Cold Beds feel the heat

Pedmore v Bedouins – 23rd June 2021
Bedouins lost by 8 wickets

Bedouins fielded a debutante for this away fixture with Pedmore in the shape of Kev Taylor who proved to be a good signing. His unbeaten 30 whilst opening with Smith N, proved to be the highlight of a pretty unremarkable Bedouins innings.

Taylor was well supported by MacConnell who again showed good form with the bat on his way to 20 before being caught. Smith N and Bywater failed to get a start and both went cheaply. Stanier looked to be getting back to his best with an innings of 19 including a six over long on and Howells rode his luck somewhat, being dropped three times in his innings of 8 not out.

Thankfully Pedmore clocked up 25 extras to help contribute to Bedouins final total of 112 for 3.

Beds never really had Pedmore under any sort of pressure during their innings. Bywater was accurate as usual and was unlucky not to take a wicket with Susman dropping (another) catch at mid-off. There can’t be any excuses he didn’t see the ball, it was fluorescent pink.

At the other end Paul Moran, who had made a couple of cameo appearances for the beds before, bowled an over before pulling up lame with a tweaked achilles. Bate took over and bowled one of the Pedmore openers and Stanier took a wicket in his spell, but on the whole Bedouins appear to have lost their mojo with Pedmore reaching their target in the 19th over.

Beds were treated to a curry after the game which sure spiced things up a bit. It was interesting to see the squad sweating more over their tea than they did on the pitch. Next up, the Sunday fixture away at Birlingham against the Fossils.

Beds snatch defeat from the jaws of victory

Bedouins v Kinlet – Sunday 20th June 2021

Bedouins lost by 5 wickets

The second of Bedouins three fixtures with Kinlet this season ended in a disappointing defeat when it looked like Bedouins had bowled well enough to secure a victory.

This fixture was played on a very dismal Sunday at Enville with weather you could best describe as overcast. Beds batted first with an opening partnership of Branch and Lippitt. The first 10 overs had a run rate akin to a test match innings. Branch batted diligently at one end, while Lippet and Hill J both departed cheaply and at the end of the first 10 overs of this 35-over-a-side game, Beds had amassed 23 runs for those two wickets.

Branch was joined by Thomas and the two put on a good partnership before Branch retired on 53, smashing a six off his last ball. Hill A. joined Thomas but by this time Bedouins were looking to up the tempo for the last five overs of the innings. Thomas was bowled on 43 trying to find the boundary and Hill A. was caught having made 13.

Stanier struggled to get going and was stumped on three whilst dancing down the wicket. Bywater weighed in with 11 runs at the end and was not out. Bedouins had finally scrambled their way to 144 for 5. It didn’t look enough.

In reply Bedouins had Kinlet pinned down at the start of their innings with some tidy bowling from Bywater and Bate. At the end of their allotted seven overs, Bywater had finished with 1 for 14 and Bate 1 for 6, with his spell including four maidens. When Kinlet had finished their 20th over and had only scored 43, Bedouins looked to be in complete control.

Susman took over from Bywater and after a couple of overs found some sort of form to finish with 3 for 27 with one of those wickets being a blinding one-handed catch from Branch. Stanier at the other end finished with 0 for 32 from his seven overs. Kinlet’s hard-hitting number three, Bishop, retired on 53 and with Kinlet reaching the 28th over and still needing 62 from the last seven overs, Bedouins still looked favourite.

Then it all fell apart. Kinlet with Engleheart and Millington at the crease set about the bowling change with some vigour. Runs started flowing with Bedouins stiff legs and dodgy hamstrings failing to protect the boundary. Surely they couldn’t? But they did. Kinlet reached the target with an over to spare and were quite rightly cock-a-hoop.

Beacon beat Bedouins black and blue

Bedouins v Beacon – Wednesday June 16th

Beacon won by 30 runs

We tend to forget what a dangerous sport cricket can be. Over the years Bedouins have had their fair share of facial injuries from top edges. Who can forget Vernon Currie’s black eye, or Bill O’Neill’s split lip. I seem to remember a certain B. Susman’s nose also having an altercation with a ball on one occasion. Whether that was a Bedouin’s game I can’t quite remember. It didn’t spoil his good looks anyway.

