For an established cricket club that have been operating as long and successfully as the Battersea Badgers have, there is a small risk of entering a phase of terminal decline. Fortunately for the Badgers (but to a lesser extent, Clokey), the only aspect of the club entering terminal decline is Clokey’s groin. Even more fortunate for the Badgers is the number of eligible players in the team with ‘captaincy skills’ who can fill in. From previous experience, ‘captaincy skills’ are largely defined as:

  1. Having a car to lug the team kit bag around and
  2. Having an infectious love for pubs that can be utilised as an incentive to finish games off

Step forward Jim ‘Rhino’ Hamblin. The magnitude of his passion for the Badgers is comparable to the enormity of his biceps – a quality he reminded everyone of by wearing a sleeveless shirt to the game and clutching an unnecessarily large volume of water bottles that transformed his arms into cannons capable of bringing down entire continents.

Such firepower alone is not sufficient to down opposition teams. The Badger supporters complement the team in the same way that Nick Foord complements BBQs – the BBQ would probably still go ahead without him but his presence takes things to a different level. Many thanks must go to the contingent who travelled down to Dundonald Recreation Ground that day including Jim’s mum, Anna, Bron, Lucy, Sofia and Lucia.

The choice was obvious after winning the toss given the hot, Saharan-esque conditions: Bat first (to give batsmen 3 – 11 to top up their tans and catch up on some sleep).

Obscure cricketing fact #2571: In a limited-overs game, only 2 world-class teams have ever had the ingenuity and audacity to open the bowling with flight and guile – New Zealand (Dipak Patel, 1992 v Australia), Battersea Badgers (Josh Lee, 2016 v Believers).

Kingstonians became the 3rd team in history to do this when they opened the bowling with Terry Jacobs, long-time stalwart to the Badgers. The fear in the Badger opening batsmen (Josh and Laurence) was palpable as the ball took flight in a manner similar to Icarus reaching for the sun before looping down dramatically and consistently finding good length. Laurence’s scalp was claimed at the start of the 6th over as he slashed hard at a ball which sadly found the toe of his bat and landed in the wicket keepers’ gloves.

Josh almost followed suit when, eyes lit up like a fruit machine, he hit a TJ special straight into the air but was granted a small reprieve when the ball slipped through the fielder’s hands.

The Badgers were accruing runs steadily at 5-an-over before Josh (bowled) and Steve Thomas (LBW and no relation to Rory) eventually succumbed to the Kingstonian bowling attack. Rory and Stew Mac, the incumbents, found the Dundonald boundary with ease and cranked up the run rate slightly. Their partnership was robust with Stew ‘Shield of Surrey’ Mac keeping the danger away and Rory unleashing with his trademark baseball-esque backlift.

When the Shield of Surrey was eventually broken, the Badgers were on 168/4 off 29 overs. After removing a small piece of sandpaper that was inexplicably wedged in his collar, Cornish joined Rory in the middle and unleashed his frustration at the lack of Australia’s inability to be awarded any VAR goals in the Peru game. Poor, poor cricket ball.

In the midst of all this carnage, Jim’s golden duck could have gone unnoticed. But it wasn’t. His mother had never seen Jim scoring runs before despite attending several matches and there was no way that Jim would let her down this time.

The Badgers finished on 285 with Cornish and Rhori scoring the last runs. Cornish ended up scoring 82 off not very many balls and Rory made 70.

Tea was magnificent with the highlight being a delicious orange cake lovingly created by Jim’s mum.

After a period of feasting which seemed to never end, the Badgers took to the field. These days, the Badgers tend to know where they like to field. Stew Mac was no exception and planted himself at mid-off. The placement turned out to be spot on. A ball was driven directly at his head and, summoning inspiration from the Icelandic gods and bringing his hands together into a Viking clap over his head, he miraculously produced a cricket ball in his hands.

