Baston finally got their SLBL season underway on Saturday, in a low-scoring epic at The Shrine.
Pinchbeck were decent enough to turn up for the game, unlike last week’s opponents Belton 2s, who baulked at the prospect of taking on Big Dave and co, conceding the night before.
There may be a new regime in place at Baston, but some things will never change, new skipper Hilless emulating predecessor Dyer’s record of losing every coin toss. Cleverly avoiding the element of surprise, Pinchbeck stuck the hosts in.
Long-lost opening batsman Ant Morris returned to the top of the Baston order alongside a very small man (once he’d established what day of the week it was). Unfortunately the new-look partnership didn’t last long, Smiler chopping on without scoring at the start of the third over. Young number 3 Joe lasted all of one ball, tamely patting a rank full toss to a bloke called Egg (he’s not even bald?!).
Morris getting forward
With a minor collapse on the cards, the skipper bravely stepped in to face the hat-trick ball and restore order with a real captain’s knock. Unfortunately, Adam seemed to forget he can’t bat and looped an even tamer catch back to the bowler Langford, handing him one of the easiest hat-tricks he will ever take.
After executing the fastest padding-up manoeuvre ever seen, Liam joined Ant and astounded everyone by playing in a moderately restrained manor to restore some calm to proceedings. A fluent knock from Ant (28) was ended by another decent Langford delivery, leaving in-form Lamin to continue the re-building job.
Just when it looked as though Baston might recover to a half-decent total, Liam (14) was given out LBW sparking the famous Baston-collapse, losing 5 wickets for just 5 runs to second change bowler Crook, who recorded ridiculous figures of 4-2-5-5. Jos Buttler-esque keeper Hudson (0) fell leg before attempting shovel-time, Biggsy and (Not So) Big Dave (both 0) missed full and straight deliveries, and Sporty Scotty was desperately unlucky to be caught and bowled. Scott (yet another 0) middled a massive straight drive that was surely destined for a maximum, until the bowler intervened, taking a return catch in his follow through, having made cuppa in the meantime.
Despite having Lamin and his 90+ years of cricketing experience at the other end, resident oik Ben Ashwell decided to take matters into his own hands, biffing a couple of late boundaries. Extra homework this week for Ben though, learning not to stray from your crease with the keeper stood up. Baston were all out for 82 inside 30 overs, with wannabe Des stranded on 16 not out.
Ben Ashwell playing the ball rather than the situation
Fuelled up on 9 cupcakes and 4 scones each, opening bowlers Adam and Liam bowled tidily up front. When Eyett egg-ded one behind, the visitors were in trouble at 15-3. There was little respite for the Pinchbeck batsmen, Liam pinning them down with a truly wonderful spell of swing bowling, complemented by Adam’s canny variations: wides, full tosses and slower balls.
The turning point came when opening batsman Crook (20) drilled yet another Hilless half-volley straight to Big Dave at silly mid off. Despite being placed there for such a shot, Dave completely bottled the catch, but was fortunate to see the ball ricochet off his defences straight back to the bowler.
Having claimed 4 wickets each (in very different ways), Adam (12-0-34-5) beat Liam to the first 5-fer of the season, cleaning up Hammond (18) in true Jade Dernbach style. It’s a real shame that Liam wasn’t able to pick up the final wicket and claim a deserved 5-fer, finishing with figures of 12-6-26-4.
Amid tension reminiscent of the visit of Long Sutton last season, the victory looked under threat when Droppsy Biggsy shelled a tough chance off Lamin. James was clearly upset at his error screeching “PAYBACK” at the bowler, still hurting from being cost his first SLBL wicket last season.
Fortunately, John took dodgy fielding out of the equation later in the over, pinning Langford LBW to secure a 12 run victory for Baston. After lots of girly high-fives and whooping, the boys made their way to the pub to get hammered on the ridiculous amount of fines accrued during the game.
Sensing the opportunity to sell a few tickets for the clubs fund-raising raffle, Sporty managed to flog a whole ONE ticket to the opposition. A career in sales beckons….
Man of the Match: Liam Davies (14 and 4-26)
Baston Bell-End: James Biggs (duck and dropped catch)
Back - Des Lamin, Downie, Biggs, Morris, Big Dave (avec fag), Richardson
Front - Ashwell, Hudson, Hilless *, Davies, Malton