On yet another scorching Saturday in a sun-kissed summer, the Badgers arrived in Wandsworth inspired by England's triumph that morning over India in the First Test. A legspinner whose effectiveness had been widely questioned had come good in the end - but more on that later.
After winning the toss and batting on a wicket whose bounce was variable throughout, Clokey made a typically gritty 40 while Rory and then Cornish showed slightly more fluency at the other end against some disciplined but pedestrian bowling. That all changed when Sinjun's broad shouldered, rock star fast bowler arrived a good hour after the start of play and was immediately brought into the attack. After a spicy first over in which Cornish unfurled a glorious cover drive for 4, he struck with a short ball that stuck in the pitch and was spooned to mid off - the Aussie gone for a fine 59.
Even better was to come though. After an entertaining innings from Steve which included a top edged six over third man, and ended when he was run out by substitute fielder Martin R, Rhori and Robin came together with 200 on the board and barely eight overs remaining. Carnage ensued. Sinjun's lesser bowlers were carted to all corners, and when the openers returned they were given the same treatment, with Rhori bringing up a fine maiden century and Robin a round 50 at a strike rate over 200. The unbroken partnership of precisely 100 killed off the game, ensuring the Badgers could enjoy a hearty lunch in the attic bar of the pavilion between innings.
During the Sinjun's response wickets fell regularly, despite the best efforts of their opener who made a fine 96. The number five offered the most sustained support, but hadn't reckoned on Martin R's wily fast bowling - four overs in the channel two feet outside leg stump were followed by the variation ball that pegged back off stump. After three lower order wickets for Rory the skipper decided it was time to even things up a bit / hammer the final nail in the coffin, and introduced his own occasional legspin. An interesting call, but Clokey proved the doubters wrong in Rashid-esque fashion by landing the big fish and getting another wicket for good measure, Sinjun's defeated by 135 runs despite another cameo in opposition colours from Martin R.
The win was celebrated in fitting fashion with a few beers while reclining on the lush outfield, as the sun sett on a fine day for the Badgers.