Beacon too hot to handle

Beacon v Bedouins – 3rd July 2022

Bedouins lost by 6 wickets

Games coming thick and fast so quick report on this one. Short of players again so drafted in Kev Taylor and Guy Sheppard. Looked like a solid 11 until Jono took poorly and had the set off home. Big miss as it turned out.

Beds batted with Smith N (32 not out) in fine form, Susman however, not so. Departed for 7.

Outfield was like lightening. Kev Taylor looked little troubled until missing a straight one on 19 leaving Lippitt and Stanier to get the bulk of the runs, both reaching retirement (runs or age, take your pick). Stanier with a couple of sixes.

Ellerton, excited to be playing his second game in four days, improved on his 0 in the last game by being 0 not out  this time. That’s progress. Beds finished 137. On the face of it a good score but Beacon can never be written off.

Bedouins seemed to be restricting Beacon fairly well on such a quick outfield and with only 10 men. Smith M (2-24-4) was the pick of the bowlers, often perplexing the batsmen with deft touch of flight. Lippitt was in the wickets too with 2-27-4. But with four overs left and needing 30 runs Beacon lit the afterburners and before we knew it the game was done.

We’ll skirt around Taylor dropping two catches.

With a full side including Jono, would we have won? Of course.

Superman saves the day

Bedouins v Belmont CC – Sunday 31st July

Bedouins won by 4 wickets

If you thought Gregory’s performance on Wednesday night was good, it was paled into insignificance compared to that of Jonathan Hill on Sunday. I’ve scoured my memory banks (what’s left of them) and I can’t think of a better all round performance than that of Hill Jr on Sunday. I’m sure someone will put me right. More about that later.

Bedouins looked set to start this game with just nine players. But sometimes things happen for a reason. It just so happened Dave Ellerton was a bystander on the ground and when invited to play, he jumped at the chance and took to the field in borrowed kit. He was quick to tell us his cricket experience was limited, but as we all know in the Bedouins, that matters not a jot.

Belmont were a new fixture and so an unknown quantity. They were put into bat first and made slow progress in their 35 over innings. Beds included Enville stalwart Trevor Spears in their ranks and it was he and Stanier who opened the bowling. Stanier finished his first spell after four overs (finishing with 0-29-7) but Spears bowling left arm round, was on the money and finished his spell with 1 for 9 from 7 overs.

Only the Belmont no.4 looked really threatening with the bat until he fell to the worst ball Susman (2-19-7) bowled in his seven over spell and was caught by Stanier behind square. In fact, it’s true, catches do win matches and there were six in the Belmont innings. Unfortunately for new boy Ellerton, his attempt to take a catch at square leg ended in disaster as the ball went straight through his hands. Even more unfortunate was the fact his hands were in front of his face at the time, resulting in a thick lip. However, it’s not put him off. He loved his Bedouins experience so much, he wants to keep playing.

Robertson had a caught and bowled in his 1 for 35 from 7 and there were another two stumpings for Howells. But so to an incredible spell of bowling from Hill Jr. His 4 for 35 from 7 included two stunning caught and bowled. The first, the ball was hit hard straight back him and above his head. There was an audible gasp when in a flash he got his hands up to take the ball clean as a whistle. His second was probably even better with the ball flying out towards mid-on. For a moment it looked like disaster may strike as Susman came trotting in from deep mid-on to attempt the catch (we all know what would have happened there) until he realised Hill was careering towards him at a rate of Knots. Hill screamed for the ball and took it, arms outstretched, with the ball coming over his shoulder.

There were also catches for Hill Jr’s mate Zac and Susman amazingly held on to a skier at mid-off to leave Hill on a hat-trick. Belmont finished on 131 for 8.

Bedouins started their reply with Smith N and Susman at the crease. With a modest total to chase there was little need for heroics. However Susman was quick to depart for 6 given out LBW which gave Belmont some encouragement. Smith N departed too not long after for 6 to a ball that pitched and literally rolled along the floor, taking his off stump.

At 17 for 2 things looked a little bleak for the Beds, but enter Superman Hill Jr to round off his MOTM performance. He was patient at the start and it was hard to get the ball away but he was joined at the wicket by his pal Zac Price and a good looking partnership developed. Price hit a couple of boundaries but then was caught, departing for 12.

