Badgers Cricket Club – Season 2013 Match Reports


This page holds the match reports for all games played during the 2013 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.

29th September – Westcott: 82 all out   Badgers: 86 for 3

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My apologies for the lack of a report for this game, but there is still hope that something might appear over the next few days

Statistical Notes: Given his first opportunity to open the batting for the Badgers Vinny rose to the occasion, albeit not without several slices of luck, to notch by far his best score for the club. Here’s hoping that there is more where that came from.

A couple of longer term milestones also passed during the game, with Ben playing his 100th game for the club and Mark taking his 350th wicket. Ben has really come on as a batsman this season – although we now need to find a way of working on the running between the wickets, especially the judgement of a single – and it has been fun to watch him develop over the six seasons that he has been a regular member of the team. Mark’s contribution to the club cannot be overstated. Not only does he tower over the statistical landscape – 8,450 runs, 352 wickets and the small matter of 360 outfield catches – but he also continues to be the heartbeat of the club off the field too.

In addition, Greggy played his 220th game for the club, which almost certainly puts him twelfth in the list of all-time appearances, just five games behind Foxy. There is an outside chance that Brent Noble played a couple of games in 1981 in which he didn’t bat, but that would be unusual and so it is likely that Ian has already passed him.

Looking at the season as a whole we first have to delight in the fact that we played 23 games, only one of which was spoiled by the weather, and might have broken the club record for games in a season (dating back to when we used to play on Bank Holiday Mondays too) were it not for the eleventh hour cry off in the second week of the season. Mark had another remarkable season in the field, snagging 25 catches to tie his own season record, but it is also worth pointing out that Ben finished with more catches (13) than anyone other than Mark since Darren Hanley grabbed sixteen to win the fielding cup in 1993.

On a slightly more esoteric note, Pete Snook tied Alan Tickner’s record for innings in a season, coming to bat in 20 of the 23 games we played and Mark joined a group on 19 innings, in which he already features from 1996. It also quite possible that Mark’s 22 games played is a record for a season, with Pete a game behind tying Dave Tickner in 1980 and Mark in 2009, but since 1981 is one of the two seasons in which it is possible for someone to have played that many, or more, we yet again find ourselves in ignorance because of that one missing scorebook ☹

22nd September – Badgers: 199 for 6 dec.   Ockley: 157 for 7

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My apologies for the lack of a report for this game, but there is still hope that something might appear over the next few days

Statistical Notes: You wait ages for one maiden fifty – the last such being Guy at Malpas last year – and then two come along in the space of a few minutes!? Rob and Greggy both reached that milestone in this game, with Ian doing so in his 162nd innings for the club. Rob’s previous best came at Valley End in 2010, only his third game for the club, whilst Ian’s was the 45 he made opening the batting for the first time on tour in 2005 at Milton. It is also the first time that two Badgers have made fifty in the same innings since Guy and Mark did so in that same game at Malpas that featured the last maiden half century.

This season has been fairly inconsistent in terms of results, and one statistic that confirms that is the fact that this game tied a record for the longest streak of games during which each week brought a different result (a streak of no streaks, if you will) which has been the case for the past twelve weeks. A more impressive streak came to an end, with Mark missing his first game since August 2011, a run of 38 consecutive games that bettered his own previous record of 37 games between September 2008 and August 2010.

15th September – Horsley & Send: 231 for 4   Badgers: 69 for none

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Summary: The home side don’t play many Sunday fixtures and with weather like this I cannot imagine them being encouraged to arrange more. Their innings got off to a fast running start but five runs in three balls proved too much for opener Kapadia who collapsed with a dislocated knee and had to be carried from the field. Horsley & Send reached 50 from 10 overs, but Bill and Jake both bowled tidily and a run out of the other opener – who’d been trying to goad Mark into having a shy before eventually making it rather easy – helped keep the scoring off the second ten overs to just three an over. By then R Micklewright (63) and Bottomley were well settled and started to up the pace. Rob took some tap in the latter part of a decent spell and it wasn’t until Daniel induced an aimless wander down the wicket that their stand was broken at 101. Bottomley continued untroubled and even a wicket for Greggy didn’t slow the scoring as the home side clubbed 83 from the final ten overs to finish on 231 for 4 with Bottomley unbeaten on 80.

Conditions had slowly worsened as the afternoon wore on and when the Badgers came out to bat after tea it was both wet and fairly gloomy. Steve and Darrell opened with considerable care and the innings never really gained much imnpetus, 69 having been amassed off 19 overs when the two captains agreed that conditions were getting too dangerous to continue and the game was abandoned.

Statistical Notes: This was Jake’s fiftieth game for the club, an impressive feat for one so young and indicative of both his maturation as a cricketer and the club’s struggles to field a full team in recent years (at this point I could ramble on about how I never got a game as a schoolboy but I shall control myself).

Whilst it wasn’t exactly impressive in terms of speed of scoring, the 69 that Darrell and I put on represents by far our best partnership together, with the previous high point being just 41. Whilst I cannot find a definitive answer, it would seem that we would have lost the game on Duckworth/Lewis by anything from three to ten runs, depending on which of the four or five different calculators or tables that I was able to track down.

8th September – Cuddington Casuals: 101 all out   Badgers: 103 for 8

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Recreation ground cricket can be something of a lottery at the best of times but our first visit to Abbey Rec. for as long as any of us could remember was also spiced up by two rain showers. One had been and gone before the Badgers took the field and meant that top was softened just enough to assist the seamers. Greggy and son-in-law Bill opened the bowling in tandem for the first time and took full advantage of those conditions. The first wicket fell in the third over and took everyone by surprise, literally, with the keeper cussing a missed catching chance and the skipper chasing the ball to the boundary and only realising something was going on when, having beaten Rako to the ball and winged it in, he discovered the rest of the team clustered around congratulating Ian, and suddenly having to take evasive action as the throw came in. The ‘nick’ had actually been the ball clipping the wickets and almost surreptitiously removing the bails.

