When Yazz belted out that cheesily-positive song all those years ago, she could never have imagined it’s relevance on an overcast Saturday afternoon in the Surrey Hills on the first day of June.

On that blessed afternoon we enjoyed two “up’s” – the uplifting and positive sight of a Badgers team playing as one to deliver a brilliant win. And we saw more bowling with elevation than I’ve ever seen before. You can say “flight”, but being on a flight path could have been more accurate. The oppo had two bowlers who were bowling effective “grenades” for a total of 21 overs. And of course, we could play at that game, but more of that later.

The Badgers arrived without their mystical Afghan hero, Hash, who was probably doing something somewhere we shouldn’t really ask about. So we welcomed, at short notice, yet another Dodd to the fold, Rory. (No suggestions please for the collective noun if we had 3 Dodds in the same team!).

A lost toss, and being inserted, caused a few slighted concerned faces at the off. But we needn’t have worried as Will Kenton and Pete Warman took control of the bowling and put on an elegant and easy looking 74 for the first wicket. Will missing a straight one broke the calm.

As Rory Dodd came to the wicket the oppo inevitably turned to their secret weapons – the “Pie Throwers”. After nibbling around Rory took the bait and tried to put a ball that came down with snow on it over the boundary. Only to be caught on that boundary with the fielder stretching above his head.

But the tone had been set for most of the rest of the innings – could the Badger batsman resist the temptation to put these “pies” into orbit. In short, no. But on the way to that inevitability, many of the batsmen grafted and resisted enough to get some runs on the board before succumbing to that ever-present temptation. Chris Shone, Steve Thomas and Stewart McCluskey all getting into double figures first.

The innings closed with Evelyn (“Pie Thrower” No. 1) getting his 5th wicket, and the Badgers amassing 169 all out from 40 overs.

It felt like a competitive score, but with a short boundary, anything was possible, and maybe even probable. But we had a lot of bowling and a lot of team spirit. Onwards and upwards.

Simon Dodd opened with Chris Shone. Both bowling some good stuff mixed with the occasional wayward one. Simon’s figures of 7 overs, 2 maidens, 1 for 8 looked more flattering than it felt, especially with a fluffed caught-and-bowled. Chris finished with 1 for 14 from 6, with the last 3 overs all maidens. A pretty good start. Karl Larsson and Sam Allwood took on the attack. Sam charging down the hill and bowling really well to grab two much deserved wickets. But, there were even bigger things afoot – the “up” was about. The shared team spirit and efforts were really working with 5 catches and some tight fielding and backing up, all wrapped up with a very healthy level of Badger Bantz.

But, Steve Thomas was definitely “up” on something as well. Jumping and rolling around in the slips and taking three catches, the last of which, to win the match was an absolute belter. Great to see Steve, and whatever it was keeping taking it.

But, even more sensationally, our very own “flighted” bowler, Karl, was working his magic. Across 11 overs Karl bowled a brilliant combination of turn, tempters and trajectories. All of which resulted in a much deserved 5 for 47. Brilliant to watch and be a part of.

The oppo ran out of steam and were 97 all out. In the end it felt like a comfortable 72 run win. But it was hard work and well deserved. As we entered the last 20 overs they were clearly shutting up shop, so it took a really determined spirited team effort, led by Karl, to get us over that line.

And all watched by Karl’s mum, although she didn’t offer to buy a team jug. Next time Karl, And there will be a next time!

Onwards and upwards through the season for the Badgers.

Saturday 1st June 2024 Abinger Hammer Abinger Hammer vs Badgers Battersea Badgers

Battersea Badgers 169 for 10 (40 overs)

  • Kenton 53 (46)
  • Warman 39 (58)
  • Mcluskey 20 (14)
  • Unknown 5/38 (12)
  • Unknown 3/18 (6)

Abinger Hammer 97 for 10 (33 overs)

  • Unknown 25 (37)
  • Larsson 5/47 (10.4)
  • Allwood 2/10 (6)
Full scorecard
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