Match Reports – Season 2014
This page holds the match reports for all games played during the 2014 season. The links below provide a direct route to the report for each game plus access to the reports for seasons from 2000 to the present. It is also possible to link to them from the associated rolling results page entries and I hope to extend that facility to include all of the historical results pages, once I’ve figured out the best method of doing so.
Unless otherwise noted both summary and full match reports were written by your host and webmaster, Steve Pitts, as were all editorial comments and statistical notes. For reasons that are now lost in the mists of time, the reports are laid out in reverse chronological order, but hopefully the links above make that an unimportant detail.
28th September – Badgers: 177 all out Westcott: 63 all out
My apologies for the lack of a report for this game, but nothing was written at the time and it looks increasingly unlikely that anything will be
Statistical Notes: This was Mark’s 350th innings for the club – already in fourth place in the all-time list, with no one within 75 of him in either direction – and his 104th not out, representing not far shy of 30% of those innings. His total of ten not outs for the year breaks Foxy’s 1989 record for the most not outs in a season – although it might be worth pointing out that both were captains and thus regularly putting themselves down the order so that others might get a game. The skipper also passed the 500 run mark for the season and thus became the only Badger to have done so six times (see the notes following the Horsley & Send game for the full list). Passing that milestone means that we have two 500 run scorers for the first time since 2003 – when Mark, Alan Tickner and Pat Redding all did so. In fact there have been no other occasions in the 56 years of the Badgers when more than one player has scored 500 or more.
Jake and Bill both took more than 30 wickets this season, 35 and 34 respectively, the most by any Badger since Mick Willmott took 55 in 1993 and the first time since 1981 that two or more Badgers have taken 30+ in a single season (Steve Card, Alan Tickner and Brian Moore all bettered 35 that year). That contributed to the team taking more wickets this season (191) than in all bar two previous years (1980 and 1981, when we played 23 games), perhaps not surprising given the fact that we played 22 games this year, but at a rate of 8.7 wickets per game, which is fourth best in club history (behind only 1972, 1963 and 1981). Bill’s bowling average is also the best in over twenty-five years, and the lowest by anyone bowling a significant number of overs since Brian Moore was in his pomp and churning out sub 7.0 seasons like they were going out of fashion.
On a more mundane note, my catch behind off Ben in this game means that I have tied my own season record for dismissals with 15 catches and 12 stumpings.
Whilst doing various bits of end of season tidying up I’ve discovered that a handful of milestones have passed unnoticed, in one case a rather significant one in that Horsley & Send was the club’s 1000th match (at least as far as games that count towards the averages go – mid-week games and sundry others have been excluded from the averages down the years and often we have no firm record of those contests).
I also completely failed to notice that Wardy passed 2500 runs (two runs into his innings at RS Casuals) becoming the 13th Badger to reach that particular milestone and that Mark had become the first ever to reach 100 not outs during that same game. The skipper had also passed a couple of minor bowling marks in the Ripley game, becoming the third Badger to notch up 400 maidens and also passing Mick Willmott into second place for lifetime runs allowed.
21st September – Badgers: 191 for 5 Ockley: 63 all out
My apologies for the lack of a report for this game, but nothing was written at the time and it looks increasingly unlikely that anything will be
Statistical Notes: Rob obviously likes batting at Ockley, having made his maiden fifty here last season and his second ever fifty in this game ‐ he averages 78 from three innings. The 127 that he and Jake put on for the fifth wicket is the fifth best all-time for that wicket and ties the 22nd highest for any wicket.
Ben obviously likes bowling at Ockley, having recorded his only five-fer here in 2010 and returning his best figures since then in this match – he has taken eleven wickets in three games at an average of 5.18 with an economy rate of 2.33 (and who knows how much better they would be without the wides and no balls). Whilst it is an entirely subjective observation, and thus probably doesn’t belong in this section, this is probably the best I’ve seen Ben bowl, with the possible exception of Roehampton last year (although I wasn’t present for the five-fer). His final wicket in this game took him to fifty lifetime wickets, the 31st Badger to reach that milestone.
This was Jake’s seventh fifty of the season, a feat that only his old man has achieved previously – with seven in 2010 and eight in 2011. It also puts him twelfth on the list of highest runs scored in a season, with plenty of scope to propel himself as high as fifth on that list with another half century in the final game of the season.