The pair went on to share the first six wickets in twelve overs, with two others being castled – one by a Greggy in-swinger that nipped away to take the top of off and the dangerous looking Dhillon (with two centuries under his belt already this season and one of at least three batsman in the home side with scores of 90 or better to their name this year) undone by a ball from Bill that cut back a long way to take the top of middle – plus three genuine slip catches hoovered up by Mark. At the this point the home side were 25 for 6 and Jake put them further into difficulties with two wickets in his first four overs as first change for Bill. Sahil, bowling tidily at the other end in relief of Ian, was deprived of a wicket on his return to action when the keeper spilled a chance that the diving skipper might well have managed to reach. This gave a life to the home captain Mark Stockbridge (45) who went on to add 50 runs for the ninth wicket with his brother Mike. Mark grabbed his fourth victim with a smart caught and bowled to end his namesake and opposite number’s sojourn and the innings declined to 101 all out with Vinny grabbing the final wicket, Bill taking the easier of his two catches.

At tea time the sky looked ominous, and so it was to prove, with the first eight overs of the Badgers innings being conducted in increasingly unpleasant conditions as the rain became heavier (to the extent that I umpired in my waterproof jacket). Both sides bravely battled on and the home side slowly wrestled control of the game from the visitors. Pete caused some excitement with three lusty blows but eventually, after several close calls, heaved across one that was straight enough to be LBW when he missed it. A period of retrenchment followed with Sahil (20) and Jake struggling to score against some tight bowling. 25 for 4 after 11.1 overs became 36 after 19 but the next two overs put the visitors in even more trouble, with Jake failing to spot a cunningly posted deep mid-on and Mark hoicking across a straight one that didn’t bounce. This left the visitors on 38 for 6 with 19 overs left to score the remaining 64 runs, a higher run rate than either side had managed to that point.

Bill (15) joined Sahil and helped add some impetus to the extent that when he was out with just under 12 overs left the target was just 29 away. Vinny and Steve decided that, with just two wickets left, blocking the straight ones and smacking the bad ones was the way to go and absent a couple of moments – Vinny swinging all around a full bunger that somehow missed the sticks and Steve driving his second four just off the fingertips of the leaping extra cover – that is exactly what they did. Steve finished with 20 all in fours and their 30 run match winning partnership contained seven fours plus a wide and a no ball. A comfortable win with 21 balls left was anything but really, but a win nonetheless.

Statistical Notes: I have already commented this season on Mark’s three catch games and since then he has repeated the feat three times more, for a total of twenty-four such occasions. This one was highly unusual in that, as well as the usual caught and bowled, he also snaffled three slip catches – something that I don’t remember him (or indeed anyone else, for many years) doing.

Bill’s 3 for 13 equals his best return for the club, matching his figures against Dormansland earlier this year.

1st September – Badgers: 131 all out   Blindley Heath: 132 for 9

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My apologies for the lack of a report for this game, but a lack of inspiration, perspiration and contribution has left us bereft

Statistical Notes: Jake’s 28 was his highest score for the Badgers, bettering the 25 that he made earlier this year at Wallington. Ray Ward played his second game for the Badgers almost exactly three years after his debut against Alleynians. He scored his first ever runs for the club in this game – carefully steered through the slip cordon – snagged his first ever catch, and quite possibly became the first Badger ever to field a ball whilst smoking a cigar!?

Darrell and I had a discussion about halfway through his spell of bowling about how unusual it was, given the general ethos of the Badgers down the years, for anyone to open both the batting and bowling for the club in the same game. I asked if he could remember having done so before, and his response was negative. When I came to write a bit of code to find all such instances dating back to 1987 I had to laugh because we realised that he had last done it the previous week against South Park Manor (where it had not elicited any comment) and also earlier in the year at Wallington. No one else has done so this season, but in the three seasons prior to that Greggy, Mark (twice), Ben, Sahil and Graham Ward have all done so. Before that there was a period of four seasons when it didn’t happen at all but going back further it wasn’t uncommon for the likes of Alan Tickner, David Aldwinckle or Andy Parker to open up in both departments more than once in a season.

25th August – Badgers: 143 all out   South Park Manor: 68 all out

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My apologies for the lack of a report for this game, but a lack of inspiration, perspiration and contribution has left us bereft

Statistical Notes: This game was Mark’s 400th for the club, in which list he stands fourth at the moment, behind the Tickner brothers and myself. His unbeaten innings means that he is now tied for most ever not outs in club history, matching Alan Tickner’s 94. His son Jake also passed a minor milestone when his second wicket took him to 50 lifetime, although I am sure that he will amass many more.

This game featured the first ever instance in a Badgers match of penalty runs being awarded for a ball striking a helmet placed on the ground behind the wicket keeper. Alec misplayed a pull shot, which looped out of reach over the keeper’s head and despite the best efforts of the lone slip fielder fell to ground right on top of the helmet that the keeper was using when standing up to the spinner at the other end. This necessitated a couple of changes to my code, but nothing like as extensive as the retired batter changes. It also got me thinking about ways in which I could modify the database and associated code to split out extras into its component parts, which is something I’ve always balked at doing because it was going to be difficult, but which changes made to the handling of extras when dealing with the twelve players per team for Malpas in 2011 have made feasible without too many changes. No promises, and no chance that I’m going to back fill except where data exists in Play-Cricket, but who knows?

18th August – Ripley: 173 for 8 dec.   Badgers: 58 all out

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My apologies for the lack of a report for this game, but a lack of inspiration, perspiration and contribution has left us bereft

Statistical Notes: The last time that we made this poor a score was against Broadbridge Heath in 2008, although we did have only ten players that day. It is also the first time since Reigate Cavaliers in 2004 that no Badger has reached twenty runs.

11th August – Badgers: 196 for 9   RS Casuals: 179 for 7

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My apologies for the lack of a report for this game, but a lack of inspiration, perspiration and contribution has left us bereft

Statistical Notes: The 80 that Darrell and Rich put on for the first wicket is the highest opening stand for more than two seasons – since the 100 that Pat Redding and Simon Walker racked up against Choldmondley on tour in 2011 – and it is perhaps indicative of the club’s top order woes that you have to go back to July 2007 for any other higher partnership.

