To set the scene for the days play, our studious scorer and club captain Nick described the conditions as ‘murky, muggy, grey, close, calm, but permeated by the gentle hum of construction work and Badgers moaning…’ and so it was for the start of the days play.
With that out of the way skipper for the day Etienne duly won the toss and DCC opted to bat.
Rohan and Rach opening and getting the team off to a solid start, 1-56 in the 8th with Racchit falling for an almost run a ball 30. Then enters into the match what I can only describe as a right handed SoB (son of Badger). Pulling the pin out and bowling some loopy leggie grenades (as opposed to Badgers left arm chinaman but close enough). SoB seemed to favour the straight one that goes on with the arm (i.e. there was no turn) but on a sticky wicket collecting three scalps in quick succession, Rohan falling for a well compiled 30, yours truly skying one to mid on for a duck and then Silky Thighs to a dubious LBW decision for 14. We have an early contender for the teddy award, with Silky at first refusing to walk once being given out, then proceeding to question the decision all the way back to the pavilion with an innocent chair feeling the full brunt of his fury being sent flying with a swing of the cricket bat. If only he had thought of that when facing SoB, as my dad would say ‘that’s what your bats for son..’ In Silky’s defence he claims it pitched outside leg, he was a mile down the track and he hit it. It looked pretty plum from where we were sitting but we’ll take his word for it over the neutral umpire that we were paying for.
So at 4-95 in the 11th over with wickets falling things weren’t looking too good, a fact observed by the friendly chaps in the field offering some advice that we should pad the rest of the team up as it would all be over soon. From this point on Jerome and Elliot took the bowling attack apart (including the previously unplayable SoB) hauling DCC to a highly defendable 195, including 30 from the last two overs. Remarkable when you think we hit only one 6 for the entire innings (thank you Mr. Elliott). Jerome finishing up not out on 65 off not that many well supported by Elliott not out 31.
With renewed vigor we took to the field, Etienne opening from the ICC end picking up a wicket in the first over caught by Nick in the covers. Nick relieved to take the catch after being offered some advice that it was a sitter just prior to being pouched. SL 1-5 after 1.
This brought to the crease SoB who Silky Thighs described as ‘if he was playing for DCC he would be the best batsman in the club.’ High praise indeed. The other opener Armand and SoB then set about serenely going along at the required rate without taking too many risks, Etienne taking the brunt of this going for 1-51 from his 4 overs. Shehan keeping things tight at the other end however with 1-21 off his 4. SL 1-71 after 8.
Nick then bought into the attack and duly spanked for 19, we were only missing the beamer and the bouncer as he displayed his full repertoire. The real Badger coming on and going for 10 off his first at the other end although bowling well apart from a first ball loosener. At drinks SL 1-100 and looking in control.
I would like to know what Nick consumed at drinks, something in the water, perhaps some left over linseed oil from Thursday nights proceedings, who knows. His next three overs going for just 17 runs and beating the edge consistently. Nick finishing 0-36 from his 4. The pressure was starting to tell at the other end also with Badger bowling beautifully and finishing 0-28 from his 4, unlucky to be on the wrong end of a close stumping call and a few miscued shots just evading fielders (and an obligatory dropped catch)… plus one alleged missed stumping however the ball was coming that slow the batsman could have run two and was well back by the time the bails were broken.
SL 1-137 after 16 overs 59 needed from 4 overs, still very gettable.
The next two overs from Racchit and Jerome (bowling leg spin) going for 33 runs, bringing the Lions right back into the game. SL 1-170 after 18, 26 to win from 2.
19th over Rach found his line and bowled well only going for 8 runs, 17 to win from the last. Jerome having seen two of his leggies disappear over the mound and into the school his previous over decided sensibly to stick to medium pace for the final over.
1st ball 4, game on 13 needed off 5. Second ball swing and a miss, the batsman scamper through only for the keeper to throw down the stumps. SoB run out for 65. 13 needed off 4 with a bearded Caspar now at the crease and on strike. 3rd ball two, 11 needed off 3. 4th ball dot, 11 needed off 2. 5th ball 4, 6 needed off the last for a tie… one run off the last DCC win by 5 runs. SL opening bat Armand ending up stranded on 92 not out. Rach ending up 0-23 from his two overs and Jerome 0-28 from his 2. Jerome MoM for his 65no and last over bowling.
Refreshments followed in the bar, Casper agreeing that SoB could well develop into Badger if he concentrates on his game.