This page holds the match reports for all games played during the 2001 season. The links below provide a direct route to the report for each game plus access to the reports for seasons from 2000 to the present. It is also possible to link to them from the associated rolling results page entries and I hope to extend that facility to include all of the historical results pages, once I’ve figured out the best method of doing so.
Unless otherwise noted all match reports were written by your host and webmaster, Steve Pitts. For reasons that are now lost in the mists of time, the reports are laid out in reverse chronological order, but hopefully the links above make that an unimportant detail.
The Badgers’ season finished with a rather pathetic whimper, which perfectly reflected the club’s performances over the latter half of the season. Since the tour weekend we’ve managed to bowl our opposition out just once, which also happens to represent the number of games we’ve won over that three month span. The final tally sees as many wins as losses, five in each column, and only sixteen games completed in a season where the weather was a little variable.
The final game of the season reflected that variability with everything from heavy rain to brilliant sunshine. The second interruption of the day, about an hour and a half into Merrow’s innings, looked like it might be the end of the game, but the fact that we were playing on an artificial wicket and the generosity of our hosts meant that after a forty-five minute delay, plus a half hour ‘tea’ break, proceedings resumed and were then completed in perfect atmospheric conditions even if things were a little slippery underfoot.
The highlight of the day for most Badgers was the rugby club style hot meal served up at tea time, but sadly it didn’t fuel us to greater heights. Most of the bowling had been economical, with all three of David Aldwinckle, Ian Gregg and Mark Gordon conceding 21 runs from eight overs, and it took Merrow forty overs and a ball to reach the 150 that they set us as a target. However, given twice that many overs we would in all probability still have failed to bowl them out.
Left with roughly forty-five minutes plus the final twenty overs we simply capitulated horribly, with most batsman failing to grasp the obvious lesson that the ball was not bouncing much and that the front foot was the only place to play from. Our embarrassment was magnified by the fact that my eleven year old son Darrell, making up the numbers for the opposition, bowled four overs for nine runs and the prize wicket of Mark Gordon. The one bright spot, other than for the doting father, was an innings of exactly half the total score by club stalwart Alan Tickner (48) but he really did play a lone hand and the last four wickets collapsed for just two runs when he was seventh man out.
In closing I’d like to offer a heartfelt thank you to our opponents, who once again did us proud off the field even if we failed to return the favour on it. Their hospitality and friendliness was once again overwhelming, and long may clubs like Merrow thrive and continue to provide many happy hours to cricketers of all ages.
Badgers visited the friendly confines of Newchapel & Horne this week, where the weather in the days leading up to the game meant that the pitch was rather soft on top and the ball was not coming on to the bat. However, our bowlers did not exploit the conditions at all well, with too many balls being either short, wide or in some cases, both. This meant that even with the usual percentage of miscues caused by batsmen struggling to find their timing on such a surface, there was a regular supply of four balls to keep the score ticking along. Three of Newchapel’s top five took full advantage of such profligacy to notch fifties, although none of them were able to go much further.
The line and length was only improved after the introduction of Allan Butt and Alan Tickner (2-45) into the attack, but by this time the batsmen had started to get the measure of the pitch, and even some of the good balls disappeared into the adjacent fields. In the end, 217 was a reasonable score, but we really ought to have restricted them to something rather less.
When it came our turn to bat Newchapel were far more stingy with their line and length and openers Steve Pitts (38) and David Jones (30) struggled to keep the score ticking along at any more than three an over. After their dismissal the middle order of Simon Fox (24), Graham Davenport (20) and Alan Tickner (20) all got in some good blows, but it was skipper Mark Gordon batting at seven who gave the innings the impetus it needed, and indeed had thoughts of an improbable victory springing to mind.
