The one-ball bowler


Bedouins v Kinlet, at Enville, Sunday June 11th

Bedouins won by 39 runs

Poor old David Pearson. Our sometime treasurer made his usual 3-hour round trip from Derbyshire to take part in Sunday cricket with the Bedouins, but “taking part” this time meant a third-ball duck followed by a bowling spell that lasted just one ball before he discovered, much to his surprise, that he actually had a muscle in his leg that he could pull. It’s testament to the man’s character that he was still in good humour at the end of it all.

The Bedouins welcomed their good friends from Kinlet to Enville on a reasonably fine Sunday afternoon, even though Kinlet had the disappointment of an abbreviated line-up owing to quite a number of late withdrawals. Bedouins batted first and opened with the evergreen John Howells and the never-green Adrian Susman. The former was dismissed early and was followed a few overs later by Jono Hill, bowled for a disappointing 14 after a bright start.

Adrian Susman and new recruit Keith Dawson then put together what proved a match-winning stand of 70 runs before Susman fell lbw for 37. Dawson went on his merry way, hitting fours and the occasional six, to reach the retirement score of 50. Wickets then fell with a rush, only Ray Bate making double figures with 13, and Dawson finally returned to the crease at the fall of the ninth wicket to hit another couple of boundaries, bringing his final score to 59 and the Beds’ total to 144.

Managing to resist the temptation of too much delicious tea and cakes, Beds returned to the field to try to defend what looked like a somewhat below-par score. The Kinlet openers put on 48 in the first ten overs before the first wicket fell. Then Mick Robertson, an occasional and very welcome guest for the Bedouins, took over. He completed seven overs for just 16 runs and four wickets, and was well backed up by Adrian Susman with 2 for 21 in his seven.

A late ten overs of dogged resistance by Kinlet’s Mike Mooney (21) and Francis Engleheart (11) put on 40 runs, to take the Kinlet final score to 105, but the home side finally ran out comfortable winners by 39 runs.

It is worth recording that, along the way, the Beds managed to cling on to no fewer than five catches, none of them very easy – although, whisper it very quietly, all of them were taken by three guest Bedouins!

Bedouins 146 (Dawson 59, Susman 37, Hill J. 14, Bate 13)

Kinlet 105 (Robertson 4 for 16, Susman 2 for 21, Mabrouk 1 for 16, Dawson 1 for 22)

Wicketkeeper – wears the gloves ….. or “WHERE’S the gloves?”


Bedouins v Belbroughton Strollers at Enville, June 7th

Bedouins won by 5 runs

Ever known a game in which neither team turns up with wicketkeeper’s gloves? It happened in this one – not an auspicious start to a new fixture for the Beds. Opponents Belbroughton Strollers apparently have no fewer than three wicketkeepers on whose services they can call. None of them was available, and no-one thought to organise the gloves for the stand-in keeper.

The problem was compounded by the fact that the Bedouins have still not managed to solve the mystery of the disappearing wicketkeeper gloves, in the absence of the regular stumper John Howells, who, of course, has his own.

The result – Austin Gregory jumping in his car and dashing off home to pick up a pair that resides there.

Last season it was a case of the missing stumps, with beer crates having to be used as substitutes. Now, no wicketkeeping gloves. What’s left? Probably no balls …. but perhaps that’s tempting providence!

So what of the game itself? Under glowering skies (see how poetic Beds’ cricket reports are getting these days?), and with light rain falling throughout most of the game, the Bedouins had first knock. Regular skipper John Branch was missing as opening bat, having gone in the fetlock or something, so it was Jon Stanier and Adrian Susman who got things under way. The latter went early but Stanier, after a slow start, got the scoreboard moving, eventually retiring with 31 to his name; he’ll have to get out sometime, to get himself an average.

There were also 30s for new recruit Keith Dawson (he’s already been invited back) and Jono Hill, showing a welcome return to form, resulting in a 20-over total of 118 for 3.

Belbroughton made a good start to their innings, one of their openers reaching the 30 retirement point in just the fifth over. Josh Lemm did well to take 1 for 20 in his four overs, while Adrian Susman, at the other end, did his best to grasp a wet bar of soap masquerading as a cricket ball and recovered well, after an expensive first over, to take 2 for 23.

The wily (though perhaps not “wiry”) Austin Gregory, having recovered from his glove-snatching escapade, included a precious wicket-maiden in his 2 for 12 in four overs. Leaving Jon Stanier and skipper Lee Bywater to see out the remaining four overs, aided by just three extras (one of them a wide) conceded by Jono Hill behind the stumps, to give the Bedouins a well-earned five-run victory.

This was a most successful first encounter with the Belbroughton Strollers, who seem to embody the same spirit in their play as the Beds – playing to enjoy the game and each other’s company but, at the same time, playing to win. We look forward to a return meeting later in the season.

Bedouins 118 for 3 (Stanier 31, Dawson 30, Hill J. 30)

Belbroughton Strollers 113 for 5 (Gregory 2 for 12, Susman 2 for 23, Lemm 1 for 20)