It was again a cool evening for August and the wind, usually pretty strong in these parts, whistled across the cliff tops and encouraged all the players to search for long sleeved jumpers that were cast to the bottom of kit bags in Lodi.
The Badgers were again short on numbers and with the kit and a number of players on their way at the appointed hour once again Gareth the vice captain elected to bat. Ian and Rito opened to face an accurate and sharpish attack. Rito misunderstood the brief to consolidate while reinforcements were on the way and was bowled misjudging the length. John and Ian then stayed together for a while and got things going as the kit and additional batsmen arrived. John was then caught at long on trying to up the pace and to further move things on Tony decided not to trouble the scorers and made room for the vice captain. Gareth proceeded to provide some youthful muscle as the bowling became less pressing and quickly collected a couple of fours and a maximum. Ian eventually fell after a sensible knock caught off the bowling of a professional colleague playing for the opposition which pleased him enormously. Alyn then joined Gareth for the most productive partnership of the innings. It has become a matter of grave concern to the statisticians that Ridlers batting average has far outstripped his bowling average. Some have suggested texting Kevin Pietersen to find out how to get him out. Gareth showed him how by getting caught trying to go large again. The eventual arrival of the skipper to the crease after problems with his footwear maintained the tempo and he finished not out after a quick 14. Alyn also remained not out with a belligerant 27 with Gareth having scored 21. This left the Badgers with a respectable total of 93 off sixteen overs.
The Pennard reply began fairly sedately albeit helped by Rito's attempt to recall Steve Harmison at Brisbane. He recovered however, to have one of the openers taken by the skipper a la Craig at cover. The general bowling standard which has been consistently high of late slipped a tad and the surviving opener, Sheldon, began to demonstrate his big bang theory. The innings then became very much a one man effort as any short pitched deliveries were dispatched with Ridler type venom to the boundary. Even Gareth, who has bowled intelligently all season and secured the second wicket (an easier chance to Dave at cover) did not escape punishment. Dave Bratley, who had been the leading wicket taker could not add to his tally as the signs of autumn rust returned. Tony, John, Dave and Peter kept things fairly tight and the target was only reached after fourteen overs.
Ian had bowled a competitive over conceding just 4 singles. The second ball of his second over produced a half chance low to his left hand side. Ian does not have much in common with Tom Daley save his penchant for diving, balletically or not. This launch when viewed through the prism of the Newtonian laws of motion was never going to end well. His shoulder with arm outstretched took the full force of the landing as swan like glissade with tuck became crumpled heap. Forced to leave the field Ian received the traditional sympathetic Badger response which must warm the heart. To add insult to injury Rito conceded 8 runs off the remaining four balls of the over. Speedy recovery Ian as you return to hibernation - hope to see you soon.
Barry and Dave turned up to support and should have been roped in to make up the numbers.
Believe it or not next week sees the final game of the season. Even so we are left with a number of unanswered questions:
Has Roger ever upheld your LBW appeal?
After Lodi does Chris Price think there are other fish to fry?
Does Tony prefer thick or medium sliced?
Is Iago hiding in Alex's garden?
What is Simon's handicap?
How do you get Ridler out?
And so many more...There is a curry booked for end of season beano so playing or not bring your fork!
Underhill Park, Mumbles, Swansea
CAPTAIN - Dave Smith 07941 255846
VICE CAPTAIN - Simon Jones 07590 677504
Guildhall Pitches - 3.30-4.30pm - 635411