Tuesday 17 July 2012

BHCC v Cafe du Paris

Sunny weather at Babington, unheard of this year. Having been put in to bat, we knew it was going to be hard work, as in the 1950s it could only be described as a sticky wicket. Many thanks to Clive for ensuring a game in what can only be the worst summer on record. Mark Gunning and Mark Coxon-Tenty were met by the opening bowler Mr Bailey, who was otherwise known as Bill (his real name is Steve). All three are teachers - off work until September! It was proving difficult to bat, but Mark G was bowled by a beauty from Bill Bailey, that hit the seam outside off stump and jagged back between bat and pad to hit the top of middle and leg. Sherring came in and looked on form, until Barran decided to put himself on. It was too much for Sherring, one massive sweep of the bat - ball missed the off stump by an inch and nearly stumped, he went for another huge hit - this time the ball hit off stump. Johnny has the longest run up to ball speed ratio in the world, coming off at least 20 paces, he manages 54 mph, as he told us from the bowling gun at Lord's. That is the pace of Shane Warne's slower one! However, as has been proved again and again, bowling dibbly dobblies gets wicket at Babington, Johnny getting 3 wickets. Phil de Glanville, James and Nick Mackenzie followed, their natural game is hit each and every ball to the boundary - this is not a wicket to get on the front foot and drive, but they scored quickly. Matt Ellis and Mark Cadbury followed quickly falling to the very accurate Dan Lewis-Williams, who has played for Millfield 1st X1 and is on Glamorgan's books. Barran eventually hurt a muscle in his back, one he didn't realise he had, with his slower ball - can you believe it. He comes storming in from 20 paces, let's out a huge grunt, like a tennis player, and pretends to be putting everything into it, for the ball to go down the wicket at about 35 mph. It was painful to watch but also for Johnny's back. The star of the show for Cafe du Paris was Al Mackenzie, who was brought along and substituted for Mike Rowan who couldn't be arsed to turn up. Al is James's youngest - at 13 years old be looks a fit rugby player, but also bowls for Wiltshire and is the No. 4 bat for them as well. He bowled briskly and accurately, getting his father caught behind by Marcus Codrington (the man of Mongoose fame). The bizarre nature of the game became apparent, when James high-fived his son, joining in the celebrations of losing his wicket, with the opposition. Tollworthy, Harry Cadbury and Peter Catarinella managed to get us to 130 all out, with 3 overs not used of our 35, criminal really. Our turn to bowl. Catarinella and Coxon-Tenty opening up bowling the first 14 overs, both wanting to carry on as they might seize up later, as is the nature of our ageing side. Both bowled very tightly, conceding only 32 runs off their 14 overs, with Peter getting 2 wickets. Tollworthy coming down the hill and Sherring up the hill, again the bowling was tight, but we desperately needed a lack of pace on this wicket - the leg spin of Gilfillan would have been unplayable. Sherring bowled 5 good balls an over and one full toss - which went for 4 most times, conceding only 26 run in 7 overs. We needed a wicket. The left-handed No. 5 Stringer (also a very good keeper) was hitting the bad ball to the boundary. He was being joined by Lewis-Williams who scored quickly for 17 before being caught on the boundary by Nick Mackenzie. Nick has got a huge throw, some 80 yards or so to the top of the stumps and having him on the boundary was a real deterrent. This was the champagne moment, Lewis-Williams launching the ball towards the boundary and Nick taking a catch so nonchalantly at full pace it was a pleasure to watch such a young athlete. Unlike yours truly, who managed to drop 2 catches, only for the batting protagonist to be out in the next few balls. Mark Cadbury bowled some spin, if you can call it that from the top end, conceding 17 off 6 overs and one LBW, until his seventh over when the chips were down and Cafe du Paris needing 6 an over - it went for 12! It was all but over with Nick and James Mackenzie bowling the last few overs really tightly, and with 2 balls to spare Barran's team got over the line. Many thanks to Matt for organising an excellent game that ended up being close, but I think we were just happy to finish only the third game of Babington's cricket season.

