog as much as he enjoys a good pie. Baston were fielding well but chances were few and far between. Ben had another tough chance off Heath but couldn’t prevent the six. There was some poor bowling from Banksie and Felix, before Lloydie was introduced with some medium pace, and stopped the rot for a while, before needing a well deserved break as the Skipper came back on. Meanwhile, vice skip Jono tried to make an intimidating change for the fielding side by asking players to show their guns by rolling up the sleeves to strike fear into the opposition batsmen, marking the first use of the term ‘The Baston Guns’
Dyer knew he needed to pull something out of the bag, and a combination of his guile and Towns’ mobility saw Heath stumped on 45 as their partnership had just hit 100 runs taking Moulton to 163-5. Anthony had returned at the far end and followed up his impressive first spell taking 2 wickets in one over with a couple of LBWs, including Felix’s teacher/colleague Mr. Eveleigh after Felix had gifted him a 2 first up, letting the ball through his body in a rare Baston misfield. Tim picked up his second wicket as last week’s cry-baby Max knocked the ball to Banksie close in.
Jack was started to look anxious as he was coupled with last man, 11 year old Luke Barwick and still needing a few runs for his 100. Jack was finally run out by a laser accurate throw from Adam Hilless, but not before notching his century on The Shrine, an excellent knock from one of the best batsmen in the league. He finished on 110 as Moulton closed on 185 from 40.3 overs. Baston’s fielding was excellent in the heat with special mentions going to Adam, Banksie and walking wounded Jon Howard who threw his body on the line for his team with some brilliant stops in the covers. Towns kept particularly well on his return and didn’t let one bye past, though Baston’s bowlers barely generate the pace to get to the other end, let alone get past Towns’ large frame. Towns did break the club’s new wicket-keeping pads as his fat bulging leg snapped off one of the straps.
Jon showed his support for Comic Relief
There was a welcome return to teas of Tracey, following her 2009 absence.
Lloyd went out to open but was back as soon as the fourth over as he was bowled by another full toss from the same 11 year old as last week. Towns joined Ant and they pushed the score along at a good rate, with Towns hitting 7 fours in his first 7 scoring shots.
Ian Beale came on to bowl the 16th over and sent down 3 no balls from his 4 deliveries. He was removed from the bowling by the square leg umpire, despite calls from the boundary to let him continue as Baston had 10 from 1 legitimate ball. Jack Barnett was asked to complete the over with vice skip Jono saying “you watch, he’ll go and get a five-fer now!” Moments later and Towns was slumping off the pitch having been given out to a ridiculous LBW decision with the ball going a mile down leg. It was a good knock from Towns (32 in a 55 run partnership with Ant) as he went to remove his sweaty school shirt, grab some more tea and write a letter of complaint.
Anthony (21) seemed to get a rough deal a couple of overs later with the ball hitting him outside the line and playing a shot, but was given out LBW. New boy Doug (9) was out in the next over as he chipped the ball softly to midwicket sending Jono to the crease with Paul “Slugger” Stewart.
Either inspired by the words of his boundary demanding son or upset with the LBW decisions, Paul was giving the Moulton attack some serious hammer as he smashed the ball to
all parts the legside boundary. Each boundary was being greeted with an excited “whoop whoop” from Skipper Dyer.
Just as things were looking good as Jon and Paul put on 40 came some more controversy... Jon was playing nicely and looking good at the crease as he scored well including a monstrous six into a nearby garden off JB’s bowling. Jon then looked to block a delivery and nicked it onto his pad and was given out LBW despite no real appeal from the field. With fielders and the bowler apologising to Jon, they didn’t withdraw the appeal and Jon (16) had to walk, with a rather confused look on his face.
Despite the wicket, Skipper Morton brought himself on from the far end, and was smashed for 15 runs by Paul, but with the last ball of the over, he terminated Felix’s off pole for a duck.
Paul (right) with number one fan Kip
Paul (right) with number one fan Kip
Tim joined Paul and tried to restore the calm with some sensible batting. Tim was the dominant partner with Paul not getting much of the strike. Tim hit a couple of nice fours, and vice-skip Jono took up the mantle from the boundary to replicate Tim’s “whoop whoop”
Needing 35 from 14 overs, Baston were probably moving into the position of favourites, but disaster struck again as cack hander Paul was given out LBW despite the ball pitching outside leg for the umpire’s fourth terrible decision. Paul walked off to a good ovation as he’d hit a good 41. Out strode Banksie but JB bowled him first ball for his fifth wicket. Banksie said “I’m not sure how that happened; I played him quite well last week”. No-one had the heart to tell Banksie that he hadn’t bowled last week.
Ben was in at 10 and saw off the dangerous Jack, who was getting ridiculous turn out of the wicket and finished with figures of 5-19 off 12.5 overs. Moulton were sensing the win and appealing everything, even balls hitting above waist high with appeals coming from point and the midwicket boundary.
Ben in at 10
Ben in at 10
With the win coming back into sight with 24 required and plenty of time to do it; Tim went for a short ball but ended up popping it back for a fairly simple return catch, bringing number 11 Adam to the crease. As Tim (19) walked off, many of the fans got up and left expecting a Baston defeat. One fan Baston can always rely on is Kip who stays until the end regardless of the situation, this time maintaining his sexual pose in the tree line. Other players were packing their bags up, starting up their cars and placing early orders with the Spinner.
To the surprise of everyone, including themselves, Ben & Adam batted nicely, blocking out the good balls and scoring off the bad ones, as they gradually started knocking off the runs. Adam hit a couple of fours, one through midwicket thanks to a Miss Field (who coincidentally taught Tim maths at School) and a nice leg glance off the returning Mr. Eveleigh.
With just 5 required, Adam (11*) hit a single to get off strike and Ben (9*) sent a half tracker to the legside boundary next ball to win the game by a wicket, causing pandemonium, with players jumping up and embracing each other, extravagant whooping and more emotional fist pumps than a fired up Kip on karaoke night down the Spinner.
Baston fought back from adversity, and grabbed this near impossible win. As The Spalding Guardian pointed out, Jack Barnett was the unluckiest player on the day as he scored 110 and took 5-19. The Baston players played a game of ‘Who can do the most sarcastic “unlucky Jack” to him.’ Jack with probably get the last word, as he averages 157 against Baston for the last 3 years.
A special mention must go to Lloydie who saw his long hours and commitment finally come together to produce a very good wicket as 371 runs were scored on the day.
Some of the boys travelled back to the Spinner for a couple of victory beers and it tasted very sweet while Felix picked the team for the next few games. Tracey went to pick up her cash but money handler Banksie had gone straight to the Baskies for the quiz to Tracey’s dismay... Banksie won’t make the mistake again!
There was some sad news to follow as news emerged that one six had earlier strayed into an adjacent garden and tragically killed a plant pot. The plant pot had enjoyed a good life and was just one day from retirement before being smashed to pieces. The BPFMC can expect another letter from the lady at number 18 regarding this issue.
Mr. Dyer leads by example again
Mr. Dyer leads by example again