Remember this? A classic match against the Battersea Badgers

Welcome to an all new series where I recall in detail some of the great cricket matches in King’s Road Cricket and Social Club’s history

Not the same match ... But don't we look younger

Welcome to an all new series where I recall in some detail some of the great cricket matches in King’s Road Cricket and Social Club’s history.

These will be sporadic and not always about great victories on the field – if that were the case, a good season and a half would remain untouched!

I’m writing this ahead of our fixture on Saturday 26th May against our arch rivals, Battersea Badgers Cricket Club and I will recall our match against them back on April 26th 2008 at Wandsworth Common.

King’s Road Cricket and Social Club 122 all out (Fagan 33, Watson 20, Cloke 2-13) beat Battersea Badgers 113 all out (Cloke 49 not out, Howard 3-3, Watson 3-17) by 9 runs.

Having been appointed captain at the AGM (a drink or two at the Asparagus pub in Battersea a few weeks earlier), this fixture the first of the season was my first as captain of King’s Road. I had heard lots about the rivalry with the Badgers. I heard stories about their dangerous pace bowler Robin Mackrell and some less than positive stories about some of their other regular players.

I had hardly played a game of cricket – a couple at the end of the lost 2007 season (when I had joined) and one game back at school in 2001. Add to that I had never been a captain of a cricket team. Put simply I was unfamiliar with playing cricket, captaining a cricket side, my players and the opposition.

In the build up to the game, we had put their captain Andy Thorpe on eBay, selling him on the lines of being a batsman who would guarantee you a strike of 10 or less. The Badgers returned by placing an ad on Gumtree of us selling our expensive saying the club had disbanded!

I tossed the coin, Andy Thorpe called correctly and we were put into bat. It was a lovely day. Bright and warm and we were playing on what seemed like an alright pitch in Wandsworth Common.

Same year ... Different match Vs the Badgers
Same year … Different match Vs the Badgers

Leon Watson and David Hughes opened. It was a slow possibly anxious start. David was the the first to fall, having been bowled by Peter Jinks with the score on 21. Next in Giles Fagan. Giles played in the manner that we are accustomed to see from him. Attacking, brash and with some nice boundaries. Giles was clearly the dominant figure in the partnership but Leon did contribute his fair share. Things were looking promising.

Leon fell to Chaz Robertshaw (bowling seam for the Badgers) in the fifteenth over of this forty overs match. With Giles in attacking a big score beckoned. He found much success scoring off Thorpe. Seventy-ish for 2 at the half way stage seemed a fair total although with little experience there was nothing really to compare the figure to nor did I have any knowledge of how weak or strong a team they were. Seventy-ish for 2 would have been great. However on the penultimate ball of the twentieth over, Thorpe bowled Fagan. As we know now, Thorpe’s bowling would pick up a few more scalps over the years.

Three down at the half way stage didn’t seem too bad but we would have preferred it if Giles had still been out there. Having shown respect to the opening bowlers Jinks and Robertshaw, the middle order sought to attack the supposedly weaker, change bowlers. Result: middle order collapse. Alex Shires and Martin Cloke picked up two wickets a piece whilst in that period 3 runs were added to the total.

Matt Cocken and Ben Watson added 37 runs for the 8th wicket but panto villain Jan Marchant took 2 wickets to dismiss the Road for 122.

As I’ve said earlier, the lack of experience did not make me think that this was a below par score. Dan Howard, was excited by the prospect of defending the total, and the maniac that he was, truly believed that the Road would win. You could not fault his passion.

Opening for the Badgers were Thorpe and Richard Dollimore. Andywas the first to go, caught off the bowling of Howard. It was part of an amazing four over opening spell, which included 3 maiden overs, the wickets of Thorpe and Tom Gilmour (bowled) and the concession of a solitary run. Wow.

Matthew Cocken, bowling second change had took with wicket of Dollimore courtesy of a brave catch by James Couldrey at fine leg. No one expected him to make the catch. Badgers were 25-3.

Leon bowled his first over. First ball wicket. Second ball no run. Third ball wicket. Fourth ball no run. Fifth ball no run. Sixth ball wicket. Leon had taken apart the middle/lower middle order of Jan (caught), Peter Warman (caught behind) and Mark Jewsbury (bowled). The Badgers were under the cosh at 40 for 6.

Whilst wickets had been falling at the other end, batsman number 4, Martin Cloke quietly accumulated runs. This in spite of taking a ball to the head from a fullish delivery from James Couldrey that reared up. Whilst we were all in shock when he took the impact, it seemed not have affected him at all.

Dan Howard came back for his second spell and was still as difficult to face. He picked up the wicket of Oliver Blaiklock. Badgers 58-7. King’s Road confident and in front. Dan Howard finished with impressive figures for his seven over. 5 maiden overs, 3 wickets at the expense of 3 runs. Next man in was opening bowler Peter Jinks.

Picking off runs from our change bowlers, Jinks and Cloke started swinging the momentum in the favour of the Badgers. The situation highlighted how easy it can be to bat with low risk and how low our total was and how hard it would be to defend.