With the first ball of his fifth over Mark passed 2000 lifetime overs for the Badgers, a feat managed by only two others – Alan Tickner and Brian Moore. The three catches that he pouched, in addition to being his 22nd such haul, also took him to 350 outfield catches lifetime – a category which he leads by more than 150 from Alan and 200 bar the field.

4th August – Horley: 203 for 8 dec.   Badgers: 97 all out

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[This report courtesy of Allan Butt]

The day after Peter and Kerry Snook’s wedding at Haslemere, a number of bleary eyed and still hungover Badgers, including the bridegroom, took to the field at Horley, Mark having lost the toss and Horley having elected to bat. The presence of Peter was courtesy of the bride who, on the previous Sunday, having heard a discussion as to whether the Badgers would be able to field a full team, or whether the fixture should be called off, announced in no uncertain terms, and to the admiration of those present, that Peter could play. Some Badgers had travelled direct from the wedding venue, others had returned home in the meantime, including Allan, who had spent an hour and 45 minutes driving to the ground by a circuitous route in an effort to avoid the traffic jams generated by the RideLondon-Surrey cycle race.

The weather was fine and sunny, with occasional cloud cover, and the boundaries were long and the outfield fast. Horley includes a social club, who were out in force, and although the numbers present were more than the Badgers have seen for some time, they were not all necessarily watching the cricket, as we were competing with the Ashes Test on the large screen in the pavilion.

Bill Jenkins opened the bowling from the far end, whilst Rob Knew commenced a fine spell from the pavilion end. The fifth legitimate ball of Rob’s opening over was driven in the air by opener Ware straight to Allan at extra cover, who recovered from his surprise in time to hold on to the catch. This brought Perrow to the wicket, apparently known for his hard hitting, and he proceeded to knock up a quick 39, taking a particular liking to Bill’s pace, smashing four fours in one over. However, having despatched Rob for a six in the eighth over, he edged the next ball onto his stumps and departed with the score on 52.

Rob then accounted for Thomas, LBW to a ball that hit his foot on the full, after which Amy took over from Bill at the far end, his six overs having cost 27 runs (17 from one over and 10 from the other five). Next to go was opener Smith for 12, tempted by Amy to hit a full toss straight to her dad at mid-on. Nick Waddington went shortly after for a duck, courtesy of a low one-handed catch by Rob off his own bowling.

With Horley then 68 for 5 in the 15th over, Badgers had visions of restricting them to a reasonable total, but Richard Waddington had other ideas. He and Barnett added 34 for the sixth wicket before Barnett fell to another caught and bowled by Rob, this time a skier which Rob called for and pouched after an anxious wait for the ball to descend. Soon after, Rob ended his spell with figures of 11 overs, 2 maidens, 57 runs and 5 wickets.

For the rest of their innings, Horley upped their scoring rate to six an over. Rob was replaced by Daniel, and Amy, after a tidy spell of 7-2-30-1, was replaced by Jake. Kieron Childs went to a neat caught and bowled by Daniel, but Richard Waddington, encouraged by the spectators, who knew his score from the electronic scoreboard, seemed to be working his way inexorably to a century. Allan however became the villain of the piece when, in his second over, the 38th of the innings, he bowled Richard for 92, thanks to an ugly pull across the line, accompanied by groans from those watching. Horley, on 202 for 8, declared at the end of that over, with Thomas on 10 not out, Reid on 0 not out, and Dave Childs not getting a bat. The total included 21 extras, including 15 byes, despite the sterling efforts of Peter behind the stumps, reprising his stint as wicket keeper on tour at Iscoyd Park.

During the tea interval, Mark, possibly still not fully recovered from the day before, decided that the Badgers should bat in descending order of age. This resulted in Allan and Ian opening the batting, facing Ware and Thomas, two pacy bowlers with the ability to move the ball, both in the air and off the seam. There followed a Badgers collapse the like of which we have not seen for some time (Unless you count the collapse from 19 for 2 to 19 for 6 against Beechwood last year – Pedantic Statistical Ed.)

Allan was first to go, bowled by Thomas for two in the fourth over. In the same over, Matt was bowled for a duck. In Ware’s next over, Ian was caught and Bill followed next ball for a golden duck. After six overs, Badgers were 13 for 4.

To his credit, the Horley captain then took his openers off, bringing on Dave and Kieron Childs. Rob however went in the next over, caught in the gully for one, and Mark followed in the eighth over bowled by Kieron for five. Peter briefly raised Badgers’ hopes with a couple of boundaries, but was then caught off the bowling of Kieron for 11.

Ben thus found himself at the crease with only Daniel, Jake and Amy to come. He decided to take the attack to the opposition with some clean hitting, but lost Daniel bowled for a duck by Kieron. Jake, after hitting two lofted fours, was bowled by Kieron for 10, and this meant that Amy joined her cousin Ben as the last pair with the score on 46 for 9 at the end of the 12th over.

Whilst Ben continued regularly to despatch the ball to the boundary, Amy, with her usual determination, settled in to frustrate the Horley bowlers. She soon attracted the attention of the watchers, word having apparently got around that this was a Surrey player and captain of her age group. Her support enabled Ben to reach a well earned 50, and every run she scored was cheered. However, it was too good to last, and with the score on 97 and with 12 of the last 20 overs remaining, Ben, having already been dropped a couple of times, was caught by Thomas off a skier off the bowling of Perrow. Ben had scored 53, including seven fours, Amy was not out 8, and their partnership was worth 51. The innings had lasted just 22.4 overs.

Badgers were left to lick their wounds (or drown their sorrows), and Kerry, who had arrived during the afternoon, and Peter departed on their honeymoon.

Statistical Notes: Rob’s five wicket haul was his first such for the club, surpassing his previous best figures of 4 for 12 against Ripley last year. Ben’s fifty was his third this season, having only made one before then, and his 51 run tenth wicket stand with Amy was the fourth best in club history.

