29 May 2002

Dodgers v Broken Hill Proprietary

Wednesday 29 May
Dodgers lost by 44 runs

Despite much pre-match moaning about the weather, the game was played in good conditions on the driest, flattest and fastest pitch we've seen this year. BHP won the toss and batted (several men short, initially) and in the history of the Dodgers I don't think we've seen a stranger innings.

The first ball from Crawford set the tone. The batsman stepped away and flashed through the covers and the ball went straight to John Cooper - who dropped it. The Kamikaze shots and running continued as Benn grabbed two wickets and Crawford one despite both picking up some stick along the way.

At this point the Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition (Mr McBarron) suggested that skipper Priest bring on joke bowlers (presumably himself?) to avoid the match turning into a fiasco. John Hilary's first over suggested he might be right as an astonishing three wickets fell, and when Hawton picked up another immediately afterwards BHP were reeling at about 40 for 7. The next few overs proved him hopelessly wrong, though, as two latecomers from BHP launched a fearsome attack. Early-season golden arms Pope, Leach and Cooper were particularly harshly treated, although John did pick up a late wicket, as did the returning Crawford.

128 looked a tough but gettable target, though the Dodgers batting line-up clearly relied on a few batsmen reaching the 30 for retirement. Two of the hopefuls were the new opening combo of McBarron and Hilary. Neither looked totally at ease, and Phil soon succumbed to an uncharacteristically loose shot outside off stump, having survived a confident appeal for caught behind moments earlier. Other Dodgers take careful note on this: McB thought he had probably hit it but wasn't sure so he stayed put; umpire Pope wasn't sure so he said not out. Both actions are 100% correct. Although John did hit two fours, facing an innocuous ball he seemed caught in two minds and ended up giving a tame catch to leave us at 20-2.

This brought the two Neils together, and they began reasonably well, Man-of-the-match Priest in rather better form but both running well and keeping the board ticking over. Alas BHP declined to bowl their only non-bowler so runs were never easy. Priest was forced to retire at 31 and Benn's dismissal soon afterwards for 21 sparked an England-style (and, regrettably, Yorkshire-style) collapse. Cooper struggled before missing a heave; Crawford made only four before being squared up; Hawton fell to a good catch at backward point; and Leach was horribly bamboozled by a slower one. Matthews and Pope both survived the remaining overs without ever looking like getting a run (someone should have told the Cat to block - he plays more attacking shots then!) and we finished 44 short.

BHP's strange batting order contributed to our difficulties, but several of our bowlers conceded double figures in an over. Our batting lacked depth and when Hilary and McBarron failed we were struggling. A telling statistic is that the last four batsmen took 30 deliveries amassing just two runs.

12 May 2002


12 May 2002

Dodgers won the toss and elected to bowl

Haud Magnum: 177/3 dec off 46.5 overs (Boyce 97, Nixon 57, Cooper 3-20)
Dodgers: 158/7 off 39.0 overs (McBarron 55, Bannis 6-36)


Dodgers Man of the Match: John Cooper

After the cancellation of the first two games and the Superstars tour the season finally got underway with a whimper rather than a bang, Dodgers playing out what proved to be a tame draw with Haud Magnum. Despite some creaking muscles, general rustiness and ever expanding waste lines for some of us (Dodgers? Salad Dodgers more like!) we managed to turn in a good performance.

This was the first time we had played HM and the sides were evenly matched. In fact, if we had a Bultitude at the top of the innings or a Crawford with his eye in lower down the order we could easily have won. Set a target of 178 in about two hours on a pitch that was easy to stay in on but difficult to score quickly we needed a solid start. This was supplied by McBarron (55) and Benn (18) who put on a steady 44 for the first wicket. HM then introduced medium pacer Bannis who gave them their only realistic chance of bowling us out, taking 6/36, albeit with some help from our umpires! (Probably or might have is not enough, you have to be 100% certain it would have hit...). McBarron anchored the innings well but contributions by Priest (17), Gundry (13) and John Hilary (17*) werent quite enough to get us home, but we never really looked like being bowled out.

Earlier HM had been asked to bat and their openers put on one of the highest (170), and definitely the most tedious, stands ever against Dodgers. Everybody bowled well with Gundry (0/14), Benn (0/6) and John Hilary (0/18) being especially miserly, restricting HM to less than two an over for what seemed like the first three weeks of the match. Henry Hilary was also impressive, bowling an 11 over spell (0/44) in his first game for two years. Leach (0/37) was unlucky to come on just as Boyce (97) started to hit out (where is Golden Bollocks Adey when the Captain needs him...) and Pope (0/26) was especially unlucky, two possible catches not going to hand in the same over. The bowling was backed up by good fielding with nobody losing concentration despite the lack of wickets. Lack of wickets until the last 15 minutes that is when cometh the hour, cometh the man. An inspired bit of Captaincy saw John Cooper brought on to bowl and take 3/30 in under 4 overs, and rob Boyce of a century in the process (thanks to an extremely posey one handed catch by Gundry). How I let myself be talked out of opening the bowling with him Ill never understand.....

This was an enjoyable game against a good bunch who we should perhaps try and play twice next year. The only real blot was the Tony Whitrod saga, and we all need to be apologetic and nice to him. Arriving late thanks to the trains he was asked to play for the opposition to even up the numbers. They didnt give him a bat or a bowl which is inexcusable. Next time the opposition ask for a player we will make sure the deal is negotiated properly.

Neil Priest

Civil Service Ground, Chiswick

Toss: Dodgers


Nixon c&b Cooper 57
Boyce b Cooper 97
Bhattia Not Out 1
Warner c Gundry b Cooper 0
Extras (b6, lb4, w11, nb1) 22
Total (46.5 overs) 177 for 3

1-170 (Boyce)
2-177 (Nixon)
3177 (Warner)

Gundry 9 3 14 0 (3 wides)
Benn 6 1 8 0
Hilary J 7 0 18 0 (2 wides)
Hilary H 11 0 44 0 (3 wides, 1 no ball)
Leach 5 0 37 0 (1 wide)
Pope 3 0 26 0 (1 wide)
Cooper 3.5 0 20 3 (1 wide)


McBarron c&b Bannis 55
Benn lbw b Bannis 18
Cooper lbw b Bannis 1
Priest lbw b Bannis 17
Gundry b Warner 13
Hilary J Not Out 17
Pope b Bannis 0 (1 ball)
Matthews c Boyce b Bannis 2
Leach Not Out 3
Extras (b14, lb6, w8, nb9) 37
Total (39.0 overs) 158 for 7

Did not bat: Hilary H

1 44 (Benn)
2 55 (Cooper)
3 84 (Priest)
4 123 (Gundry)
5 ?? (McBarron)
6 - ?? (Pope)
7 - ?? (Matthews)

Warner 12 2 26 1 (5nb)
Singh 7 0 26 0 (2w)
Collier 5 0 29 0
Bannis 12 2 36 6
Bhattia 3 0 20 0

Man of the Match: John Cooper

Match Drawn