14th September – Badgers: 161 for 5 Horsley & Send: 140 all out
My apologies for the lack of a report for this game, but nothing was written at the time and it looks increasingly unlikely that anything will be
Statistical Notes: Late in his inninngs Jake reached 500 runs for the season, placing him in some illustrious company with only five Badgers having achieved that feat down the years – his father Mark and Pat Redding have both done it on five occasions, with Darren Hanley (3), Alan Tickner (2) and Chris Morgan (1) also in the exclusive club.
The stumping that ended the game was my 400th wicket keeper dismissal for the club, a milestone I have been waiting to reach for several weeks now, during which span little seemed to come my way (at least, I have no recollection of missing any real howlers). Hopefully a few more opportunities will present themselves in the final two games as I am also just one away from tying my own season record (27).
A couple of Friday cry-offs saw debuts this week for father and son combination Ian and Calum Estall – the latter plays junior cricket with Jake at Banstead – both of whom contributed significantly to the win, with Calum almost certainly the Man of the Match.
7th September – Addington 1743: 176 for 6 Badgers: 134 for 7
Statistical Notes: Shades of 2011 in this one, with Mark batting in his usual slot at seven, not coming to the wicket until the 21st over and yet still amassing not far shy of half the team’s runs (47% to be precise). Whilst checking to see just how unusual a feat that was, albeit going back only as far as 1986, I discovered that Mark himself had managed a better percentage on five previous occasions batting at seven or lower: South Park Manor in 2013 (55.2%), Alleyn Adhoc in 2014 (53.5% at number 8), Ham in 2014 (50.8%), Beechwood in 2010 (48.9%) and Broadbridge in 2011 (48.7%) whilst both Alan Tickner at Blindley Heath in 1998 (54.5%) and Ben at Horley in 2013 (54.6% at number 8) had bettered Mark’s percentage too.
31st August – Badgers: 236 for 6 Blindley Heath: 99 for 8
Statistical Notes: This was Jake’s sixth fifty of the season, a remarkable feat in and of itself given that he made his maiden half century back in June, but it also puts him in very rarified company as only Pat Redding and his old man have ever made that many in a season and only Mark has ever scored more (seven in 2010 and eight in 2011).
Whilst I don’t really have many points of comparison – not even scoring via CricHQ on the tablet gives me such a level of detail – I have been extending the information recorded by my own score checker to include more partnership related information. This has mostly been prompted by Mark’s efforts over the past two weeks which lead me to wonder what the partnership strike rates were as well as Mark’s own (which you can readily derive from the data recorded in the results pages on our Play-Cricket sub-site). I had hoped to do more, but I’ve run out of time, so all I can tell you at the moment is that Mark and Graham added a second-best all-time 98 runs for the seventh wicket from just 55 balls (a strike rate of 178.2) and that last week Mark and Jake won the game by scoring 58 from 37 (a more pedestrian 156.8).
24th August – RS Casuals: 206 for 9 Badgers: 207 for 5
Statistical Notes: This was (at least) my 500th appearance for the Badgers, with the usual doubts over the exact numbers being down to the missing 1981 scorebook. Those doubts are why I haven’t previously announced that I passed Dave Tickner into second place for lifetime games played anything up to ten weeks ago. However, even if Dave played every game in 1981 along with all of the other possible games for which not all eleven players were recorded but which he might have featured in, then his total would be 498 and thus I am now definitely only behind Alan Tickner in games played for the club. There is a long way to go match Al’s 575 confirmed appearances (with a maximum of four more possible) so I need to play another four seasons injury-free to get anywhere near the top spot.
Ben played his 100th innings for club, the 27th Badger to bat that many times. Sadly it wasn’t a knock to celebrate but longevity brings its own rewards when it comes to statistics and the top 25 is only a handful of visits to the crease away and both Ben and Darrell should move steadily up the list over the coming seasons.
17th August – South Park Manor: 82 all out Badgers: 83 for 6
Statistical Notes: The six wickets that we lost is the most chasing such a low score since South Beckenham in 2002, when we also needed eight batsman to scrape past a score of just 59. Such situations have been rare in recent times – this is just the fourth time in 33 years that we have lost six wickets in pursuit of 82 or below, partly because it is much rarer for our opposition to post scores below a hundred, and you have to go back to 1981 to find anything worse. Being 1981 I cannot supply any details, but against Sun Alliance we lost seven wickets chasing 71 and a couple of months earlier had failed to chase down Hersham’s 66, losing all ten in the process. I guess it is another indication of how the game has changed that from 1981 back there were 26 games in which the Badgers lost six or more wickets chasing no more than 82 and that we lost 15 (and drew one!?) of those matches.
