There are fewer acts of kindness in the world than when cricket teams of high repute with excellent facilities host the Badgers for a game of cricket. The only act kinder is when they invite us back again ... and again. Thank you Ripley Cricket Club.
Some would speculate that Badger-stalwart-cum-Ripley-local Stewart McCluskey has some part to play in this. However, this becomes difficult to believe when you witness his oral explosions following a near / actual wicket off his bowling (e.g. "Why can't you hit the ball properly?", "That's right, go back and sit down" etc.). To be fair, he has recently been diagnosed with Tourette's, the same condition which has blighted most of Australia's cricket populous.
Some cricket teams (e.g. England) will do whatever they can to avoid playing when the weather is forecast to be blisteringly hot. Not the Badgers. Not even a night out on the sauce. Enter Pete Cade, clutching a puke bin, looking relieved to no longer be in a moving car. Paul Cole remains the only Badger to have made an offering to the chunder gods in another Badger's car.
Anyway, it was hot ... so hot. The Badgers were put into the field and struggled. Ripley's batsmen found the boundary with ease. The long grass at long-off helped a bit, but not enough. One by one, Badgers failed. First, Pedro blew his hamstring (wearing deck shoes to field, whilst stylish, is not advisable). Then, Clokey pulled his groin (but not before throwing his best Michael Jackson impression). Josh Lee came close to overtaking the leader of the all time sweatiest Badgers but fell short. Ripley eventually reached 200 runs from 35 overs. Shoney, on his comeback tour, took 4-33.
In response, the Badgers could only reach 182 runs despite a late flurry of runs in a show down between the Badger tail of Stew Mac & Pedro and Ripley's tail end bowlers. Batting highlights included a resolute 40+ by Laurence featuring some exquisite shot making and a Stew Mac 6 which made grown men cry.
Lesson needed to be learned by the Badgers: How to bat against good bowling.