Stanier joined Hill Jr to continue the good work and the win looked easily attainable. Hill Jr had reached 44 having hit a huge straight 6 but on trying to repeat the feat on the next ball he toe-ended to mid-on. Things were a little tense after that with a couple more wickets going down but Bedouins met their target with a couple of overs and a few wickets to spare. Another very pleasant afternoon of cricket and the game was finished in time to see the Lionesses storm to victory.

Beds on fire!

Bedouins v Pedmore – Wednesday 27 July

Bedouins won by 10 wickets

It’s been a funny season for the Bedouins. So many times they have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, getting into match-winning positions only to fail in driving home their advantage. So would you believe me if I said Bedouins won this game by 10 wickets, and with 11 overs to spare against a strong Pedmore side, meaning they had achieved a ‘double’.

Pedmore batted first with skipper Bywater opening the bowling. His first over was a maiden. During his second over he picked up an injury (a lot of those in the Beds side these days) and he had to take himself off to be replaced by Susman (1-17-4). At the other end Gregory had set about slowly dismantling the Pedmore innings with an incredible spell of bowling that deceived and bamboozled.

He finished with 4 for 11 from his four overs. Three of those were clean bowled and one was another sharp stumping from Howells behind the stumps (there have also been a lot of those this season). As a result, Pedmore’s innings never got going. The fielding side were even holding their catches, one for new boy Trevor Spears and another for Gregory (you couldn’t keep him out of the game).

Even a change of bowling didn’t give Pedmore any respite. Stanier (3-16-4) replaced Gregory and straight away was in the wickets. In the 14th over Pedmore were 55 for 9. It was only a late rally that saw them make it to their final total of 72 for 9.

So having got into this strong position, how would Bedouins react with the bat? Skipper said it was as good as won before the batsmen made it to the crease (wow, brave man). But we have seen it many times this season where our batting has lacked conviction and the game has been lost.

Not this time. Smith N and Lippitt were not hanging around. The ball was dispatched to the boundary in quick succession. There was no playing safe here and as a result Lippitt quickly retired on 31 and Smith N (22 not out) and Hill J (16 not out) finished things off at the end of the ninth over.

Let’s hope this form continues on Sunday with our next game being against an unknown quantity in Belmont CC.



Sport hurts

Bedouins v Amblecote and Wollaston – Wednesday 13 July

Bedouins lost by 21 runs

This was another defeat for Bedouins in a dismal season, but at least the weather was actually summery for a change. With Amblecote batting first, the ball was thrown to George to start the Bedouins attack. He lasted three balls. His first ball almost bounced off his toes as his shoulder gave way. Two more balls proved painful so he called it a day. Then we witnessed something not seen in a Bedouins game for many a year –  Branch came on to bowl. And very good he was too. So good in fact, he was kept on to finish the spell and ended up with just 8 being taken off his 3.5 overs.

Lippitt provided some comedy gold with his fielding. Chasing the ball down, he got a foot to it and nonchalantly flicked it up into one hand. He used to play football you know. However on turning through 360 degrees to throw the ball back in (all this was in one movement), he ruined it by throwing the ball in completely the wrong direction. Priceless. Lippitt did redeem himself shortly after, taking a good catch off the skipper’s bowling.

It was a fairly even contest, Bywater took a couple of wickets (2-23-4) and only Gregory really got going for Amblecote and Wollaston, retiring on 33 after finding the boundary at regular intervals. Hill J (1-24-4) was the only other bowler to take a wicket. Towards the end of the innings, Hancock, who had been haring around the field like a Whippet, pulled up lame having done his hamstring. Another casualty for the Bedouins to contend with.

Ambelcote and Wollaston finished on 117 for 4.

Branch and Lippitt opened the Bedouins reply. Amblecote’s opening bowler was quick but erratic. His first over at Branch saw the ball pitching halfway down the wicket much to the batsman’s amusement. I know, I was square leg umpire.

Lippitt played some beautiful cover drives using the bowler’s pace to caress the ball to the boundary. Both batsmen contributed to a good start and things looked promising for the Bedouins. Smith N missed a straight and went LBW and the Hill J arrived at the crease. He is in fine form and again he made the retirement figure of 30.

It was great to see Aston get a knock and he was delighted to get some runs on the board with his new bat, as where his team mates. This is what Bedouins cricket is all about, encouraging players to improve. Not only did Aston get runs but his fielding is coming on leaps and bounds too.