The last time that two players caught three or more outfield catches in the same game was back in 1998. No surprise to learn that Mark was one of the two that day too, with Alan Tickner being the other, but the result was rather different with Regiate Cavaliers running out easy winners.
3rd August – Horley: 223 for 6 Badgers: 180 for 8
Statistical Notes: As presaged a couple of weeks ago Jake played his fiftieth innings for the club in this match, thus becoming the fiftieth Badger to do so. Having commented in that same report on Jake’s spate of fifties over a short span, and the relative paucity from the rest of the team over a slightly longer span, this was my first in nearly five seasons, with the last such coming in the final game of the 2009 season at Merrow. Ben snared his 50th outfield catch for the club, the 12th Badger to take that many, and – as a new boy he may get a few of these early on – this was Ricky’s highest score for the Badgers.
Despite having two proper scorers for this game there was still an element of confusion about our score, with a one run difference between the two score books. The moment of disagreement came just after Pete was dismissed and having quizzed both Mark, who was the non-striker, and Greggy, who was the incoming batter, I’ve settled on Jacqueline’s interpretation of events and thus deprived both Mark and the team of a run.
27th July – Weybridge Vandals: 75 all out Badgers: 76 for 4
Statistical Notes: Bill joined Jake on 25 wickets in this game, with Jake’s snagging of the final wicket meaning that he finished one ahead on 26. We are only three-fifths of the way through the season and that is already more wickets than anyone has managed in the past five years, with Wardy the last to take at least that many, with 28 back in 2008 (and that courtesy of an eight-fer in the last game of the season) and no pair doing so since Greggy (26) and Mark (25) in 2002. Both have a long way to go to break the season record – the 72 that Brian Moore took in 1974 (from 19 games and 278.3 overs – a mind-boggling figure that is itself a record by some distance), or indeed to break Brian’s hegemony in that department.
Paul Saunders became our third debutant of the season – via the good offices of Simon Fox – bowled a tidy spell and then brought up the winning runs (despite seeing an absolute sitter dropped at mid on two overs before). He also attracted a gaggle of spectators to add to the Badgers’ travelling caravan including Foxy himself and Pom Bal, who last played for the club against Bletchingly in 1987!
20th July – Tattenhall: 197 for 6 Badgers: 112 all out
Statistical Notes: My caught behind in this game took me to 218 lifetime wicket keeper catches and thus past Roy Gordon’s long-standing record in that category. As I believe I’ve said before, we have no accurate records of who kept wicket in each game but I am fairly sure that Roy’s catches per game figure as a keeper would be somewhat better than mine but longevity obviously has its advantages when it comes to the lifetime statistics.
As is now the norm on tour, the batting order for this game was pulled out of the hat (or more accurately a wine chiller) at dinner on the Saturday night. This resulted in Greggy opening the batting and, as has often been the case under those circumstances, making a decent fist of it. Indeed he would have top scored had not Extras sneaked that honour. I had hoped to bring a little more detail on when that had last happened, what Greggy’s average is opening the batting, who had top scored the most often etc. but sadly that required writing more code and I have run out of time as I’m writing this on Sunday morning before the Horley game!?
Whilst I didn’t appreciate the fact that the Iscoyd scorebook was something of a mess, until trying to iron out the wrinkles, this game was a different matter in that we had trouble with working out bowling changes as they struggled to keep the overs right on the board and when I first looked at Tattenhall’s book after we came off the field it was obvious that it was something of a disaster area. Primary among the issues was the distribution of the bowling across the first four to bowl in that all were shown as having sent down seven overs whilst in fact Ben had only bowled six, Rob his full eight and then we were unsure whether or not Greggy had actually bowled nine (although that turned out to be further confusion caused by the scoreboard showing the wrong number of total overs bowled).
As with the Iscoyd innings I was hampered by the individual idiosyncrasies of the scorers, by the fact that byes don’t always seem to have been recorded, that the run out was not identified in the bowling analysis and by various logical discrepancies between the bowling analysis, the batter’s individual scores, the over by over summary and the running tally. All of which has meant that a certain amount of guesswork has been involved in sorting this out. I’d like to think that the end result is the best that can be done with the information available and that no one has been on the receiving end of any particular injustice but if anyone else wants to have a crack at it then feel free – I will happily send on the input to and output from the program that I use to recreate the full scorecard just from the bowling analysis if that might help and the scorebook photo is linked in the paragraph above.