28th July – Weybridge Vandals: 183 for 8 dec.   Badgers: 171 for 8

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My apologies for the lack of a report for this game, but a lack of inspiration, perspiration and contribution has left us bereft

Statistical Notes: Allan’s first wicket in this match was his 350th for the club, fourth best all-time. Mark is not far behind him, needing four more himself to reach the 350 lifetime. Ironically the run on which I pulled my hamstring was my 7000th for the club, also fourth best all-time, although at the rate I’m going the 920 required to match Dave Tickner in third place are a long time away.

Richard Ward’s 81 was just two runs shy of his best ever score for the club, despite the fact that he has apparently played no cricket since he last turned out for us almost exactly three years ago. Let’s hope that it isn’t another three years before you turn out again Rich.

21st July – Malpas: 223 for 8 dec.   Badgers: 226 for 8

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My apologies for the lack of a report for this game, but a lack of inspiration, perspiration and contribution has left us bereft

Statistical Notes: Scoring such a large total to win a game felt like it ought to be a record of some sort, but we have made more to complete a successful run chase on four previous occasions – 233 against Old Alleynians in 2003, having made 222 to win the previous Saturday, 242 against Newchapel in 2004, 249 agaimst Woldingham in 2005 and 231 against Old Suttonians in 2010 – but this is the first time we’ve done so in a limited overs contest.

The unbeaten fifty run partnership that Allan and Mark put on for the ninth wicket is only the twelfth best for that wicket, but by coming to the wicket at the start of it, to commence his 214th innings for the club, Al passed Brent Noble into seventh place on the all-time list (behind the Tickner brothers, myself, Mark, Brian Moore and Roy Gordon).

One unusual thing that happened in this game was that Mark, having been forced to retire at fifty by local rule, came back to resume his innings at the fall of the eighth wicket, and ended up unbeaten. In order to accommodate that and still be able to process and validate the scorecard automatically, I have had to record him as ‘retired not out’ rather than just not out. Even then there were significant changes required to the back-end database, the associated code that handles partnership calculations and the PHP code used to collect the data from the Play-Cricket results pages in order to cater for the various implications.

19th July – Iscoyd & Fenns Bank: 257 all out   Badgers: 191 all out

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My apologies for the lack of a report for this game, but a lack of inspiration, perspiration and contribution has left us bereft

Statistical Notes: Since I mentioned Darrell’s 3000th run allowed last week it seems only fair that I should point out that Ben conceded his 1000th in this game, becoming the 28th Badger to concede the thousand. He also scored his third half century for the club, less than three weeks after notching his second and here’s hoping that there are many more to come.

14th July – Westfield: 80 all out   Badgers: 86 for 3

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My apologies for the lack of a report for this game, but a lack of inspiration, perspiration and contribution has left us bereft

Statistical Notes: This was the 21st time that Mark has caught three or more outfield catches in a game. Whilst the full data that I have only goes back to 1987, that is more than everyone else put together during that span, since the feat has been achieved on only 17 occasions by others, none of whom has more than three such hauls (although Greggy does have the distinction of having caught four in a game twice, equalling Mark in that respect).

I’m not really sure that it is fair to make anything of it, but Darrell conceded his 3000th run towards the end of his spell, the tenth Badger to have had that many scored off them. Of course the nine that have conceded more are all stalwarts of the club – you have to bowl a fair few overs to stand any chance of giving up that many runs – so I will leave it there for now (although I may later re-visit runs per over and strike rate figures).

7th July – Badgers: 183 all out   Old Suttonians: 184 for 6

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My apologies for the lack of a report for this game, but a lack of inspiration, perspiration and contribution has left us bereft

Statistical Notes: The second catch behind was my 200th wicket keeper catch for the club. Unfortunately I cannot tell you how many games I’ve kept wicket in, because that information isn’t recorded in the database and has only been noted in the scorebooks for the past twenty years or so. What I can tell you is that I’m still seventeen behind Roy Gordon, who undoubtedly has a better catches per game ratio than I do.

30th June – Wallington: 308 for 3   Badgers: 209 for 8

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My apologies for the lack of a report for this game, but a lack of inspiration, perspiration and contribution has left us bereft

Statistical Notes: Ben’s 72 is his highest score for the club, beating his previous best of 55 made against Windsor Great Park in 2010. Both innings were made chasing big totals, so it looks like that is the best way to pique his interest!? Ben and Jake added 105 for the fifth wicket which is the joint tenth best all-time (although they probably left another forty in singles out there, which would have put them close to the record) and Jake’s 25 runs were also his best score for the Badgers.

This is the first time in club history that an opponent has seen fit to post more than 300 for us to chase and it feels odd to score over 200 and still lose by the best part of 100 runs. The previous highest score against us was the 276 that Blindley Heath made in 2007 in a timed game, with the highest limited overs figure being a freak Conference arranged fixture with Egham in 1994 where they racked up a quite impossible (for the time) 265.

23rd June – Tadworth: 222 for 8   Badgers: 221 for 7

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[This report courtesy of Allan Butt]

The last day of Flaming June saw the scorers and a few spectators huddled on the boundary in whatever warm clothing they could find, seeking protection from a chill wind which whipped across the exposed Tadworth ground under leaden skies. Little did they suspect what excitement was to be dished up as Badgers somewhat reluctantly took to the field, Tadworth having won the toss and elected to bat first in this 40 over match.

Rob Knew opened the bowling from the top end with a very economic spell of seven overs, conceding only 12 runs (of which three were wides), but it was Darrell Pitts, opening up the hill, who made the first breakthrough when he had opener Young caught by Rob (yes, Rob!), in the eighth over with the score on 22. Ian Gregg replaced Rob, and in his first over had Tadworth’s other opener Christoph Sandler (35) caught by Allan Butt at long leg off a top edged pull. Tadworth had reached 50 in the 18th over when Jake Gordon, replacing Darrell (6-0-23-1), took the wicket of Ireland with a sharp return catch, having narrowly missed an even sharper chance earlier in that same over. When in his next over, the 20th, Jake had Patel caught by his dad, to reduce Tadworth to 64 for 4, Badgers had visions of restricting Tadworth to a reasonably low score.

