In a soggy encounter at Dundonald Road, the Badgers fell an agonising six runs short in a thrilling run chase. A Ben Cornish century and Josh Lee fifty were not quite enough to propel their team over the line but there were at least a lot of sausage products at tea, so the day wasn’t a complete loss.
An initial heavy downpour, topped-up by further torrential rain a few hours later, meant that conditions were never easy, but it was the White Sox who made the best of it, looking assured in their batting innings. Only three wickets fell in 35 overs, as they made the Badgers pay for some missed catches. Jinks offered some measure of control through his wily cat-spin and Cornish voiced a few naughty opinions on umpiring decisions that displeased him but it was the White Sox who found themselves best placed at the halfway point, finishing their innings on 215/3.
And so the chase began! Uncertainty reigned in the early stages as the bowlers tumbled on the slippery pitch and the ball zigged and zagged past the outside edge. Runs were scored but progress was far from rapid and the Badgers found themselves on only 49 with a third of their overs gone. Someone was needed to up the ante. Someone to take the attack to the opposition. Someone to clear the boundary.
Someone who knew a lot about goats.
Having dealt quickly with the hat-trick ball that brought him to the crease (smashed for four of course), Cornish proceeded to power the Badgers back into contention. Stuffed full of vegemite and buzzing from his recent admission into the Paul Hogan fan club, he blazed a trail to his half-century before helping himself to fifty more priceless runs. With Lee continuing his recent good form with a half-century of his own (including an incredible eight halos) a grandstand finish was very much on the cards.
The crowd were on the edge of their seats. Jinks, Mackrell and Foord were all itching to join the action and Morse was drinking as many beers as possible before his return to fatherly duties that evening.
Ten overs to go. 91 runs were still required but five overs later the deficit was down to 39. Nine runs were plundered from the 31st over, including a stonking Cornish six off the final ball. Six runs came from the next and eight from the one after.
The equation now stood at 15 runs needed from 12 balls. The batsmen were tired. The batsmen were sweaty. But there was still work to be done. Lee wanted to carry his bat through to the end. Cornish wanted to hit at least one house before the day was done.
The penultimate over began.
Badgers now required 14 from 9. Cornish struck the ball high. He struck the ball long. But it wasn’t quite long enough. The gleeful fielder shimmied round to pouch the catch and a glorious display of batting was ended at 106 runs from 59 balls.
Lee was now on strike. He’d led from the front and scored over a quarter of the total runs needed but hours of batting had taken its toll and his strength was deserting him. The ball careered into the stumps and another excellent innings was over.
A dot to finish the over meant that 14 were now needed from 6, with two new batsmen at the crease. Mackrell, Jinks and Foord swung gamely during the final over, including a straight six from the latter’s very first ball, but the task proved just a step too far. Six runs were needed from the final delivery but a wicket fell instead. Badgers finished their 35 overs on 210/7, just six tantalising runs short of victory.