Beds go out with a bang


Alveley v Bedouins at Alveley – Sunday, 21 August 2011

Beds win by  55 runs

Bedouins finished their 2011 season with a trip to Alveley for a 30 over-a-side game on a pleasantly sunny Sunday afternoon.

Thomas and Ferguson were back in the side, with Lock and Branch otherwise engaged and Currie picking up fares around the Midlands. Johnston’s dodgy knee got the better of him again.

Alveley do a superb job on preparing and looking after their ground. I believe it won the award for Best Kept Ground in Shropshire this season, and it looks like it too.

Bedouins batted first, cheered on by a vast travelling support, mostly Bedouettes, mostly sunning themselves. As usual, Hill A. was first up, forming a new opening partnership with Ferguson (left). Hill A. (pictured above) wasted no time and went off like an express train, hitting boundary after boundary on a very fast outfield. It saved him having to run on his dodgy foot. Ferguson was a little more cautious at the other end and was bowled for 10.

The usually reliable Thomas, in at three, failed to trouble the scorers, which brought Gregory to the crease. He supported Hill A. on his demolition of the Alveley bowling until the latter was finally bowled for 40. Boom Boom Bywater was back to his old self and looked in little trouble however Gregory succumbed when on 11.

Spratley made an elegant 20 and showed why he’s moving up the batting order but his demise brought Hancock to the wicket. Hancock has struggled to live up to the name of his bat this season (Destroyer) after the promise of last season. Things didn’t improve here with a golden duck. Confidence is low, every batsman goes through it but it’s nothing that a winter in the nets won’t solve or a half-hour in the showers with Captain of Vice.

Bywater (right) proved he was back on form retiring on 51 and Susman (31) and Hill J. (14) had some fun in the last few overs, the latter making the spectators dive for cover at times. Pearson will have done his average good finishing with 2 not out. Bedouins totalled 197 for 8.

At this point tea was taken and rather splendid it was too. Bedouins then prepared themselves for a hard session in the field and hard it proved to be with Alveley’s opening pair finding it easy to pick up runs, making good use of the lightening quick outfield. Opening bowlers Spratley  (0 for 29) and Pearson (0 for 35) both found it hard to contain the Alveley pair and they were 66 for 0 after ten overs.

At this point Alveley looked favourites but as we all know a wicket can change the game drastically. Thomas made the break through having Twigg caught behind on 39. He was economical too and finished with 1 for 17 from 5 overs. George had a brief spell at the other end before retiring with a bad back (we’ve told you about abstaining the night before a game). He did manage to snap up the wicket of the other opener, Jones D. for 43. A vicious caught and bowled that may have caused serious damage if he hadn’t got his hands to it.

Susman took over from the injured George (left) and wickets were now starting to tumble regularly. Gregory attacked from the other end and took a wicket is his second over. The ball was pulled  to square leg to the waiting Ferguson, who positioned himself under the ball. The ball popped into his hands and straight out again (a common sight with the Bedouins) however he snaffled it at the second attempt. A good effort with the ball coming out of the sun. He then repeated exactly the same feat (though this time without the hinderance of the sun) to much hilarity a couple of overs later off Susman.

There was little left in the way of resistance from Alveley after their openers apart from a couple of sixes; one from Childs and one from Butler but Alveley never really looked like hitting their target and in the end were 55 runs short. Susman finished with 3 for 20 from 5 overs and Gregory 1 for 11 from 5. Bywater had also chipped in with a wicket in his 3 overs.

A great way then to finish another Bedouins season against another friendly and hospitable side. It’s been enjoyable as always with a lot of laughter along the way and we’ve added a couple of new faces to the squad who have fitted in well. We will now look forward to the AGM and Duck supper in November – details to be announced soon but it’s suggested you keep the first Tuesday and the last Friday of that month free. Well played everyone.

More photos available here.




