On a cold and blustery day, the Badgers succumbed to their first defeat of the season, edged out by the Thespian Thunderers in a low-scoring game. A target of just 117 should have caused no problems but a steady procession of wickets meant that Battersea’s finest were bowled out for exactly 100.
With several regulars down in Brighton for Dolli’s stag, it was a much-changed eleven that took to the field. And while Dolli and co were dressing up as cacti and examining Jinks’ horrendously bruised body, the remaining players set about dismantling the Thespian batting line-up.
Runs proved in short supply on a wicket more suspect than Cadey’s clammy hands and none of the Thespian batsmen were able to exert their authority on the innings. Things went from bad to worse for them at the introduction of Tom Rex to the attack, whose bowling proved pure dino-mite. Playing his first game for the club and accompanied by a chorus of weak dinosaur puns, T-Rex roared his way to figures of 4/7 off 5 overs and left the Thunderers teetering on the verge of extinction.
Enter Josh Lee to push them over the edge. Best-known for his trademark roar of laughter at the fall of every wicket, the Aero Emperor suddenly found himself with an opportunity to become the architect of his own mirth. After clean-bowling his first victim, he had the next batsman caught the very next ball. Alas, the hat-trick script did not go Lee’s way but he returned a few balls later to grab his third.
On to the Badger innings. With the delicious opening partnership of the Mackrell brothers striding to the crease, the lower order could have been forgiven for putting their feet up and lighting their victory cigars, toasting a job well done. However, tight Thespian bowling meant that few Badger batsmen remained at the crease for long. Only Hamblin provided any form of genuine resistance, unsettling the bowlers with some attacking stroke-play and a seductive grin. The Badgers edged along until they were just 18 runs short of victory but as Hamblin’s innings was ended, so too was the match.
Lee’s new obsession with the Periscope app had provided entertainment for the hungover stags in Brighton, but it was those in cricket whites who, like Dolli, ended the day sore, tired and with a little less dignity than they had started.