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Having won the first four games of the season, the Badgers headed into the first South London Ashes encounter of 2015 full of confidence. However, without the services of Captain Mackrell, who was otherwise engaged becoming a ninja, the Badgers were forced to call upon VC Cole to lead the team out, aiming to provide the same fighting spirit as Black Belt Mackrell. Initial signs were positive, as the Badgers won the toss and bravely took to the field in awful conditions: constant drizzle, dark clouds, cold winds and a damp pitch (salvaged only by a year’s supply of Badger sawdust from Big Red) and two early wickets saw King’s Road fall to 9/2. Then, an unknown figure with an Australian accent strode to the middle – an even more ominous sight than watching Robin break bricks with his bare hands!

The Aussie in question, who the Badgers only later discovered went by the name of Sam Lavender (he was that mysterious!) proceeded to rip the Badgers bowling attack to shreds, and with the exception of a spilled slip catch off the huff and puff seam bowling of Cole, played out a chanceless 92. He was joined at the crease by a much more familiar face, by the name of Matt Glover, who decided that moving to league cricket wouldn’t rule him out of every King’s Road fixture, and conveniently smashed 29 off 18 balls before being castled by the brave Dollimore, the pick of the Badger bowlers, with figures of 3-38. Dolli was backed up by plucky spells from Foord and Cade (the latter inevitably claiming the scalp of another left hander) as The Road finished on 198 from their 40 overs. A good total, but not a single Badger in the sett felt it wasn’t gettable as they took shelter in the pavilion for tea.

The Badgers reply got off to a calamitous start, and before long there were four Badgers in the hutch with the score only on 24. The highlight of the wickets (or maybe lowlight?!) was the farcical run out of Thorpe. “Yes, No, Wait, Maybe, Yes, F**k” were just a selection of the words exchanged between he and opening partner, Cloke, in the seconds that led up to the incident, which saw Thorpe dismissed for the dreaded “Platinum Duck”. However, it was not all doom and gloom, and when Morse and Thomas were at the crease, Badger hopes increased and a 50 run partnership saw the score ascend to 114-5. Plenty of batting to come and no issues with run rate, especially with the swashbuckling Morse in full flow. Thomas was combining majestic forward defensive strokes – “that made Josh Lee’s look ugly” – with some ferocious hitting in a career best knock for the Badgers. Eventually falling for 35, it brought the Badgers the impetus they so badly needed and Nick Foord was in no mood to let the momentum slip, clearing the pavilion roof with one lusty heave over cow corner. But as is their wont, the Badgers, succumbed to the “pie chuckers” that King’s Road were serving up, as well as some more legitimate beguiling spin from Lomas Persad – who finished with crazy figures of 3-2-1-2 – and Foord’s dismissal triggered a late collapse that saw the Badgers fall 44 runs short, on 154.

Captain Mackrell came to watch just as the Badgers collapse started. Should we read something into that? Did he jinx us with his new Ninja powers? As diplomatic as ever, Captain Cole could only blame the weather, as he retreated into the pavilion, shivering – despite wearing two jumpers and a jacket – wondering what might have been.

Sunday 31st May 2015 KRCSC Kings Road Cricket and Social Club vs Badgers Battersea Badgers

Kings Road Cricket and Social Club 198 for 7 (40 overs)

  • Lavender 92 (90)
  • Persad 31 (42)
  • Glover 29 (18)
  • Dollimore 3/38 (7)

Battersea Badgers 154 for 10 (35 overs)

  • Morse 42 (37)
  • Thomas 35 (44)
  • Foord 32 (22)
  • Rossi 3/29 (6)
  • Persad 2/1 (3)
  • Small 2/22 (6)
Full scorecard
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