Elstree Premier League – Bucklebury Badgers vs Thatcham Thunder on Pavilion.

Bucklebury Badgers vs Thatcham Thunder on Pavilion.

Result – Badgers win by 6 runs

This years’ installment of the Elstree Player League (EPL) saw two brand new franchises, the Badgers and the Thunder, arrive at Pavilion full of excitement and optimism with everyone keen to strut their stuff on the 1st team ground.  After a brief briefing on the rules and format, the Badgers skipper Ollie B-B won the toss and elected to have a bat. What ensued was an EPL first; an innings with no wickets! The Badgers batsmen nudged, ran well, called well, and although it was also an innings devoid of any boundaries too, their careful approach saw them accumulate a very competitive total of 252.  This was largely thanks to a fantastic knock from Jake (no danger of not being able to hear his calling!). Pick of the Thunder bowlers was Dyllan , the only man to bowl an over with no extras. Good man.

The Thunder reply started well with captain GdM bludgeoning Jamie to all parts.  However, regular Badger wickets stifled the run chase and, after some good rebuilding work from Ignacio and Fraser in the middle order, it was left to Gaspard (batting again in place of the absent Manuel) and Louis to chase down the 18 runs required from the final two overs to win.  With the nearby Athletics sessions coming to an end and an expectant crowd gathering, Gaspard started well…. 2….2…4…..10 required from 9 balls. 1……1……..1…….ice-cool bowling from Rupert. 7 required from the final over. Carlo to bowl it. Louis on strike. He does the sensible thing. Bat on ball. Captain GdM back on strike. And then, calamity strikes. Dodgy running for the first time in the game results in a nightmare run out at the bowlers end.  Minus 5 runs to the total. 11 to win from the final 4 balls. They couldn’t manage it and some full, straight bowling from magical Carlo was enough to see the Badgers take a 1-0 lead in the series.