09 June 2002

Dodgers v St Andrews

Sunday 9 June

Dodgers won by 19 runs

This was a game played in some of the worst conditions Dodgers have encountered. It rained for almost the entire match, some of it heavy, causing the ball to go out of shape and batsmen, bowlers (especially) and fielders all had tremendous difficulty keeping their footing. The grass was long and clinging, reducing the value of so many shots. Nonetheless, Dodgers adapted well and won in more comfort than the score might suggest.

Phil McBarron called tails and opened the innings with Neil Benn. Neither played fluently on a sloping, spongy pitch where the occasional ball kept very low, but both hung on well and ran confidently. With only eight players and on such a pitch, circumspection was the order of the day and their ability to play straight was well rewarded. Benn was eventually out for 43 out of 84 mistiming an off drive, having hit three fours from his 84 balls.

John Hilary was run about by a 30 yard direct hit having made just 1 and Richard Caethoven (Neil's "brother-in-law") was smartly stumped for just 2. There was no crisis though, as Phil soon reached yet another half-century, hitting three fours in 61 not out from 98 balls as he and Andrew Crawford saw us to a highly-competitive 126-3 from the 35 overs.

On the resumption, St. Andrews got off to a shaky start, with Burbridge needlessly run out for 8 after some good work by Caethoven and Elston taken by Hilary at mid-wicket for a single after a fearsome pull shot. The other opener, Clark, was caught and bowled by Benn during a tidy if unspectacular spell and Dodgers were well on top.

This brought another Clark and Betts together and they began to add runs at a fair rate against Hilary and Leach. With the score on 59 however, Betts mistimed a cut off Leach and Caethoven took an excellent tumbling catch at backward point. Matt ended with 1 for 14 from 6 - easily his most tidy spell.

St. Andrews were always struggling then, with Clark having to shepherd a long tail. Crawford returned to bowl him with a fast shooter to end any meaningful resistance, which just left David Pope to produce another of Those Spells picking up three wickets in three bursts totalling 5.3 overs.

Phil was named Man-of-the-Match for his excellent knock and astute captaincy.