Baston welcomed Div One basement boys Heckington to the Shrine on Saturday, led by good egg Damo Tunnicliffe.
As one of only two played in the league due to the rain, it was a great effort to get the game on. The heavy rain had stopped at 12 and almost all of the boys had turned up early to help. Special mentions to Adam for organising everyone, VSM for franticly prodding the run up area instead of seeing his family off on holiday, and Lloyd for delegating and pointing. Tim Dyer was there early but was excused from helping, due to being knackered from taking down the Burghley Park marquee the night before.
There were 2 changes to the side that lost at Spalding, as Tim and Big Dave replaced Angry Al and Keeno. Damo won the toss and decided the visitors would have a bat in a revised 40 over game.
Damo got Heckington off to a flyer, finding the gaps and putting pressure on the fielders with plenty of quick singles. Liam finally made the breakthrough, as Ian “Gilo” Glending-ding nicked off for 10. Heck’s danger man Sam Elliott was in next, but was lazy as he forgot to run when Damo shouted “yes”. Sam took it well though and agreed it was his fault.
Wickets then fell at regular intervals. With Damo playing Adam “Second worst strike rate at the club” Hilless comfortably, it looked a good opportunity to give Tim an early twirl, but Adam got a fortuitous LBW halfway through his spell and that put an end to that idea. Adam went on to complete his full allocation for the 46th match in a row. Liam was the pick of the bowlers taking 4-36 from his 10. He could’ve had another but for a drop behind by Ben moving to his left. It might have looked bad but everyone agreed it was much better than seeing Liam getting a 5-fer.
Damo had been resolute and batted through to the 24th over, where Dyer finally ousted him. Tunnicliffe v Dyer had become a bit Atherton v Donald, as Tim caused Damo all sorts of trouble. At the eighth time of asking, the non-spinning, slow, loopy ball managed to beat the defensive stroke and knock back Damo’s off peg, who departed for an impressive 40. Tim bowled well through his spell of 7 overs, going for just 9 runs. Funny Hawk was given a chance from the Thetford Farm end, and started well, but youngster Patel (18) found his short ball quite nice to pull through midwicket. Hawk had the last laugh as he bowled the youngster with the final ball of his spell. Reformed bowler John Lamin took the final two wickets as Heckington finished for a below par 105.
Sue’s teas were a success, unlike drinks which had taken Lloydie an hour and a half to sort out. Timberland mates/ex-mates Steve Brumpton and Ian Mickelburgh turned up to watch after their game at Skegness had been called off. For no obvious reason Mickelburgh was dressed as a teenager.
Big run rivals Tickler (left) and Liam (right)
Baston were confident going into the chase, until reliable opener Tickler missed a straight one first ball. Davies (6) was out soon after and Baston were in trouble on 15-2. Mark and Ben rebuilt slowly, seeing off the dangerous Elliott who was getting good movement off the pitch. Damo bowled steadily from the other end but Mark still managed to get a few runs off him, while Ben was in full ‘John Lamin mode’. If he’d had a free-hit, he still would’ve blocked it.
VSM top scored with 26
A change of bowlers led to a change of luck for the visitors as the ball was tossed to chucker Patel Snr. He threw one down to Mark who passed it back for a caught and bowled. Mark made a good 26, and left Baston in a healthier 41-3 off 20. Biggsy received a completely undeserved promotion to 5, and was handed a massive slice of luck as he chipped the snippiest of snip catches back to bowler Patel. This wasn’t just a snipper, this was extra snip, with a layer of McSnip. Despite the explained snippiness of the catch, Patel dropped it. Biggs took his chance and smashed a couple of nice fours over the top, and put Baston back on top. At the other end, Ben had taken a liking to the similarly named Ben Hutson’s bowling, finally bursting out of his defensive bubble. The two were motoring along nicely when Hutson pitched a ball that went through Hudson’s (17) defence and left Baston 72-4, needing 34 runs but plenty of time to do it.
Ben (17) and Biggs (16) with important knocks in the middle order
Adam (5) was next in and looking to attack but couldn’t clear the fielder at mid-on, as Patel Snr took the catch one handed, taking the p1ss. Crisis specialist Lamin looked to get his block on, before launching a monster six into the trees.
Baston had 5 wickets in hand, and needed just 14 runs to clinch victory. Sensing the end, Damo gave the ball to gun fielder Guy Gibson who exclusively bowls Right Arm Full Tosses. All looked well for Baston before Lamin (10) toe ended one to Mr Cricket at midwicket. Gibson had another wicket by the end of the over as veteran Dyer (4) slapped the friendliest of deliveries to Ding-Ding at cover. As SBF Bashwell walked to the crease, all the hope remained on set batsman Briggsy with 9 runs still to get.
Piggsy’s 5 pints out in Stamford with the faces the night before may have taken effect in the next over, as he picked out Gibson at point, who took a good catch low down. The visitors were cock-a-hoop watching Solihull’s finest Big Dave stride to the crease. The scene on the boundary was pure shock, with Adam’s leadership amongst his team about as popular as Jeremy Corbyn’s. Several captaincy applications were drafted, while Ant Morris’s 2013 resignation letter template was passed around. The skipper was under more pressure than Robyn doing her morning pillow hair sweep up.
'Quick, before he wakes up'
Dave went on the attack but mistimed a drive which spooned straight up in the air towards cover. A fielder was underneath it, but pumped up Gibson screamed for it, sprinted from point, knocked his teammate out of the way and dropped it. Dave made the opposition pay as he guided a textbook four over the slip cordon.
Gibson was removed from the attack, in favour of the experienced Patel. With 5 needed for a win, Bash patiently waited for his moment, and after a few blocks and sighters, creamed the most majestic of straight sixes over the bowler’s head, winning the game for Baston.
Bash (6*) and Dave (4*) - Heroes
20 points for Baston in the end, but they nearly blew it . A massive well done goes out to everyone who helped to get the game on, which looked impossible just a couple of hours before.