However, the closing stages of the Bedouins innings saw them get bogged down and fall behind the run rate. In the end they fell 21 runs short of the Amblecote total.


Revenge is a dish best served cold

Bedouins v Enville O40s – Wednesday 29th June

Bedouins lost by 47 runs

Last season Bedouins beat Enville twice. It didn’t seem to go down well that the landlords couldn’t beat the tenants on their own patch. This season, Enville made sure there would be no repeat by putting out a strong side.

But to give respect to Enville, they sure did bat well with five reaching the retirement figure of 30. They were aggressive at the crease from the start  and George (0-45-4) and Susman (0-44-4) particularly bore the brunt of onslaught and were dispatched to the boundary at regular intervals. The Skipper, who opened the bowling, was slightly more economical with 0-25-4.

Things weren’t helped by a couple of dropped catches with Susman dropping a straightforward effort on the boundary that probably he would have held in his younger days. When will his poor run of form in the field end?

Robertson was the only bowler who really looked to be causing the batsmen any real concern as he finished with a wicket in his 1-26-4. The upshot of all this was Enville posted one of the highest, if not the highest total Bedouins have ever had to chase down – 179 for 2. But not before on the very last ball of the innings, Susman finally managed to cling on to a catch from Stanier’s bowling, much to the delight of both players.

Bedouins actually put up a good fight in chasing down such a huge total. Branch lost his opening partner Smith N pretty quickly for one, but went on to make his 30 which included six fours. Hill J, in at number three also retired on 31 which included his customary huge six.

The skipper was unlucky to get out to a one-handed catch at long off. Even more unlucky as the fielder looked decidedly under 40. Hancock gave it his all before departing for 5 and Susman, well, enough said…

The Bedouins innings finally drifted into a coma at 129 for 4, a total which in most other games may have been a match winner. But not on this occasion, Enville were too strong and too determined to have their revenge for last season. Rumour has it, there may be a return fixture this season. That could be interesting.

We won, we won… the toss.


Bedouins v Beacon – Wednesday 15 June

Bedouins lost by 7 runs

The good news, the skipper won the toss for the second week on the trot. The bad news, it made no odds – Bedouins still lost the game. SKipper elected to have a bowl in this instance with his decision based on the fact it would make the game last longer, he said. Fair enough. Did Joe Root ever contemplate that tactic when out in the middle?

It looked to be a good move during the first few overs of the Beacon innings. Opening bowlers George and Susman quickly removed both Beacon openers, and then George followed up his first wicket by having Beacon’s number 3 caught and bowled in what was a slow motion low down, on the knees catch. A good one to be fair. Not easy at his age.

It seemed Beacon packed out their middle order with some of their more able batsmen. George had finished his spell with a good (2-17-4) and Susman was expensive with (1-28-4) and that theme continued with Bywater and Gregory both finishing with (0-27-4). They weren’t helped by the fact that the outfield was fast, and most of the fielders were slow on a hot and humid evening. Numbers 4, 5 and 6 all retired on 30 for Beacon and in fact Bedouins failed to take anymore wickets and Beacon amassed a healthy total of 133.

That was a total that Bedouins had surpassed last week at Pedmore, so it was achievable. Branch and Lippitt laid the foundations with a steady start although the latter was visibly frustrated at not being able to get the ball away as he would have liked. More often than not he managed to pick out a fielder. However both finished undefeated on 30 and 32 respectively and with 59 from the first 10 overs it was game on. Smith N and Bywater continued to keep the scoreboard ticking over with the skipper particularly leading from the front and trying to get the run rate up to keep Beds in with a chance.

But when Smith N had gone for 19,  wickets began to tumble. Gregory was bowled for 8 and Hancock was run out for 3. Bedouins needed 10 runs from the last over but it wasn’t to be. Susman went for a golden duck leaving the pressure on the inexperienced Aston. Bedouins finished 126 for 3.


Pedmore O40s v Bedouins – Wednesday 8th June

Bedouins won by 13 runs

A sunny Wednesday evening at Pedmore CC saw Bedouins break two losing streaks. Firstly, the skipper won the toss which was unusual in itself, then Bedouins went on to win a game for the first time this season.

On the winning the toss, skip elected to have a bat and in went Branch with Susman. The former missed out somewhat on some friendly bowling and was stumped for 7. Susman was joined by Hill J with the new man at the crease keen to run twos and his partner not so. While Susman was prodding and pushing young Hill twice lost the ball, sending it out of the ground never to be seen again. One straight six was enormous, with the ball still rising as it cleared the huge trees at one end of the ground. Susman eventually retired on 30 as did Hill J.