It was not to be, though, as Newchapel reintroduced their first change bowlers, including Fairhurst who had earlier top-scored with 65 and taken two wickets in his first spell. He added two more in the seventeenth over of the last twenty and Badgers’ hopes disappeared at that point as the incoming batsman failed to find the timing to make the big hits necessary. In the end we finished fourteen runs short, with the Skipper on forty-seven not out, but by no means disgraced.
My apologies for this rather skeletal report, but a long-standing family get-together took precedence over actually playing, and whilst I did watch the last half hour or so of the game the rest of the report is based purely on hearsay and innuendo.
Scoring was obviously not easy for anyone, although Rowan opener Reid (68 no.) did manage to carry his bat. He and his teammates were greatly assisted by a dismal Badgers fielding performance that saw a hatful of catching chances shelled and Mick Willmott once again pulling up lame. John Rourke (2-28) received a somewhat better return for his thirteen overs of effort than the previous game, and most of the six bowlers used bowled tightly since it took Rowan 46 overs to amass their 143.
When it came Badgers turn to bat, all of the top order got a start but no one went on to make the big score necessary to secure the victory. Dave Tickner’s 26 and Barry Davenport’s 24 both included sixes, whilst Simon Fox (27 no.) played a completely different hand, scoring nothing but singles batting at number three. Both sides had a chance to win as the twenty overs drew to a close, especially as the Badgers threw away two wickets with silly run outs, but really this was a win that got away from the Badgers, and a mix up between the scoreboard and the scorer that saw only nineteen of the last twenty being bowled didn’t help.
For the second game in a row Badgers were on the receiving end of a big first innings, with Blindley Heath’s first three batsman all reaching fifties and the ball regularly flying out of the small ground for six. Pick of the bowlers was Johnny Rourke, who bowled thirteen overs unchanged from the start of the innings whilst conceding only thirty-nine runs and regularly causing the batsmen problems. Unfortunately, as so often seems to be the case for John, he went unrewarded for his sterling effort. Alan Tickner (2-68) also bowled thirteen solid overs, but the supporting cast were put to the sword in Heath’s pursuit of a big total.
When it came our turn to bat the home side’s hostile opening bowler Burgess (4-55) caused problems for all those who faced him. Opener David Aldwinckle batted solidly for his forty-four but once he departed and Barry Davenport (24) had completed his usual cameo, it simply became a case of hanging on for the draw in ever deepening gloom. Blindley Heath skipper Cresswell saw fit to bring back his opening bowlers in the final few overs, which caused some mutterings about ungentlemanly conduct, but Alan Tickner (36 no.) as ever shaping his innings to fit the circumstances, bravely stood his ground and Badgers held on with two wickets to spare.
Another dull and cloudy English summer Sunday saw Badgers visit Reigate Priory to play against the Cavaliers. The weather was kinder to us this week, and despite some dark clouds we stayed dry throughout proceedings. Reigate chose to bat first and their openers set off at a searing pace. Ian Gregg bowled tidily though, and was able to pick up both of the opening pair before the damage was irreparable. Number three batsman Robinson (77 no.) was another matter and he was to prove a thorn in the Badgers’ side throughout.
Unfortunately the injury bug hit us again. Alan Tickner, one of only three regular seam bowlers available on the day, pulled up with a hamstring tear whilst chasing down a ball at third man, and was unable to bowl at all. Barry Davenport stood in gamely, bowling a nine over spell that included a wicket, but having pegged Reigate to 104 for five things took a turn for the worse, with Mick Willmott pulling up lame during his third over and actually having to leave the field. This meant that poor old Ian, who had just been spelled, ended up having to bowl out the afternoon, but he finished with very creditable figures of three for sixty-four from nineteen overs.
The situation did not improve and Reigate’s sixth and seventh wickets added another 111 runs, enabling them to declare a few minutes early and set a very formidable total, which the Badgers top order completely failed to make an impression on. Reigate’s opening bowlers Brickley and Khureshi simply proved too good, and the reply slumped to nineteen for five in the eleventh over. Mark Gordon (60) and Alan Tickner (35), the latter batting with a runner, then got their heads down and were abetted by Reigate’s captain very kindly removing the pace duo from the attack soon after they came together.