Those dreams were shattered when left-hander Joe Button came to the crease and went on the attack. In seven overs, Button and Tadworth wicketkeeper Ward put on 53 runs before Allan, replacing Ian (6-1-36-1), bowled Ward for 41 scored off 40 balls, with five fours and one six. Allan however retired hurt, mentally if not physically, after an untidy spell of three overs which saw him concede 35 runs.

In the meantime, Bill Jenkins, turning out this time for Badgers, had replaced Jake after his creditable spell of 6-0-36-1, and Allan was replaced by skipper Mark. Button continued to play havoc with the bowling, and he and Steph Sandler added 65 for the next wicket, of which Sandler’s share was 16, before Bill had him caught behind by Steve Pitts. Charlie Young came and went for three, victim of a caught and bowled by Mark, and it was not until the final ball of the 40th over, bowled by Bill, that Button was finally out, caught by Mark on the long off boundary. He had scored 108 off 54 balls, including eleven fours and seven sixes, and taken Tadworth to 222 for 8. Bill finished with figures of 8-0-54-2, and Mark with 4-0-30-1.

After the usual splendid Tadworth tea, Matt Mann and Ian opened the batting for Badgers. They were confronted by some hostile fast bowling by Smith from the top end, and some loopy bowling by Mears. By the time Smith finished his spell of eight overs, he had captured the wickets of Matt, caught behind for 9, Ben Valentine bowled for a duck in the same over, the seventh of the innings, Ian bowled for 18 and Peter Snook caught behind for a duck, both in the ninth over. Smith finished his spell with the remarkable figures of 8-5-13-4. Bill and Mark steadied the ship somewhat, but Bill went caught for 24, and Rob soon followed, stumped after scoring three. Badgers had been reduced to 81 for 6 when Allan joined Mark in the 21st over of the innings, with Badgers still needing 142 runs to win.

Allan was determined to sell his wicket dearly after his lamentable bowling spell, and Mark did what Mark does best, despatching the ball to all corners of the ground. Gradually the run rate required came down, with Mark taking 20 runs off the 27th over, and 24 off the 33rd. By the end of the 38th over Badgers needed another 17 runs for victory, but Allan had taken a single off the last ball, to deprive Mark of the strike, and compounded the error by taking two off the first ball of the next over. After two dot balls, Allan tried an injudicious stroke and was bowled by Steph Sander. Allan’s contribution to an all-time Badgers record seventh wicket stand of 127 had been 22 runs off 61 balls.

Jake came to the wicket to join his dad, and hit his first ball for four. The start of the 40th and last over saw Badgers needing 11 to win, with Mark on strike. The first ball went for four, the second was a dot, the third went for two. Singles were scored off the fourth and fifth balls, leaving Mark needing three off the last for the victory. Robinson bowled a shortish ball on a tight off stump line, and only a single resulted. Badgers had lost the game by one run.

Mark’s splendid innings of 124 not out was scored off 87 balls, and included 16 fours and six sixes. After such an innings he hardly deserved to end on the losing side, but then no doubt Joe Button would have felt the same. Both sides retired to the pavilion satisfied that the quality of the cricket and the excitement of the game had more than made up for the miserable weather.

Statistical Notes: Mark’s unbeaten 124 is the fifth highest individual score for the club and the best since Chris Morgan’s 126 not out against Wrecclesham in 1988. The knock took just 87 balls (a strike rate of 143.5) and scattered sixteen fours and six sixes along the way.

The 127 run stand between Mark and Allan smashes the previous best seventh wicket partnership, erasing the second oldest record from the books (the impressive 97 that Alan Tickner and Jimmy Burke put on against Northcliffe in 1974) and leaving just one partnership record from the 1900s still standing – the 171 that Brent Noble and Albert Briscoe made for the fourth wicket at Dormansland in August 1970, which is the fourth highest partnership in club history, bettered only by the top three for the first wicket.

Greggy captured his 250th wicket for the club, becoming only the seventh Badger to reach that mark (although the other six are also beyond 300 and thus a fair way away if Ian has any desire to advance further up the ranking). Allan joined Mick Willmott on 267 games played for the club, in which category they are now joint seventh all-time. Before last Friday that would have read joint sixth and therein lies a tale, but if you aren’t interested in one of my long rambles amongst the dusty archives then I suggest that you stop reading and save yourself five minutes of your life for something more interesting.

I sat down last Friday to write a match report for the Leigh game but my current match report file contains a list of looming lifetime milestones and I noticed that Al needed one more game to tie Mick Willmott for most games played for the club and that he was only 11 games behind Brian Moore, which would be achievable this season. However, the games played information for Brian was incomplete, as it was for 28 others that feature in the lifetime averages and thus I was distracted into a displacement activity that involved going through the scans of the pre-1987 scorebooks and identifying all ‘did not bats’ for all of those players that had incomplete ‘games played’. The incompleteness of that data is something that has bugged me for some time, indeed I made a start at trying to fix it back in 2009 when I completed the information for a handful of those that were only missing a small number of seasons worth of data and for everyone for 1969 and 1970. However the size of the task daunted me then but this time the short cut of looking only for DNBs for those Badgers who featured in the lifetime averages but were missing some details meant it only took me a couple of hours or so.

Of course we still have the problem with the missing 1981 scorebook and of a dozen or so games in which all eleven player names were not recorded and cannot be derived from the bowling and fielding (or the scorecard for a subsequent beer match), but those are insurmountable obstacles that we just have to live with. The end result is probably of little interest to most of you, but I can now tell you that Darrell was actually the 37th Badger to reach a century of games for the club, not the 31st, and that Allan needs another 17 games to catch Brian Moore (although my statistical analysis suggests that Brian would almost certainly have at least one more game played in 1981).

Whilst Brian was one of the smaller changes, adding just seven games played from 28 seasons of participation, there were several others that changed significantly, the most important of whom was Roy Gordon who jumped ahead of Brian, Mick and Allan, into fifth all-time, by virtue of not having batted in 76 extra games, taking his games played from 253 to 329 with the probability of another three to six games from the 1981 season. Also, in checking the DNBs I noticed two occasions where players should have been given a nought not out rather than a DNB and thus both Dave Bowerman and my father Laurence have an additional innings and not out.