Friday 1 June 2012

BHCC v Mendip Nomads - 24th May 2012 - Match Report

At the third time of asking, with the sun shining and the ground looking fantastic, the BHCC season got under way with a new fixture against the Mendip Nomads - a team made up of various disbanded local teams and put together by Babington's Steven Priscott and friend of the club Simon Hubner. The mind games got under way from the start with Priscott requesting an "old school" declaration match and putting Babington into bat after winning the toss. The innings got off to the worst start possible with Mark Meadows being given out LBW off the first ball from Dunkerley - a brave decision from the umpire with ball moving around and striking the front pad - made worse by the fact there were 12 people in the field and so should have resulted in a no ball and the batsmen being re-called. Chester Ellis followed, also bowled by Dunkerley, in the 3rd over and then Matthews and De Glanville steadied the ship taking the score to 63 before Mathews (15) was bowled by Priscott who was mixing it up with various slower balls and off cutters. This wicket brought Sinfield to the crease who looked like he had never been away hitting the ball hard and true to various parts of the ground. The score now accelerated to 145 when De Glanville (25) was beautifully bowled by Nick Gracey. David Sheridan now came to the crease and steadied the ship supporting Sinfield to reach 59 before he holed out to a fielder on the boundary - the innings had a ton written all over it before that shot but a great innings none the less. Matt Ellis joined Sheridan who eventually went for 34 followed by Ellis who also scored a solid 34. Tollworthy (15 not out) and Midgely (11 not out) saw off the last overs before tea both hitting big sixes. After much niggling from Priscott about when we were going to declare Matt Ellis did declare at tea but it was noted that the Nomads had only managed to bowl 34 overs in the 2.5 hours play for BHCC to reach a good total of 238 runs. After a great tea on the lawn in front of the house the Nomad's got their innings under way just after 5pm but not before Weale and Sinfield had been "warned" by the umpire after the General complained there was too much chat - we were only discussing the quality of the tea! Tollworthy opened the bowling steaming down the hill in his usual fashion and the theme of the field settings was quickly established as he found the edge of the opening pairs bats time after time. At one point we had 7 people marshaling the slip cordon/3rd man area. With the majority of runs coming from the edge of bat and with a quick outfield the Nomads reached 30 runs in pretty quick time before Peter Catrinella was rewarded with 2 wickets after consitently bowling a good line and length up the hill. Tolloworthy toiled away at the other end but was not rewarded for some really good quick bowling. Catrinella and Meadows were involved in a Run Out (great gather by Catrinella) before Chester Ellis (after being coaxed on to bowl by his father) took a wicket. Weale then picked up 3 wickets (after the Captain had stuck with him after a couple of loose overs) getting the ball to swing around a bit and including the wicket of Priscott plumb LBW - he is probably still moaning now!. Meadows then came on for a bowl to make up for his short innings picking up a wicket and Matthews could have had the game wrapped up had Weale not done his usual and dropped a high one out on the boundry - very predictable! Hubner batted strongly at the end for a good 36 before Catrinella brought the innings to an end with a another couple of wickets and 7 overs to spare. A good start to the season with the Captain getting everyone involved in the game, on a beautiful day and on a much improved pitch. Men of the Match - Sinfield for his near perfect 59 and Catrinella for his figures of 7.5 - 1 - 29 - 4 Champagne Moment - Priscotts face when given LBW !

Monday 28 May 2012

Babington House enjoyed a winning start to the 2012 season with an convincing victoty over Stephen Priscott's Mendip Nomads. On the most joyous of days, Babbers' batted first and racked up 230 odd with Nick Sinfield top scoring with 60. The Nomads were no match for the stella bowling attack of Ben Tollworthy, Ed Weale and Peter Catrinella (among others)only managing around 120 odd. A full report has been promised courtesy of Ed Weale and I await his prose which will no doubt be of the calibre of Cardus!!!!