Not for the first time this season (not to mention seasons past) the current captain and vice captain batted well together and eventually amassed a club record 103 runs for the sixth wicket, overtaking a seventeen year old record previously held by Brian Moore and Simon Fox. With the score on 122 the opposition decided that enough was enough and reverted to the opening bowlers, who proceeded to wrap things up in double quick time (and some fairly gloomy light) and finished with figures of five for twenty and four for twenty-two respectively.
Speaking from a personal perspective I cannot remember the last time that I came home from a game hurting so badly from bruises sustained whilst batting, and I was only in for eight overs or so!!
In total contrast with last week’s blazing hot day, our first ever visit to play Wimbledon Village coincided with a more normal English summer’s day, that is to say it was cloudy and threatening rain. The Cottenham Park pitch had obviously already received a fair bit of water, and was both green and rather damp on top. This made playing strokes a challenging proposition, especially to anything short where even counting to ten still resulted in the shot being finished before the ball had reached the batsman.
Wimbledon’s opening bowler Harty occasionally did a good job of exploiting the conditions, finishing an opening spell of ten overs with 3 for 29 for his efforts, but in general the bowling was too short and badly directed. Opener Alan Tickner got his head down, for which he was to be well rewarded as the innings progressed, but the rest of the top order succumbed to Harty’s pace and despite a cameo from Graham Davenport, whose 21 consisted of four fours and a five, Badgers found themselves at 89 for four after twenty overs.
Fortunately Alan and Simon Fox are wise old heads and they settled down and took full advantage of some wayward bowling from Wimbledon’s change bowlers. When Alan was eventually dismissed for 102, his second career century and the club’s first of the season – including four sixes and eleven fours – the partnership had added 112 runs, the third highest for the fifth wicket in club history. Simon continued to push the score along, eventually finishing on 56 not out (a patent Foxy innings that those of us who saw him win the 1989 batting trophy remember well!!) and enabling skipper Mark Gordon to make a fair declaration in advance of the scheduled tea break.
Sadly, the weather was already closing in, with a couple of heavy showers during the latter part of the innings and a torrential downpour during the interval. In typical village cricket fashion, the teams bravely trooped out to the middle when the rain abated, but ten overs of splashing around with a wet ball and increasingly slippery underfoot conditions were enough to convince both sides to call it a day and retire to the bar at Old Wimbledonians and reflect on what might have been.
(You might be amused to compare this report with the Old Alleynians’ version)
It must be something about playing on artificial wickets, but another blistering hot day coincided with our second match of the season on such a surface. Fortunately for the Badgers Alan Tickner, acting captain in Mark’s absence, won the toss and elected to bat. The innings started steadily, with opener Alex Lightfoot making 27 against some often wayward but occasionally hostile opening bowling, but the wickets also fell with regularity, especially once slow bowler Baker was introduced into the attack. He continued to fox the batsmen for seventeen overs, but a strong sixth wicket partnership of 48, which started with the total on 102 from 30 overs, helped pull the score towards respectability.
The protagonists were Alan Tickner, who made 36 including two straight sixes, and David Aldwinckle, and it was David who held the latter part of the innings together whilst wickets tumbled at the other end. Baker took his figures to six for ninety-one before finally being removed from the attack, but fortunately Badgers last man Mick Willmott batted sensibly in support and the last wicket added 34 crucial runs with David finishing unbeaten on 66.
The Old Alleynians reply followed a very similar pattern, with batsmen getting in but failing to move on to a big score, and the wickets falling steadily whilst the runs continued to pile up. Mick Willmott’s introduction into the attack in the eleventh over brought a flurry of wickets, one in each of his first three overs, but the middle order steadied the ship and the score continued to mount at the required rate. It looked like David Aldwinckle (2-3) might turn the match in the Badgers’ favour, with the key wickets of Leeming (39) and Owen (23) in his first three overs, but a pulled hamstring brought an early end to his spell and added to the list of walking wounded.
