Badgers Cricket Club – Season 2019 Match Reports


This page holds the match reports for all games played during the 2019 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.

15th September – Horsley & Send: 162 for 8   Badgers: 165 for 7

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My apologies for the lack of a report for this game, but nothing was written at the time and there is no chance anything will be now

Statistical Notes: Vinny recorded his best ever bowling figures for the Badgers, surpassing his performances at Westgate-on-Sea earlier this season and Blindley Heath last year. In the process he took his third five-fer of the season and thus, as flagged up in the Westgate statistical notes, becomes the first Badger since Mick Willmott all the way back in 1993 to take three or more five wicket hauls in a season, and the first to do it playing primarily in limited overs games (Mick took five five-fers in 1993 but all of them came from more than eight overs – although I should point out that the last wicket in one of Vinny’s hauls was taken in his tenth over at Ottershaw in one of only two timed games we played this season). Three-quarters of the way through his eight over spell he also passed Huw Campbell into 22nd on the lifetime overs bowled list.

Allan Butt played his first game of the season and thus played in at least one game for the 36th season, taking him out of a tie for fourth place with Roy Gordon for most seasons played. The fact that he also bowled and took a wicket means that more than 59 years have elapsed between the first time he did so and the latest (although that is slightly less than the roughly 64 year age gap between the batsman and the bowler, assuming that my informant was correct about the young man’s age).

In the process of taking a bit of a pasting in his second and last over Jake passed Foxy into 11th place on the all-time runs allowed list.

8th September – Ripley: 198 for 8   Badgers: 199 for 4

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My apologies for the lack of a report for this game, but nothing was written at the time and there is no chance anything will be now

Statistical Notes: Jake reached his 29th fifty for the Badgers with the boundary that tied the scores, tying Brian Moore for fifth place on the list of lifetime scores of fifty or more (but doing so in just 129 innings compared to Brian’s 271, and that doesn’t factor in how many of those innings were played before he was old enough to hit the ball off the square – I would discount at least 23 of them). He also passed Keith Miller into 21st spot on the lifetime innings list.

Vinny made his personal best score for the club, an incremental improvement on his previous best at Westcott in 2013, whilst sharing in a fifth wicket stand of 93 (from just 73 balls) that was also a personal best for him, for any wicket, if not for his partner, and the best for that wicket this season (surpassing the 58 that Rod and Jake put on last week)

Ricky does not often get asked to bowl, just 12 times in the 49 matches that he has played in that have counted towards the averages, and his seven overs in this one (a full spell, since it was a 35 over game) were the most he had ever been asked to send down. The resultant 4 for 45 represents by far his best bowling figures, bettering the 2 for 22 that he recorded at Westcott in 2014.

A late cancellation and a last minute Conference arranged fixture saw a second return visit of the season, following our return trip to Stoke D'Abernon a fortnight ago, something that has not happened since 1982, when we still played home and away against a couple of opponents (Sutton Railway and Wallington Cottagers in that instance, so all recreation grounds). Prior to 1982 it was the norm to play teams twice each year, with as many as six such pairs in some seasons, and 1972 being the only occasion when we played less than two (possibly because of weather related cancellations, but I do not have fixture cards prior to 1978 so I am unable to check). Since 1982 there have been a handful of instances of a single repeat visit in a season – Wallington Cottagers in 1984, Newchapel & Horne in 1988, Merrow in 2002 and Tadworth in both 2011 and 2016 – but never the double dip.

1st September – Blindley Heath: 152 all out   Badgers: 156 for 5

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My apologies for the lack of a report for this game, but nothing was written at the time and there is no chance anything will be now

Statistical Notes: Early in his innings Jake passed Wardy into ninth on the list of all-time run scorers, and by the time he was dismissed he had also passed Darren Hanley by a couple of runs into eighth place with 3,067. There are over 1,500 more required to reach Brent Noble in seventh, but we’ll revisit that requirement in a couple of seasons. His impressive diving catch in the covers during the Blindley Heath innings also took him out of a share of seventh place for lifetime catches with Greggy. Fourth place on that list is well within his compass by this time next season.

At the end of his sixth over, a gem in which he set the Blindley Heath number three up beautifully for the coup de grace with the yorker off the last ball, Billy became only the tenth Badger to record 200 maidens for the club. More impressively perhaps, he finished the game with fractionally over 30% of his overs being maidens, a figure bettered only by Brian Moore’s 31.79 and even more remarkable in the context of the changes in the game since Brian (and many others near the top of that list) stopped playing.

Vinny continues his march up the lifetime ‘tired legs’ list of overs bowled, passing Dave Clark into 23rd during his sixth over.

This was our 33rd game against Blindley Heath, starting back in September 1985, taking them out of a tie for second place in that regard with Montrose, who we last played in May 1981 but who for many years we played twice each season. Two of the first three contests were played at Rose Hill but the remainder have all seen us visit Ray Lane. This was our 13th win, with 16 draws and 4 losses (I am slightly surprised by the latter number given how many runs Neil Burchett has made against over the years) but the most important thing about the fixture for me is that the games have always been played in the right spirit.

Surprisingly, given the relatively cosy size of the playing area, no Badger has ever scored a ton there (there might be others, but I am fairly certain that Neil made one against us back in 2007) so the top score remains my 97 back in 2000. I have appeared in the game the most times (28) and have also batted the most often (22) and scored the most runs (590, the last two facts being intimately entwined) whilst Jake has the best average of anyone with at least five innings, with 48.67 from seven knocks. Wardy has the best bowling figures, 6 for 41 in 2005, Mark the most games (21), overs bowled (164.0) and overtook Alan Tickner for the most wickets in this game (Mark now has 21 to AT’s 20), whilst it is Jake again with the best average, 13 wickets at 12.15 each.

25th August – Stoke D'Abernon: 162 all out   Badgers: 116 all out

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My apologies for the lack of a report for this game, but nothing was written at the time and there is no chance anything will be now

Statistical Notes: Jake played his 127th innings for the club and thus passed Graham Davenport into 22nd place on the lifetime innings list. With the first boundary hit, and second scoring shot, of his innings he reached the 3,000 run plateau, becoming the 11th Badger to record that many runs in games that counted towards the averages. By the time he was out he had also passed David Aldwinckle into 10th place on the all-time run scoring slate and finished just three runs shy of Graham Ward in 9th, who had earlier failed to add to his own total.

