In George Santayana’s book, ‘The Life of Reason’, he suggested that those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it. So it proved for the Battersea Badgers as they fell to 20:20 defeat at the hands of the Thespian Thunderers for the third year in a row.
The Thespians had no such historical problems themselves, boasting amongst their number one of the stars of the BBC’s ‘Horrible Histories’ programme. In between his roles as George I and Henry VIII he no doubt schooled the Thespians on the historical importance of a lightning-fast run-rate and miserly bowling figures.
Indeed, their new-ball bowlers were both awarded A+ grades for their opening spells, restricting the Badger top order to a pedestrian start. This was punctuated by the occasional wicket and, at 45/4 off 10, some bookies were suspending betting on the Badgers being bowled out within their allotted overs.
However, in the forthcoming series of Horrible Histories, the show’s writers might want to focus some attention on the batting prowess of this Badger team in order to warn future opponents of their strength-in-depth. Swashbuckling knocks from Mackrell and Marchant turned the tide and allowed the Badgers to put on a further 100 runs in the second half of their innings.
First Mackrell entered the fray, jelly-babied up to the eyeballs and intent on destruction. Playing his own sub-game of attempting to score more runs than the number of creases on his shirt, he set about the bowling with a series of clinical drives. He didn’t quite make his target figure of 2,436, but 41 off 18 balls proved handy all the same.
Marchant, batting at 10, could have been sent back to the hutch for a first ball LBW, but luckily the absence of Thorpe from umpiring duties meant that the finger wasn’t raised and the run fest could begin. Six followed six followed four followed six and, when the dust had settled, 35 runs had been scored off 16 balls. The crowd was cheering, the Thespians were weeping and the Badgers were 146/9, their highest ever 20:20 score.
As with all good historical yarns, there were still plenty of twists to be revealed. The Thespians also began their innings cautiously and an early chance came Morse’s way when the ball was skied high into the stratosphere off Mackrell’s bowling. While waiting for it to return to earth, the Aussie Badger had time to throw another shrimp on the barbie, watch an episode of Neighbours and declare ‘THAT’S a knife’, before calmly pouching the catch.
Badgers were on top, but gradually the Thespians came back into it, picking off the loose balls and launching some maximums way past the boundary edge. Once again the balance of the match was swinging and the scoreboard leapt forward after some particularly profitable overs.
Further wickets were desperately needed and although the danger batsmen were eventually dismissed for 50 and 38, their replacements proved just as capable. A final straight six saw the Thespians reach their target with 5 wickets and 6 balls remaining.
An impressive run chase for the Thespians and one which levels the scores at 1 win apiece for the season. It now all comes down to the Super-Test in August.
So what do the history books suggest the final score for the season will be?
Erm… check it yourself.