18th July – Badgers: 207 for 8 Iscoyd & Fenns Bank: 211 for 6
Statistical Notes: Ricky Cibardo stood in for his still injured brother Vinny (who still came on tour, so kudos for that), became the second debutant of the season and shared in an opening partnership of 44 to get things started with a bang. Jake and Rob then added 80 for the third wicket, by far the highest for that wicket this season and the best since Richard Ward and Pat put on 110 against Old Sutts in 2010.
Having never scored a fifty at the start of the Leigh game less than five weeks ago Jake made his fourth half century in that span, something that most of us haven’t managed over the course of the last five seasons (his old man, Pat and Wardy being the honourable exceptions). Rob’s innings was his 50th for the club, something achieved by 48 previous Badgers thus leaving the way open for Jake to become the 50th to 50 innings!?
This loss brought the winning streak to a juddering halt at seven games, thus tying the second longest in club history (see the statistical notes in the Wallington report below for details of the longest streak and the other seven game spans). Another streak also came to a halt with Darrell missing his first game since RS Casuals last year, chopping his consecutive games played streak off at 18, which ties the 20th longest ever and leaves his old man with the longest active run at 17.
The scorebook for this game was a bit of a mess, with Mark obviously dozing off in the heat of the afternoon after a long minibus ride, giving one of his son’s singles to Rob, missing another and failing to award a boundary to Rob, with the result that Jake scored two more than in the book and Rob three more. The other half of the book was arguably worse, but since we are not bothered about the batting numbers it was relatively simple to sort out the fact that Mark had been charged with the run for a leg bye and thus deprived of a maiden, whilst the final four off Jake had not been included and a tallying error had made Ben’s figures look one run better than they ought to have done. However, I did have great trouble deciphering some aspects of their scorebook, with everything going awry within fourteen balls when it was quite impossible (from the entries in the book) to have John Faulkner on strike to be dismissed in Rob’s second over and the whole exercise complicated by at least three different scorers the last of whom didn’t add any indication of leg byes to the bowling analysis.
13th July – Westfield: 37 all out Badgers: 41 for 2
Statistical Notes: Bill’s five-fer was the first of the 2014 season, and the first for the club since Rob Knew at Horley last year. It also represents his best ever figures for the club and takes him past the 50 wicket mark – the 30th Badger to do so. When Jake joined him it was the first pair of five-fers in the same game since Ben and a lad named Greg Hughes (in his only game for the club) did it against Ockley in 2010.
With the fourth of the four boundaries in his undefeated innings of 16 Ben passed 1000 runs for the club, becoming the 28th Badger to reach that milestone.
In the changing room between innings I was cautioning against over-confidence on the basis that this wouldn’t have been the lowest total that the Badgers had failed to chase, but I got the exact details slightly askew, and in fact it would have beeen – by one run. The game that I regaled the assembled handful of Badgers with was the 1970 game against Old Walcountians, which Dave Tickner described thus in the twenty-first season booklet:
“Smarting from a one wicket defeat earlier in the season against them we had skittled them out for 38 runs and after scoring over 100 in each of our previous games we were full of confidence. Before going out Brent [Noble] asked skipper Albert Briscoe “do you want me to get the runs quickly or string it out to team time”. Albert said “just play your normal game”. Brent was out first ball – so much for confidence. Unfortunately no one got double figures and we were unbelievably all out for 35.”
The first game of 1970 hadn’t exactly been a high scoring affair, with the Badgers subsiding from 39 for 3 to 60 all out from 17.3 overs before Walcountians scraped home on 61 for 9 from 31 overs, with Brian Moore finishing with figures of 13-8-15-6!! He went one better in the rematch bowling the same number of overs, a mere six of which were maidens, and taking seven for 19. Walcountians were indebted to their number nine Rice who made 17 of the last 23 runs in helping to drag them from the depths of 16 for 8. In reply the Badgers were 32 for 6 before losing their last four wickets in the space of 15 balls with just a three from the bat of Dave Tickner added to the score in that span.
6th July – Badgers: 194 for 6 Ripley: 88 all out
Statistical Notes: Jake set a personal best with the bat for the second time in four weeks, going eight runs better than the 70 he managed at Leigh last month. A very different knock this time out, and no grandfather to get excited on his behalf, but both sets of opposition shared a common sense of surprise at how young he was.
