Boston were the visitors for Tim’s big birthday game at the Shrine. Being the popular man that he is, Tim received 3 birthday cards, and a box of Sugar Puffs from special friend Dib-Dob.
Tim had also been given a couple of new friends, as several regulars were unavailable;
1. Big Dave Ford made his debut, stating “I can’t bowl or bat, but I love a few beers after the game”
2. Andy Keen, Perkins 2s Skip also made his debut. He blew off his girlfriend’s family’s big day out to make his debut for a team where he knew no-one.
Keeno - very keen
Despite the glorious sunshine, a lot of rainfall in the last 24 hours meant it was a crucial toss to win, which in turn meant Tim promptly lost it and Baston were invited to bat.
Where are you going on your holidays?
With last week’s opener Liam moving house and no other candidates, it was down to Tom Hames, sporting a new jumper and playing in his first league game in 5 years, to open the batting with run-maker Jono. The pair seemed to make light work of Boston’s young pace attack, with Jono attacking and Hames showing off his cast iron defensive game, and variety of leaves.
With Baston motoring to 40-0 off 14 overs, Kevin ‘The Boston Stump’ Brooks broke through with a straight one, which Hames left well alone and had his middle stump knocked back.
Hames: One Leave Too Far
The falling of the Dyke Wall led a mass collapse, with Jono (22) holing out to mid-on a couple of overs later. VSM did something similar, before Lloydie was trapped in front.
Seeing all the wickets falling had led Dave to think that his new teammates weren’t being positive enough as he took aim at his first ball and spooned it to a vacant mid off. Lamin had obviously had enough and ran himself out a few balls later, before Dave (1) edged one on to his stumps.
Other newbie Keeno was next in, and got the usual spiel about “nothing stupid”, and “plenty of time left” Keeno decided to play a game of hokey-cokey with Ben and both were lucky not to be run-out. Keeno (2) departed a few balls later, followed by golden quack Grumpity, bringing disgruntled birthday boy Dyer to the crease. Baston had lost 8 wickets for 11 runs stumbling to 51-8
With 23 overs left to bat, Ben and Tim started a vigil to try and get Baston out of jail. Solid defence with patient observance, extreme caution with the occasional flurry of aggression were the order of the day as they batted 12 overs together, concentrating hard on every single ball.
Benny in full defensive mode
As Ben was finally dismissed following his epic innings, there were handshakes from close-in fielders, warm applause from his teammates and fans on the boundary, and a standing ovation (they were already standing) from the Boston fielders in the middle. Ben had scored a monstrous 6, as they reached 68-9.
Tim continued the good work, with Boston frustrated with the 52 year olds defiance. Young express bowler Holmes took it upon himself as he unleashed a chest high beamer at the skipper, which Tim top edged into his chin. Cue Dyer collapsing in a heap on the floor and rolling into his stumps. Before the umpire could call no-ball, Boston’s own Brian Allen was appealing for a hit-wicket dismissal.
Tim in a mess on the floor - Big Brian Allen appealing for a hit-wicket
As the concerned fielders and umpires raced to check on the horizontal captain, the Baston contingent struggled to contain their laughter long enough to check if he was ok, remembering sausage roll-gate from last year’s race night.
With Twitter in turmoil and #prayfortim trending, Tim (13)miraculously got up and managed to carry on his innings, as he bashed a few more runs with Dougie (3*) as they reached 82 all out.
Tim in full whoosh-mode
As the boys sat down to another brilliant tea, there was talk of “we’ve got enough” and Tim threatening the 10 year old who’d given him a red chin.
Early wickets were crucial as Dougie broke through, bowling veteran Dave Gilding, and then “Gaz” Epton to leave the visitors 22-2.
Youngster’s Mitchell and McNulty put together a nice partnership, with McNulty playing some lovely drives, and Mitchell playing very positively. Mitchell could have been out a few times, but for a drop by Lloyd, and then 2 instances where Dave could have made himself a hero. First, the ball looped up to a vacant cover area, as Dave hurtled round from mid-off but couldn’t quite get there. Secondly the ball was hit high over bowler Lamin’s head and looked a certainty to be caught. Big Dave ran into position, set himself for the catch, and then waved the ball goodbye as it dropped just over his head.
Boston seemed to be cruising towards their target despite Grumps taking a couple of wickets. Lamin finally cleaned up opener Mitchell, and then followed it up with bowling Tim’s nemesis Holmes next ball. Boston number 8 Sam Gilding came in and popped a full toss to mid-off where VSM couldn’t quite cling on, which would have left them 74-7. Despite getting his man with the scores tied, Lamin (3-35) couldn’t quite finish off the tail, with it very obvious that we needed at least another 20 runs, as they fell to their second defeat of the season.
The boys retreated to the Baskervilles for Tim’s birthday beers. Everyone came back to the pub except for VSM who was at home writing up his dossier. Big Dave was late to the pub but only because he jogged down from the field.
Big Dave and Tim sporting the same shirt.
The all-German Champions League Final was the entertainment as Jono lost a bet with AGM fan Hames and had to get a whole round of bombs in. The lads had a great night as they celebrated Tim’s last game as Captain.
Top scorer Jono (apart from extras) enjoying a bag of Monster Munch