Battersea Badgers continued their winning start to the season with a nail-biting one-wicket victory against Southbank. Half-centuries from Cornish and Hamblin rocketed the black and white legends towards the opposition total but a flurry of wickets meant that last man Thomas was still required to strap on his pads to seal a thrilling win.
Invited to bat first, Southbank looked dangerous early on until ‘Tasty’ Stew Mcluskey ripped the heart out of their top order. In a crucial passage of play, he cooked up a series of mystery balls, each one different to the one that came before it. Two wickets apiece for Hamblin and Foord also helped to put the brakes on the Southbank innings but further accumulation and some late lusty blows moved their final score to a respectable 217/7.
In reply, the Badgers very quickly found themselves two wickets down, leaving the next batsmen with the job of consolidating and rebuilding. Most players might attempt this by nudging a few singles and generally protecting their stumps. Cornish did this by smashing a load of sixes. When he was finally prised from the crease, he had amassed 74 from 37 balls, including 7 fours and 6 maximums. He also left the field nursing some very hurty testicles, having been struck on the box shortly after the start of his onslaught.
Perhaps it was this diversion of blood supply from brain to bulge that led to the untimely demise of Jinks, run out when called through by his partner for a risky single. This in itself might have escaped comment were it not for the fact the very same fate befell ‘The Cat’ when batting with Cornish’s Antipodean partner in crime, Morse, in the previous game against Southbank. Thankfully Mr Jinks is not one to dwell on his dismissals and he will almost certainly have forgotten this incident by the time they next bat together.
In amongst all this ball-busting and run-outery there was still a game on. Further wickets fell, leaving the Badgers on a very precarious 137/7 and only a fine partnership between Hamblin and Dollimore prevented early Badger showers. With Dollimore nudging and nurdling at one end, Hamblin got his thang on at the other, smashing 52 from 36 deliveries. The score moved on to 202 but two more dismissals meant that Thomas arrived at the crease with 2 runs required for victory, 1 wicket remaining and Dollimore stranded at the other end. Always keen to entertain the crowd, he wafted at his first couple of balls before deciding enough was enough and glancing a stylish two to win the game.
The Badgers scraped home and beers were enjoyed at Clokey’s mystery brewery bar that actually proved to be pretty good.