On the subject of age I hesitate to report that our opposition were so young that the aggregate ages of eight of their number matched the combined ages of Greggy and your correspondent (ie. 116 years).
This is the fourth time since 1986 (the earliest season for which I currently have full match data in the database) that the Badgers have effected three run outs in a match, with the most recent occasion being against Dormansland in 2012. I’d like to report that they were all the result of top notch fielding with direct hits leaving batsmen aghast, but in actual fact they were all the result of dodgy calling, none of them needed direct hits (although Daniel made it easy for both Darrell and myself with his two throws) and one of them required a lucky (albeit deliberate) deflection by a wicket keeper dragged a couple of yards away from the stumps by a wild throw from the skipper of all people.
In the light of the fact that there was no stand of fifty or more in this game, Wardy set me a poser after the match as to whether or not this was the highest such score without a fifty partnership. It has taken me ten days or so to find the time to write and test the code to check for that and I can report that there have been four higher cases, plus two fairly recent equal instances. Strangely, three of the four higher scores came against Stoke D'Abernon – the highest of 221 in 1999 plus two slightly lower ones in 2011 and 2013 – with the other against Old Alleynians in 2001. The two matching 194s were recorded against Wallington in 2012 and Ham & Petersham in 2013.
29th June – Wallington: 116 all out Badgers: 117 for 4
Statistical Notes: The question was asked after the game where a five game winning streak ranks all-time and I can report that this is the twelfth time we’ve won five on the trot, with the first occurrence in 1960/61 and the most recent seven seasons ago (2007). The longest in club history is nine games in 2005 and there have been two seven game streaks, in 1969/70 and 1975 (with the latter being remarkable in that the opposition scores ranged between 43 and 71).
On the subject of streaks, Matt Smith has previously pointed out that he is on a five game winning run at the start of his Badgers ‘career’ but that too is far from a record. Both Rako (whose early games coincided with that nine game winning streak) and Pat (2003) started with five wins, whilst if we include games that didn’t count towards the averages then Guy’s brother Simon has played just five times and won all of them. Top of the tree though is Richard Ward who started with nine wins in 2004 and the most at any point in their Badgers’ journey falls to Dave Tickner (2004/05) and Darrell (2004-06) who have twelve consecutive winning appearances to their names.
22nd June – Badgers: 234 for 6 Tadworth: 118 all out
Statistical Notes: The 117 run partnership between Jake and Wardy was the fifth highest in club history for the second wicket and the first century partnership for that wicket in over six years. The team score was the highest for nearly seven years – since the 244 against Morden Corinthians in 2007 in fact – and the 13th highest in club history.
Given that Ben got so close to being the third Badger of the day to make a half century the question was asked after the game whether three fifties had been made in a single game before, but the assembled throng (possibly in the form of Ben himself) came up with the correct answer, in that it had been achieved at Sutton back in 2008. Little was made of it in that summary match report but I have now checked the database, which currently includes results back to 1986, and can confirm that Foxy, John Larkin and I are the only such trio over that span. FWIW there have been twelve other scores of 49 during the same period, with three of them not outs, with the most recent being Darrell at RS Casuals last year.
Having made so much of Jake’s first ever fifty last week, he makes another just a week later (having also added to his personal tally in a school match on Monday) and is relegated to the third paragraph of statistical notes. Meanwhile his Dad’s two wickets tie him with Allan Butt for fourth in the lifetime wicket takers list (possibly for the final time, unless Al makes a miraculous comeback in the next few weeks) whilst Greggy ties Simon Fox for eleventh on the all-time list of appearances with 226.
15th June – Badgers: 192 for 7 Leigh: 146 all out
Statistical Notes: The headlines this week go to Jake for his best ever batting performance, in any cricket not just for the Badgers. His previous best had been 28 (set against Blindley Heath last year and tied a few weeks ago at Stoke) and he had not made a fifty in any cricket before, so his 70 smashed both of those. Grandfather Roy was thrilled to doll rags and pointed out to Jake after the game a fact that I had not realised, which is that he himself had never managed a fifty for the Badgers, across 231 innings. In a neat piece of synchronicity, Jake’s performance this weekend moves him above Roy in the lifetime batting averages, and you have to suspect that Jake will continue to move up over time and end up a lot closer to his old man on that list.