Earlier in the piece Jake’s two catches took him into a tie for 7th place on the list of lifetime outfield catches with Greggy whilst the one that Darrell took was sufficient to break a tie with Ben and give him sole possession of 10th place in that category. Halfway through his frugal spell of bowling Vinny passed David Winter into 24th place on the lifetime ‘tired legs’ list of overs bowled for the club.

In addition to this week’s milestones there were a handful of unusual events in this game that required some heavy database delving to put into context. Firstly, there were three golden ducks. It is impossible to identify how rare is a trio of those birds, because historically we have not recorded balls faced (and generally the information just is not there in the scorebooks to even work it out). We do have that data for all games since 2014 (and a smattering of others prior to that, especially after we started experimenting with CricHQ in 2012) and in that time not only is this the first occasion but it turns out that even a brace is an unusual event. There are only four other instances of two goldens in an innings in the database prior to this season, and two others this season, including last week at Leigh, where it went unremarked.

Secondly, we had a rare appearance from Rakesh Dawar and the even rarer sight of him taking a catch. This led to Wardy setting me the poser of whether the gap between the last (and only other) time that Rako took a catch and this one was a record of any sort, but it sounds like later discussions may have spotted a couple of obvious candidates to surpass him. I have not yet tried to confirm this programmatically but there was a gap of at least 459 games between Allan Butt’s last catch in 1966 and the two he caught on his return to playing regularly in 1992, and he did not catch any in the handful of appearances he made in between. Rako’s 244 game gap pales into comparison with that, and even then is not the longest in the data we do have – that ‘honour’ falling to Phil Smith on 247. I intend to dig into this further but that will have to do for now as I have run out of time for further research (you’ll no doubt be glad to know).

Finally there is an interesting aside arising from the fact that our score in this game was identical to the previous meeting – 116 all out in both games – which led me to wonder how unusual that might be. Turns out, not very, whichever aspect you care to examine. Two games in the same season with the same total score has happened 55 times, with the added twist that on two further occasions a third game ended on the same total. In fact both of those feats occurred in the first six games of the club’s existence, games three and four both finishing with the Badgers 108 all out having batted first, one win one loss, and then game six seeing a repeat, albeit batting second and for only seven down, in another victory. Games nine and ten also ended with duplicated scores, just 49 this time and both lost.

The same score against the same team has happened three times previously, once in each of 1967 (Barnes AC), 1968 (Century) and 1988 (Newchapel & Horne), with the latter being notable for an end of season visit being so enjoyable that the two teams decided to do it all again and in the second leg the Badgers notched exactly the same (losing) score, despite having batted first in the first game and second in the other. The high point for repeated totals was 1998 when 133, 134, 166 and 169 were all achieved twice but no other season has seen more than two (unless you count the triples as two or, cribbage scoring-stylee, three). All told, with the caveat that there are four games still to play this season, there have been 20 seasons in which there were no duplicate totals, 29 in which there were just one (including one triple) and 11 with two (one of which was a triple).

18th August – Badgers: 136 for 9   Leigh: 139 for 8

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My apologies for the lack of a report for this game, but nothing was written at the time and there is no chance anything will be now

Statistical Notes: This was the Billy Jenkins show, with Jake playing second fiddle and the rest of the cast in minor roles. Bill recorded his fourth fifty this season, doubling his lifetime total for the club, and his fourth score of fifty or more in his last five appearances (with the other being a 22 not out). He becomes the 19th Badger to record eight scores of fifty or more and is now tied with Darrell, Richard Ward and Albert Briscoe in 16th place on that list. Early in his innings Bill passed both Barry Passmore and Greggy into 22nd place on the all-time run scorers slate.

This is the first time in a limited overs match that any Badger has managed to bowl all eight overs for less than eight runs – Bill’s final figures being eight overs, three maidens, three wickets for seven runs – with the previous best being when Rob only conceded eight runs at Addington in 2015. With the final over of his spell Bill passed Albert Briscoe into 17th place on the lifetime overs bowled list whilst Vinny bowling his full complement left him in a tie with Graham Ward for 25th.

Six wickets down for just 21 runs is the most parlous position the Badgers have found themselves in since being 19 for 6 against Horley in 2013. Whilst I am sure there are others lurking amongst some of the lower totals in the early days, the worst I have recorded in the database (currently going back to 1985) was the year before at Merrow when we were 15 for 6 (and 7). On both occasions we effected a decent recovery but did not reach three figures or avoid being bowled out, so kudos to the lower order this time for posting a total that created a competitive and interesting game.

11th August – Old Whitgiftians: 243 for 6   Badgers: 218 for 7

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My apologies for the lack of a report for this game, but nothing was written at the time and there is no chance anything will be now

Statistical Notes: Darrell had a busy afternoon numbers-wise as he played his 212th game for the Badgers, taking him out of a tie with Pete Legge and into sole possession of 15th place on the all-time appearances table. The 72 that he notched, to top score a Badgers’s innings for the 17th time, was his second highest score for the club, behind only his ton against Cuddington Casuals in 2016 and lifts him into a tie with Albert Briscoe and Richard Ward for 16th place on the lifetime fifties or better list. On the other hand, the first six clubbed off his fourth over took him past 5,000 runs allowed, the seventh Badger to concede that many. Vinny too advanced a place on that particular list, when hit for four during his fifth over, passing Andy Parker into 18th place.

Jake returned to action for the Badgers with a bang – although he looked like a man who had not played any cricket in a year in his only over – taking a spectacular low diving catch in the covers and then notching up his 28th fifty, tying him with Dave Tickner and Brent Noble in sixth on the lifetime list of innings of fifty or more. The 106 that Jake and Darrell put on together was the joint 12th best for the fourth wicket and the highest for that wicket since Mark and Pat’s 116 at Morden Parish in 2008.

Finally, in a neat coincidence from my point of view, when their top scorer Reece shimmied past one to give Darrell and I another stumping he became my 198th lifetime victim with the score, glowing brightly on the Whitgiftian’s electronic scoreboard, on 198.