In the end it was another all round performance that decided the match as number seven Baker followed up his bowling with an unbeaten 30 runs. Like Aldwinckle he too had to battle through as wickets were thrown away at the other end, with second spells for Alan Tickner (2-33) and Mick (4-60) trimming all bar the final wicket.
The ninth wicket fell with just over four overs still to be bowled, but Baker batted intelligently against a tired fielding side, and farmed the strike almost to perfection to protect his partner and preserve the draw as his team fell twenty runs short of their target.
Badgers again put the opposition in to bat on what was a particularly green and lively wicket. The early batsmen all got going but tight bowling from Mark Gordon (4-15) and Allan Butt (3-9) restricted the scoring and Ewhurst were finally all out for 94. Special praise goes to Alex Lightfoot, a recent recruit to the team, who stepped in to do a first-class job behind the stumps despite ripping his flannels!
In reply Alan Tickner (33 no.) and Alex (30) got Badgers to within sight of victory, against some very quick and hostile fast bowling. When Alex was finally out, Barry Davenport came in and added 16 in just three balls to take us to our target.
Sorry Steve, I didn’t play in this one. From the scorebook it all looks pretty sad. Five ducks and only Mark (28) doing much at all!!
(Editor’s note – I am currently trying to track down one of the guilty eleven to see if they’d care to defend their performance, and will report back on what I discover)
Rain brought a premature end to this new fixture after just 8 overs, by which time Dave Tickner had amassed 17 no. A lovely ground and a fixture well worth keeping.
The third game of the tour put new strains on an already depleted squad, but on a hot sunny day the eleven survivors were fully behind the Skipper when he decided to field! The early Milton batsmen all looked dangerous but with some great catching and fielding, wickets started to tumble. Jarrett (57) was the only batsman who stayed around for any length of time, most falling to Mark Gordon (4-19) or Alan Wilkes (3-2).
In our pursuit of 91 to win we soon collapsed to 32-3 but Alan Tickner (46) and David Aldwinckle (20 no.) saw us home in just 24 overs. This brought to an end a very successful tour and special thanks are due to David Aldwinckle and Alan Wilkes for all their hard work in organising fixtures, accommodation and victuals.
This year we were able to play Hook Norton on the Saturday, having previously played them as the Sunday fixture for the past fifteen or so tours, and were put into bat by the opposition. Graham Davenport (43) and Dave Tickner (29) got us off to a good start, and further rapid runs from Barry Davenport (23) and Darren Hanley (32 no.) saw us to a good total of 188 for 7 at tea.
In reply none of the Hook Norton batsmen really got going which enabled Mark to use a total of eight bowlers, including the return of Dave Tickner off his usual 30 yard mark. Mick Willmott was the pick of the bunch, taking 5 for 12 from 8 overs before a last wicket stand of 40 – including 29 from last man in, captain Paul White – enabled the home side to restore a little pride.
During the tea interval we were pleased to hand over a cheque for £100 to Hook Norton Cricket Club, as a token of our appreciation for their continued support of our tour. The money will go towards an artificial wicket to help junior cricket in the area.
The Club’s tour to the Cotswolds started with a new fixture against Windrush on Friday afternoon. Windrush batted first and were soon past 100 with the loss of just one wicket. However Mark Gordon (3-24) prised out Sykes for 57 and when the sixth wicket fell the score had only progressed to 132. Despite the accurate bowling of Allan Butt (4-27) the home team got away at the end of their innings and were finally all out for 185.
