The 2020 Bails Bash was arguably one of the finest ‘gatherings’ that the Kensham Club & Bradninch Cricket Club has experienced in many, many moons.
Quite superbly set up by Paul Nott, with Steve Birley as the competition manager and umpire and Simon Glendinning — as ever — being a top ‘mine host’ with regard to the Kensham Club bar — it really turned into an occasion to savour.
The event was treated to really special support with no fewer than 11 members of the BCC Ladies’ XI, plus a cluster of eight from Plymtree and countless other crickets — even some making a return to playing after some 20 years away from the cricket square!
Even some rain early on in the day failed to dampen enthusiasm in any shape or form.
As for the action — the official scorecards/results are shown below, but before that, we really must sing the praises of some ‘unlikely/unexpected stars’.
No one was a bigger star than Anna who took what can only be described as a ‘stunning’ catch, a ‘take’ that would surely have graced any level of the game and indeed, at any ground! The same Anna also fielded and bowled well.
But she was not the only BCC lady player to sparkle. Indeed, it would not be wrong to say all eleven of the ladies that took part, played their part! It would also be fair to say that Paula kept wicket better than anyone else all day!
The same, in terms of application and what they gave the occasion, can also be said of the day’s younger players. Twelve-year-old Conrad and teenagers Charlie and James, all made their mark.
At the other end of the age scale, Ollie [Hardy] was still standing at stumps, the Rev Ollie showed uncanny skills with both ball and bat; Hooch rolled the years back with his spin-bowling and Sid batted as if he had been playing the game for the last two decades and not watching on from behind the boundary rope!
And so to the match action
Game 1: Owzat 50-1 bt Castlefords 49-2.
With 12 needed from the final over and ‘Chaps’ the bowler, Rory rifled the sweetest of sixes and that set up a dramatic last-ball winner with Birley scoring the winning run. Owzat’s bowler Anna bowled four dot-balls and claimed one of the wickets for a return of 1-2 while Hooch impressed with two overs for Castleford that saw him return figures of 0-4 from the two overs. Ollie [Hardy] scored 14 for Owzat while Jonny [Reed] sent down five dot balls in one over.
Game 2: Bailers 71 bt Plymtree’ers 43-1
Kate opened the bowling for Plymtree’ers and the first three deliveries of the contest were dot-balls. Indeed, Kate sent down two overs and returned impressive figures of 0-10. For Bailers, the unfortunate Gregg Nott hurt his knee facing the very first ball of the game and sadly was unable to take any further part — though he did have a spell as a top chef on the barbecue.
The key run-scorers for Bailers were skipper Eliot [Acton] with 16 not-out — he thumped the last four balls of the innings over the boundary line while Nick [Acton] became the first batsman on the day to reach the 25-run retirement mark while Fi (another splendid BCC ladies’ XI player) made 11 before retiring with her wicket intact (she also had figures of 1-7 with her bowling).
For Plymtree’ers Dexter made eight and Kate, five, while Ash conceded only two singles off his over while Carrie-Ann had figures of 0-11 from two overs when bowling for Bailers.
Game 3: Bailers 59-2 bt Castlefords 53-5
Plenty of wickets fell in game three. Once again, Carrie-Ann starred with the ball with her return being 2-9 from two overs and Fi again bowled four dot-balls in a single over.
For Castleford, Chaps slammed a big six before holing out and Fi again got amongst the runs with eight. The Rev Ollie sent down four dot-balls in a splendid over that saw him finish with figures of 1-1 while Ash also sent down four dot-balls in his (0-2 over).
Bailers got home with an over to spare with the Rev Ollie unbeaten on 10, Sid retired not out nine and Eliot, who hit a six to win the game, was not-out 11.
For Castleford, in terms of their bowling, Amy only went for four runs in her over while Jonny [Reed] again impressed with the ball – as did Hooch who only went for four runs in his over.
Game 4: Owzat 69-3 by Plymtree’ers 57-3
Six more wickets in this contest which saw a truly explosive start with Rory rifling 24 of the 26 scored off the opening over of the Owzat innings! Rory then retired one ball into the second over!
Louisa (4), and Rob (6) contributed before Will hit 15 retired as Owzat closed on 69. Charlie [Piper] bowled superbly for his figures of 1-5 and 12-year-old Conrad did ever so well with the ball too, his figures being 1-5 and Heather only went for four in her over.
When Plymtree’ers batted Charlie [Piper] was the star of the show slamming one ball into the bowling green as he made 26 before retiring. Dexter chipped in with seven and James hit five. For Owzat, Louisa was on a hat-trick after hitting the stumps with successive deliveries and went on to send down two overs for her return of 2-12, while Anna not only took that stunning aforementioned catch but also returned figures of 0-7 with four dot balls.
Bailers 93 bt Owzat 91
Fittingly, for the final, this contest served up the most runs on the day. Bailers batted first and Rory again reached the retirement score unbeaten, this time on 26 while Chris [Acton] also retired, in his case after scoring 27. Will also was unbeaten on 16.
For Bailers, Carrie-Ann sent down an excellent opening over, only going for eight when bowling at the big-hitting pair of Rory and Chris. A target of 92 looked a daunting one, but Bailers reached halfway without losing a wicket and with 38 on the board. Ash was on 23 when he slammed a six to retire on 29 while Eliot retired on 28 and it was left to the Rev Ollie (11no) and Nick [Acton] (7no) to see their side to victory with three balls to spare.
And so Paul Nott acted as master of ceremonies thanking all for being part of such a special day before handing over to his Dad, club president Roy Nott, to hand the winners trophy over to his grandson, skipper of the Bailers, Eliot Acton.
A wonderful day – enjoyed by all and here’s to similar in 12 months time.