4th August – Margate: 256 for 9   Badgers: 135 all out

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My apologies for the lack of a report for this game, but nothing was written at the time and there is no chance anything will be now

Statistical Notes: The Sunday game on tour was remarkable only for its lack of remarkable events (no bowler took more than two wickets and only Vinny passed 20 runs) but it was the highest losing margin (in terms of runs) since Merrow in 2012 (albeit only four runs more than the loss to Stoke D'Abernon back in May)

Vinny sent down his full quota of overs in this game and thus passed Phil Walters into 26th place on the list of lifetime overs bowled. He and Matt also put on 40 for the last wicket, which is the eighth best for the tenth wicket in club history, and gets a mention because it is above the arbitrary ‘interesting’ limit that I set for that wicket.

Despite being scored on the Total Cricket Scorer app, by someone who obviously knew what they were doing, we had all sorts of problems with the scoring record for this one which took me well over a week to sort out. The issues and decisions are all documented in emails between myself and Dave Williamson, who was incredibly helpful in getting things squared off, but I have not yet had time to add them to the Statistical Sett.

3rd August – Westgate-on-Sea: 200 all out   Badgers: 203 for 5

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My apologies for the lack of a report for this game, but nothing was written at the time and there is no chance anything will be now

Statistical Notes: Vinny took five wickets for the third time for the Badgers, the 19th Badger to take at least three five-fers for the club, and tied his personal best set last season at Blindley Heath. This was also his second five-fer of the season – a feat so rare these days that only Darrell has taken more than one in a single season in the past decade — and were he to snare another over the remaining month and a half of the season he would become the first Badger to record three or more in a season for over 25 years! (Don’t let it go to your head though Vin, Brian Moore once did it eight times, in sixteen games, and managed five or more such hauls in eight different seasons)

Bill’s 59 was his third highest score for the club and his seventh score of fifty or more, which ties him with Darrell in 18th place on the lifetime list of fifties or better. It was also his third consecutive appearance with a score of fifty or more, but I’m afraid that as things stand I cannot tell you how rare a feat that is, even from the full data that we have (I have had a look at modifying the streak calculation program to cater for it, but it is a non-trivial change that I do not have the time for at the moment). On hitting the final boundary of his innings Bill reached 1500 runs for the club, becoming the 25th Badger to pass that milestone (and the second on this tour!)

This was Wardy’s 227th game for the club taking him past Simon Fox into 12th on the lifetime appearances list. Ben made his 152nd appearance, which ties him with Graham Davenport for 22nd on the all-time list. Theoretically both are also tied with Dave Bowerman in 21st on the list, but Dave almost certainly has additional games played in 1981 (my best guess would be another half dozen, at least, because Dave regularly played but did not bat).

Rob played his 104th innings for the club and thus passed Alan Wilkes into 27th place whilst during his sixth over Vinny passed the 500 over mark, becoming the 27th Badger to achieve that milestone.

2nd August – Walmer: 244 for 9   Badgers: 185 for 8

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My apologies for the lack of a report for this game, but nothing was written at the time and there is no chance anything will be now

Statistical Notes: After having his maiden fifty denied by the scorecard checking after the Putney game, Daniel finally nailed it in this game, with five consecutive fours off the first five balls of the final over of our innings bringing up the milestone, much to my relief. This was the sixth time that Bill had passed fifty for the club, making him the 21st Badger to do so. Ben’s four wicket haul was his fourth such for the club and his best figures since also taking four at Dormansland in 2017.

During his unbeaten 29 Ben passed Mike Law into 24th place on the all-time run scorers list and finished up three runs past the 1500 mark. Darrell’s caught and bowled in this game takes him out of a tie with Allan and into one with Ben for tenth spot on the all-time list of outfield catches on 76. Greggy batted for the 212th time in matches that counted for the averages, tying him with Richard Kemp in ninth all-time.

The unbeaten partnership of 72 (from just 43 balls) between Daniel and Ben was the third highest in club history for the ninth wicket, although they’d only got two-thirds of the way to the leading effort, between Mark and Bill at Whitgiftians in 2017 (which also has the distinction of being a match-winning one) before running out of overs.

This was the thirteenth game of the season and the fifth ton recorded against the Badgers. Since I don’t track the opposition details in the Badgers database I cannot say for certain whether or not that is a record of any kind, but it certainly feels like one.

21st July – Ewell: 164 for 6   Badgers: 135 for 7

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My apologies for the lack of a report for this game, but nothing was written at the time and there is no chance anything will be now

Statistical Notes: Amy’s 59 was her joint second best score for the club and fifth half century, which puts her into a tie in 21st place on the lifetime list of scores of fifty or more with Rob, Bill and Andy Ducker. Not had from just 33 innings!?

Just before the end of his third over Darrell bowled his 1,000th over for the club, the ninth Badger to send down that many. He has a long way to go to rise to eighth place, having finished the day on 1005.1 he needs more than 280 overs to match Alan Wilkes’s tally – that’s about four seasons’ worth at his recent per season pace.

One oddity in this game was the fact that all six wickets that we took were either caught or stumped, whilst all seven of our dismissed batters fell either bowled or LBW. No idea how unusual that is, since I don’t track the opposition’s how outs in our database, but it feels strange.

14th July – Oxted & Limpsfield: 274 all out   Badgers: 184 for 7

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My apologies for the lack of a report for this game, but nothing was written at the time and there is no chance anything will be now

Statistical Notes: Amy’s 86 was her best for the club, beating the 59 not out that she made against Blindley Heath in 2016, and the best score by a Badger since her old man’s 119 at Banstead in 2017.

With the last ball of his first spell of five overs Vinny became the 19th Badger to allow 2,000 runs off his bowling, if nothing else indicating that he has become a workhorse with the ball for the club over the six seasons he has been playing for us.

The 274 that Oxted posted is the third highest score against us and the most since the record of 308 was achieved by Wallington in 2013. I also had the fun and games of deciding how to record the result given that our innings ended an over early, so that both teams could retire to the bar to watch the Super Over in the World Cup final. I suggested to Mark that I might treat it as declared but that doesn’t really feel right and potentially causes problems in various places. Reviewing the Laws and Tom Smith’s it seems that really the situation should be treated as Match Conceded (as per Laws and 16.7) but that too feels awkward, especially for a Badgers’ game and thus I have left things as they would be if the fortieth over had been bowled as a maiden.