The Badgers innings was hardly underway when Steve Pitts sustained a serious facial injury from a top edged hook and had to be taken to hospital. I am pleased to say that at the time of going to press Steve has had his good looks restored with surgery and is scheduled to return to the crease very soon (with helmet!) This episode, and further injuries to the home side’s wicket-keeper, rather distracted the Badgers batsmen (most of whom were also wearing helmets by this stage). With the exception of Darren Hanley (23) and a typically rapid 36 from Barry Davenport the innings rather fell apart and we were all out for 124. However a lovely ground, good opposition and a fixture we would like to keep for next year.
A blistering hot Sunday afternoon in Kent saw the Badgers toiling in the field, yet again, as their opposition struggled to score at a decent rate and ate into the match time to ensure a competitive total. In the end Loose were dismissed off what their skipper had decided was to be the final ball before tea, but forty-six overs had been served up on the kind of afternoon when traditionally only mad dogs and Englishman would be expected to be out and about.
The Loose innings was slow to get started, with David Aldwinckle taking two wickets in his opening spell, including an athletic caught and bowled. The first change pair, Mark Gordon and Alan Tickner, kept up the pressure and at one point had reduced Loose to 44 for 5. When Mark left the attack, having fired down eleven overs for just sixteen runs in the heat of the day, Loose were six wickets down for just 69 runs from 35 overs.
At that stage Alan had equally impressive figures of twelve overs, six of them maidens, for nineteen runs and three wickets but the lower order did a far better job than their predecessors and were able to up the tempo considerably, with Loose captain Cavender, making a muscular 45 from the number nine spot, helping to add 38 runs for the eighth wicket, and crucially another 32 for the last.
For the third week in succession the Badgers reply got off to a stuttering start and, as with the previous game at Ockley, never really recovered. The top order were completely flummoxed by Davey’s dobbers and despite another cameo from Barry Davenport the scoring rate was slow – 18 off the first 10 overs – and the wickets kept on falling.
At 75 for 7 with half of the final twenty overs gone things looked a little desperate, but Graham Davenport and Mark restored some sanity, albeit at the expense of any chance of actually winning the game. Graham did manage some lusty blows towards the end of his innings, but in the end the twelve extra overs that Loose received were the difference in the game and the Badgers fell sixteen runs short with two wickets still in hand.
At the third attempt, after two previous rain offs, the Badgers finally got to play in the beautiful surroundings of Ockley village, a few miles south-west of Dorking, although they didn’t really do themselves justice.
Fielding first for the fourth time in four matches, Badgers never really fully exploited a pitch lacking a little in pace, not helped by serving up a regular helping of wides. All of Ockley’s top order got in, with the top five all reaching twenty, but none of them went on to really exploit their start, with top scorer Cheeseman making just 35. This was probably fortunate for the Badgers as it meant that they were left with a target that should just about have been within their capabilities. Alan Wilkes finished with the best figures, after trundling away for a dozen overs, but it was opening bowler David Aldwinckle (7 overs, 3 maidens, 2 wickets for ten runs) and first change Mark Gordon who looked the most dangerous.
The Badgers reply was hesitant and wickets fell steadily – five down within the first ten overs – until skipper Mark Gordon joined David Aldwinckle at the crease at the fall of the sixth wicket. Their 49 run partnership was instrumental in saving the game, but the overall target never looked within reach as the asking rate was six an over at the start of the last twenty, before rising steadily as the pair concentrated on repairing the damage. Two more wickets fell just over halfway through the twenty overs, but David and Mick Willmott were able to see out the remaining overs to secure the less positive end of a drawn game.
For the second week running we found ourselves playing at a ground that we’d not visited for several years, and the square at the Gibraltar Rec. was as two-faced as I remember it, with some balls leaping from just short of a length and others scooting along the ground. This made both batting and wicket keeping harder work than the protagonists would have preferred, although the bowlers generally seemed to be enjoying themselves.