Tuesday 15 May 2012

2012 Season Now Upon Us

The 2012 season has inevitably stalled due to the dreadful weather and the first two matches were cancelled. However, a strong list of fixtures remain and with the heavens brightening Babington will need to field some strong sides in the months to come. Each fixture has been ascribed a match manager and we ask that all players notify them of their availability as soon as possible; scrabbling around for players at the eleventh hour is no fun for anyone!!! Opposing captains are encouraged to keep an eye on this Blog for updates and news and we all look forward to welcoming players old and new to our delightful ground. In case of any problems, please feel free to call me on 07793 293 417 anytime. Andrew Pinnell

Monday 22 August 2011

BHCC v Free Foresters - Match Report

Babington’s last fixture of 2011 resulted in a drubbing at the hands of the Free Foresters who fielded perhaps the strongest side we have faced for a number of years. Traditionally an all day affair, at one point it looked a distinct possibility that we would not survive until lunch after electing to bat on a genuine ‘sticky wicket’. Given our batting line-up, finding ourselves struggling at 56 for 5 was a disappointment and only served to heighten the Foresters desire to avenge a comprehensive winning draw last year.

It all started so well with Mark Cadbury and Mark Coxon-Tenty looking composed as they adjusted to the slow pace of the pitch. Indeed, Cocko launched a straight six into the trees and all seemed well with the world and the middle order settled into their deck chairs to watch a gentle pre-lunch batting master class. High hopes were soon dashed when Cocko was caught in any number of minds to a short ball outside off-stump which he proceeded to punch without conviction into the hands of short cover. Groans in the cheap seats, but there was worse to come.

Mike Rowan smacked a couple of fours before pulling too early and Rupert Morgan inexplicably missed a full bunger; Steven Priscott and Mark Cadbury both let their impatience get the better of them and before I knew it, I was at the crease trying to ignore the banter from the Foresters’ players behind the stumps. Some of it funny, but most puerile, I have always found that the best way to silence these guys is to smack the living daylights out of the ball and try and regain a semblance of honour with a flashing blade.

A early six over mid-wicket and a couple of whacks through the V at least proved we could bat a bit, but the loss of Matt Ellis bowled through the gate was the catalyst for more chit-chat. Chris Player attacked from the outset and we at least took lunch with eighty-odd on the board and the prospect of pushing on in the afternoon.

A superb lunch of chicken and all the trimmings was served in the Log Room and I encouraged the Foresters’ to stuff their faces knowing that we had to score quick runs straight after. Chris was the perfect foil for a while and his no-nonsense approach enabled us to at least get the board moving. The spinners were obliging and it was fun to ‘milk’ them for a few overs bringing up a personal fifty in the process.

Once Chris was out, there was no option but to attack and a few half trackers sailed over the boundary supplemented by a few genuine cover drives not seen since the heady days of 1986 according to Cocko. It had to end but I had no idea I was on 99 when attempting to hit another six only to mis-time straight into George Bretton’s buckets at deep mid-off.

Chaos ensued with the Cadbury boys desperate to bat and Mark acting as a runner as we swished our way to 203. From our pre-lunch position this was a reasonable effort but nowhere near enough against the Foresters formidable batting line up. The game was virtually won in ten overs before tea whereby Charlie Stuckley and James Croft rattled off 60 runs in no time. Highly competitive and hugely talented, our bowling was lacklustre and our fielding appalling allowing the openers to take control of the match.

Tea was a spectacular affair with Eton Mess added to the usual mix of scones and sandwiches which only served to further hinder our fielding. We dropped any number of catches and failed the persevering bowlers especially Rupert who bowled with great pace and determination.

With Grant Chandler and Cocko lobbing up their pies we took a few wickets mainly due to the batsman trying to smack the ball out of the ground, rather than any genuine threat.

Croft made a chanceless 77 before giving his wicket away, Stuckley cruised to 46 and Wisset-Warner hit 27 leaving Gibbs (37 no) and Raj Pillai (8 no) to knock off the winning runs in the 35th over. It was the most comprehensive of victories and despite having to take such a hammering squarely on the chin, Babington need to take inspiration from the Free Foresters illustrious history and obvious quality. We have all the ingredients required to re-energise the club in the close season and build on the foundations laid over the past decade or so. If yours truly can still score 99, then anything is possible!

Babington House – 203 All Out
Free Foresters – 204 for 4

Free Foresters Won by Six Wickets

Man of the Match – James Croft for a great all round bowling display.

Champagne Moment - Eton Mess for Tea - what luxury!!!
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