Archive for the ‘Dob’ Category

Late News – Typically Rainy Tour Interrupted By Both Shock Cricket Match and a Peruvian Visitor

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

After seeing our traditional Thursday tour opener at Filleigh called off at the eleventh hour due to a water-logged pitch, the Beamers spent Friday cloud-watching and praying to the Devon weather-gods that the Twenty-20 thrash-a-thon at Bratton Fleming would be on.

Things immediately took a turn for the worse on arrival – an overcast day that had threatened rain finally delivered as the skippers left the pavilion for the toss. Thankfully it was but a brief trickle, and as debut-captain I was grateful for the increased moisture in the air which enabled me to win the toss and insert the hosts to bat on a slanty pudding of a pitch, with two incredibly short boundaries.

… the rain stopped just long enough for Peruvian visitor Towser to snap this …

At Frank’s suggestion it was agreed with the oppo that each outfielder would have to bowl 2 overs – the half-truth that we wanted to ensure everyone had a bit of a game having travelled such a distance on tour was put forward in support of the idea, the fact that we had an XI chock full of bowling ability strangely wasn’t.

With Jeremy on the money right from the off, ably supported up by Mark Renshaw coming up the hill, the openers were kept quiet initially although the first change pair of Musso and Joe went for a few as the burly number 2 began to swing the bat in a manner befitting the rural landscape. Luck was on his side, and though the boundaries were initially not being troubled too often, strike was rotated and the scoreboard kept ticking along nicely. Midway through the innings, and with the pitch continuing to prove troublesome for bowlers and batsmen alike with its very slow, very low bounce (not to mention the resolute Jonners behind the timbers), the twin spin attack of Rigby and A&E were called upon to break the opening partnership.

A devastating 4-over spell followed in which Frank struck in his first over to remove the well-set number 1. A&E followed with the type of unplayable Dob for which he is renowned, bamboozling the young number 3 before Frank returned to send the number 4 swiftly back to the pavilion.

Siddo, having dropped a straight-forward catch off A&E 2 overs previously, was quickly offered the chance to redeem himself off his own bowling, but couldn’t make it stick, whilst Beast applied steady pressure from the bottom end, unleashing the trademark roar and taking the fourth wicket of the innings shortly thereafter, at which point Beamers had vague hopes of restricting BF to under 100. I closed the innings with Rob Nic, and although a further wicket fell, bringing the average age of the Beamers wicket-takers down to the lower side of 50, BF finished with 108, with the opener bagging an unbeaten half-century.

A hastily knocked up batting order saw Frank and Joe stride confidently into the gloom to begin the Beamers innings, although the challenge ahead was soon brought into sharp context as Joe missed a straight ball which failed to bounce more than an inch off a shortish length. The next over saw one of the more remarkable pieces of fielding of the season as Frank was caught by an athletic diving catch by BF’s not out opening bat. The jury’s still out on who was more surprised – Frank, the fielder or his BF team-mates.

Less than 3 overs in the Beamers were in trouble at not-many for 2, a situation which hardly improved through 8 further overs of slow accumulation, despite the unsuccessful efforts of Beast to launch the ball to all corners of Devon. Murmurs of concern were growing on the boundary as Beast and I continued to plod our way to 44-2 off 11 overs.

Sensing momentum not so much slipping away as disappearing over the horizon waving the finger, and with plenty of batting to come, the decision was made to up the run rate. A banquet of boundaries followed: I hit a young leg-spinner back over his head and the hedge on the short boundary to earn a much-needed rest as a search party was dispatched to retrieve the ball, Beast struck the same bowler skywards, only to see the boundary fielder hold a steepling catch… then take a step backwards over the rope for another maximum. Failing to recapture the magic of innings-past, Beast made a Captain Oates-like excursion from his crease, Jeremy replacing him as I continued to ‘go aerial’ at the other end.

With a round 30 required from the final 3 overs Jeremy was stumped and replaced by Rob N, and a decent pace bowler was replaced by the successful BF opener, who took it upon himself to prove that although a fine batsman and fielder he may be, the term ‘all-rounder’ was applicable only to his physique. Leaving gaps in the field and placing most of his fielders in the area from midwicket to long-on proved unsuccessful in stemming the flow as the run-rate continued to accelerate, the winning 6 being hit with two balls to spare.

Great thanks must be given to Bratton Fleming, who as well as generously agreeing to the suggestion on bowling restrictions which clearly favoured the touring team, and contributing to a thoroughly enjoyable and ultimately close contest, also provided a decent crowd to watch the match, found time to feed us with a fine BBQ and were generally magnificent hosts.


Beamers in Sinister Return to Form

Monday, September 7th, 2009

A chaotic week of “selection” leading up to August 30th’s hastily arranged game away to Wadhurst Sunday 2nds, with withdrawals on the Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, was not enough to put the 10 Man Beamers off their considerable stride.

After finally finding the ground, winning the toss and electing to bat, a new opening partnership of Maf and Sanjay was going along steadily enough until disaster struck in the form of two “interesting” decisions from Hangman John leaving both openers shaking their heads ruefully and, in Maf’s case, muttering about revenge.

There then followed a period in which The Beamers’ innings entered The Doldrums and became becalmed. Some of this was due to Mr Brett playing himself in typically studiously and some because every time Nick played an attacking shot, it went straight to a fielder. Unfortunately, a period of troubling the scorer by repeatedly asking him merely to place another dot in the scorebook was ended when Nick was about as lbw as it’s possible to be.