The game followed a not dissimilar pattern to the previous week, with Badgers fielding first, and the opposition batsmen struggling to come to terms with both the pitch and some accurate seam bowling from openers Mark Gordon and Ian Gregg. So much so that is wasn’t until the 24th over that a bowling change was made, by which time four wickets had fallen and only seventy odd runs had been scored.
The change bowlers continued to exert a stranglehold, with Alan Wilkes bowling fourteen overs for just nineteen runs whilst knocking over three more Epsom batsmen, and Graham Davenport adding a couple of others whilst conceding less than two an over from his eight overs. Epsom should have been dismissed for little more than a hundred, but a brief flourish from the last man in, C Johnson who top scored with 23, pushed the score to 134. Once again both the economy and over rates were impressive, with fifty overs being bowled in the two and half hours that Epsom needed to amass that total.
The Badgers reply got off to a shaky start, four wickets down with only 56 runs on the board meant that someone in the middle order needed to take charge. Not for the first time Barry Davenport came through with some impressive ball striking, ably assisted by erstwhile club captain Simon Fox. From a slightly wobbly 78 for 4 with sixteen overs remaining, three overs of (mostly) controlled violence rocketed the score to 113 and the rest was straightforward enough, even given the vagaries of the pitch. Barry finished with his second highest score for the club, whilst Foxy notched one of his trademark not outs :)
After another brief frisson over whether or not there would even be a game, when Dormansland cried off at the start of the week, the CCC came through for us and we made the trip to Wallington to play their second team. Upon arrival at the ground I was sure that we’d played there before, and a quick check of the records reveals that we last played them back in 1993, after another CCC arranged fixture during the previous season. Those two matches had been very one-sided in our favour, but this one turned out to be as close and exciting as one could wish.
Wallington batted first and a slow start was followed by a slow middle and a not much quicker finish. The scoring rate hovered around two and a half an over and never did get above three, with the eventual total requiring 52 overs to acquire. Opening batsman Brown was the only player to make more than 15 runs, but he fell three short of a half century and the later batsmen were never able to get on top of the bowling.
Two run outs, one courtesy of a fine throw from the square boundary by Simon Fox returning to (hopefully) regular appearances after eleven seasons spent in foreign climes, supplemented by a spell of seven overs for nine runs by Alan Wilkes ensured that the pressure never relented and the Wallington lower middle order and tail never got to grips with what was required.
The slowness of scoring meant that Badgers were left with less than fifty minutes plus the twenty overs of the final hour, but they too got off to a slow start with just twenty runs from the first ten overs and only 51, at three an over, on the board at the start of the last hour. David Aldwinckle held the innings together, but even he found scoring difficult, and when he was dismissed for 60 of the 111 runs amassed with just six overs to go, 154 looked a distant target.
However, some robust hitting by Mark Gordon and Allan Butt added much needed impetus, and after the Skipper’s untimely departure, Alan Tickner kept a cool head when twenty were needed from the last two overs, and hit a four and a six as sixteen of those runs were plundered from that penultimate over. A daft mix up saw Tickner run out with only two runs needed from the final three balls, but Allan Butt gratefully scampered both of them after a thick edge through the slips off the next ball and Badgers had scraped home with just one ball to spare.
After two games lost to rain and another to a scheduling mix up, the 2001 season finally got underway last weekend. Sadly I didn’t manage to play, thanks to the rest of the family insisting that I attend the school May Fair, but I received the following match report from Alan Tickner – thanks Al.
Eventually the season got underway but it was a very disappointing day all round for the Badgers.
Badgers arrived at Leigh with just ten men, including two friends of Graham Davenport’s who had not played cricket since their schooldays. Many thanks to Graham, Barry and Jacko for helping out at such short notice. Mark Gordon, in his first game as captain, put the opposition in and despite having very limited bowling available managed to restrict Leigh to 154-6 at tea. Special congratulations to Graham who took his first wicket for the club and went on to take four. In reply nobody other than Mark stayed very long and the innings came to a premature conclusion with twelve of the last twenty overs remaining.