Having collected 78 points out of a possible 80 over the previous four weeks, Baston looked to overtake league leaders Timberland as they welcomed Boston 3rd to the Shrine.
The Baston team had seen some changes since the win over Graves Park, with Liam and Hawk back into the team as well as nice bloke Andy “Super” Keen and South African Pro Doug, who had checked himself out of the intensive care unit to play through 13 separate injuries.
On a day hotter than Liam’s temper and with 10 genuine bowling options, Adam won the toss and decided to stick Boston in. After sun cream had been applied, fags had been smoked and Doug had been wrapped in bubblewrap, the game began with Adam and Liam opening the bowling.
Both openers beat the bat of opener Gilding with ease, but the younger of the two Appleyards was able to keep the score ticking over, albeit relatively slowly, by putting anything that strayed onto his pads away with ease. Singles weren't easy for Boston to come by thanks to some good (funny) fielding and the words of official team motivator/cheerleader Sporty to spur the boys on. With Boston 20-0 off ten or so overs, and both openers seemingly happy to score slowly and not take any risks, it was time for a short tactical meeting between skipper Adam and his vice, Ben. They had soon hatched a plan, and moved almost every fielder in an effort to finally remove dull opener Gilding, who at this point had only hit one scoring shot in 30 balls. With the new field eventually set it was the only person not to have moved that made the breakthrough, as Liam bowled a full toss that was smacked straight back at him to dismiss defensive Gilding (4) with a sharp caught and bowled. The plan had worked! (sort of)
This dismissal did not loosen the floodgates like hoped however, as the new man in Cornah was also happy to score slowly. The two young batsmen at the crease batted sensibly and looked relatively comfortable, so Adam decided to try to shake them up by bringing on Keeno to send down some quick stuff. Always eager to have a bowl, he started well, and in his second over saw a ball beat Appleyard for pace, chipping it up to Adam at mid off where the captain repaid his bowler’s hard work by slapping the ball to the ground in one of the worst drops of the season.
It was the Laminator who would provide the breakthrough; after bowling well for several overs to no avail John decided to try Liam’s tactic by bowling a horrible full toss which Cornah (17) was happy to hit to Scotty at midwicket, taking the catch with his unique “flap-flap-catch” technique (rumours say that the Australian team are planning to adapt this method for the next Ashes series). This, coupled with the arrival of Deadly at the other end, saw Boston begin to collapse.
First 5-fer in 2 years for the former skipper
Before long Tim had struck as Gray (0) chipped the ball up to mid on where Adam could make up for his earlier howler by holding a dolly. With this Baston had seemingly broken into the tail but Bent (0) could not make the most of this promotion as he missed a ball that was slow and did nothing to be bowled by Tim for a duck, with the trademark “yep” to boot.
Despite the wicket’s falling around him, Appleyard was batting very well, and it looked like it would take something special to dismiss him. Enter: Scott Downie. When the batsman pushed a single under a sprawling Keeno at extra cover, Scotty ran round from mid off and quickly gathered the ball. With a loud shout of “Watch this Amy*”, Scotty launched the ball at the stumps, smashing them on the full with superb accuracy and sending the whole team into hysterics and girly whoops as Boston’s best bat was finally dismissed for 36 (20 of which came after Adam dropped him). Very Sporty indeed!
*Sporty has a real girlfriend?!?
Captain Frodo Moore was soon bowled for 5 by John, leaving Barker and JCJ to try to scratch together some runs for the visitors. Soon after smacking Tim for 6 Barker (14) had another go, smashing the ball towards the houses where Liam took a catch on the square leg boundary, having been placed there as part of another one of Ben’s plans. The older Appleyard came and went for
eight having been bowled (controversially yep-lessly) by Tim, before Harba-Ginge completed his first 5fer in two years by knocking over Fox for a duck, finishing with the excellent figures of 10 overs, 1 maiden (yes, a maiden!!!), 5-26. With Daphne coming to the end of his allotted overs, Adam weighed up all of the people who had not bowled that day in his head, including Biggsy who had taken 5 in his last two games, but then remembered that he hadn't taken a wicket and so brought himself back on regardless. It proved the right thing to do though, as after bowling 15 consecutive dots Adam finally bored Jim Clarke Jnr into attacking a good one, skying it high in the air for Ben to take comfortably. Boston were all out for an easily gettable 98 thanks to some good fielding and some Dyer-bolically good bowling.
Milts' mate Frodo
With no Smiler or Ant, Liam and Ben went out to open the batting after tea. Liam, who scored 100 of his 152 runs so far this season in the away fixture, picked up where he left off last time, showing openers Appleyard the Elder and JCJ little respect early on, with Ben scoring quickly too. In fact, Liam was finding it so easy that he decided to give some catching practice to the Boston team, giving them three chances in the first 10 overs. However, all three fielders had clearly been to the Adam Hilless school of fielding because all three chances were put down, despite being catchable. Ben was batting sensibly as usual, and Liam used his chances well as the two of them made light work of a weak Boston attack, and as the scores neared the only question was which of them would get to fifty. As expected, based on his form against Boston and his greater strike rate, it was Liam who claimed the honour.
Liam and Ben (but mainly Liam) have inflicted a combined 202 runs on Boston without being dismissed this season #stat
Ben once again missed out on his maiden club half-ton, however he was very much robbed by the opposition’s low target, as both of the openers looked as though they could have batted all day and scored far more. L.I.AM finished on a rapid 55* off 37 balls, while the Plan-Master Ben scored 40* off 54. With 20 points under the belt, and the news that Claypole had beaten Timberland, the new league leaders headed to the White Horse to celebrate, or in Liam’s case look forward to batting 4 next week after yet again scoring runs opening the batting against Boston.
Man of the Match: Tim, for his first 5fer in 2 years.
Baston Bell-end: Adam, for his drop.
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