Suited, booted and flamboyantly orange tied to celebrate their 100th game of cricket, King’s Road were in a buoyant mood before the start of this momentous South London Ashes encounter – the first in the 2013 series.  The sun was shining brightly, the champagne was on ice.  Even a few WAGS had turned up to watch.  It was a true English summer’s day.  Gentlemen as they are, despite not being dressed as smartly, the Badgers even had the decency to mark the occasion with a guard of honour for their arch rivals before the start of play.  However, despite this sporting gesture, the Badgers weren’t in a respectful mood.  Nor had they come to party.  No, no, no.  Unlike, King’s Road, they had turned up with a job to do and the captain was Barkering orders and motivational speeches as only he can.  The Badgers meant business, and it showed…

The Badgers were boosted by the welcome return of Andrew ‘Thorpedo’ Thorpe.  Almost inevitably, the ‘Sultan of Spin’ made a big impact on the game.  Since his move to Qatar in the autumn, Thorpedo had been starved of action – at least of the cricketing variety – but his rust didn’t show in this swashbuckling batting performance, as he effortlessly dispatched the King’s Road attack to all parts of the ground in a bright and breezy, unbeaten 30.  This excellent knock ensured that the Badgers batted out their overs, which was looking a very unlikely feat when they fell to 76-5 off 19 overs.  A partnership of 35 between Cole and Allen steadied the ship, and then came Thorpe’s heroics as the Badgers posted a useful total of 159.  Not a large enough score to strike fear into even the most jittery King’s Road batter, but runs on the board nonetheless, and a total that was generally considered competitive, especially given how much swing and bounce the King’s Road bowlers had generated on this juicy Haydons Road pitch.

Badgers’ opening pair, Mackrell and Blake, were licking their lips, and not just because of the tasty 100th match party cakes that were provided for tea.  Just as they are so used to doing in their day jobs, they proceeded to teach The Road a lesson.  Playing the role of the Aussie top order in this version of the Ashes, the King’s Road batsmen simply had no answer for the devastating pace, swing and bounce produced by the Badger teachers, who combined to take six wickets for three runs in eight overs.  No, that is not a misprint! Only Glover provided any resistance for The Road, posting an entertaining 40 as wickets tumbled all around him like skittles in the World Ten Pin Bowling Championships.

Never one to miss out on a piece of the action, it was, of course, left to man of the match, Thorpe, to mop up the tail, finishing with a tremendous low catch off his own bowling to dismiss the brave Pittaway, who was the 2nd highest run scorer for The Road despite coming in at number 11.  They were bowled out for a meagre 74 and finished 85 runs short.

Did King’s Road approach this game as more of a party? Or were the Badgers simply too good for them? Either way, the party pooping Badgers managed to comfortably take the lead in the 2013 South London Ashes series.  Shortly after the match finished, the Badgers were challenged to a game of beer cricket.  Curiously, King’s Road provided a much sterner challenge in this format – indeed this beverage fuelled mayhem seemed much more worthy of the ‘Ashes’ title – at least it was a contest! The Badgers’ Fixtures Secretary was taking notes for next time…

Saturday 8th June 2013 Badgers Battersea Badgers vs KRCSC Kings Road Cricket and Social Club

Battersea Badgers 159 for 10 (38 overs)

  • Thorpe 30 (29)
  • Barker 24 (38)
  • Morse 20 (20)
  • Glover 3/22 (6.4)
  • Keating 2/16 (4)
  • Joshi 2/30 (7)

Kings Road Cricket and Social Club 74 for 10 (25 overs)

  • Glover 40 (40)
  • Blake 3/0 (3)
  • Mackrell 3/3 (5)
  • Thorpe 2/27 (6)
Full scorecard
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