Their partnership totalled 33 runs and was broken by a poor run out. Ben Watson and Kevin Pittaway combined for what was a misunderstanding between the batsmen. Jinks the fallen man left the crease angered by his partner’s poor call.

Matthew Cocken took Robertshaw’s wicket leaving the Badgers at 99 for 9. They required 23 runs with plenty of overs but only one wicket remaining. I tried with all my frontline bowlers (Dan Howard had bowled his allocated overs at this point. Ben Watson had bowled tightly but Martin the accumulator remained unfazed. He knew that if he stayed in they would get to the finishing line.

So I turned to myself. There were other options but I thought if I could bowl to the number 11 Shires, I could take his wicket. I had bowled 3 average overs earlier in the game and there were plenty of other options. Although no one said a word, I think my teammates would have preferred if someone else had taken that over, as now the Badgers were only a handful of runs away from victory.

Martin faced my first few deliveries and scored a four and then a single. I had the left handed batsman Shires on strike. The field placements are tight having been a little defensive for Cloke. Two balls over the wicket produced dot balls. I decide to bowl around the wicket. A fullish length ball. Shires swings. He misses. He is bowled.

King’s Road had won and I fell to the floor in shock. My teammates jumped on me as we celebrated an amazing win, an amazing game. The game’s momentum had shifted to and fro. Despite them only needing the one wicket to lose the contest, Martin Cloke’s sturdy batting made the last few overs tense and possibly as favourites. We had thrown everything at them and with one piece of luck, we took the final wicket that we needed to seal victory.

King’s Road CSC Vs Battersea Badgers
1-Innings Match Played At Wandsworth Common, 26-Apr-2008, Limited Overs
King’s Road CSC Win by 9 runs
Toss won by King’s Road CSC
Player / Match KR:Watson, Leon
King’s Road CSC 1st Innings 122/10 All Out (Overs 32.1)
Batsman Fieldsman Bowler Runs Bls 4s 6s
LJ Watson c Jan Marchant b Charles Robertshaw 20 42 3 0
DR Hughes b Peter Jinks 7 21 0 0
GHA Fagan+ b Andrew Thorpe 33 38 5 1
JS Smith st Peter Warman b Martin Cloke 4 22 0 0
JM Keating b Alex Shires 0 3 0 0
D Howard b Alex Shires 0 4 0 0
MJ Cocken c Andrew Thorpe b Oliver Blaiklock 3 33 0 0
JM Couldrey c Charles Robertsha b Martin Cloke 0 2 0 0
B Watson b Jan Marchant 13 24 2 0
KM Pittaway b Jan Marchant 0 7 0 0
RSH Mazumder* not out 0 7 0 0
extras (b6 lb0 w25 nb11) 42
TOTAL 10 wickets for 122
1-21(DR Hughes) 2-57(LJ Watson) 3-76(GHA Fagan) 4-76(JM Keating) 5-77(D Howard)
6-78(JS Smith) 7-79(JM Couldrey) 8-116(B Watson) 9-118(MJ Cocken)
10-122(KM Pittaway)
Bowler O M R W wd nb
Peter Jinks 5 2 16 1
Charles Robertshaw 7 1 27 1 3 1
Tom Gilmour 4 1 8 0
Andrew Thorpe 3 0 17 1
Alex Shires 3 0 14 2 8 5
Martin Cloke 5 1 13 2 8
Jan Marchant 4.1 0 18 2 5 3
Oliver Blaiklock 1 0 3 1 1 2
Battersea Badgers 1st Innings 113/10 All Out (Overs 36.5)
Batsman Fieldsman Bowler Runs Bls 4s 6s
Andrew Thorpe* c B Watson b D Howard 2 11 0 0
Richard Dollimore c JM Couldrey b MJ Cocken 7 30 1 0
Tom Gilmour b D Howard 5 9 0 0
Martin Cloke not out 49 83 0 0
Jan Marchant c JM Couldrey b LJ Watson 6 4 0 0
Peter Warman+ c GHA Fagan b LJ Watson 0 2 0 0
Mark Jewsbury b LJ Watson 0 3 0 0
Oliver Blaiklock c&b D Howard 1 14 0 0
Peter Jinks run out KM Pittaway/B Wa. 10 31 1 0
Charles Robertshaw b MJ Cocken 6 11 1 0
Alex Shires b RSH Mazumder 0 10 0 0
extras (b2 lb1 w19 nb5) 27
TOTAL 10 wickets for 113
1-2(Andrew Thorpe) 2-11(Tom Gilmour) 3-25(Richard Dollimore) 4-40(Jan Marchant)
5-40(Peter Warman) 6-40(Mark Jewsbury) 7-58(Oliver Blaiklock) 8-91(Peter Jinks)
9-99(Charles Robertshaw) 10-113(Alex Shires)
Bowler O M R W wd nb
D Howard 7 5 3 3
KM Pittaway 5 0 19 0 3 1
JM Couldrey 6 0 18 0 5 2
MJ Cocken 4 1 18 2 1 2
LJ Watson 5 1 17 3 4
JM Keating 2 0 9 0 3
RSH Mazumder 3.5 0 15 1 2
B Watson 4 0 10 0 1