- New opponents: The Nomadic Norsemen
- Home ground: Spectacular
- Match tea: BBQ
- Extra features: Broadsword standing proudly in the turf at the boundary edge.
- Overall: All boxes ticked.
Sadly they also proved to be fairly decent at playing the game as well.
A horrendous batting display from the Battersea Badgers consigned them to a disappointing defeat to these first-time opponents. Accurate line and length from the Norsemen proved sufficient as several Badger batsmen left the field bitterly disappointed with themselves.
The Norsemen kicked off proceedings with a solid opening partnership, broken only by the quick thinking of Fish, producing his first of two run-outs. The bowlers probed, the fielders scurried and the spectators encouraged (a bit) but wickets remained elusive.
Fish asked questions with every delivery (some of which were simply requests to the fielders to cease their childish fish puns) and Jinks produced a gem of a slower ball to dismiss the Norsemen number 3. However, it was the introduction of Cloke that caused further wickets to tumble - his flight and guile putting the batsmen in all sorts of trouble. Warman took a couple of decent catches – pretending to misjudge the second one in order to make it seem more impressive – and the Norsemen closed their innings on 162/9.
And then it was tea. Some teams provide sandwiches. Others provide meat products. Others might opt for cakes. All are gratefully received.
The Norsemen stoked up the BBQ.
Yet perhaps a more meagre tea would have been beneficial to the Badgers. Waddling out to the middle, a lack of intensity and concentration meant that several Badger batsmen returned earlier than desired. There was a glimmer of hope provided by Warman, who cruised to an imperious 28 before losing his wicket, and from Morse, who produced a glorious straight six as part of a watchful 18, but the Norsemen always found a way to break partnerships.
With six wickets down, Cloke joined Morse at the crease. Neither looked in any bother until a disastrous run-out all but ended the chance of a fight-back. One Badger ran, the other did not, and with both batsmen stranded at the same end of the pitch, the Norsemen gleefully removed the bails.
There was still time for Blake to demonstrate his ability to hit the ball very very hard but the Badgers were bowled out 41 runs short of their target.
All in all it was a fully deserved victory for the Norsemen. Hopefully next season there will be an opportunity for the Badgers to provide a better account of themselves. Another BBQ wouldn’t go amiss either.