Baston made the long trip to Long Sutton for their latest match, without a few key players. The league’s leading run scorer Jon Howard was supervising Hamesy’s latest STD quest in Barcelona. Stevie G was still unavailable following his drunken shenanigans, and Sporty has gone back to his life as a pro-hockey womaniser.
Fortunately Keeno was keen again, and the old guard of VSM, Lloyd and Towns came back into Tim Dyer’s much maligned side.
After going on about it for the last 3 years, under pressure skip Dyer spent the whole journey to the game identifying produce that could be purchased from the roadside. The expected signs were out; tomatoes, logs, potatoes, celery etc. Jalapeno peppers were the surprise mention as they reached picturesque Long Sutton (the ground, not the town)
For Baston’s fourteenth game in a row, the panel umpires were Baston groupies Ken and Roger. Tim won the toss, and on a hard deck, chose to bowl. Good call. Tim told everyone the news in the changing room, and said he didn’t care if we didn’t win; he just hoped that no-one got hurt.
The world's worst boy band
The boys polished off George’s Jammie Dodgers, while Felix started to mark out his run up at his preferred end. Best friend Adam stamped his authority and Felix had to sulk down to the pavilion end.
Felix’s couldn’t adjust to this change of ends, and bowled very wide. Ken soon gave up signalling wides as his arms were getting tired. Long Sutton fans cheered when Felix finally got one on the right strip. Felix made the breakthrough a few overs later as he got rid of Jimmy Wright (8) LBW. Big Bully (5) lookalike Adam Wright was soon out, chopping Adam to George at point who through a combo of shoulder and knees held onto the catch. The soon-to-be Champs were struggling on 19-2.
Aaron Pullum’s new best mate fatty Paul Ed Geller was next in, and seemed to be playing in a different game to his partner and the 2 men out, finding gaps with ease and dominating the potent Baston opening bowlers. Boring Barnes held up the other end as Long Sutton got back on top in the game, 76-2 at drinks.
Baston’s only genuine pace bowler Keeno had a short burst at the far end, and produced the ball of the day as a smart bouncer nearly knocked Barnes’s over.
Lamin and the skipper were getting milked for runs before the massive 118 run partnership was ended when Edgeller couldn’t decided where to smash Tim’s short wide one and hit it straight to Ben at extra cover for an excellent 69. The platform was now in place for a 12 over biff from the Long Sutton tail as they threw some hitters up the order.
One man team Paul Ed Geller; 69 & 2-22
John Sullivan (13) edged behind off Lamin, but incredibly for the first time in his 35 year wicket keeping career, Towns didn’t appeal. Lamin got his man a couple of overs later as the Only Fools writer was clean bowled.
Big Bazza Stanway (8) wasn’t quick enough to come back for 2 as Ben finally hit the stumps with a throw, this one more difficult from 75 yards away. We’re not sure what journeyman Mark Woodall was trying to do, but was out third ball as Tim got one through his watertight defence #yep.
Mark Woodall, who will he be playing for next week?
The home side were 176-6 with 5 overs left as even Barnes had started to play some attacking shots (not just his trademark edge through the slip cordon, or effective block and run). Charismatic Captain Bull smashed the returning Adam to all parts, thanks to his new bat. He mistimed one, and should have only got a couple, but Liam refused to chase it as he was in a mood and they ran 4. Another routine brace, turned into 3 as Adam sent a buzzer towards the sightscreen. Bull made a rapid 25 off just 12 balls as Long Sutton secured all the batting points, before Dyer claimed his third wicket.
Adam’s second spell had figures of 1-0-19-0, so he was promptly pulled off, and replaced by the fielding equivalent of the Titanic; Felix for the penultimate over, who struck as he dismissed debutant Frank Hunt for a golden duck, to another dubious LBW.
Barnes held the innings together with 78, before being dismissed by the penultimate ball, run out by grumpy old Skoulding who refused to run a single. Barnes held the innings together with his 78. Jake Burton shouldered arms to the final ball (a loopy Dyer special), happy with the home side’s 225-9.
Jake Burton does his best "ooh Betty"
It was a poor display in the field, but theoretically all was not lost, as Tim sent Liam and George out to make a good start, both fresh from good 50s in their respective last innings.
Another boundary for Liam, driving Barry down the ground for four
Liam treated Barry’s bowling with the contempt it deserved, flinging the bat at everything and having a bit of luck against him, despite Barry cursing his luck as yet another ball bounced over batsman/bat/stumps. It was a slow start as Baston reached 30 off 10 overs, before Barry made his breakthrough, with Liam (22) picking out the point fielder. VSM hung around for just 2 balls as one man team Edgeller cleaned him up.
VSM goes for 0
The required run-rate was getting out of control, even with Lloydie’s big six/four/six again into the advertising boards. Lloyd was dismissed for his 32nd consecutive LBW as Baston reached 56-3 (after drinks!)
Great career from the retiring Lloydie
Surely Towns was the man for a crisis... No, he had his stumps dismantled by J. Wright (3-30) for a duck to cheers from the Baston team. This was the first time in his 28 year Baston career that Towns had gone a whole season without scoring a run, shame.
The power hitters failed as Hudson (2) and Lamin (1) went after the Long Sutton comedy spin department, and lost. Felix got an undeserved promotion to number 8 with a big point to prove, and what a display it was as he hooked a big four and scored a few singles, recording his best score in years; 10.
With each wicket that fell, the nerves of Dyer were getting worse, pads on, hoping not to bat, even saying “I’m just going to leave the first ball”. George went for a gritty 27 as he snicked down the leg side. There was a big gulp as Keeno lost his off stump, and Dyer walked out to bat.
With 100 (and a valuable batting point) in sight, Adam hit a lovely four down the ground before holing out to mid off to give Long Sutton a well deserved 133 run win, with Burton taking 4-10. The home side were delighted with promotion guaranteed and needing just a few points from their last 2 games to secure the division. Dyer was delighted that he hadn’t had to face a ball.
Liam lucked out as he had to give Barcelona-reject Felix a lift home. Superb ham, eggs and chips were laid on by the pub, with Robyn’s mate Megan turning up and taking a liking to heartthrob George.
Japanese concentration camp
A dog showed up at the pub, and the remaining players tried to find the owners, but no-one was to be seen. George and Megan/Melissa went up the ginnel to look there, but took ages to come back. It turned out that Deb was meant to be looking after some dogs over the weekend, but seemed to forget this one. She denied any knowledge, and luckily the dog wasn’t kidnapped by any punters leaving the bistro.
Towns’s agony continued, as he had to take a trip to casualty at 5:30 on Sunday morning, as his wedding ring had to be cut off his sausage finger, due to swelling from a short ball earlier in the day. He is the latest addition to the Baston dodgy digit club.
"Has it gone down yet George?"
With Friskney winning, third place now goes down to the final game of the season, with the two teams now level on points, bring it on!