What does a Badger do on a weekend with no game? Well, it organises a game of course. So early June, we found ourselves playing the Wimbledon Corinthians, a cheery team who play league and friendlies. No-one can remember who won the toss, but the Badgers went out to bat first, with some good bowling taking a toll early on. Cade’s abuse of the scorebook prevents reporting the fall of wickets, but both the openers went early, followed by Cornish from a dodgy bounce. In fact, wickets seemed to fall every couple of overs for a good while, with the Badgers limping forwards like a drunk one-legged pirate. The exception of course was Morsey. Deploying his trademark attention to detail, he combined thrilling shotmaking with deliberate chips to the fielders he had spotted eating olive oil wrapped in butter prior to the game, to bring up remarkably only his third Badger fifty. It wasn’t until six wickets down that he found a partner willing to get into double figures, debutante Hapgood hitting well for 27. However, with Morse and Hapgood out, and the Badgers on only 160, surely it was innings over? But no!! In an outrageous stroke of aggressive captaincy, Blake was promoted to number ten, and told to hit the ball hard. Blake’s natural ebullience came to the fore, with 19 runs from 10, extras played a good hand with 48* and the Badgers finished on 193.
During tea the oppo casually mentioned they had scored 400 in a league match the previous day.
That might have put the wind up some teams when going out to field. Luckily, we are Badgers, with a low centre of gravity and aerodynamic shape. So Blake and Hamblin opened, and Blakey, always known as the least wind-affected Badger, started using his aerodynamic shape also. Three wickets in his opening spell got us off to a great start, and although the opposition were plainly good players, they weren’t used to being three down after six overs, so the nerves started to jangle. Cade took over, with a tight, spinny spell of 6-4-12-2. However, the Corinthians started creeping back in until we unleashed our killer finisher – Mcluskels. Boom! Caught and bowled. Bam! Bowled. Crunch! Another caught and bowled. Eschewing the rest of the team, our left-armed hero took three crucial wickets by himself, clubbing the Corinthian revival like a baby seal. Rory span out the last one, and the Badgers were home by 64 runs, our top notch fielding and bowling laughing in the face of a team who scored 400 yesterday.
Classic Badgering really – dodgy batting performance, good bowling, and getting a win against a good team. Oppo were a nice bunch, and I fear they could score rather more if given a chance, so we should play them again. Man of the match went to someone, can’t actually remember who, but they definitely thoroughly deserved it.