All of which means that not only have the lifetime averages miscellaneous stats changed significantly but I have also re-generated the official batting, complete batting and miscellaneous statistics for all seasons prior to 1987 and the personal pages.

16th June – Badgers: 170 for 8   Leigh: 103 all out

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Upon arrival both teams were clustered around wondering whether the drizzle would relent and we’d get a decent chance of a game of cricket, but as it was the weather gradually improved and we ended up playing on a lovely summer’s evening. The home side won the toss and asked the Badgers to take their forty overs first.

The arc of the visitors’ innings was very similar to last year, with Steve and Ian getting things off to a sluggish start, despite Leigh’s opening bowler Roser pulling up lame. His change made an immediate breakthrough and without Pat’s solid contribution from number three, in his first game of the season after back problems laid him low, the Badgers’ innings would probably have finished early. As it was wickets fell regularly and Pat’s biggest partnership was with the skipper, batting at eight. When Pat was out for 53, with six overs and two balls left, the score was 115 and the scoring rate had improved from 2.75 at the twenty over mark to 3.4. Bill and Foxy added some big overs to that, with Bill making 40 from 26 balls as the pair added an unbeaten 55 for the ninth wicket, with the final tally of 170 for 8 representing a rate of 4.25, which looked a reasonable score but 20 or so shy of par (especially when you consider that we made one run more last year and were well beaten).

When the Leigh innings got underway the target looked like being a long way short of par, and the result similar to last season, as Smith the younger battered 19 from the first over. Rob was immediately replaced by Bill (at his own request) who promptly removed the other, apparently gob-smacked, opener in his first over, but it was Al at the other end who did most to stop the game getting too far away from us in the short term. Even so the home side had racked up 68 from the first ten overs and the visitors had already spurned one opportunity to curtail Smith’s charge. Fortunately the next two chances to do so, both towering drives off Bill, fell to the skipper and the fact that he clung on to the second (slightly easier) one changed the game as Al and Bill then cleaned up the Leigh middle order. Three clean bowled and a sharp catch by Bill at leg slip removed numbers four through seven for less than ten runs between them and Leigh had declined to 79 for 7 from 16 overs. Al finished with 4 for 24 from his eight overs whilst Bill was the junior partner in every sense, grabbing 3 for 31 from his six.

The injured Roser, batting with a runner, and his opening bowling partner Chenery tried to rebuild, spending twelve overs adding 23 to the total, but Rob snared Roser in his final over and the rest of the tail subsided in short order. The innings closed at 103 all out from less than 30 overs and the Badgers had completed an amazing win that looked highly unlikely after 20 and 50 overs of the game.

Statistical Notes: This was Pat’s 44th half century (or better) for the club in just 118 innings, not to mention at least three others in games that didn’t count towards the averages, and almost incredibly a score of 53 caused his lifetime average to drop by a decimal point. Allan’s four wicket haul was his first such since 2009 at Merrow and his best figures since an identical return against Maori-Oxshott in 2005.

The unbroken 55 run stand between Bill and Foxy is the fifth best in club history and the eleventh ninth wicket stand of fifty or more.

This one could run and run all season, but Al’s haul this week takes him back past Mark into fourth place on the all-time wicket takers list. The pair are still more than thirty adrift of Mick Willmott in third place, so that probably isn’t a realistic target for this year, but hopefully the rivalry will continue through the remainder of the season and spur both to greater feats?!

9th June – Roehampton: 161 all out   Badgers: 96 all out

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Summary: Neither the weather nor the result were as good as the previous few weeks but at least the weather was considerably better than last year. Al and Ben opened the bowling and both bowled beautifully – in Ben’s case it may be the best I have ever seen him with ball in hand. Allan was signally unrewarded for his nine overs but Ben took a well deserved 3 for 27 from his eleven. The early scoring rate was glacial, barely exceeding two an over, but home skipper Henderson (68) found an able lieutenant in number five Peers (31), who helped him add 85 – although the visitors were convinced that they had him caught behind off Ben early in his innings and Steve made a hash of a couple of stumpings off successive deliveries to add to his lives. Darrell’s introduction into the attack broke their stand, a shot from Henderson being taken by Ben on the mid-wicket boundary. This precipitated a collapse that Mark also took advantage of, the slow bowlers finishing with three apiece, as Roehampton fell from 120 for 3 to 162 all out in the span of seven overs.

After the trek to and from the clubhouse for tea the Badgers were never really in the game. Steve got a Jaffa first ball and only Matt (17) of the first seven batters took any real toll of the bowling. Mark (29) and Jake built the best partnership of the innings, 34 for the eighth wicket, but when the skip holed out the innings declined to 96 all out. Jake faced 56 balls for his seven not out and we could have done with similar application from a couple of his elders further up the order.

Statistical Notes: Twelve runs into his innings of 27 Mark reached the 8000 run plateau for the club. Only Alan Tickner has passed that way before, and he is still more than fifteen hundred runs ahead, so it will be some time before Mark becomes the record holder in that category, although if he carries on at his recent pace it may only be another three seasons or so.

This is the first time since July 2007 at Ockham that three Badger bowlers have taken three or more wickets in the same game. Mark’s contribution to that piece of trivia means that he passed Allan into fourth all-time on the list of wicket takers, which was an unfair reflection on how well Allan bowled on the day. Obviously Al can re-take the fourth slot as the season progresses but it might also be worth pointing out that despite Allan’s longevity he has bowled more than 200 fewer overs than the skipper.