Bywater made a quickfire 32 dotted with boundaries and Stanier and JJ Smith rounded off the innings both finishing with 7 not out. Bedouins finished with a total of 139 for 1.

Pedmore’s batting line-up appeared stronger than that of its bowling and both openers retired on 30. Spratters’ bowling (0-28-3) suffered somewhat and wasn’t helped by inept fielding from Susman at mid-off. Stanier too was clobbered a bit finishing with 1 for 26 from his four overs.

Pedmore’s strong start was only halted when Smith M came on to bowl. His mastery of flight kept the batsmen guessing and he finished with 2 for 22 from his 4 overs. In the field the youthfulness of JJ Smith and Hill J helped to keep the runs down with the former putting his body on the line on a couple of occasions.

Mick Body bowled a tight spell (1-18-4) and was delighted to get a wicket, proclaiming it was his first for 20 years! Susman again got some turn from the wicket although he remained wicketless (0-16-3) and the skipper Bywater finished the game off with 1 for 13 from his two overs.

It is also worth noting that there were three stumpings on the night for Howells behind the stumps, one of which gave the impression of a much younger man keeping wicket, judging by the lightning quick reactions to whip off the bails. Pedmore had started their innings well and the Beds bowlers did well to slow them down. A good win, and one that was celebrated afterwards with a beer and a very nice plate of chilli con carne.

You Kinlet it get you down

Bedouins v Kinlet – Wednesday 1st June

Bedouins lost by 5 wickets

This game with our friends from Kinlet was notable for several reasons: it was a nice warm and sunny evening; we had a very small pitch invader; the game was decided on the last ball; and Lippo outdid Spratters’ catch from last week in athletic fashion. More later.

Francis Englehert of Kinlet communicated the fact during the day that Kinlet were struggling to get a side together and they may not be that strong. He was kidding us. They had their usual competitive side out, with one or two new faces among them.

Bedouins were delighted to welcome Mike Garbett as official scorer. We will hopefully be seeing more of him during the season. It makes a big difference having the scorebook taken care of during a game. Thanks Mike!

Bedouins batted first and started with Branch and Lippitt at the the crease – two old heads who can boast 219 years of cricket experience between them. Branch wasn’t hanging about and counted four fours in his quick fire 20. Lippitt was joined by Smith N and the two set about building a fruitful partnership. When Lippitt finally retired on 30 he was replaced by Hill J, who unusually for him, only made one boundary before picking out a fielder on the square leg boundary and being caught.

This obviously miffed young Hill somewhat. He quickly reappeared to make up the numbers in the field for Kinlet and proceeded to hold a good catch in the deep to remove Smith N, who went for 28. Hill the elder (9 not out) and Stanier (20) made handy runs at the end of the innings and the Beds finished a respectable 121 for 4 not before a teeny tiny pitch invader made her way on the field of play, sidestepping bemused fielders and only stopping to high-five players.

There are two things that always hold true about Kinlet, they are a fine bunch of fellows on and off the pitch, but they also never give any quarter. It was the same this time. The start of the Kinlet innings saw them make hay somewhat, and it was unusual to see Gregory conceding some runs as he opened the bowling again. The Skipper was accurate as usual (1-11-4) but there was a spell where byes were a regular occurrence. There were 23 in all on the night; a total which beat all but one of the Kinlet batsmen.

The introduction of the spinners Stanier and Susman slowed the run rate somewhat. Susman was enjoying a wicket that turned and bounced, finishing with (0-15-4) and Stanier made inroads into the batting line-up with (2-12-3). One of these wickets was the result of an outstanding piece of athleticism from Lippitt who dived to his left at gully to pluck the ball out of the air low down with his left hand. Quite remarkable.

It all made for a tense finish. Kinlet needed 9 to win from the last over. Hill J was given the task of bowling that final over but Kinlet showed their usual resilience and got that down to one run to win from the final ball. The field closed in but there was nothing that could be done as the Kinlet batsmen scrambled the one run they needed to win the game. Not the result we wanted but it was just a joy to be on the ground on such a beautiful evening.

It should also be reported that Kinlet very kindly put some money behind the bar to mark the passing of Bedouins chairman Brian Susman last year. A very lovely gesture from them and very much appreciated.

