The Captain's email said meet promptly at 12.30pm for a 1pm start. At precisely 12.59pm the Badgers (save for their ever optimistic skipper) were still in the clubhouse roaring on the Lions to victory against the Aussies (much to Badger Morse's dismay).
Suitably inspired, the Badgers rushed on to the field of play to be told by their leader that he had lost the toss (again) and the Badgers were batting.
With the weather feeling altogether more fit for rugby than cricket, Lee and Cloke set the tone with some gritty forward (defensive) play against Southbank's opening bowlers. Sadly the openers looking to move the run rate on they fell in quick succession, Badgers 22-2. Marchant in next, fell quickly too, and the Badgers were looking a little precarious at 30-3 (the score looking more rugby football than cricket).
They shouldn't have worried though with a powerful second row / back row of Jinks (42), Morse (30), Mackrell (41), and Foord (38) taking the change bowlers on and tucking in. Sadly amongst this flurry of points scoring, Badgers Shone and Barker saw the return of the opening bowlers, which seemed a little unfairly timed and both fell quickly to some mistimed tackles (shots). Momentum was maintained though with the Badger innings ending strongly with some powerfully hit shots by the artful backline of Blake and Dollimore, the latter hitting a big six (notably off the Southbank opening bowler) - a shot expertly placed just over the fielder's head at cow. The size of the shot only being overshadowed by the Badger bowler's big chat about it afterwards.
A team batting display setting Southbank a target of 229 to win.
Tea: a tasty affair back in the clubhouse out of the wind and cold.
And then to fielding. Captain Barker with perhaps the strongest seam attack ever seen in Badger colours opened the bowling with Dollimore and Blake. Tidy overs from them both and Mackrell and Foord led to Southbank on 75-1 off 20 overs - a finely balanced affair at drinks (slice of orange / cup of Bovril anyone?).
Badger fans should not have feared though as, after some attritional overs, Barker, Dollimore and Mackrell weighed in with some wickets. The outcome though was sealed with a rapacious burst from Blake, taking 3 wickets in 4 balls. Although quite what he was thinking (other than jug avoidance) when he bowled a wide wider than a Kurtley Beale penalty attempt on his hat-trick ball is another thing. Southbank finishing their 40 overs on 173 for 7.
So the Barker regime's unbeaten record rumbles on with a Badger win by 55 runs, *only spoilt by no bear sightings.