BEDMINSTER 2S BLOWN AWAY AT THE “ THE NETHAM”
FANTASTIC REAR GAURD ACTION HELPS SALVAGE MAXIMUM BATTING POINTS
On a glorious Saturday in May we arrived at the clanage to scenes of lush green grass, true outfields, flat batting wickets, and a club house buzzing with the build up to the Royal wedding, the FA cup final and Nicky Jones famous Teas, not to mention a bar full of home grown clanage allotment mint , Havana special rum & fresh limes ready for “The Bemmi Mojito night”, & it was only then that it really sunk in that the troops must be rallied for a trip to “THE NETHAM”.
Now this place “ THE NETHAM”, was aptly named after a Clingon war ship for good reason.
It was the home of Bristol Pakistanis CC who have destroyed this league for 2 years running but not been allowed promotion due to the condition of their ground being more in keeping with a scene from the walking dead, however, that aside, we drove there in the hope that things may have changed there and with a completely open mind.
“Watta Mistaka to Maka”.
On arrival I felt immediately as if a day of my life was about to be stolen away from me and I must say I was not wrong.
I was met by a couple of lonely Pakistani players, who were wheeling a home made sight screen across the middle of the square, & as I jestfully suggested that “this was not cricket” they looked at me as if I were talking in my native Greek tongue. I went on to suggest they give John Knapp a call to explain the finer detail of ground etiquette to which they replied “no thank you sir we like playing cricket in April”.....
A short while later we were warming up in a mish mash of terrible unofficial club kit, only to find a concoction of different contraband at extra cover, discovered by Vikash Patel with his MOD sniffer dog senses, which unfortunately was to be his biggest score of his day.
It must also be mentioned that on several occasions Billy Big Time Hughes, wearing his finest MCCU shorts made his feelings on his new surroundings clearly known, by quickly hiding his bees wax polished espadrilles in the boot of his classic MG, hastily swapping them for a pair of sandals which were far more befitting of the environment that 1s skipper Cunliffe had dumped him into, (after basically being the second most consistent performer with the bat in the 1s this year) not to mention the only Bedminster CC member with a first class ton to his name (so he tells us).
Another hammer blow was also delivered when Cunliffe’s love child Shabbeer decided that his local knowledge of the Netham had quickly aggravated an old shoulder injury. (Clearly a ploy I wish most of my bowlers had used to evade this fixture.)
Shabeer has since requested he be released by the club to go into bigger better things e.g Ashton park school playing fields or better yet the Stoverton Pitt Pavilion.
Having lost the toss and been asked to field on what looked to be a tricky deck, with a couple of delicious sight screen wheel marks on a length and a turnip weed in a similar spot the other end, the Bedminster bowling attack set about their work.
Lewis Mason was without a doubt the pick of the bowlers squeezing every bit of help out of the conditions, the deck and his soul, making the Pakistani top order work for ever run, & was superbly aided for his 2nd wicket by McCormack who for a second week running took what can only be described as a world class grab, 1 handed and imitating Strauss in the Ashes he flew like gazelle to dismiss the Pakistani pro who really will never know how unlucky he was.
With the Bedminster boys on top at 34-2 from 8 overs and the on fire Mason coming to the end of his 1st spell, the annihilation began.
From here on in the lads continued to bowl everywhere but a good length demonstrating their full repertoire of wides, no balls, 4 balls and 6 balls and this was gloriously supported by dropped catches, miss fields and T pots.
The next breakthrough came from young Drissells stock ball (a massive long hop) & got us to 167-3 at 20 overs which still gave us a glimmer of hope, but this was quickly squashed as Filer bowled 17 slower ball bouncers in a row with the 18th ball a head night full toss that went for 7.......
Although 7th bowler Shane Tryfonos was able to pick up a five for, with a superb spell of bowling under the circumstances, utilising his trade mark double bouncer to great effect, lulling the Pakistani batters in to a false sense if security, it was all becoming a bit too much for him to handle, having to watch the Shean Bros spill two of the most simple catches in the history of the game only for Shean Jnr to give the excuse that he thought the batsman was going to run over him.....
At 366 for 9 of 49 overs there was only 1 man still looking for a bowl and yes Patel took the ball for his first league over since 1994, quickly trapping the batsman plum in front with his second ball, which was very quickly and extremely unfairly given not out, followed by a torrent of abuse from Patel (in Urdu), and then a huge 6 back over his head, however it was the Indian spin wizard Patel who had the last laugh with a 4th ball wicket to end the innings.( I feel he was the only Bedminster player laughing at this point).
So off to Tea, and at the height of Ramadan our expectations were low, however we were proven too quick to judge by a delicious array of sarnies and cakes which went a long way to boosting the team moral, which I must admit was at rock bottom having fielded for nearly 4 hrs in the heat, chasing balls round St George with 6 players announcing their retirement during the innings.
So to open the batting Hughes and Greek got us off to a moderate start, fending of some vicious pace from the Pakistani openers who bowled excellent areas and stuck to their job well, when at 75-0 and having seen off one of the openers Greek decided to dolly a full bunger to cover.
Hughes however playing for his 1st team place was so desperate to not play in the 2s for second week running, went on at good pace taking the other opener for 25 in an over & reaching his 50 in just 52 balls, unfortunately he could go no further as he guided one to the keeper off the face of the bat for in a rather average manor.
After Hughes, there was pretty much no resistance from the middle order who flaked to 147-8 in a truly embarrassing display of batting, reminiscent of 2 years ago when the side were relegated, however Mawer and Drissell came to the crease with other ideas, together the pair against all odds put on a 50 partnership, gaining Bedminster maximum batting points and helping the side reach 209, and some air of respectability, before the opening bowler came back on to take the wickets of Drizzel (18) and Mawer (47) who’s rear guard efforts could prove invaluable come the end of the season.
Bedminster CC all out for 223 in a day that will haunt me for ever !!!!!