7th July – Old Wimbledonians: 110 all out   Badgers: 112 for 8

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My apologies for the lack of a report for this game, but nothing was written at the time and there is no chance anything will be now

Statistical Notes: Darrell’s three catches in this one – which included an absolute blinder to remove the opposition’s top scorer – take him to 75 and into a tie for 11th place on the lifetime catches list with his Great-Uncle Allan, albeit in 86 fewer appearances. The list is pretty crowded above where Darrell currently sits, with three active players and Foxy between him and the seventh place occupied by Greggy on 83.

Graham Ward played his 205th innings for the club, taking him into sole possession of 11th place, ahead of Barry Passmore, on the all-time list. Greggy is a handful of innings ahead of him (with his excursion to lean on his bat and watch Andy hit the winning runs being his 210th) and both have a chance of making it into eighth or ninth place, ahead of Brent Noble (213) and Richard Kemp (212) respectively, as the season progresses. In the middle of his innings Wardy passed David Aldwinckle into ninth place on the lifetime run scoring list and the next spot will be up for grabs the next time he bats.

Greggy’s nonchalant knock was his 46th not out, in which list he is now tenth, sandwiched between Allan Butt and Brent Noble whilst Rob’s also fairly brief visit was his 103rd knock for the Badgers and moved him into a tie for 27th place with Alan Wilkes. Earlier in the piece Rob had one expensive over during his bowling spell, going for three boundaries in his fourth over, and in doing so passed Foxy (who watched some of the game, but not that bit) into tenth place on the all-time slate of runs allowed.

I would like to be able to tell you just where our fairly paltry run rate in this game stands in the overall pantheon of Badgers’ innings but sadly the data on total overs was only added to the database in the middle of 2008. At that point I derived the overs bowled by the Badgers from the individual bowling details but (it looks like, I no longer remember) only bothered manually entering the overs faced for limited overs matches between 2007 and 1988. All the games from seasons fully recordded in Play-Cricket (1985-1987, 2004 and 2008 onwards) either had the information entered from the beginning or have had it retrofitted but that still means that we have overs faced by the Badgers for barely more than 30% of the matches and overs bowled for just under 60%.

Bearing that in mind, the 2.91 runs per over that we managed in scraping to victory in this game were not the slowest effort in a winning cause batting second since we only managed 2.71 in beating Crondall in 2004 and more recently 2.82 in squeaking past Cuddington Casuals in 2013. The most pedestrian efforts we have on record batting first in games that we still managed to win are the glacial 2.08 an over against Rowan in 1986 (although it was a different game in those days) and the 2.84 at Horley in 2016.

Wimbledonians effort was way down the list of slowest scoring against the Badgers, even if we eliminate scores below 100 or fewer than 30 overs. The raw list is topped by the meagre 0.9 managed by Roehampton in 2014 and includes 27 instances of run rates below two an over (although unsurprisingly none of those featured a three-figure total score). Limiting the list to innings that lasted at least 30 overs only reduces the sub 2.0 list to 20 instances, this time with Seveno in 1997 at the ‘top’ on just 1.18 runs per over. Adding the proviso that at least 100 runs need to be scored leaves us with the 2.01 per over amassed by Cheam in 2014 and still 76 other run rates worse than our host’s 3.11 per over. Arguably all of those pale into insignificance against the Newchapel & Horne game in 1994 where the home side took 51.3 overs to amass 79 all out, a quite amazing thought for anyone that has played on that postage stamp of a ground.

30th June – Badgers: 195 all out   Ripley: 66 all out

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A blazing hot afternoon on Ripley Green saw twelve Badgers turn up, as expected apparently, and a certain amount of haggling took place over who would form the starting eleven until Greggy played the age card and got to spend the afternoon spectating with a beer in his hand. Darrell and Andy opened the batting and it was the former who struck several nice fours across the lightning fast outfield before being undone by a straight one the ball after one of those boundary hits. Andy then started to find his feet a little to push the scoring rate towards five an over before things stagnated somewhat with the introduction of the change bowlers. Second change Ilyas Rafiq was to prove a regular thorn in the Badgers’ side obviously bowling a fair few straight ones as he gradually took the innings apart.

His spell started innocuously enough but after that first over he took a wicket in each of his next five, castling Daniel, trapping Andy (32) in front after a slightly bizarre string of five wides and two boundary hits (although there was some confusion over how Andy was actually out, that thinking about it we never clarified with Matt Smith who was umpiring at the time) and then repeating the leg before medicine to both Matt Mann and Rod such that drinks were taken in the twentieth over with the visitors five down for 79. Rob continued the sequence after the interval by having his stumps disturbed in Rafiq’s next over before Ben broke things up by taking ten off the next one without getting out. Rob’s dismissal had brought Tom to the crease and he had hit one nice pull shot in the over before Ben’s onslaught but changed things up by giving a different bowler a victim when nicking the slow bowler Gibbons to the opening bowler who was now keeping wicket.

Another straight delivery in his final over saw Rafiq clean up Matt Smith too and he finished his spell with 6 for 33. At this point the Badgers were 104 for 8 from 26 overs but Vinny joined Ben, who had stood firm whilst wickets tumbled around him, and the pair started to take full toll of some fairly ragged slow bowling. The opening bowler who was not keeping wicket was brought back into the attack but in the end it was one of the slow bowlers, Gibbons again, who added a second notch to his tally with a straight one that beat Vinny (23) shortly after the fifty partnership came up with Ben still ten shy of his fifty. Mark strode out to the middle in the midst of one of the leanest spells of his Badgers career, having made just one run in his last three innings and five ducks in his last nine, but he was able to keep Ben company and even notch up a red-inker. Ben brought up his half century in the midst of one of the more outlandish overs I have ever witnessed in a game of cricket – featuring five no balls and two wides and costing 22 runs in all – before being caught for 58 in the final over of the innings off the bowling of the original wicket keeper.

The Badgers thereby finished on 179 all out, having added 91 runs for the last two wickets, but that turned out to be rather more than necessary. After tea Matt Smith and Rob opened the bowling and between them bowled the openers cheaply before Rob had the number three pouched by the skipper at slip, a regulation catch straight into the bread basket. This brought two 14 year olds to the wicket, and saw the opening pair replaced by 13 year old Tom and grizzled veteran Darrell. The youngsters had added 28 runs for the fourth wicket and taken their team past 50 at a rate just over four an over before Darrell induced a catch to deepish mid on where Mark didn’t even have to move in taking his second of the day. From this point the innings subsided, with Tom taking a pair of wickets in each of his next two overs – the other youngster holing out to Matt Smith at deep midwicket off the very next ball, before various adults arrived to be first clean bowled, then caught by Ben in front of square on the leg side off a gentle chip and by Mark at slip to one that looped gently over the keeper’s head.