Darrell reached 100 innings for the club, a milestone passed by 25 other Badgers before him.
8th June – Roehampton: 20 all out Badgers: 21 for none
Funny old game, cricket. This was our fourth visit to Putney Heath to play Roehampton, and on all three previous occasions they’d scored 130 runs or more with at least one of their number racking up a half century. Skipper Clive Henderson was the man to do that last year, but he nibbled fatally in Bill’s first over and his partner gave Ben a fairly straightforward return catch in the next (making him Ben’s bunny in modern parlance, since this was the third time in three years that Pukar had given a catch off Ben’s bowling early in his innings). Bill castled the number three in the third over, and when Mark Boag suffered the same fate from the first ball of the fifth the home side were 4 for 4 and nary a run from the bat. That came off the fortieth ball of the innings when Bill was slashed to the cover boundary, a shot that the batsman Nash had been perfecting for several balls previously.
The period of reconnaissance came to an end in the tenth over, Ben’s last, when he induced a low catch to the keeper and when Jake replaced Bill a couple overs later the innings slipped further into decline as his third ball dragged Nash into a fatal departure from the crease for a leg-side stumping. Rob (who had replaced Ben when Daniel had, for some reason, declined to have a bowl) then joined in the fun with a clean bowled and Roehampton were staring down the barrel at 13 for 7. Barring one defiant clump from Healy back over Rob’s head the remaining batters were unable to make any headway and Jake cleaned up the innings by rattling the left-hander’s stumps and then taking a steepling caught and bowled, which closed the innings at twenty all out, somewhat to the surprise of the visitors who hadn’t realised that the home side had only ten men.
The Badgers innings was a blink and you’ll miss it affair, with Jake hitting two very nice fours from the first over, complemented by a wide, and Pete finishing things off in his usual brutal fashion. This started with a maximum over cow but then proceeded in unlikely fashion with a two through the covers and the winning four hit straight back between the bowler and mid off, not your mother’s Pete Snook wagon wheel!? Game over, with the oppo apologetic for their rather abject batting performance (don’t worry guys, it happens) and a beer match arranged to fill the remnants of a lovely sunny summer’s day.
Statistical Notes: In some ways I might just as well repeat the notes from after the 2012 Ripley game, but since the wonder of the web means that you can read that for yourself I will leave you to absorb that information and simply add that this is the fifth-worst score against us, with none of the other four coming in the past 36 years. It is almost certainly the shortest winning innings batting second, but since total overs faced has only been recorded for the past few seasons I cannot confirm that with absolute certainty (although common sense says that no such confirmation is necessary).
This was the eleventh ten wicket win in club history, coming almost exactly a decade after the last such, against Epsom Methodists in 2004. Six of those victories involved scoring more than one hundred runs, whilst four of them needed less than fifty.
Bill’s 3 for 5 represents his best ever return for the Badgers, bettering last week’s 3 for 11 which I failed to recognise as his best at the time (sorry Bill). This week’s performance means that Bill is currently in second place in the lifetime bowling averages, a fairly remarkable feat given the changes in the game over the past couple of decades (you won’t find any other currently active bowler in the top twenty places).
Ben likes bowling on Putney Heath, after four visits to Roehampton his overall figures are 32 overs, 8 maidens, 10 wickets for 95 runs, which you can all work out is an average of 9.5 – very impressive.
1st June – Leatherhead: 151 all out Badgers: 152 for 8
[This report courtesy of Matt Smith]
On a balmy afternoon in Leatherhead, and after a brief discussion of whether we’d all parked our cars in “Pete’s Scoring Zone”, the Captain lost the toss and we were in the field. Rob took the new ball and immediately started to probe the corridor of uncertainty, and in tandem with Bill set the tone with a very tidy opening spell.
The first wicket fell with Ben taking a fine catch at backward point off Bill’s first over, and after Bill found his way through the defences of two more batsmen, and Greggy took a return catch off his own bowling, the home side were in trouble at 37 for 4.
At drinks they had been crawling along at just over two runs an over, thanks to the stinginess of Rob, Bill, Jake and Greggy, and it took a well-paced and sometimes violent innings from Chris Argyle to bring their score back to a competitive level. He struck 63 (including a massive six off my bowling) before Darrell had him caught in the deep, and with Darrell picking up three more wickets, before I polished off the tail, the home side finished 151 all out.
