It was a strangely eventful evening at Sketty Lane as after much uncertainty eleven Badgers turned up for the game. Conditions were good with a hard wicket and fast outfield promising quick runs. Gareth, back from mysterious duties in Cardiff and an ambiguous press, mounted the bucking bronco of captaincy with Dave being away on holiday. He promptly lost the toss and was about to lead his men onto the field when fate summoned an air ambulance helicopter to the ground. Despite chuntering from some quarters convention was observed as cricketers gave way to air traffic and stood aside as the lengthy protocols of patient transfer were completed. The helicopter at last departed with Tony Bidder still clinging on to the tail fins and play commenced.
Rito opened the attack with his usual accuracy and claimed the first wicket. Batsmen have found it hard to score off him all season. If the Badgers can fashion a sharp stick to poke him with they may be able to add a little more venom. Tony already warmed up bowled tidily but without luck as the batsmen looked to score with the game reduced to 16 overs because of the delay. At first change John was treated with disrespect from the batsmen and his own fielders going for 12 an over off his two. Iago’s all sorts suffered a little less. Runs came apace with a short legside boundary and a set slogger with Craig, Peter and Gareth tempering things slightly by taking a wicket each. Craig also took one of his trademark stonking catches at short cover. His energy in the field is remarkable and it’s a pity some of his colleagues cannot be infused with it despite the medical resources available. Phil and Dave had the thankless task of bowling an over each at the death.
The Badgers reply began with Rito (Droit de seigneur) again opening the batting. Having failed to guide a delivery to slip at the first attempt he then adjusted the shot and succeeded. Pugwash Price at the other end started off with a boundary and looked to be going well before top edging to the keeper who demonstrated the effective pirouette and catch. With the temerity of youth Iago set about the bowling with aplomb keeping the Badgers up with the required run rate while he was at the crease. He has come a long way under the Badger influence (Lodi). He was caught in the deep still chasing the daunting 140 target for a well made 35. As the chase became more frantic Phil fell to a run out and Gareth was bowled as the heavens opened out of the blue and heavy rain fell for ten minutes ruining the pitch and the scorebook. Dave Bratley, who was probably winning the curry in his private battle for most runs with Chris was then given out LBW by his adversary. Craig followed after a typically belligerent couple of boundaries as the innings subsided with Peter, Tony, John and Ian unable to resist.
Ian has been a stalwart of late and when he ever recovers full fitness will once again be a force to be reckoned with. His batting and bowling are due a renaissance alongside his Craig like enthusiasm in the field. Bit of TPC & TLC should patch him up.
Too soon the end of the season beckons with mighty deeds still to be accomplished. Rally to the cause and finish off like Simon Jones!
Underhill Park, Mumbles, Swansea
CAPTAIN - Dave Smith 07941 255846
VICE CAPTAIN - Simon Jones 07590 677504
Guildhall Pitches - 3.30-4.30pm - 635411