Blankney away is everyone’s favourite fixture of the season, well now that we don’t play Timberland anyway.
Baston were without a few key players: Captain Dyer was still nursing a bruised rib, Super Jono was away on holiday with Tom Hames (presumably sharing a bed), Grumps was incarcerated, Bowser was playing pro-golf while South African seamer Doug was suffering after some exuberant moshing at a Green Day concert?!?
Jono and Hames #togetherforever
Replacements included Big Dave Ford, and Andy ‘Very’ Keen who were both more than willing to give up their Saturday for the mighty Baston.
All the absentees meant one thing; the captaincy (#bslaptaincy) fell to 17th in command Adam Hilless, who rounded the troops up at the White Horse at 5am ready for the 7 hour journey up the A1 to Blankney.
Blankney was its usual picture of beauty, despite the arctic conditions (rumours of 24 degree heat in Baston). Adam unveiled the new Baston caps which have taken four months to manufacture and had finally been delivered halfway through the season. They might have had them finished sooner if they’d made them the right size, with even big head Ben dwarfed by the massive cap.
Tim in the new massive hat
With a weakened team, Adam must have been delighted to win the toss against struggling Blankney, but surprisingly chose to bowl on a rock hard wicket.
Liam shared the new ball with his skipper, and ripped through the host’s top order, reducing them to 6-3, including bowling self proclaimed “best batsman in the league” Simon Behan around his legs.
The early wickets kept the run rate low for the first 15 overs, as ginger opener Cam Donald and Martin Lowth dug in against the Baston attack.
With Hilless struggling from a back injury (no surprise, carrying the team every week), Lamin was into the attack from his favourite end (the far end) and a hatful of wickets were expected from Blankney’s Sunday superstar.
Once every 3 or 4 years, we see something magical at Baston, whether it’s Tony Sismey holding onto a catch at mid-off, or Felix getting a joke within 15 seconds, but this moment was special. Ginger Donald had ridden his luck with a few edges flying off past the slip cordon, but Lamin got another tickle from the opener, and amazingly 59 year old Lloyd got his hands to the ground and held onto a superb slip catch.
With Liam (12-4-25-3) bowled out, Kylie Minogue lookalike Andy Keen, on his second appearance, was bowling some good stuff from the pavilion end, including a couple of bouncers dropped in on AF Ash Jarvis. Keeno deserved his two wickets to cap a fine spell of bowling when his skipper needed him. Keeno took 2-33 from his 9 overs.
Good bowling from Keeno
Lamin proved as tight with the ball as he is at the bar, going for a miserly 18 off his 11 overs. Lamin complained that the umpire had told him he’d bowled out, but secretly super-skip Adam was looking for a bit more potency and turned to Farmer Palmer for a few cutters and slower balls. VSM was destructive as he took 4 wickets in 4.2 overs. The ball which removed Jarvis was a beauty, shaping away to clip the top of off stump. One bail flew off, while the other lodged on top of the leg stump, causing a bit of posh guffawing from VSM and a very tedious story from the umpire about some game at t’Cleethorpes, t’Grimsby, t’posh t’school. After half an hour the game carried on as Blankney were all out for 119, following an excellent bowling effort from the Baston boys.
Tea was enjoyed by all, but Tim still needs to pay tea money as he had a “free tea”
Blankney’s former hellraiser Callum Steele has turned up to see all of his old mates (one) and sat near the barbecue ready for the big beef burger bonanza after the game.
Baston were in the box seat but needed to get a good start with the bat, as reliable Jono was away, so it was down to dwarves Liam and VSM to open the batting, against superstar Neil Gilbert, Twitter @SLAndBLeague’s favourite player by a mile.
Liam and Mark got off to a flyer with even Neil “0.9 per over” Gilbert carted around by a particularly aggressive Liam.
Typical of Liam, he was out trying to smash the cover off the ball, caught well at gully with Baston 51-1. Boring Lamin was in next and dug in along with VSM as the run-rate tumbled down.
On the sideline, there were a few nerves, especially with Big Dave. He’d obviously had a bit too much tea and disappeared for half an hour to the toilet. When he came back, he said “I’d give that five”, meanwhile Callum was inside, tucking into the leftover teas.
Jurassic Dave #giveitfive
Lamin was eventually out, after offering a good foil to the little landlord. Lamin fell for a mighty 1 in a partnership of 28, as Baston reached 79-2 at Drinks.
Lloydie joined Mark, and Baston were up to 98-2 and coasting towards their target and a comfortable win.
VSM (45 runs and 4-42) - what a star (and a new hat)
As it is Baston, there had to be a collapse at some point, cocky Behan took a one-handed catch at mid-on to remove VSM (superb 45 runs), before Darren Dring was bowled by Neil Gilbert returning for his eighteenth spell of the innings. Last recognised batsman Lloydie then missed a trademark full toss, and skipper Adam strode to the crease following a confidence boosting net.
Adam was soon walking back as Gilbert ripped one through his first ball defences, bringing Felix to the crease.
Felix's new job in marketing
Full of beans after being given a job this week, Felix (5*) was solid, and alongside keeper-batsman Benny (11*) knocked off the target with no problem, with Ben not playing the shovel once. Each single brought a Hilless squeal from the boundary as they racked up a 20 point 4 wicket victory.
Gracious in victory, the Baston players stayed to celebrate the victory tastefully with the opposition. Only a few of the Blankney players hung around to endure drunk Dyer, who was full of beans, asking Callum about his weight problem, calling Cam Donald a ginger, and singing Beatles songs at Blankney Sunday player Paul McCartney.
Blankney opener Cam Donald - claims he's not ginger!!
With the cans of lager flowing, and the barbecue blown out, Tim and Callum made a call to Baston hero IAN MICKELBURGH, who loved it!
Finally, Tim Dyer spoke of his favourite opposition Blankney “Best ground, best teas, worst team”
Baston Big Hats