The game with Beacon on Wednesday night was pretty unremarkable. It was quite a high scoring affair, but mostly it will stay in the memory for the injury that befell Mick Robertson. It was nasty as the picture shows, but it could have been so much worse. More on that later.

Beacon brought a strong side to Enville. Batting first, they quickly got runs on the board, although two quick wickets may have tipped the balance in favour of the Beds for an over or two. Skipper Bywater opened the bowling despite an injured hand (another cricket injury) and was rewarded with a wicket in his first over. At the other end George struggled with a dodgy shoulder and came off after two overs to be replaced by Gregory, who also claimed a wicket in his first over.

Beacon then got a grip on the game. One of their openers retired on 32 and three batsmen further down the order got to the 30 mark, or close to it, with some hard hitting. Ask Mick Robertson. He was on the receiving end whilst bowling. The batsman in full flow, hit the ball straight back to Robertson who instinctively tried to catch with his favoured left hand. With the ball hit so hard, all he managed to do was deflect the ball onto his shoulder. He was lucky, very lucky that it was his shoulder it hit. The picture shows Mick a couple of days later with the huge lump still clearly visible. Beacon continued to pile on the runs and ended with 152 for 3.

Bedouins start to the run chase didn’t go according to plan. Branch and Gregory were both quickly back in the pavilion but after that bad start Bedouins fought back with Hill J (30) displaying a fine mix of straight bat and bit hitting, well supported by MacConnell (30) who was back in the Bedouins line-up for the first time in a few years, and looked in good form. Earlier he had also held a catch. There haven’t been many of those from Bedouins this season.

Stanier regularly found the boundary before he was run out on 27 but by this point the required run rate was rocketing and the rest of the Beds batting order failed to reach double figures although the team did finish with a respectable 122 for 6. Now onto another Sunday fixture with the boys from Kinlet. Get well soon Robbo.

Bedouins not in awe of Celebs

Bedouins v Celebs – Sunday 6th June 2021

Bedouins won by 8 wickets

When I was asked to play for the Celebs against the Bedouins little did I realise what trauma lie in wait. For those of you who don’t know the history of The Celebs, they were a team of personalities from various parts of the insurance industry, put together by the editor of Brokers’ Monthly magazine, Brian Susman. You will of course recognise that name if you are a Bedouin. He is, of course, our previous chairman.

The Celebs gained a reputation for playing on some of the finest grounds in the country; the Oval, Trent Bridge, Chatsworth House, and New Road, Worcester to name but a few, usually playing against some of the larger insurance companies. On Sunday 6th June, the Celebs came to Enville for a 30-over-a-side match.

Early Sunday, it looked the game would never happen. It rained. A lot. But of course, the sun always shines on the righteous, and The Celebs, with few supporters in tow, descended on Enville from all over the country to find reasonable weather conditions.

Before the game, Celebs skipper Dave Haynes presented Brian Susman with a trophy (as pictured) donated by the Celebs, to be used by the Bedouins in whatever way they see fit. A lovely gesture and a great way to mark the occasion.

The Celebs batted first and seemed to be in little trouble with openers Oakley and Fowles retiring on 30, they made it look pretty easy, as did Tom Evans in at three, who is obviously a class act. He didn’t hang around long before he got to the retirement point of 30. George, Bywater and Bate all toiled hard in the warm conditions but without much success. Aston pulled up abruptly whilst chasing the ball to the boundary. He was soon to depart for home. That made it 10-a-side.

So there I was enjoying myself, when all of a sudden I have to go and bat. I was ready for the ‘bants’ as I got to the wicket. “Look, they’ve sent the tail in!”. What I wasn’t ready for was the sound of ball hitting stumps with my first delivery. Stanier looked sheepish at the bowler’s end. Oh well, I thought, perhaps I could redeem myself with a brilliant bowling performance.

Celebs survived a mini collapse after this. Hames and Parkinson also departed and it was left to Doyle and Wilshire to grab some valuable runs at the end. Celebs finished on 145 for 3. Stanier was the pick of the bowlers with 2 for 10 from his four overs. A mention too for Rhys Thomas who had disappeared into the wilderness for a few season, but returned like he’d never been away, with 1 for 29 from 6 overs.

