© ITV Pic/Mark Bourdillon
Pom-pom girls go wild as Lower Pampling's star cricketer Leo Henderson wins the match, taking his team through to the CIO Slam tournament semi-final. But later that day, Leo is found dead in the practice area, pummelled by cricket balls...
At the cricket ground, Barnaby is surprised when he encounters his oldDS Ben Jones. Jones introduces himself as Leo's teammate 'Jack Morris' and warns an intrigued Barnaby not to blow his cover. In the dark about Jones' real identity. Winter's hackles are raised. Barnaby learns from Leo's friends, Serena and Elliot Luthando, that fast-paced CIO is not everyone's cup of tea. Council members St John Beachwood and Germaine Troughton, a famous ex-cricketer, hate its vulgarity and plan a village vote to decide whether it stays. Later that night, Jones consoles Leo's widow Melody. An intruder breaks in but Jones fails to catch him. Once Melody goes to bed, Jones finds a bag of cash hidden in Leo's study. Meanwhile, venerable St John makes a phone call asking someone to come home... but who is he speaking to?
Best friends Melody and Serena discuss a special anniversary and later Serena ceremonially places a flower by a tree, marking the trunk with a knife. St John is delighted when a mysterious person shows up. Whilst Kam and Sarah watch the CIO semi-final together, Kam admires Jones' prowess on the pitch. After Lower Pampling's win, Jones is approached by captain Fitz Theara who bribes him to fix the final. Serena returns home to find an anxious Elliot glued to his computer. Upstairs she is spooked by a flower on her bed, but who has left it there? Melody is also frightened when she receives a funeral wreath from an anonymous donor. By the memorial tree, an impatient Fitz waits for someone. Fate deals him a cruel blow when he is stabbed through the heart with a cricket stump...
At the crime scene, Barnaby spots twenty notches on the tree and tasks Winter to find out what happened in the village twenty years ago. Jones comes clean to Barnaby and Winter about his undercover investigation into match-fixing, revealing both Leo and Fitz's involvement. The discovery that architect Elliot Luthando owed Fitz a lot of money puts him under suspicion. When questioned. Elliot confesses his gambling addiction but denies murder. Meanwhile Winter unearths an article about Cilia Troughton, Germaine's daughter, who went missing twenty years ago. Nothing has been seen or heard from her since. But after receiving a strange summons, a terrified Serena and Melody meet at the tree to find Cilia herself there. St John asked her to come home once Leo was dead. Cilia reveals she wanted to scare her former friends as retribution for hounding her out of the village. Twenty years ago they dragged her to the tree to torment her for having an affair with Leo. Germaine has a painful reunion with her daughter as Cilia explains she rejected her when she needed her most. Hot on Cilia's trail, Barnaby deduces that she was pregnant with Leo's son who she later gave up for adoption, but who else knew?
The village buzzes with excitement for the final of the CIO tournament. An undercover Jones closes in on the match-fixing ring and is shocked to discover that team manager Wade McMaster is the brains of the outfit. With the scam now fully exposed, Jones prepares to play cricket but moments before, he is kidnapped by the killer. A vital clue comes to light and Barnaby realises who murdered both victims. But as the clock ticks down, can Barnaby and Winter save Jones before he's bowled out?
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