Bedouins v SSP at Enville – Sunday, 14 August 2011

Beds win by 1 wicket

The Bedouins annual game against Jim Robinson and his SSP side is always a highlight in the fixtures and has produced some exciting games in the past. Lately, the majority have swung the way of the side from Halifax. Last year, Bedouins had put themselves in a good position to win the game, and then blew it. Hence, there was a determination this year to do better.

The Bedouins side consisted of the usual suspects, with Hill A sporting some very dandy new boots and Steve McNally (OpenGI) recruited to add some strength in the batting department. Branch was off on a jolly somewhere.

George was skipper again and led the boys onto the field with SSP batting first. Spratley was first up with the new ball and as is usual with him, was most economical. At the other end, Pearson very nearly took the prized wicket of Dobson J. with his first ball, with the batsman edging through the slips. Three balls later though and Pearson (pictured) had his man clean bowled. A great start for the Beds.

The Beds managed to restrict a quality SSP top order well. Dobson T. has usually manages an untroubled retirement against the Bedouins and looked like he might do so again until he was undone by a combination of Susman and Hill J., being stumped on 27. The Beds could have been slightly daunted by the fact that the fall of a wicket only brought another quality batsman to the crease. However the fielding side stuck to the task well and managed to take wickets at regular intervals and allowed none of the SSP batsmen to get to the retirement figure of 50.

Bywater had a torrid start to his spell with his second over going for 12 but he came back strongly, taking the wicket of Oldnall for 32 but this left the dangerous pairing of Molyneux and Al-Chalaby at the wicket. Both batsmen looked set for 50 but Spratley came back for a second spell and it was he who removed Molyneux for 39 with the aid of an excellent catch from Lock, who took the ball low to the ground whilst what could only be described as collapsing in a heap. Elegant.

Al-Chalaby fell to a catch behind by Hill J. off the bowling of George for 44, most of which had come in boundaries. The steady fall of wickets meant that SSP went from 160 for 4 in the 30th over to end with 192 for 9. There was even a last ball run out by Hill J. as pictured. Catches were held by Pearson and George as well as the odd dropped chance by players un-named, but you’d expect that with the Beds wouldn’t you?

The pick of the bowlers were Gregory (2 for 11 from 5), Spratley (1 for 17 from  7), Pearson (2 for 35 from 7) and Bywater, who despite that one dodgy over finished with 1 for 24 from his 7 overs. As last year, a good fielding performance and the Bedouins had given themselves a fighting chance.

After a wonderful tea and cake interval (thanks to the Bedouettes!) it was Hill A and McNally who strode to the wicket to launch an assault on the SSP total. And a brutal assault it was too. Hill A. was faced with the undoubted pace of Al-Chalaby and it took a few of balls to weigh things up but then he started to connect, no doubt spurred on by the chirping of the wicket keeper. Hill A. (pictured) played some brutal shots and found the boundary regularly. He was eventually caught on 29.

Gregory and Bywater followed and made 12 and 10 respectively both falling to a catch. Meanwhile McNally was looking very solid and indeed he progressed to 50 with very little trouble. His retirement saw Hancock enter the fray. Unfortunately he had to face SSP’s devilish young spinner who bamboozled him before he could get off the mark.

Spratley (23) (below, right) was promoted in the order having shown some prowess in recent innings and he didn’t disappoint. A partnership of 52 with Susman (33) (below, left) put the Beds in a position to go on and win the game.  and when the later was bowled, the batting side where 172 for 5 needing just 21 more runs from the last 7 overs.

Nothing is ever straight forward with the Beds and at this point the runs dried up. It’s never easy for the new batsman to go in at the end of an innings, chasing runs, and when Spratley was bowled, Hill J and Pearson had to try and keep the score moving. Hence Hill J (8) and Pearson (4) were both run out trying to steal singles although they both added some valuable runs. Skipper George helped the cause with a well-timed 4 before being caught.