Much like the home side we started our innings poorly. Steve, Wardy and Rob were all back in the hutch before the score reached 20, and after a brief spell of violence from Pete we were 30 for 4 and going nowhere. Jake and Ben therefore set about repairing the innings, all the while keeping the RRR at a manageable level.
Jake fell with the score on 56, and Ben was joined at the crease by the captain. As we dipped inside the final 20 overs the RRR was still around 3.5, but some tight bowling by the home side saw that rise slowly but steadily as the overs ticked down. With the score on 120 Ben missed a straight one and was bowled, and after I missed a straight one next ball (but at least managed to get my pads in the way!) we were 120 for 7. Darrell fell for 5 while we were still 22 short of our target, but with Bill striding to the wicket at number ten confidence was high amongst the gathering crowd outside the pavilion. Mark bludgeoned a couple of boundaries to take his score past 50, and the rate required was kept at a run a ball with a combination of quick singles, overthrows and leg byes.
With stamina levels and the ability to scamper singles falling over by over, and Rob being employed as the Captain’s Drinks Carrier every five minutes, we needed six to win from the last six balls.
Statistical Notes: (Not a statistical note at all to start, but apropos of Matt’s comment of ‘never going to be out’ the bowler was heard telling someone on the boundary as the teams left the field that he’d never in his life appealed so loudly for a ball that was missing the stumps by so much, a comment that was made with a big grin on his face, and I guess in the confident knowledge that he wasn’t going to get a howler from the umpire. On which note I’d like to thank Dave (Everest, I believe) for standing through all 93.5 overs at the bowler’s end – a sterling job, “Chapeau!”)
Darrell’s 4 for 31 are his best figures since his personal best 7 for 90 back in 2009 at Woldingham.
This was Mark’s 29th unbeaten innings of 50 or more (out of 64 total half centuries). Of which 19 came when the Badgers batted second and 15 of those were match winners.
25th May – Dormansland: 180 for 9 dec. Badgers: 141 for 9
Statistical Notes: This was the 56th meeting of the two teams, spanning all the way back to August 1962. With Allan Butt’s absence this season there was nobody on either side who had played in that first meeting, but the Badgers were able to boast a pair of sons and grand-sons of the original participants since both Roy Gordon and my father Laurence played that day. The Badgers won that inaugural meeting, although Dormansland only fielded nine. After a further 55 meetings across six decades it is impossible to separate the two clubs, with each having won 19 times, this being the 17th draw and there having been one tie.
18th May – Stoke D'Abernon: 182 all out Badgers: 160 for 9
With hindsight you could reasonably say that the Badgers lost this game in the first four overs – the home openers having crashed their way to 41 from the first 25 deliveries, of which Will Thomson had battered 29 from 12 balls – and that thereafter the visitors gave a reasonable account of themselves. Bill stopped the bleeding, having Thomson caught at the wicket, and with Rob replacing Jake at the other end and immediately snaring the number three, the Badgers slowly clawed their way back into the game despite a solid contribution from the other opening bat Spreeth. The third wicket added another 70 runs but Bill and Rob dragged things back to six an over overall, before Greggy, Vinny and the reintroduced Jake dragged the rate down to five an over.
It was Jake that broke the partnership, courtesy of the first of two catches by Rob, and Vinny grabbed the key wicket of Spreeth (47) in the next over, this time Ben doing the honours. The pair kept the scoring rate below five thereafter, with Jake snagging two more victims (for figures of 3 for 32 from his second spell) and Vinny conceding just 24 runs from his eight overs. Darrell and Bill then closed things out, with Bill removing the dangerous looking Connell and Darrell grabbing three victims, two stumped, including the tenth wicket off what would have been the last ball of the innings anyway. In the end Stoke recorded 182 all out, which looked to be within the Badgers’ compass.
Unfortunately your correspondent and the eminent Foxy were unable to provide any impetus at the top of the order, and took rather too long not doing so against some tight bowling from the home side. Wardy and Ben also struggled to gain much traction and the scoring rate was just two and a half after twenty overs of toil. When Jake joined Graham things did slowly start to pick up, and with some good running between the wickets the pair had made 54 at almost exactly a run a ball to give the visitors a sliver of hope, albeit they still needed to score 60 from the last six overs.
At this point Keegan Weideman was introduced into the attack and by the simple virtue of bowling straight skittled out both incumbents and Bill in his first two overs. With the skipper falling to a Will Thomson yorker at the other end the potential final assault collapsed into a heap of rubble and despite Darrell and Rob putting a dent into Weideman’s figures the Badgers came up 22 runs short.
