Following a, mainly weather induced, disappointing start to the season Baston welcomed back three significant (some would say hefty) characters to the team for the visit of Heckington. Bowser from his cultural and culinary expedition to Scotland, a trip which he really revelled in;
“Battered and deep fried pizza actually really worked and tastes great. Deep fried Mars bar was OK but I couldn’t eat more than two, the Snickers however………….”
Towns and “One-effin-Jeff” late call ups to replace Adam and his nose.
Heckington favourite Damo
Heckington won the toss and elected to bat on a good wicket at the Shrine. Tim decided to open the bowling with Liam and Doug. Liam surpassed himself, following up his customary first ball beamer with another. The umpire said he didn’t warn him for the first one as it was far too high (and slow) to be dangerous. Liam soon, however, settled down and bowled a good challenging spell that earned him three top order wickets, most surprisingly one was actually caught by Ant at mid on - immediately giving the whole team a “high”. Meanwhile at the other end Doug was, perhaps, struggling to find his normal rhythm but lacking nothing in effort and deservedly picked up a wicket.
After the openers had made the early inroads Dyer (unusually operating from the Field rather than the Chicken Hut End) bamboozled the lower order. Tim’s canny* bowling being ably complemented by the ever reliable medium pace of One-Effin-Jeff, dismissing 5 ferrets for the personal cost of 6 runs.
An excellent bowling performance backed up by a good fielding display lead by Ben and Jon, meant that we required a not insurmountable 116 to record our first victory of the season but, given our batting so far this season, it could prove challenging.
It was now that “Captain Fantastic” displayed his sagacious man management skills choosing to demote Baston’s all-time record run scorer, whose latest score was 70, preferring to open with a faltering number 5. Of course there are those that would argue that he simply decided to open with the partnership of Jon and Ant, who had been an integral part of the powerful batting line-up that propelled us to promotion last season, instead of a fat 17 stone occasional cricketer who hadn’t touched a bat for a year and only batted once in the whole 2011 League season.
Tim’s decision, however, was amply vindicated as the openers in their contrasting styles magnificently took the game away from Heckington. Jon can rarely have played better as he unfurled an array of backfoot drives, cuts and punishing clips off his legs resulting in Heckingtons premier inform fast bowler, Braithwaite, turning to bowling spin in an effort to limit the damage. Ant was simply Ant, solid compact, damn impressive and run out. A real comedy one this time that was, obviously, not Ant’s fault but rather the crowds……………
Why did no-one call to say the ball hadn't gone for four?
The rest of the batting really had little to do except avoid collapsing. Which they managed with small, but significant, contributions of Lamin (or whatever alias he is using this season), Bowser , Liam and Towns. An unusual innings from Towns who called Lloydie for a quick single (yes our 85 year old groundsman did nearly lap him), his stroke play being likened by one wag to a game of swingball eventually holing out slog sweeping on the mid-wicket boundary – the furthest he hit the ball this century.
Towns's dad came down to laugh at his son.
All that remained was to adjourn to the Spinner and toast our glorious victory.
*Donkey drop bowling purveyed by anyone over 50 years old with early onset Alzheimer’s.
Saturday's match ball was sponsored by Phil Woodland Butchers