All this left the Beds needing one run to win with one wicket in hand 8 balls to go. McNally had to come back in which was unfortunate as he’d already got changed. The nerves jangled of those watching as Lock faced but the Flashing Blade showed no fear and stroked the winning run (pictured above) to send the rest of the team into raptures.

A super tea followed, again thanks to the hard work of the Nicki, Lauren, Jo and Sylvia and it was soon time for Jim and friends to make the long trip back up north. They are a great team to play. Always good competition, always playing to win, but always sporting and friendly to boot. We will look forward to making the trip north next year when no doubt SSP will look for revenge and will want to win back the Rasche shield. Until then though, it’s ours!

Photos available here.

The Flashing Blade

The Flashing Blade

Bedouins v Enville “A”  at Enville – Wednesday 10th August 2011

Beds lost by 9 wickets

Gazing out over the rooftops of Kidderminster towards the dreaming spires of Sainsbury’s and thinking about last night’s game against Enville “A”, the image that pops up again and again is the flashing blade of Mr Robert Lock. The term “flashing blade” is often associated with an innings from the likes of K.P. and although Locky himself would probably admit  he’s not quite ready to play for England (not at his age anyway), his style of batting could certainly be described as suitably swashbuckling, especially for a Bedouin, and I for one thoroughly enjoyed watching his knock last night. It’s all about the flourish.

Bedouins were taking on a very strong Enville side, lead by usual Bedouins opening bat, John Branch (Mr Enville). It was an Enville side that also contained Bedouins opening bowler, Spratley and all-rounders Goodman and Lockley. Hence Bedouins fielded a guest – Simon Guest – who Bedouins know well from times when his usual side Kinlet have put the Bedouins to the sword.

With Beds put into bat, Hill J. and Gregory gave the side a reasonably solid start although the former was well bowled for 5. Gregory was looking well set and Johnston, in at three, played a sweet straight drive off Spratley for 4 that will have given the batsman some satisfaction, although shortly after the bowler had his revenge; Johnston skying the ball to the wicket keeper when on 6.

Bywater has been struggling to repeat his superb form with the bat from last season but when he came to the wicket at no. 4, he immediately looked at ease. It was unfortunate that soon after he got there, Gregory (16) top edged to Spratley, who took a good catch just behind square leg. Guest (1), who we know can bat, may have felt the pressure of being the debutant as he succumbed whilst trying to inject some pace into a flagging run rate.

The demise of Hancock, bowled for 6 (shame, he’d just found the boundary with a lusty 4) meant Bedouins were 46 for 5 in the 13th over.  Enter Rob “Chevalier” Lock to join Bywater and the two of them started to find the boundary regularly. They had to really, with Lock’s running between the wickets hampered by dodgy knees and ankles. Bywater eventually retired on 30 leaving Pearson (1) to support the rampaging Lock, who was stumped off the last ball of the innings for 24. Beds finished 98 for 6.

Looking at the batting in the Enville side, you had to think that 98 was going to be a tough total to defend and so it turned out. There was to be little joy for the Beds bowlers although they all stuck to the task well. Beds found it hard to remove the Enville openers Branch (30 retired) and Goodman (31 retired), although George (0 for 14 from 4 overs) looked the most dangerous of the bowlers at the start.

Branch junior was in at three for Enville and he launched a 6 to deep square leg that had the Bedouettes diving for cover from their sunbathing position. For a nasty moment it looked like we’d get no tea….

Pearson (0 for 38) took some stick from the batsmen and Guest took the only wicket for the Bedouins and finished with 1 for 10 off 2. Currie was tight conceding only one run from his first two overs but by then it was just a matter of time before Enville reached their target and indeed they did that in the 18th over.

Still, it was a beautiful evening for a game of cricket and hopefully there will be more swashbuckling to come from the Bedouins when they entertain North Park on their tour match. It was great too, to see Enville legend, Fred Hodges on the pitch (second game on the trot). Older than Vernon Currie but still sprinting around the outfield. Remarkable.

Now, does anyone else remember The Flashing Blade……