An all-time club record partnership of 227 between Jan Marchant (125*) and Peter Warman (104*) set up a mammoth 265 total for the Badgers. The day got off to the worst possible start as demon left-armer Tom Maskell pulled out just hours before the start with the news of a broken big toe, and a mix-up with ground staff at the Victoria Rec nearly scuppered the game before it began. However, some last minute negotiations with council staff and news of similar loss of personnel from the Rams camp led to a 10-a-side encounter getting underway about thirty minutes after the advertised start time.
In a game shortened to 35 overs due to inclement weather, the Badgers were put in to bat by the Ram's captain Mike Severn. Openers Cloke and Marchant showed some positive intent, racing along at a run a ball, before Cloke miscued a delivery from Brain into the air to be caught in the covers in the seventh over. However, that was to be the only success the Rams would experience in the field that day, as Warman and Marchant went about their record-breaking knock. Both batsman rode their luck at times but stuck to their task, leaving the rest of the Badgers' batting line up to enjoy the delightful weather conditions from the sidelines.
In reply the Rams didn't seem at all daunted by the large total they were chasing. Badger debutant Morse found some impressive late swing and formed a useful bowling partnership with badger regular Mackrell. However it was spin that was to be the Rams' undoing and Thorpe struck in his first over with a ball that came back in sharply and neatly clipped the top of middle stump. The Rams kept up the chase impressively handing out some brutal punishment to any wayward deliveries. Another badger debutant Devnani earned his stripes and together with thaumaturgic* seamer Shires kept the run chase in check with two wickets a piece. But it was Cloke who was to steal the limelight cleaning up the Rams' tail with ruthless efficiency, leaving the away side 204 all out.
A solid win to start the season and, considering the freezing conditions and general rustiness from the off-season, a not-too-shabby effort in the field. Probably the only Badger to walk away disappointed, however, was Hirst who had her first catch for the club ruled as a no-ball by the umpires.
* The author swears this is a word commonly used in his vocabulary, and he definitely did not need to look it up at thesaurus.com.