So the Bedouins opened their innings with Branch and Lippitt at the crease. I was asked to open the bowling (poor judgement from the skipper). Here’s my chance, I thought. Make a name for yourself and take a few wickets. No such luck. Andy Parkinson at the other end was economical and beat the bat a few times. Just as well, because at the other end I was getting pummelled by both batsmen. If Parky hadn’t been so tight, the game could have been over after 20 overs.

In a comical mix up, Branch was told to retire although it was discovered afterwards he had only made it to 22. Lippitt retired on the full 30. Then the Celebs brought on some proper bowlers. Neil Hames is an over 70s county player and Tom Evans is as good with the ball is he is with the bat. With that, bedouins lost two quick wickets with Thomas and Hill A. going cheaply.

A much younger Hill, the J version, came to the wicket as did Stanier, and the two set about chasing down the total with vigour. Hames finished with 2 for 21 and Evans 0 for 15 both from a six over stint. At that point it looked like the game had swung the Celebs way.

Then I came back on to finish my spell… It ended with Hill J hitting my last ball over square leg for a well-timed 6. A great shot. I disappeared the boundary with my tail between my legs thinking it couldn’t get much worse. I was wrong. An over or two later, I ‘sprinted’ to save more runs, only to feel that twang as my hamstring waved the little white flag.

Skipper Haynes and Ben Parkinson finished the bowling but by this time most of the damage was done. Hill J and Stanier had both retired and it was left to Bywater and Howells to get Bedouins across the line in the last over, finishing on 148 for 2 and completing their first victory of the season.

Game over, I hobbled from the far end of the ground towards the pavilion contemplating a personally dreadful performance. What was the point? Is it time to give up? Why do we do it? I’ll tell you why, the performance is relatively unimportant, the fact is, despite the low points, it’s enjoyable. If you were there, hopefully you enjoyed it too.

Thank you to Mike George for the photos.

Could do better!

Bedouins v Kinlet – Wednesday June 3rd

Bedouins lost by 33 runs

Turning up at the Enville ground to be greeted with fairly heavy rain and dark skies, it looked for a while as if the game with Kinlet might be another to fall victim to the weather. Thankfully, just as Jon Stanier predicted with his trusty weather app, the rain abated and play finally got underway around 6.30pm. Boy was it dark though!

It was good to get reacquainted with our good friends from Kinlet. Always fun to play against but competitive too, and this game was no different.

On paper Bedouins were fielding a strong side, however this season so far the team has generally flattered to deceive. Their school report would say ‘could do better’. Kinlet batted first with Bedouins traditional pair of opening bowlers, Bywater and George, trying to get to grips with a wet ball. George’s first ball after many months of inactivity pitched a yard in front of his toes, but he soon got back in the swing. Skipper Bywater was economical finishing with 1 for 4 from his four overs.

Susman dropped what should have been a straightforward catch off the skipper’s bowling and was condemned to some fierce ribbing for the rest of the Kinlet innings. Meanwhile Branch standing close in at first slip took a catch that required the reactions of a cat. No mean feat in the gloomy conditions and with a wet ball.

Gregory bowled superbly from the pavilion end to halt any momentum Kinlet were building with their innings, taking three quick wickets in his spell of 3 for 10 from four overs, which included a double wicket maiden in his last over. Smith M also weighed in with a couple of wickets in his two overs. Kinlet reached what looked like a gettable total of 93.

Never underestimate Kinlet though. Their bowling was tight from the start and Bedouins, opening with Branch and Lippitt, struggled to get the ball away. And that theme continued right through the Bedouins innings.

Lippett looked the most dangerous of the Beds batsmen as he made his way to 20 before being caught behind and a partnership between Susman and Stanier promised much but delivered little. With the required run rate climbing steeply Susman took a wild heave ho at a straight ball and was bowled and although Stanier stayed at the crease Bedouins never looked like getting anywhere near the target of 94. In the end they finished well short on 60 for 5.

Let’s hope Bedouins can up their game for the Sunday fixture with The Celebs.