Mark has taken some mind boggling catches in his time, and this was the 28th time he has taken at least three outfield catches in an innings, but these must be three of the easiest he has ever had to deal with. Vinny replaced Darrell for an over but Tom then finished proceedings off by bowling the home skipper to snag his five-fer and ten man Ripley had subsided to 66 all out.

Statistical Notes: Tom almost certainly became the youngest ever Badger to record a five-fer – at 13 amd less than two months a most impressive performance either way – although it is almost impossible to be certain because I don’t have birth dates for most of the club members down the years. I feel it is unlikely to have happened before I started playing and since then the only candidates I can dream up are Mark (who was 15 before he first bowled and a decade older before his first five wicket haul), Darrell (who was ten and two months the first time he bowled, but four years older than that before he bowled again and a little over 17 before his first five-fer) or Jake (who was 14 and five months when he first took five, although he was only nine years and six months when he first bowled and in his third ever bowling outing for the club he did take four at ten years and three months and later repeated the feat – in a 24 over spell – at age 12 and seven months). Whichever way you cut it though taking five wickets in an adult game whilst barely a teenager is a very impressive feat indeed.

This was Ben’s sixth fifty for the club, his first since Churchdown on tour in 2017 and his second highest ever score behind the 72 he made at Wallington in 2013. He also passed Keith Miller into 20th place on the all-time innings list with 129.

The 52 that Ben and Vinny put on feels like it ought to be a significant partnership for the ninth wicket but it turns out that there have been twelve others of 52 or more, with the best of them more than twice that, between Mark and Bill at Whitgiftians in 2017.

23rd June – Tadworth: 176 all out   Badgers: 180 for 7

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Still no real sign of warmer weather, so another overcast although thankfully not particularly chilly afternoon at Tadworth this week. The Badgers only had eight in advance of the game, although Sahil appeared after only a handful of overs and trotted out on to the pitch for us for the first time since September 2013. Tadworth had decided we should play anyway, despite our lack of numbers, and supplied us with two additional players from their ranks – Giles Baker and Sid Hussain – although it didn’t look like Sid had been forewarned but was kind enough to agree to play for us despite that. Opening bowlers Rob and Daniel Ward had conflicting fortunes early on, with Rob bowling tidily and having opener Wilson caught at the wicket by Graham, diving across first slip to snare a good one, whilst Daniel was all over the place, especially in his third over which included three no balls, one bouncing considerably more than twice and another passing a good five feet over the batsman’s head.

Giles was given the chance to have a bowl as first change, with Daniel getting the hook after conceding 26 runs in his four overs, and probably wished that he had not been to start with as his mates, W Bawden and W Ireland, tucked into some wayward stuff to the tune of 18 runs off his first over, bringing up the Tadworth fifty, and another eight off his second to match Daniel in half as many overs. With Rob going for another ten in the over between those two, things were rapidly getting out of hand for the visitors, but Giles settled into his work and Rob went back to his more miserly self and finished his mandatory spell with just twenty runs, a maiden and a wicket to his name. With the drinks break looming the home side’s one hundred came up but the very next ball Bawden sliced Giles to backward point where Darrell took a smart catch moving to his left.

Ireland’s fifty came up in the over after drinks, but twenty runs after the break Giles (2-48) had another victim, bowling the home skipper C Sander with the penultimate ball of his spell, whilst the new bat did not know what to make of Darrell’s lack of pace and presented him with a simple caught and bowled. Williams then joined Ireland and the two of them chipped away at the pairing of Darrell and Mark, accumulating a 50 run partnership over the course of the next eleven and a half overs before Sid, who had replaced Darrell (1-34) at the end of his spell, induced Williams to bunt one off the very next ball to Giles moving in from mid on. Sahil was then asked to remind us of his bowling skills and duly did so, snaffling a hard hit caught and bowled to remove the new bat M Baldwin before Sid brought Ireland’s impressive knock to a close nine runs short of a century, courtesy of another good catch from Giles running in from long on this time to snare a ball hit flat and hard. Rob dived to his left at mid on to give Sid another victim in the shape of number nine Vaghela, and then assisted Sahil by grabbing another at mid wicket with the help of his left moob to get rid of Stroud. The home side were all out for 176 off the final ball of the forty overs when Buss was run out without having faced a ball trying to sneak a bye which Wardy was alive to and threw down the stumps at the batsman’s end. Sid finished with 3 for 17 from his four overs, whilst Sahil had two wickets for just a single wide in his two.

The usual top notch Tadworth tea was then followed by the usual slow start to a run chase by the visitors. Ricky gave Stroud her first victim in the first over without troubling the scorers before Rod joined Darrell to grind out a 46 run second wicket partnership from the next 89 balls. Second change Vaghela seemd to prove particularly difficult to get away and Rod eventually chipped him to Stroud moving from mid wicket towards mid on. Sahil came to the wicket for what can only be described as a frenetic stay, despite Darrell’s (attempted) calming influence at the other end, and eventually charged past one to be stumped by what Mark (umpiring at square leg) would later describe as ‘half the length of the pitch’.

This brought Giles to the wicket with the Badgers requiring the small matter of 117 to win from 19 overs and two balls, at a rate of just over six an over, whilst the current scoring rate languished at less than three. He set a lively pace from the get go, keeping things ticking along by running everything hard and eventually attempting one tight run too many for Darrell who was blowing hard and treading water when Ireland, moving from cover to point, threw down the wicket at the striker’s end with only a single stump to aim it. Wardy proved a willing accomplice over the next few overs whilst Giles took his revenge on his mates Will and then Worcester, hitting straight sixes off both.

Mark Baldwin, bowling tidily at one end whilst the carnage mostly occurred at the other, then induced Wardy to chip the ball to cover only for Vaghela, trying to shuffle backwards to snag a ball looped just over his head, to trip over his own feet and land in a heap. Graham obviously felt sorry for him as he dobbed him another one, even easier this time, off the very next ball. Mark, so often the saviour on this ground in the past, came to the wicket and mostly watched proceedings from the other end as Giles brought the Badgers to within five of victory with three overs still left.

