Beds make it 1-1 against Albion

Bedouins v Ashby Albion at Enville

August 11th 2019 – Bedouins won by 27 runs

Don’t panic, dear reader. The headline does not indicate that the Bedouins have dug out their old baggy shorts and solid-toed football boots, and fielded a side to take on the real-life Baggies. No, it’s merely that the series of encounters between the Bedouins and Jono Hill’s footballing chums from Ashby Albion now stands at one-all, after the Beds won another entertaining encounter at Enville by 27 runs.

That the game got under way at all was down to the terrific efforts of Neill Smith. OK, Neill, you didn’t get a chance to shine with the bat and your one over with the ball was on the costly side of expensive (!), but you did the Beds a great service by manhandling the covers, on your own, on to the wicket as the rains started to fall in the morning (the Enville boys having failed to do so after their Saturday game the previous evening). The result was a damp, but not unplayable, wicket and a soggy Smithy.

Invited to bat first, the Bedouins openers found it hard to score freely in the early stages. The Ashby fielding was as smart as you might expect from a band of young footballers and showed no sign of the effects of a couple of “interesting” evenings around their temporary digs in Worcester. With a 40-over game in prospect, Paul Lippitt and Adrian Susman built a solid platform with an opening stand of 45 before Lippo went for 15.

Susman went on accumulating steadily until he was out for 36, followed by Lee Bywater (11), and that brought John Howells and Andy Hill together in what proved to be the decisive stand of the match – 87 unbeaten for the fifth wicket. Hill senior was particularly belligerent, hitting four boundaries and two sixes in his 47 not out. The reliable Howells belied his 70 years with some nimble running between wickets in hitting 31 not out.

Faced with a challenging total of 187 to beat, Ashby Albion had an early setback when the venerable Mike George (discarding his long lens for a moment) clean-bowled one of the openers. There was an early wicket too for Lee Bywater – a catch in the deep by our most welcome guest for the day, Jim Robinson, who had made the trip from Halifax (Yorkshire, not Nova Scotia) to turn out for the Beds.

Although Ashby Albion had made twice as many runs in the first 20 overs as the Beds had managed to accrue, the arrival of the “spin twins” Stanier and Susman, slowed the run rate. The former snapped up 4 for 27 in his 7-over spell, while the latter signed off for the season – doffing his fedora, as he made for the airport and a two-week break in sunny Mexico – taking 3 for 22 in 8 tidy overs. Skipper Lee Bywater weighed in with 3 for 30, and the Beds had the win by 27 runs and with best part of 10 overs to spare, and with our erstwhile Bedouin, Jono Hill, contributing 23 to the visitors’ 160 all out.

The ultimate winner on the day was Ashby Albion’s nominated charity, Ovarian Cancer Action. But there was also the newly presented shield, now for annual competition, won by the Beds and now in the safe hands of the Bywater household but back in circulation when, no doubt, the series will be continued next season.

Bedouins 187 for 4 (A. Hill 47 not out, Howells 31 not out, Susman 36, Lippitt 15, Bywater 11)

Ashby Albion 160 (Stanier 4 for 27, Susman 3 for 22, Bywater 3 for 30. George 1 for 22)

Austin’s Army meets its Waterloo


The Bedouins continued their run of good results with a 6-wicket win over Austin’s Army (fresh from its Wollaston barracks) on a Wednesday evening in which the light faded late on quite dramatically and a little more readily than the Army’s hopes of a victory. It was one of the Beds’ better run chases; they rarely achieve a total of 123 to win successfully but did so here with 5 balls to spare.

Field-Marshall Austin Gregory led his army to its 20-over total of 122 for 4, making a classy 30 before retiring to the mess room (or should that be “men’s room”?). For the Beds, Paul “Sticky Fingers” Lippitt enhanced his already considerable reputation as a reliable outfielder, with a couple of catches that many a Bedouin might have spilled.

There was a wicket apiece for Mike George, Mick Robertson, Adrian Susman and Richard Spratley, and a catch for stand-in keeper Neill Smith.

Paul Lippitt continued his good form with the bat, hitting 33 before retiring. He got the innings under way with 8 runs from the first 4 balls of the first over. All were run twos, and residents of the pavilion swore that they heard an “Oh no, not again” from a somewhat breathless Neill Smith as he was called on to get his legs in gear for the fourth brace.

Jon Stanier contributed a welcome 25, establishing some kind of a record by including the Beds’ first ever reverse-sweep. “Not like that in my day.” With our very own version of “Beefy”, Lee Bywater, hitting a huge 6 in his 17 and Adrian Susman withstanding what is now popularly known as “scoreboard pressure” in making 22 not out, the Beds were able to reach 123 for 4 with five balls to spare.

Austin’s Army 122 for 4 (Robertson 1 for 12, Susman 1 for 15, Spratley 1 for 15, George 1 for 27)

Bedouins 123 for 4 (Lippitt 33, Stanier 25, Susman 22 not out, Bywater 17)

“It never rains … “

Bedouins v Fossils at Enville

July 28th, 2019 – Bedouins won by 4 wickets

After a week in which headline writers were hugging themselves with glee as “Britain baked” under clear blue skies and in record temperatures, come the weekend and the Bedouins were due to meet the Fossils again in the return match at Enville, it became far more a matter of:

R is for rain that’s falling again

And shiny streaks on the window pane

And we can’t go out, but I’m trying to think

That it’s nice for the fields to be getting a drink.

And if I keep on watching, perhaps by and by

A rainbow will come and brighten the sky.

There – isn’t that nice? Not particularly appropriate to a report of a cricket match, but nice nevertheless.

It rained all day Saturday and was still drizzling Sunday morning. Should we go ahead or not? That was the question. But thanks to the increasingly strong bond between the Enville groundsman and our head of watery wickets, Adrian Susman, we decided to take a chance on things improving during the day.

Fortune favours the brave and, with the Fossils showing commendable patience while keeping the teapot busy, a shortened game was able to start about an hour late. Fossils had first use of a wicket where the covers had done their job well. The Beds’ opening bowlers, Adrian Susman and Mike George, were both in mean mood, the former going for just 10 runs in his 6 overs and the latter taking 1 for 14 in his.

Here we must enter an apology for Georgey. Mike was incorrectly stated in our previous report as being 99. He is not, of course. Therefore, apologies, Mike, we forgot about the leap year!

Join Stanier had two wickets and Mick Robertson one, while Paul Lippitt, who took a wicket with the first ball he bowled, completed just 1 over for 3 runs at the end. All of which gave the Fossils an acceptable score of exactly 100 for 5 in 35 overs.

The Beds lost 6 wickets in reaching their target in the 24th over – all clean-bowled (when did the Beds last lose all wickets clean-bowled). It was all pretty relaxed, as the score mounted at just about the required 4 runs an over. Then Tony Hancock, enjoying the heady heights of number three in the batting, fell to an unlucky dismissal – at least, that’s what he says – when the ball came off his bat on to his toe, up his arm and on to the top of a bail. Sounds pretty straightforward to me!

John Howells was proceeding serenely to 26 before being bowled, but big Lee Bywater was in no mood to hang arouind, hitting three 4s and two 6s in his 34, and it was left to Adrian Susman to round things off with 12 not out. Another win in an increasingly successful season for the Bedouins.

Fossils 100 for 5 (George 1 for 14, Stanier 2 for 20, Robertson 1 for 31, Lippitt 1 for 3)

Bedouins 101 for 6 (Bywater 34, Howells 26, Susman 12 not out, Lippitt 11)