(You might also care to check out Roehampton’s report on the match)

2nd June – Leatherhead: 180 for 6 dec.   Badgers: 182 for 7

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Another lovely summer’s afternoon, which brought the spectators out in droves, and saw the Badgers start in the field (although there is some confusion over who won the toss). Mark tossed the new ball to Jake and Darrell, much to the barely concealed chagrin of the seam up fraternity, but the results justified the decision with Darrell taking an early wicket thanks to a diving catch by Jake in the gully and the scoring rate pegged around three an over for the first twenty. Both the young lads were given an over too many (and not just with hindsight, since Rob and I had a chat to that effect in the slip cordon before Darrell’s last over) but the change bowlers snared an early victim each, Greggy breaking the second wicket partnership at 66, of which the home number three had contributed just nine.

At the other end the home skipper, Mead, was proceeding fairly serenely and received rather more assistance from his young number five Walters, who used the pace of the ball to such good effect in one over that Bill went for more runs in those seven balls than he had during his nine over spell the previous week. Bill eventually ended Mead’s contribution at 107 (from 117 balls) by which time the scoring rate had risen to over four. Both Rob and Daniel snaffled wickets during their single over spells, with the latter signalling the end of Leatherhead’s innings as they declared on 180 for 6. We were unsure of the scheduled time for the tea break but it felt like quite a generous declaration given the fairly pedestrian scoring rate.

The Badgers got off to a shaky start but Greggy (37), opening the innings for only the fourth time for the club, and Pete (26) provided the necessary early propulsion and the speed of scoring was never really an issue throughout the innings. However wickets continued to tumble and when Rob (28) was out to the third ball of the last twenty overs the visitors were still 79 runs shy of their target with just four wickets, including the two juniors, left to fall. Young Waterman, bowling spin due to a bad back, tried to greet Bill with the same kind of delivery by which he himself had been castled earlier in the piece, and gifted five wides. The Badgers good humour did not last long though, as the skipper after a period of wary reconnaissance (10 runs from 45 balls) departed with 63 still required from the last fourteen overs.

Darrell joined Bill at that point and the pair mixed occasional belligerence with sensible rotation of the strike (the latter half of Darrell’s 18 came in singles) and proceeded to the target with surprisingly few alarms given the circumstances. Even the reintroduction of both opening bowlers didn’t disturb the pair’s equilibrium and Bill fell a couple of feet short of bringing up his personal fifty with the winning hit, finishing unbeaten on 48 with fourteen balls spare.

Statistical Notes: This was Greggy’s 150th innings for the club and he supplied us with a good one to mark the milestone, his third highest score for the club (with the two better innings both also coming whilst opening the batting). Sixteen other Badgers have 150 or more innings for the club and obviously the list is a who’s who of Badgers cricket, so welcome to an exclusive club Ian ☺

The unbroken 63 that Bill and Darrell put on for the eighth wicket represents the third best effort for that wicket, with Darrell also featuring in the best alongside Mark at Alleyns back in 2010.

26th May – Dormansland: 137 for 8 dec.   Badgers: 141 for 6

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Summary: Another sunny day but a slow wicket that both sides found tough to score on. Bill and Ben opened the bowling and the home side found Bill difficult to score off, to the extent that when he was removed from the attack they had amassed just 35 for 3 and Bill had figures of 9-4-13-3. Jake had replaced Ben halfway through Bill’s spell and he and Greggy continued to restrict the scoring. Jake ended wicketless but Dormansland continued to be frustrated, with Ian inducing a catch and Darrell two, and the scoring rate barely rose above two and a half. Amy came on as a sub for Rob, who split the webbing on his bowling hand whilst in the middle of an over, and was kindly allowed to finish that over and send down two others, claiming one victim for ten runs before the home side declared on 137 for 8 from 49 overs.

The Badgers didn’t find things much easier in reply and wickets fell regularly. Fortunately Wardy kept the ship on course and the scoring rate at three an over or better. Darrell (18) hung around for a while, and helped add 33 for the third wicket to build on the 34 for the second that had been mostly Graham’s work. With just 70 required from the last twenty overs even a handful of relative failures from the rest of the middle order didn’t stop Bill helping Graham, who finished unbeaten on 65, to add the final 32 runs necessary to take the visitors to their target with four overs unused.

Statistical Notes: His 3 for 13 was Bill’s best return for the Badgers, albeit from only eight games. Graham Ward, on the other hand, has batted over 150 times for the club but his innings of 65 not out represents the third highest score that he has made for the Badgers, and his best for nearly five seasons. Graham would almost certainly like me to point out that he made more than half of the runs to come from the bat, but in recent times Mark has made that a less than impressive proportion of the team’s total score, extras included!?

19th May – Stoke D'Abernon: 196 for 7   Badgers: 201 for 7

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Cricket played in sunshine, what will they think of next!? The Stoke skipper won the toss and elected to bat first in a 40 over game. His own contribution was curtailed at an impressive strike rate of 350 by his young opening partner, who ran him out before he’d had a chance to face his third delivery. That was the Badgers’ only early success and with Spreeth (33) and number three Gluckman (62) in steady flow it looked we might be chasing 230+. Second change Allan Butt did a fantastic job of stopping the game from getting away, keeping the scoring rate at 2.5 at his end, whilst Darrell Pitts was more expensive at the other but eventually snaffled a return catch (having dropped a much harder one a couple of overs before) to break the second wicket at 73 runs. Ben Valentine then took a couple of good catches in the deep to give Darrell three victims. The visitors did drop a few chances throughout the afternoon (some difficult and some by Rob Knew!?) but in the end some tidy overs by Jake Gordon helped to keep the score below 200 – Stoke finishing on 196 for 7.

The Badgers reply got off to a fast start but the introduction of Earl as first change tightened up one end and eventually lead to Steve Pitts (17) being over-ambitious at the other. Guy Walker continued untroubled, contributing the lion’s share of a 35 run second wicket partnership with Alec Cochrane. 98 were required from the second twenty overs but Peter Snook (21) added some impetus, helping Guy to add 49 over the next five overs and when Guy was out for an impressive 90 in the following over the target was 58 from 13 overs. Matt Mann (14) and Mark Gordon (25) kept things moving along, mostly in fours, and when skip was out 11 were required from three overs. Ben (20 no.) saved any jitters for the visitors by clattering two fours and the winning six in the penultimate over and Badgers had broken 200 in completing their first win of the 2013 season.