Next up, Pedmore away for the winless Bedouins.


Belbroughton stroll to victory

Belbroughton Strollers v Bedouins – May 25th 2022

Belbroughton win by 22 runs

Whatever the sport, there are some teams you just can never seem to beat. Like QPR always struggling to beat Brentford. In the case of Bedouins cc, that team is definitely Belbroughton Strollers, especially on their own ground. It’s one of those wickets where the Bedouin batting line-up can never seem to get the ball away to the boundary.

And so it was on a dull and somewhat chilly Wednesday evening in Belbroughton. Bedouins again had to rope in players to make up the numbers with many regular faces missing. Peter Gurr, who had played for the Fossils the Sunday before, joined us to bolster the batting and bowling and Neill Smith told his son JJ he’d get no pocket money if he didn’t help us out. His youthfulness proved handy in the field and brought the average age of the side crashing down. Enville stalwart Paul Moran also made an appearance.

Bedouins had a bowl and it was Moran who had first use of the new ball (and very pink) ball. He didn’t seem to get the usual amount of swing we have seen before but his three overs went for just 17 runs. Gregory carried on where he left off last game by deceiving the batsmen with flight and swing. He made the breakthrough, bowling the Stroller’s opening bat.

Susman, taking over from Moran, served up some Bertie Bassetts with all sorts of balls aimed at the batsmen. He was successful with two wickets but his final over proved expensive with one ball disappearing over the ropes.

Here’s where things get a little confusing and I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong. According to the book, Wright was the bowler replacing Gregory. I’m pretty sure we didn’t have a Wright in the team that night and that it was the Skipper, Bywater, who took over, and indeed quickly took a wicket in his first over. We should play with a pink ball more often, it could have been the reason Spratley took a blinding catch at the square leg with the ball travelling low and at pace. He even amazed himself.

At 50 for 4 from their first ten overs, Beds seemed to have some control over the game. Strollers turned the tables in the next 10 overs though. Gurr took one wicket in his two overs but after that the Strollers picked up the run rate and made it 126 for 5 from their 20 overs.

So to the Bedouins reply. It was the Smith show at the start with Neill Smith and son JJ opening. Smith N turned out to be the only Bedouins batsman to amass any serious runs. He retired on 33 having batted for a lot of the innings. At the other end JJ’s stay at the crease was somewhat brief.

Susman, in at three, looked to be getting going having hit a couple of fours but then played across the line and was given out LBW. Bywater too had a very brief spell at the crease and even Stanier was struggling to time the ball on a wicket that always seems to cause problems for the Beds batsmen.

Gurr can obviously bat but again he struggled to find the boundary with his 20 runs made of mostly singles. He finished not out but the Bedouins innings died a feeble death with the Stroller’s score never really looking in any danger.

One bright side was the excellent pizzas after the game, which were cooked to order in onsite pizza ovens. Delicious they were, although very filling. Nothing went to waste though, with Gregory last seen trundling back to his car with his kit in hand and a stack of leftover pizza boxes in the other. Waste not want not.

Next we do battle with our old friends from Kinlet. Always a game to look forward to.

A damp start

Bedouins v Oldswinford – 18th May 2022

No result – rain stopped play

You look forward to the first game of a new season, you whip yourself into peak fitness, you revise your knowledge of the Boycott book of batting technique, and what happens. The day of the game starts out warm and sunny but gradually as the clock ticks down towards the start of the play the clouds roll in, the temperature drops, and the light becomes decidedly murky.

So it was for our first game of the season with Oldswinford. Bedouins batted first on wicket with some lively bounce at one end. Branch and Lippitt opened the innings and looked comfortable, Lippitt particularly was in fine form and middling the ball well, despatching it to the boundary on regular occasions and making use of the fast outfield. Branch was first to go for 11, caught deep toward the square leg boundary.

Skipper Bywater came to the crease and found the boundary with 2 fours before being well caught in the gloom towards long on. Hill J strode to the crease and matched Lippitt’s 30 retired. While he was there he saw various partners come and go but none made an great impact on the score.

Gregory and Susman were left at the end to try and up the score and at this point the heavens opened. Bedouins had made it to 105 for 5 from their 20 overs but there looked to be little prospect of Oldswinford being able to fulfill their innings. So with that, the covers come on, the sight screens were dismantled and everyone gathered in the clubhouse for an early tea and some beers.