However, the drama wasn’t over as Mark nicked off to the keeper to give Baldwin a second wicket and Daniel played out a maiden. Giles took a single off the first ball of the next over, bowled by Stroud brought back for a second ‘spell’ and Daniel then essayed a full blooded pull shot to the third ball of the over only for Greg Buss to cling on to a shoulder high screamer at square leg. Rob then played out two dots before stealing the strike off the final ball, somewhat to the consternation of the watching supporters, but the tension was quickly released when Patel, also brought back after opening the bowling, offered up a couple of long hops that enabled Rob to pull down to square leg for a two to tie the game and a boundary four to win it. All in all a great game, played in the right spirit (as ever between these two clubs) and with the Tadworth guests tallying five wickets, two catches and 72 unbeaten runs between them, despite the fact that Sid did not get a bat!?

Statistical Notes: The two guests provided by the home side were obviously debutants for the Badgers and Giles Baker recorded the highest ever score by a player in their first game for the club (going back as far as 1985, I don’t have the full data prior to that point) his 72 taking him past Daniel Pischedda, whose 67 at Ottershaw last year went unremarked in that regard at the time. Prior to that the best debut innings we have on record was that of Robin Suggate, all the way back in 1989, who made 61 against Wallington Old Foresters. That particular match is also notable inasmuch as it is the first limited overs contest on record for the Badgers.

Darrell passed two milestones about a third of the way through his innings, first becoming the 17th Badger to reach the 2,000 run plateau and not long after going past Adrian Cowell into 16th place on the lifetime run scoring chart. The fact that Wardy batted in this one means that he is now tied with Barry Passmore in 11th place on the lifetime list of innings and could well move up a couple more spots over the course of the remainder of this season.

We have now played Tadworth on 18 occasions (ignoring T20 evening games) and have won half of those games whilst losing six. It doesn’t seem fair to give this as a full loss to Tadworth though, since their guests were the difference in the game.

16th June – Ottershaw: 104 all out   Badgers: 105 for 3

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Flaming June had still not reared its head by the mid point of the month and thus assorted Badgers gathered under a mixture of blue and leaden skies to wait for someone to come and open up the Ottershaw Memorial Fields pavilion. The keyholder belatedly arrived, a timed game was agreed, the skipper won the toss and the Badgers duly entered the field first. The early going was dominated by some tight bowling from Bill and Rob and by the worrying report from the bar that there was no real ale. Fortunately the latter turned out to be untrue, thanks to the assistance of the home captain Steve Clarke, with the senior scorer (and his wife) being furnished with very palatable pints of Rebellion from a polypin whilst the Ottershaw openers continued to struggle. They did so to the degree that when Bill took a wicket off the first ball of the eleventh over, leaving Happy Birdi anything but as he was given out leg before, the score was just 17 and Bill’s figures to that point were 5.1-2-4-1!

The new bat took a liking to the odd short ball from Rob, putting a bit of a dent in his figures with a big six over square leg in the first over he faced from him and then adding a dozen via three boundaries to similar parts in the eighteenth over of the innings. In between however both bowlers kept things tight to the extent that those 12 runs added more than a third to the total at the time and Bill finished his nine over spell having recorded four maidens and a handful of singles and twos that amounted to just one run per over. All of which meant that when Vinny came on as first change and took a wicket with his third ball the score was just 45 for 2 and the other opener had used up 65 deliveries in making just 19 runs before having his stumps disturbed.

Vinny completed a seven ball wicket maiden and for the next few overs, as Rob finished his eleven over spell and Mark replaced him, the scoring was fairly desultory with the home side drifting past fifty in the 21st over. Vinny’s fourth over put the visitors firmly in charge of the game, with number three Sarucan (32) holing out to Daniel Ward at mid on and the new bat being bowled by a filthy full bunger first ball that he faced. It even looked like Vinny had collected three in an over when the Ottershaw number six was snared by Matt Mann diving forward at mid off, but this was overturned in one of those ‘only the Badgers’ moments when the decision was referred to the third umpire (yours truly at the scoring table) because the ball had clearly bounced twice before reaching the batsman. I was able to confirm that since the introduction of the 2017 Code of Laws that was indeed a no ball, and therefore not out, and thus we have a possible world first with a batsman being reprieved by a review requested by the fielding side!?

The scoring rate picked up a little in the next couple of overs, with both Ilyas and O Chaudry hitting boundaries, but the 30th over started a terminal decline for the batting side when Mark bowled Ilyas for 20. The new bat Sheikh came to the wicket in a green Pakistan shirt rather than the boringly traditional whites but despite a couple of scampered twos the late middle order then collapsed in the course of just nine balls. Vinny castled Chaudry (10) before Mark took three wickets in five balls with a sprawling caught and bowled sandwiched between two more death rattles and the home side had subsided from 95 for 5 to 96 for 9. The final pair added eight more, but a promising clump over square leg was followed by the seventh bowled of the innings as Vinny recorded a five-fer and Ottershaw were all out for 104 in 36.3 overs.

An impressive tea time spread featuring an interesting mix of snacks, sandwiches and cake saw a certain amount of over-indulgence, but Bill was nonetheless persuaded to open the batting because of his need to leave at six thirty to take his bairns home. He and Darrell were circumspect to start with, 18 of the first 19 balls that Bill faced were dots whilst Darrell failed to score off 15 of his 18 balls received. Bill unleashed a square four and a six to a similar spot to move things along a little, just before Darrell was cleaned up by Ilyas’ leg spin. A score of 18 for 1 after seven was not great but time was not going to be of the essence in this contest we all felt.

New bat Matt Mann struggled to hit the ball off the square (or at all, some of the time) and his only contribution to the first nineteen runs of the third wicket partnership was to be on strike for a pair of two byes during his first twenty deliveries. Bill continued largely untroubled at the other end, even by the weight of tea, hitting boundaries frequently enough to keep the scoreboard ticking over but being given one life by the dropping of a dolly at mid on. The fifty came up with a four off the first ball of the 14th over, whilst back to back boundaries in the 20th brought up first the 50 partnership and then Bill’s own fifty. The last hour and drinks coincided with the end of the 21st over, with the Badgers on 79, and at this juncture Bill retired himself in order to perform his parental duties.