Statistical Notes: This was Guy Walker’s highest ever score for the Badgers, passing his previous best of 59 (made last year against Reigate Cavaliers) and is also his highest in any form of cricket. The contrast between the first ‘half’ of his innings and the rest is interesting. He came into the game struggling with a calf strain, spending most of the Stoke innings at slip, and not long after he reached his fifty he pulled up lame. This triggered a change of approach and his last thirty runs came up in just twelve balls with seven fours (which means that the first 60 took 70 balls, a decent scoring rate in itself).

Halfway through his eight over spell Darrell passed David Aldwinckle into fifteenth place on the list of Badgers with the most overs bowled for the club. The next few steps up the list are well spaced out so it will be a while before he passes Albert Briscoe for the next slot, but most of those in the next half dozen places are no longer active (as bowlers, anyway) so he just needs to keep plodding away in order to get into the top ten.

This was the 22nd time that the Badgers have made 200 batting second, with 13 of the 22 being wins, 6 draws and 3 losses. Most of them have occurred in the past decade (17 of the 22) and three of them have been against Stoke.

(You might also care to check out Stoke’s report on the match)

12th May – Ham & Petersham: 231 for 4   Badgers: 194 for 8

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A cool, damp spring day is not really the time of year to be playing on a ground where the clubhouse is the other side of a fairly busy road several hundred yards away – NOTE to Matt, we need to try to move this fixture back to July, where it was before the 2012 Olympic cycle race – and conditions were such that the middle half of this game was fairly unpleasant weather-wise. Mark inserted the home side and for the first sixteen overs we kept the game under control, with a run out and a deserved wicket for Jake, who was definitely the pick of the bowlers, producing a score of 54 for 2.

Ham’s three and four then took the game away from us with Mahbub slashing and slicing his way to fifty from 36 balls, and only taking 13 more to reach 74, before Matt pulled off an impressive running catch to deny his race to the ton. One brought two, as Graham would no doubt say, but 151 for 4 from 28.2 overs quickly became 231 in just over eight more overs (including a maiden from the skipper), at which point the home skipper (unbeaten on 64) put us out of our misery.

Ham have a brand new clubhouse on their bijou plot – the showers were especially good – and tea was taken hunkered down in the changing area rather than the pub next door. It seemed to have a revitalising effect on the visitors, helped a little by persistent drizzle starting to make underfoot conditions a little tricky. Graham did his openers’ job and when Peter (30) joined him and tonked a few (facing just nineteen balls) the score was moving along nicely. Unfortunately the onslaught prompted Mahbub (in what appeared to be a pre-planned move) to shed the wicket-keeping gloves and join the attack. Even off a short run (no doubt dictacted by the conditions) he was brisk and straight enough to prompt caution from Steve, who had joined Graham on Peter’s departure. The pair managed to keep the score moving along, adding 49 in 10+ overs, but most of them were scored at the other end.

Graham (55) eventually missed a straight one, Matt added 14 quick runs before doing the same, and after a brief cameo from Jake his dad strode to the wicket with the game still just about in the balance – 69 from just over five overs was just about possible given the short boundary on one side. It was not to be however, a steer to slip ending the skipper’s innings before it had really begun and when a top-edged hook somehow failed to clear the short square leg boundary to end Steve’s knock a few inches shy of fifty, Rob and Allan were left to play out the last three overs. This they did with no more alarms and a handful of fours. In the end we were 37 runs shy of the home total but had made a decent fist of chasing what had looked to be a mammoth total.

Statistical Notes: The declaration in this game provides a fine example of how the game has changed over the years. Prior to the 1990s there were just two occasions when opponents registered a score of 225 or more – with one of those being the very first game when we turned out to be completely over-matched. The 1990s saw eight more, whilst the new millenium brought 27 more before this one. Equally, prior to 2003 we had only once successfully chased down a total of more than 200, whilst we have done so eight times since, with half of those being greater than 225. In the end I would argue that the home skipper got his declaration about right, especially since we ended up facing two more overs than they did.

There was some confusion this week regarding the scores, with the paper scorebook showing several discrepancies with CricHQ on the tablet. Young Harry from the home team took the book away to write it up in theirs and tidied up some maths errors, but it still didn’t tie up and it turned out that the cheeky chappy had taken some runs off his own bowling figures to make things look like they added up correctly! Having fed the whole of the bowling analysis for our innings from the scorebook through my scorecard checker I have resolved most of the discrepancies, which mainly involved runs not being credited to the batsman, and decided to go with CricHQ for the one remaining difference, since I can find no evidence in favour of either interpretation (Darrell was umpiring and I was batting during the short period involved, and neither of us can recollect which of the two scenarios actually occurred).

28th April – Badgers: 139 all out   Beechwood: 107 for 7

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My apologies for the lack of a report for this game, but even the week off didn’t provide any more inspiration than last year

Statistical Notes: Just over halfway through his innings of 48 Mark passed Dave Tickner into second place on the list of all-time run scorers for the Badgers and now needs 58 more to reach the 8000 plateau. Alan Tickner is still a fair way ahead, with 9566 runs to his name, but at the rate Mark is going it may only take a handful of seasons for him to become the most prolific run scorer in club history. After the game Mark claimed that this was only the second time he had been dismissed stumped, even remembering the opponent of the previous occasion. As it turns out he has been stumped twice previously in games for the club, but both of them were against the remembered opposition – Dormansland – and a fair while ago – in 1993 and 1996.

In contrast to Mark’s long-term milestone there were a couple of individual firsts in the game too, with Peter Snook taking his first wicket in his first spell for the club and Mark’s daughter Amy her first proper run (ignoring those scored in the extra over at Alleyns in 2010). Hopefully both will supply many more down the years, as Mark has done.

Steve Pitts’ catch behind in this game took him to 400 lifetime fielding dismissals (ie. outfield catches, wicket keeper catches and stumpings) but no doubt Mark will eventually surpass that total in outfield catches alone.

(You might also care to check out Beechwood’s page on the match which features a brief match report)