Fortunately for the skipper’s blood pressure (always a worry, frankly) Marlon strode to the crease looking as though he meant business and eager to justify his elevation in the order. A combination of elegant shot making, meaty drives and hilarious running between the wickets from Simon, Marlon and Ben saw the Beamers to approximately 170 for 6 – the highlight being Marlon’s 50 which featured a six that cleared two hedges, a road and a grassy knoll before nestling robustly in some nettles, there to be left undisturbed for some later civilisation’s archaeologists to discover.

With 30 minutes or so to go, Albert Pierrepoint joined Rob Nic at the crease with the exhortation from his skipper to express himself (and the exhortation from Maf to go **** himself) ringing in his ears. Luckily, John was listening to me, so he and Rob swung the bat mightily, taking the score rapidly up to 230 before they were called in 5 minutes early.

After a very tasty tea, the Beamers took to the field with some concerns about the very short boundary at one end – a tricky field to defend with one man down? Still, 230 would be enough wouldn’t it? With Rob Nic bowling well down the hill without much luck (apart from dismissing their skipper caught by Maf in the covers off a wide long hop, which qualifies as lucky for any number of reasons I guess) and with John struggling with his radar coming up the hill, the score was mounting steadily and questions were being asked about the lack of bowling support and the early declaration.

As any fool knows, what a team really needs in such circumstances are some left-armers to come on and bowl; luckily we had a couple. Firstly, Gordy replaced John coming up the hill and after a few sighters troubled everyone who faced him and soon dismissed numbers 1 & 3, one to an outstanding catch by Nick at square leg. With three wickets down and things looking a bit more under control, it seemed like a good time for me to say, “Thanks Rob – nice spell” and bring myself on to Dob some down the hill.

Modesty naturally forbids me from reporting how many victims resulted, but with one bowled and one beautifully caught by Mr Brett followed by three stumpings by Ben you can probably work out that it was a reasonable number… With another victim for the on-fire Gordy and Kneeless Nick’s seeing off of their 11 year old and despite some comedy fielding (we didn’t drop a single catch but the ground fielding was terrible at times), The Beamers wrapped up the game in fine style with 15 overs to go and with Wadhurst still nearly 100 runs behind.

Beers, boasts and banter in the bar followed as naturally as John, Marlon and Maf leaving without paying their match fees. Seaford Seagulls? Who are they?


Wall of Spin (c) Demolished in a Game of Two Halves

Friday, June 12th, 2009

After a typically Beameresque opening (The Beamers plus oppo turn up at East Brighton. Spare oppo turn up at Preston Park. Skipper gets phonecall from Musso notifying him about location of spare oppo in case he needs them. Team agree that Musso seems to be losing it. Musso feels negative vibes and phones skipper again to mention an email he sent to spare oppo in March cancelling fixture…), the match started on time at 14:30, with A&E losing the toss and The Beamers being invited to bat by the Southwater skipper on a decent looking pitch in lovely and sunny East Brighton in a 40 overs game.

Scoring proved tricky in conditions conducive to swing against tight bowling and energetic fielding – at least, that’s what was reported by a steady stream of batsmen trooping back to the hutch. With a few wobbles along the way, a steady knock by Pete and some excellent hitting by Billy (40) and Ben (45 no), married with a late flurry of silky strokes by God (regaining his touch delightfully), were taking us towards a defendable total when disaster struck.

No, I’m not referring to Maf’s inability to distinguish between making use of his abilities (his glorious drive for four off his first ball) and being The Entertainer (getting out again swishing across the line a couple of balls later). Even worse than this, the rain clouds which had been threatening to deposit their load on lovely (and now rather less sunny) East Brighton proceeded to do so. So instead of The Beamers’ 151 off 35 overs being Ben and Gordy’s launch pad to something special (and with A&E and Jonners champing at the bit, who knows what glorious heights could have been reached?), it became the target for Southwater to chase.

Imagine the turmoil the skipper felt as the rain clouds cleared and the Southwater openers strode out to bat – our only seamer was Gordy, with the Wall of Spin (c) to follow and a red ball of soap without the rope to bowl with…

But glory be – Golden Arm strikes in the first over (nice catch, Ben) and a victory looks very much up for grabs. Until we realise that we were up against an Oppo Left-Handed Opener Who Could Actually Bat A Bit. As in, had already got three centuries this season. For their first team. Bugger.

In spite of sterling efforts from Gordy and the Wall of Spin (c) in now terrible bowling conditions, the score rose at an alarming rate, punctuated only by another good catch by Ben off Riggers (not the OL-HOWCABAB unfortunately), a couple of close calls and some comedy fielding by the skipper, including a retrieval of the ball from the second tier of the East Brighton terracing which was hopefully not captured on camera. (Am a little concerned that Siddo, watching on the sidelines, may have been packing a Pentax…)

And then. Too little, too late: chaos. With 20 runs to win, the skipper finally acknowledges his responsibility to contribute to the team’s performance and brings himself on. Three overs of Dob generate three wickets (a collector’s item stumping from Jonners, and a couple of good catches from Pete and Billy) and with another Riggers victim (thanks to a wonderful catch from Billy) Southwater were suddenly 6 wickets down – best of all, the OL-HOWCABAB was out for 98.

The scores were level: could The Beamers pull off a miraculous tie?

(Controversially, if we bowled them out, would we even win on fewer wickets lost?)


Southwater win by 4 wickets.