Matt continued to struggle whilst new bat Graham Ward managed enough scoring shots to keep the scoreboard moving whilst bringing up a personal run scoring milestone (see below). With the end in sight Matt managed his first boundary to bring up the team’s 100 in the 28th over, but Graham contrived to get himself run out off the last ball of that over, with just three runs required and thirteen overs left to get them in. This brought Nat to the wicket to show the big boys how it should have been done as he clattered the two runs needed to win off the only ball he faced to record a strike rate well over 100 points higher than any of the adults in the game had managed. The final tally was 105 for 3 and the first win of the season for the Badgers by seven wickets.

Statistical Notes: This was the fifth time that Bill has passed fifty for the club and the first since his 83 at Bagshot in 2016. Interestingly three of those five fifties have come when batting at number two in the order and his average in that position is 45.40 (from six innings). Vinny’s five-fer was his second for the club and his second best bowling figures, behind only the 5 for 25 that he took against Blindley Heath last year. This was the 25th time that Mark has taken four wickets or more in an innings.

The third scoring shot of Wardy’s innings, a single, finally took him to the 3,000 run mark, the tenth Badger to make that many runs for the club. During his ninth over, ironically his most expensive of the day, Rob passed John Rourke into eleventh place on the lifetime overs bowled list finishing the day on 888.1 and needing another 75 full overs to catch Steve Card in tenth.

It may feel like the club have been on an exceptionally long streak of losing and an even longer one of not winning but those streaks ended with this game at five games lost and 8 games not won, neither of which is in the top three in either category. The longest losing streak is 7, dating back to 1961/62 and there have been two others of 6, whilst the longest run of not winning was 15 back in 1995/96 and there have also been runs of 14 and 11 (twice) over the lifetime of the club. I have started a section in the Statistical Sett with some of those streak details and hope to continue to expand that over time.

9th June – Woodmansterne: 171 all out   Badgers: 169 for 5

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My apologies for the lack of a report for this game, but nothing was written at the time and there is no chance anything will be now

Statistical Notes: Just a week after Daniel had scored the club’s eighteenth 49, Rod contrived to add himself to that list, but at least this time we hadn’t clapped a fifty before his departure from the crease. The innings was his second best for the club, behind only his maiden fifty at Dormansland last year. Rather than move or repeat the table I have just added him to the one in last week’s report below.

A couple of players reached personal milestones in this game, with Bill playing his 100th game for the Badgers, the 41st player to reach that mark. Rob had a triple treat, since the two maidens he opened the innings with took him past Dave Bowerman into 11th position on the lifetime list of maidens delivered whilst midway through his sixth over he passed Dave again into 12th place on the ‘my legs are tired’ list of overs bowled lifetime, ending the day on 877.1, and when it came our turn to bat playing his 100th innings, the 29th to reach that particular plateau.

We had another debutant this week, in Mark Elliott, whose all-round contribution to the game was more accurately reflected in his two wicket haul than his net contribution to the runs equation. As presaged last week Darrell is now alone in 15th place on the all-time innings list but will likely take a couple of seasons to reach Foxy who is next man on that list.

This was the fourth time in seven seasons that I have pulled up lame whilst attempting a run, extending my already considerable lead in the retired hurt stakes, something I’ve done six times since 1985 (and which I hope that I never add to). The only other Badgers to have done so in that span are Dave Tickner and Mark Gordon, both back in 1995 with DT memorably pulling both hamstrings during the same run on tour at Hook Norton, and Alan Tickner who withdrew due to an intercostal strain on two consecutive occasions in July of the 2003 season.

2nd June – Badgers: 182 for 5   Putney: 184 for 5

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My apologies for the lack of a report for this game, but nothing was written at the time and there is no chance anything will be now

Statistical Notes: Daniel will have to wait a little longer for his maiden fifty for the club, since a scoring error means that he’d only scored 49 when Jacqueline announced that he had reached the half century with a single, only to be dismissed from the next ball he faced. Nonetheless this was Daniel’s best batting performance for the club, bettering his 45 at Blindley Heath last season. He does join some fairly venerable company in having been dismissed for 49:

Times scoring exactly 49 or 50
 Not outDismissed Not outDismissedTotal scores
Badgeron 49for 49 on 50for 50of 50+
Brent Noble021028
Peter Legge00013
Albert Briscoe00018
Brian Moore110029
Alan Tickner110242
Steve Pitts002134
Dave Tickner001028
Adrian Cowell010110
Jeremy Clayton00104
Simon Fox010110
Robin Suggate00106
Andy Ducker00015
Justin Ducker02004
Andy Parker100010
David Aldwinckle110024
Allan Butt01003
Mark Gordon001280
Pat Redding010044
Darrell Pitts01 1[4 Darrell’s not out 50 was a forced retirement on tour at Malpas]06
Ben Valentine01005
Guy Walker00014
Matt Mann01000
Bill Jenkins01004
Jake Gordon020327
Rob Knew000 1[5 Rob’s 50 was a voluntary retirement on tour at Iscoyd]5
Daniel Ward01000
Rod Smith01000


  1. Brent was the first Badger to record 49 (1963 and 1970) and the first to record both 49 and exactly 50 (1971), whilst Pete Legge was the first to get exactly 50 (1967)
  2. Brian was the first to register both flavours of 49, and he did so in the same season (1975), a feat that David Aldwinckle repeated in 1993
  3. Jake is the only Badger to record 49 and exactly 50 in the same season (2017) and also the only one to be out for exactly 50 twice in the same year (also 2017)
  4. ^  Darrell’s not out 50 was a forced retirement on tour at Malpas
  5. ^  Rob’s 50 was a voluntary retirement on tour at Iscoyd

Rob’s solitary maiden over in this game took him to 175 lifetime and into a tie with Dave Bowerman for eleventh on the all-time list, with Bill ten further up the track in tenth. Darrell’s seventh time passing fifty for the club came in his 155th innings, a figure which ties him with Mick Willmott for 15th place in lifetime innings.