Statistical Notes: Darrell’s first wicket was his 150th for the club and by the end of the game his three wickets had moved him into eleventh place on the all-time list of wicket takers. He needs three more to pass Foxy into tenth place, but thereafter he has some big gaps to close in order to move up the ranks.
Jake’s 28 ties his highest score for the club, matching his innings against Blindley Heath last year.
(You might also care to check out Stoke’s report on the match)
11th May – Ham: 178 for 6 dec. Badgers: 179 for 5
A really blustery day on Ham Common saw the Badgers emerge with their second win of the season. The home side batted first, after Mark won the toss, and got off to a steady start, with Fuller particularly severe on anything short. Vinny and Rob toiled away on a typically slow early season wicket and both eventually got some reward after Ham slipped from 56 for none to 58 for 3 in the space of four overs, with Rob claiming opener Bond (30) and the number three in the same over and Vinny inducing a false stroke from the new bat.
Fuller battled on, struggling to score when the bowlers avoiding feeding him short balls, and two more wickets fell with the score on 80, with Matt Smith also grabbing a pair in an over, the first with a lovely late in-swinger. At that point the scoring rate was just three an over, and despite Fuller clumping 18 from the first four balls of Matt Smith’s fifth over it didn’t get above 3.5 until Altaf arrived at number eight and hit a couple of sweet shots in the final couple of overs before the declaration. This came with the score on 178 for 6, with Fuller unbeaten on 88 from 148 balls.
Wardy and Matt Smith were given the job of getting the Badgers’ reply off to a fast start and they fulfilled that remit by taking heavy toll of the spinners bowling from one end, to the tune of three sixes and three fours in the first six overs and a scoring rate above 6.5 per over. Unfortunately Graham then missed a straight one from Altaf (3-19), who had been bowling tidily at the other end to most of the carnage. Matt skied a catch off the first ball of the next over and, with the middle order coming and going with nary a whimper, the visitors declined from the relative prosperity of 47 for no wicket to 68 for 5.
Cometh the hour, cometh the skipper, as so often these days. Ably assisted by a largely untroubled Darrell (25 no.) at the other end, Mark proceeded to batter the bad balls (and some no doubt quite decent ones too) taking full advantage of the short boundary, which inexplicably to your correspondent was the leg side for the spin bowlers. He knocked Byrne out of the attack, hitting the first four balls he faced from him for two sixes and a four, and continued to benefit from the short carry to the Ham Common road side of the ground to such a degree that 70% of the match winning partnership of 111 came from the end where that was the leg side (although that was a far smaller percentage than previously, with the first five wickets amassing 82%+ from the same end). The winning run came up with three full overs still to be bowled and the Badgers had their second win of the season in completely different fashion to the previous week. Mark fimished with 91 from 62 balls, a scoring rate of 146.8 (although I’m sure that Matt Smith would like me to point out at this juncture that he scored at 188.9).
Statistical Notes: Darrell and Mark put on an unbeaten 111 for the sixth wicket, which astonishingly ties, for the second time, the existing record – and all because the skipper chose to sneak a quick single to win the game rather than adding to his seven sixes or nine fours. Even more astonishing is the fact that one of those existing 111s came against Ham in 2006, with the other occurring almost in the middle of the gap at Beechwood in 2010.
The fact that skipper ended his innings unbeaten also means that he now holds yet another record, having passed Alan Tickner’s 94 lifetime not outs.
4th May – Cheam: 100 for 8 dec. Badgers: 102 for 4
Statistical Notes: A Badgers debut for Matt Smith, and a good one too with a tidy spell of quick bowling to open up the hill and an innings that closed out the game and which Jacqueline pointed out had a strike rate nearly as high as Pete’s.
Whilst the shape of the home side’s innings caused some chatter after the game (and indeed during the innings itself) it has not been unusual down the years for the Badgers to bowl 49 or more overs – this was the 23rd such occasion since 1987, with two of those instances bowling second. For those muttering about how slowly Cheam scored, it isn’t even the lowest score achieved over such a span, with Newchapel in 1994 taking 51.3 overs to register 79 for 9 (a quite astonishing thought for those that have played on that postage-stamp sized ground) and Epsom Methodists in 2000 posting 92 for 8 in 54 overs.
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