28 June 2001

Dodgers v Science Museum

Thursday 28 June
South Park

Dodgers won by 51 runs

Dodgers are totally spoiled by the facilities at Chiswick, but even so the track in South Park was a horror: rutted, bumpy, covered in cinder and sporting a sizeable dog turd. The outfield was also in very poor nick, with more dog turds waiting for the unwary.

It was with some trepidation, then, that Dodgers openers Priest and McBarron strolled out. Phil has been in better form this week: an unbeaten 30 on Tuesday and a fifty for Superstars on Wednesday, but today wasn't his day. First ball up, he got a delivery that lifted quite sharply and only succeeded in steering it to first slip who held a decent low catch. Reports from the sidelines suggested that Phil had complained of "variable bounce". Call me a traditionalist, but when I went to school variance was given by åi(xi-m)²/(n-1), which is, of course, invalid when n=1!

Wise heads suggested we'd get 80 but would win it, and they were partly right. Priest struggled to cope initially with the slow pace and strange bounce but ground on; Carr, dropped from a facile chance on 1, took advantage by making a rapid 19 – including a beautiful straight six – before playing down the wrong line and being bowled. John Cooper departed soon after for 5, but Andrew Crawford and an increasingly assured Priest took toll of some quick but wayward bowling as the score mounted rapidly.

Crawford fell for 23 including four boundaries to be replaced by Mike Coronno. Mike's demotion did not reflect his form or ability, rather the result of a bizarre journey that started at 4pm and ended when he reached the ground... at 7.10pm. Speaking of bizarre, Priest's excellent innings ended in unusual circumstances as he over-rotated trying to hit one of Science's lesser bowlers and trod on his stumps; two balls later Coronno's innings ended when he was stumped off a wide for 16. Neil Benn and Kim Matthews scrambled a few singles and Dodgers ended at 142-6, a fabulous effort in the circumstances.

No one doubted that Dodgers would win and so it proved. Terry Hawton looked out of sorts opening from one end, but John Adey cashed in with two early wickets (courtesy of Messrs Carr and Coronno) while conceding just 14 runs as Science quickly fell behind the required rate.

First change Benn bowled poorly, but also cashed in: his first ball was a long hop that kept ridiculously low and hit middle stump and he also picked up a wicket thanks to a smart catch by Hawton at a short gully. At the other end Matt Leach was extracting a great deal of turn, and though his length wasn't consistent enough he picked up 2 victims – both bowled – for only 20.

With the match well and truly won, Crawford took up the attack... and promptly went for two fours. He had the last laugh though. Bowling to a field with four slips he ripped one through Science's only major contributor (Hopkins) for 46, then with his seventh ball of the 19th over bowled a tail-ender to record a double-wicket maiden as the jeers from the boundary rang around west London. There was also a rare sight for Dodgers aficionados as the Cat shed his flaps and bowled a couple of overs at the death.

This was a comprehensive victory for the Dodgers. Man-of-the-Match Priest's skill and belligerence being the centrepiece for an excellent batting effort with several cameo contributions. The bowlers were never pressured, but made the most of a very poor pitch where extra pace didn't always help. Bring on the Superstars!

26 June 2001

Dodgers v BHP

Tuesday 26 June
Chiswick

Result: Dodgers won by 6 wickets Conditions: Hot, dry and sunny

Matthews, Benn and Cooper all agreed to play for the opposition who were short of players

Special match rules - players to retire at 30 (opposition asked for 25 but captain Carr using his EU negotiating skills successfully negotiated an increase to 30)

Match report

On a glorious summer’s evening with temperatures well into the 80s F after a high of 90F (that’s 32C in new money), Dodgers took to the field late as usual against BHP in a 20-over game. The game started at at 6.25pm. Since we were only a few days past the longest day of the year and cricket was practicable well past 9pm in fair conditions there were none of the usual mutterings about finishing in the dark by Westhead. It was a summer’s evening to die for (well not literally) after another day’s slog in our Whitehall offices.

Carr lost the tost, blaming it on the coin, and Dodgers were asked to field. Paterson opened the bowling from the Chiswick end. Off his arguably ridiculously long run Paterson generated a cracking pace. His direction was consistently outside off-stump but the openers Leslie and Dan, though not visibly flinching, didn’t seem to fancy him much. That said most of Dodgers probably didn’t either. Cousins started tidily from the River End and only 5 came from the first 3 overs. In the second over off Cousins, one of the openers was reinstated after the umpire who had given him out presumably for caught behind took advice from keeper Bultitude (deputising for Matthews and keeping very tidily) that the batsman hadn’t hit it. Then began a period of play lasting for at least 10 overs when the umpires seemed open to debate on whether potential dismissals should count or not.