Finlay Walton, a team mate of Tom Mann from his age group cricket, made his Badgers’ debut and did us proud in the field, saving a fair few runs especially at fine leg/backstop. In an interesting nominative quirk he becomes probably the first ever person with a forename starting with F to turn out for the club (the slight doubt arises because not all guest names have been properly recorded down the years, including some for whom we have only surnames, and because I have not bothered to trawl through every scorebook entry prior to 1984, relying instead on the Also Batted/Bowled lists in the averages reports for those seasons – I know, I know)

26th May – Stoke D'Abernon: 233 for 8   Badgers: 116 all out

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My apologies for the lack of a report for this game, but nothing was written at the time and there is no chance anything will be now

Statistical Notes: It is more than six years since we lost a limited overs game by such a large runs margin, not since the 175 run loss against Merrow in 2012 have we failed quite so badly chasing a total. That loss was the second worst in club history, whereas this one was tied for 18th, but was topped by the very first game the club ever played as the Badgers, which we lost by 180 runs and compounded by batting a second time and following 67 all out with 63 all out, thus losing by an innings and 117 runs!?

Tom Mann made his debut for the club, and acquitted himself admirably, taking a wicket for just a single run in his one over and getting off the mark from his very first ball faced as a Badger.

19th May – Dormansland: 152 all oout   Badgers: 106 all out

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My apologies for the lack of a report for this game, but nothing was written at the time and there is no chance anything will be now

Statistical Notes: The 6 for 13 that Mark recorded were his second best bowling figures for the club, against the same opposition as were on the receiving end of his 7 for 19 back in 2012, and also the best figures by anyone since then. In taking those six wickets in just 3.5 overs he also recorded the fewest number of total overs for a five-fer or better in the past 35 years, which is as far back as the database holds bowling figures. The last three wickets fell from the last three balls of the innings, meaning that Mark recorded that rarest of beasts (and least documented) the hat-trick. Best as I can tell he is the first to do that since Alan Tickner against the FCO in 2004 and quite possibly the first to finish an innings that way since Brian Moore’s 10 for 2 performance against Montrose in 1966.

This was Darrell’s 200th appearance, the sixteenth Badger to play that many games for the club, and his first two scoring shots tied and then took him past Andy Parker into 17th place on the all-time runs scored list. Rob also passed Andy when adding three maidens to his tally moved him into 12th place in that category whilst Ben turned out for the 150th time, making him the 23rd Badger to notch that many games, and played his 128th innings which ties him with Keith Miller in 20th on that list. The five runs that Greggy scored were enough to squeak him past Barry Passmore into 22nd on the gamut of run scorers.

We (especially yours truly) contributed a phenomenal quantity of free runs to the Dormansland cause, in the shape of 2 no balls, 30 wides (which included 12 runs as well as 18 free deliveries), a single leg bye and 26 byes for a grand total of 59 extras. In discussion whilst watching our innings I told Matt Smith that I had the data going back to at least 1985 to see whether that was some sort of record but it turns out that that is not really the case. Historically, when the information was entered by hand at the end of each season, all I stored was a single eXtras record in the batting and bowling data (the total extras for our innings and the fielding extras for the other side’s innings) that enabled the total score to be cross-checked.

Even when I started scraping the data entered into Play-Cricket rather than typing it by hand, back in September 2010, I carried on simply totalling the appropriate extras numbers and recording a single database record. That changed in late 2013 when I made the belated decision to extend the Badgers database to record all of the information kept by Play-Cricket, which also added boundaries hit, balls faced and individual bowler wides and no balls, and at some point over the next year or so I updated those details to record the individual extras totals of all games recorded on Play-Cricket (which you can see on the scorecards pages).

So, the long and the short of it is that I only have full extras details for 1985 to 1987, 2004 and 2008 onwards (if anyone is willing to undertake the fairly tedious chore of filling in those gaps, working backwards from 2007, then please shout as there are other advantages to having the full information recorded in Play-Cricket) and thus can only tell you that the highest wides figure we have recorded in those seasons was 22 at Beechwood in 2013 and the highest byes conceded was also 22, at Leigh last year. Aside from those two games there is only one other game with a total fielding extras of more than 25, covering the whole period from 1985 to today, which was the 2003 visit to Maori-Oxshott where the combined 29 comprised 16 byes and 13 leg byes (although the total total was only 31 because there were single wides and no balls).

By contrast, the highest wides total recorded by our opponents in the seasons for which we have that data was 23 by Old Alleynians in 2004 and the biggest byes allowed was the 25 by Westcott in 2014. The highest total extras on any of our batting slates from 1985 onwards was the 41 recorded by both Crondall in 1994 and Whiteley Village last season.

12th May – Ham & Petersham: 225 for 8   Badgers: 202 all out

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My apologies for the lack of a report for this game, but nothing was written at the time and there is no chance anything will be now

Statistical Notes: There have been thirteen previous occasions when the Badgers have made 200 in a losing cause, with the most recent on tour last year at West Monkton. Only four of those have come when we batted first and all bar two of the thirteen have come in the past decade. Perhaps surprisingly, all fourteen have come against different opponents.

Andy recorded his first half century for the club in his tenth innings, with his previous best having been an unbeaten 46 at Ockley in 2017. In contrast Wardy’s curtailed innings was his 200th for the club (the twelfth to reach that milestone) as he continues to inch towards the 3000 run mark – if he continues to play regularly this season, and avoids running himself out too often, he may find himself in eight place on both lists before the season is out.

PLEASE NOTE there was some confusion this week over a couple of individual scores and Darrell will no doubt be unhappy to learn that I have ended up giving the disputed four to Rod, although I did find him an extra run too. For anyone interested in the boring details, or any insomniacs looking for relief, they can be found in the Statistical Sett.

28th April – Beechwood: 189 for 8 dec.   Badgers: 147 for 5

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My apologies for the lack of a report for this game, but nothing was written at the time and there is no chance anything will be now

Statistical Notes: This was our first drawn match in more than three seasons, with the last coming at Ockley back in 2015, although we have only played 13 timed games between the two draws.

Darrell’s 5 for 25 were his best bowling figures since he took 5 for 6 against Beddington in June of 2017 whilst Matt Mann’s 40 was his best batting performance since falling one run shy of a half-century on Ham Common in 2015.

Mark played his 500th game for the club, in which he is already comfortably in third place lifetime, whilst Greggy played in his 285th game, which might (with the usual caveat) take him past Brian Moore into seventh place on the all-time list of appearances.

The first of Bill’s wickets took him past Simon Fox into 12th place on the list of lifetime wicket-takers and he ended the day just 13 behind Jake in 11th. With his first scoring shot of our innings Wardy also passed Foxy, into tenth place on the lifetime runs scored list and he finished 13 runs short of 3000 and 38 shy of David Aldwinckle in ninth.