A thrilling run chase ended in heartbreak for the Badgers as they finished just one run short of their target. Heroic batting from Lee and mighty clubbing from Foord and Morse wasn’t enough to prevent the Norsemen maintaining their 100% record against south London’s top cricketing side.
Having seen their first two games rained off before a ball was bowled, the Badgers were eager to get amongst it and ‘cricket-up’ the opposition. With several members of the team showcasing their swanky new attire from It’s Just Cricket, danders, peckers, chins and spirits were all up as Foord bowled the first ball of 2012.
Despite the topography of the ground making sixes easier to hit than fours, the Norsemen kept the scoreboard ticking over. The flow of runs was stemmed by the regular fall of wickets, with Shone (current leading wicket taker for 2012) snaffling two from his seven overs. However, the ability of the batsmen to mix beer consumption with six-hitting meant that they were able to rampage their way to a very respectable 191/8 from their 35 overs.
The Badgers began their reply in ponderous fashion, realising that wickets in hand would be key. Unfortunately this realisation did not stop the wickets from falling and, at 67/5 off 20 overs, a lot of work was still to be done.
Enter Josh Lee.
Known as something of a defensive batsman, he might not have been the automatic choice when searching for someone to up the run rate. In a dramatic about-turn, he set about showing the IPL owners why he’s a shoe-in for the 2013 auction, middling everything that was thrown at him and amassing 49 off 34 deliveries. Ably assisted by debutant Robin Nandi, the two men doubled the Badger score before the fall of the next wicket.
Things were getting tasty.
73 needed off 7 overs became 54 off 5 and then 50 off 4. It seemed out of reach.
When a clearly fatigued Lee holed out to mid-off, Morse strode to the crease to join Foord, who had already shown himself capable of hitting a (DLF) maximum. The two Badger stalwarts swung their willow time and again, reducing the arrears to 17 needed from the final over. A nervous Shone (current leading wicket taker for 2012) waited on the sidelines, wondering if he would have to come in and attempt some final slogs, but the two batsmen were in no mood to give their wickets away. Further boundaries and a six off the penultimate ball meant that a famous win was still within reach. With five runs required and all three results still available, Morse readied himself for destiny.
A full toss was served up, Morse heaved it to the leg-side, but only as far as a Norseman patrolling the boundary edge. Three runs were taken but the fourth proved a hurdle too far.
A positive display from the Badgers but hats off the Norsemen after a breathtaking victory.