Slowly but steadily the score progressed but wickets fell steadily largely owing to some excellent catching by Dodgers. Carr took 3 (yes 3) catches, none of them easy and Hilary (J) took a splendid catch diving to his right. Birch C (junior) also took a good caught and bowled. After 12 overs BHP were 51-4. None of the batsmen looked particularly at home until Al arrived at the crease - a slogger but he found the middle of the bat often enough. In the latter part of the innings the scoring rate increased substantially, the last 5 overs producing 49 off the bat. Pope, recovering from a back complaint and short of bowling this season, was hit for 28 off his 2 overs but did at least pick up the wicket of Stewart at long-leg from a pull shot. Benn was in sound form and nurdled his way to 20 not out in the latter stages. The resulting 128/8 was a good score and much more than seemed likely at the halfway stage. Had Dodgers let BHP off the hook?

Bultitude and Mc Barron opened the innings for Dodgers. They were strangely subdued for a number of overs without looking like getting out. The opening bowlers were accurate and the ball was swinging. Bultitude played and missed several times outside the off stump and his timing was awry. But steadily class came through and Bultitude in particular came to the fore. Forced to retire when on 33 Dodgers were by then only slightly behind the asking rate with all wickets intact. At this stage Mc Barron was on 14. After Bultitude departed Mc Barron stepped on the accelerator somewhat but without finding it easy. Although some of their actions were a mite unconventional there were no joke bowlers amongst BHP although Stewart’s figures of 0-33 off 3 overs might imply otherwise. Priest didn’t stay long over his 16 and nudged the scoring rate in the right direction. He was concerned to hear Mc Barron say: Don’t worry about the scoring rate (7 an over were needed by this stage) we can hit the bad ball. Only trouble was bad balls were few and far inbetween. Mc Barron, much more in touch towards the end of his innings, was obliged to retire when on 32 and Carr went lbw for 1.

The score was then 104-2 with 25 needed off 4 overs. A nicely poised finish. In strode Westhead in his first game for 11 months after his wedding and numerous business trips had kept him off the field of play. He wasn’t exactly relishing the task but made a quick fire 11 off 10 balls (or was it 9? - lightning pace for him) before being yorked by opening bowler Dan, a delivery he failed to pick up at all. Hilary hit one good 4 but couldn’t keep up the form of his recent knock of 40. But with 1.3 overs to go only 3 runs were now needed. After a few dot balls Birch C triumphantly drove a 4 over the in-field for the winning boundary and Dodgers won by 6 wickets with 3 balls to spare. A very even game but Dodgers had just that extra bit of class to spare in the end. Must have been a good game for the spectator (what spectator ed?) I mean scorer, Jude, to watch.

The match facts were:

BHP

Leslie lbw b Hilary 14
Dan c Carr b Cousins 9
Mike c+b Birch (C) 10
Chris c Hilary b Birch (C) 8
Al Retired 30
Bill c Carr b Hilary 4
Stewart c Paterson b Pope 7
Neil Benn N/O 20
John Cooper c Carr b Birch(S) 5
Kim Matthews RUN OUT 3
Extras (13w, 4b, 1lb) 18
TOTAL 128/8 off 20 overs

FOW: 1/24, 2/38, 3/42, 4/51, 5/56, 6/73, 7/?, 8/128


Bowling

Paterson 4-0-13-0
Cousins 4-0-20-1
Hilary 3-0-10-2
Birch C 4-0-29-2
Birch S 3-0-21-1
Pope 2-0-28-1


DODGERS

Bultitide Retired 33
Mc Barron Retired 32
Priest c Chris b Cooper 16
Carr lbw b Benn 1
Westhead b Dan 11
Hilary b Dan 6
Paterson NOT OUT 1
C Birch NOT OUT 4
Extras (4 NB, 17 W, 2B, 4LB) 27
TOTAL (off 19.3 overs) 131/4
DNB S Birch, Pope, Cousins

FOW: 1/92, 2/104, 3/121, 4/126


Bowling

Dan 4-0-20-2
Mike 3.3-0-22-0
Stewart 3-0-33-0
Al 4-0-16-0
Cooper 3-0-18-1
Benn 2-0-16-1



Dodgers won by 6 wickets

06 June 2001

Dodgers v BSI

Dodgers fielded first by mutual agreement.