The old adage of catches win matches never rang truer. When Jinks was summoned to work his magic, he responded by luring the Kingstonian batsmen to hit short balls into the air that landed safely into Steve Thomas’s hands. He also used telekinesis to shift one of the Kingstonians across the off stump and bowled his leg stump. No one really knew how it happened but Jinksy eventually finished with a delicious 5-fer.

It could have been 6: A ball was hit to cow corner landing exactly where Cornish was standing but, with echoes of McLuskey at Velden in 2011, he was sadly (but hilariously) looking the wrong way and the ball landed harmlessly next to him. Fortunately, when another was sent his way a few overs later, Cornish caught it with little hassle to the shout of REDEMPTION from Dollimore.

Josh also joined the catch party taking a low screamer in front of point with a dive that caught the Taiwan football team selector’s eye for the next World Cup. Rhori wrapped the game up with the last wicket securing another victory to continue the Badger’s recent winning ways.

The Badgers retired to the side of the pitch to hoover up the leftover tea, sink a few tinnies and think about how Cornish would have reacted had we been the ones to have our backs to the game and missing a great chance to catch the ball.

Lesson learned: Catches win matches.

Saturday 30th June 2018 Badgers Battersea Badgers vs Kingstonian Kingstonian

Battersea Badgers 285 for 7 (40 overs)

  • Cornish 82 (43)
  • Thomas 70 (51)
  • Lee 37 (50)
  • Mcluskey 24 (43)

Kingstonian 162 for 10 (35.3 overs)

  • Unknown 33 (48)
  • Unknown 32 (53)
  • Unknown 26 (21)
  • Unknown 21 (18)
  • Jinks 5/51 (8)
  • Stein 2/32 (6.3)
Full scorecard
  1. Any colour you like, as long as it’s Kew

    Kew match report 7th May 2021 — by Tom Rex
  2. Soggy bottom costs Badgers the win

    Cincinnati match report 1st Sep 2020 — by Tom Rex
  3. Badgers sizzle in Beddington scorcher

    Beddington match report 1st Sep 2020 — by Tom Rex
  4. Look East

    Interlopers match report 1st Sep 2020 — by Josh Lee
  5. A Winning End to Lock-Downe

    Downe match report 12th Aug 2020 — by Tom Rex
  6. Badgers Goosed by Soaring Ducksmen

    Ducksmen match report 3rd Aug 2020 — by Tom Rex
  7. All Hail Breaks Loose

    Addiscombe match report 26th May 2019 — by Josh Lee
  8. It’s grim up North London

    Arkley match report 4th Sep 2018 — by Peter Cade
  9. Badgers Win by 32 Runs

    Thesps match report 1st Sep 2018 — by Stuart Barker
  10. Two For One

    Eagles and Eagles match reports 12th Aug 2018 — by Peter Cade
  11. Fun in the sun with a ton at Sinjun

    Sinjun 3rds match report 4th Aug 2018 — by Paul Cole
  12. Kingstonians Jinksed by Mystery Balls

    Kingstonian match report 30th Jun 2018 — by Josh Lee
  13. Blockbuster Badgers Down The Thesps

    Thesps match report 13th Jun 2018 — by Josh Lee
  14. The Worst Toilet in Scotland

    Plastics match report 9th Jun 2018 — by Josh Lee
  15. Warmongering in Wimbledon

    Wimbledonians match report 3rd Jun 2018 — by Josh Lee
  16. Clokey are you ok? So, Clokey are you ok? Are you ok Clokey?

    Ripley match report 27th May 2018 — by Josh Lee
  17. The Government steals one!

    HMT/CO match report 24th May 2018 — by Paul Cole
  18. The House of Stewarts/Stuarts

    Believers match report 20th May 2018 — by Josh Lee
  19. An Un-re-"Markle"ble Performance

    Corinthians match report 13th May 2018 — by Josh Lee
  20. Starting with a Bang (and a Hangover)

    Addiscombe match report 21st Apr 2018 — by Peter Cade
Older Articles