BSI: 68 All out off 19.3 overs (Michael 41, Crawford 4–13, Adey 4-14)
Dodgers: 69/2 off 13.4 overs (Bultitude Ret’d 29)

DODGERS WON BY 8 WICKETS

Dodgers Man of the Match: Andrew Crawford

With the draw of England’s World Cup qualifier against Greece awaiting at the bar, Captain Neil Priest decided to bowl to try and get the game finished as soon as possible. This could have backfired if BSI had performed as well as in previous years but this did not prove to be the case and Dodgers pulled off an easy victory.

Denied the A pitch booked by BSI by a team from the Home Office who staged an illegal occupation, we all trooped round to the B pitch which proved to be dry and hard and the outfield fast. Opening with Crawford from the pavilion end, Dodgers got off to a perfect start with two wickets falling in the first over to some sharp and accurate bowling, the second to a catch by Priest running forward from slip off a ball which reached the batsman just below shoulder height (I kid you not). A quiet over from Cousins at the other end then Crawford pulled off the same again in his second over, taking a further two wickets clean bowled: his figures were 4 for 3 at that point. Failing to take a fifth wicket, Cousins stepped in at the other end to bowl the left-handed Terry before he could improve on his one boundary.

With BSI at 28 for 5 off eight overs, the game was all but won and Adey and Leach were brought into the attack to finish off the rabbits. Moving to mid-on, Priest promptly took a straightforward catch off Adey in his first over and it was getting rather embarrassing. However, Michael was getting bat onto ball and with the fast outfield was regularly finding the boundary to move the total towards the face-saving 50 mark. Failing to find his touch at the other end, Leach gave way to Benn who bowled tightly and with a fielder on the mid-wicket boundary stemmed the flow of 4s from the bat of Michael. Adey continued to plug away with his straight balls taking a further three wickets (one well caught by Bultitude in the covers), in the process getting very respectable figures of 4-14.

With one wicket left and a lady at one end, BSI’s tactics were clearly to keep Michael on strike. A less than accurate final over saw Adey also miss out on a fifth wicket bowling to her and with Benn and Cooper also failing to make an impact, Michael managed to move on to 41 and the total to 68 before he succumbed to Benn and a catch by McBarron at deep mid-wicket.

Dodgers’ turn to bat. Having got through the overs quickly (it’s amazing what a football match can do!) and with a target of only 69 to win, it looked like McBarron and Bultitude would finish the game off in double-quick time. But McBarron’s catch proved to be his undoing, the ball drawing blood from a badly cut finger, and he was unable to opening the batting and hopefully end his poor run of form. So Matthews joined Bultitude at the crease. Some mediocre bowling saw the runs come freely to both batsmen, with Matthews hitting two 4s before being bowled by Johnson for an excellent 14. This saw Priest join Bultitude at the crease and the total move on rapidly towards the target, with Priest finding form quickly hitting three 4s in his total of 18. Generously retiring on 29 to let others that had not bowled have a bat, Transec guest Berti matched his previous top score with two singles before being bowled by Charleston. With three runs to win, Cooper joined Priest to get the winning runs. Thanks to umpire Benn not giving wides off Michael, the winning run came off the bat of Cooper - just after his wife arrived to watch the match.

Another good Dodgers performance. Well done to all.
Reporter: Andrew Crawford

Quote of the Match: McBarron – "I’ve broken my fingernail" (Sounds best taken out of context).

BSI  

B Shelley c Priest b Crawford 0
M Johnson b Crawford 0
K McLean b Crawford 0
J Terry b Cousins 4
B Muldoon b Crawford 0
S Wright c Priest b Adey 3
D Michael c McBarron b Benn 41
R Budd b Adey 8
D Charleston b Adey 4
G Strawbridge c Bultitude b Adey 0
Anna Wadsworth Not Out 0
Extras (B2, Lb1, W5, Nb0) 8
Total (19.3 overs) 68 All out


Bowling
O M R W
Crawford 4 0 13 4
Cousins 4 1 14 1
Adey 4 0 14 4
Leach 2 0 7 0
Benn 3.3 0 9 1
Cooper 2 0 8 0


DODGERS

D Bultitude Retired 29
K Matthews b Johnson 14
N Priest Not Out 18
S Berti b Charleston 2
J Cooper Not Out 2
Extras (B2, Lb1, W1, Nb0) 4
Total (13.4 overs) 69 for 2 wkts

Did not bat: Crawford, Benn, Leach, Cousins, Adey, McBarron

Bowling
O M R W
Johnson 4 0 22 1
McLean 4 0 24 0
Terry 2 1 4 0
Muldoon 2 0 13 0
Charleston 1 0 2 1
Michael 0.4 0 1 0


Man of the Match: Andrew Crawford

Dodgers won by 8 wickets