27 May 2005

Still delicately poised

Unfortunately, last night's scheduled match between Dodgers and our arch-rivals the Superstars had to be cancelled, Dodgers only having seven capped players available at the start time. Instead, a Dodgers Representative X played the Tomatoheads in an exhibition game.

Winning the toss, stand-in skipper Priest chose to bat and opened with himself and David Patterson. Having narrowly avoided the strike on a number of occasions, David was forced to face a baptism of fire against Messrs Gundry and Taylor. He didn't last long, but rather longer than Qureshi (bowled, 0) or Benn (stumped, 0) as the Representative X struggled at less than three per over.

Things didn't get much better either. Superstar stand-in Rhys Thomas made three before John Hilary seemed like a rabbit caught in the proverbial headlights in making an uncharacteristically scratchy nine. A few lusty blows from McB and the Cat saw us finish on a horribly-inadequate 69 for five - 36* to Priest. The Representative team's hopes were raised briefly when Abigail slapped Benn's third ball to Patterson at point, but there was precious little to cheer after that despite tight spells from Benn (1-5) and Cooper, who picked up the only other wicket to fall with 1-13.

The Rats' batting was simply too strong, despite the tricky pitch, and they ran out comfortable winners with just under three overs to spare, the winning runs being a beautifully-timed six over long off.

So the series remains delicately poised at 0-0 with real business of the summer still to come.

24 May 2005

Dodgers v Audit Commission, 7 July @ Regents Park

A message from the Cat: "Please note the game on Thursday 7 July v Audit
Commission will be held at Regents Park, 6 pm. start."

21 May 2005

Dodgers Player Profiles updated

Check out the updated Dodgers player profiles (courtesy Neil Benn and McB) including 2004 and 2005 statistics.

20 May 2005

Sun 22 May Buckhurst Hill match cancelled

With great regret the match on Sunday has been cancelled. Let's now look forward to the first encounter with the Superstars of the season.

18 May 2005

History made

Dodgers exacted maximum revenge for last season's humiliating defeat at the hands of the Audit Commission with a bloodless victory last night by ten wickets with eight overs to spare. And history was made...

Losing the toss, Dodgers took the field and welcomed back Rod Paterson to spearhead the attack alongside Simon Cousins. The Auditors' batting always looks dangerous, but they flattered to deceive in the early exchanges despite some favourable umpiring as the score moved on slowly. Wickets fell at key moments and after 12 overs Paterson (1-15), Cousins (1-23) and Benn (1-11) had kept the lid on it nicely.

Enter Cooperman. First he took a gentle caught-and-bowled, then he induced a drag-on with a big in-swinger and suddenly it was hat-trick ball. The field closed in... the delivery was on its way... the batsman moved into position... she raised her bat - d'oh! Meant to hide that fact! - the ball went in the air... and Tawhid pouched it at short mid-on with ease: the first-ever Dodgers hat-trick.

With one early victim, it was surely time for "Ol' Spawny Wickets" Hilary to mop up. But an incoming batswoman pleaded "be gentle with me bowler" and he was too much of a gentleman to do anything sensible like bowl at the stumps, ending with 4-2-3-1 as John Cooper grabbed another caught-and-bowled to end with three catches and figures of 4-20 as the Commission ended on 71.

McB was looking to back Dodgers at 10s on in the interval and his confidence was not misplaced. Priest and Qureshi attacked from the first ball and both sparkled on occasions despite Tawhid offering up a couple of chances. After four overs the game was virtually over and it wasn't long before the openers "voluntarily" retired on 25 (Priest passing 4,000 runs en route) to give the Yorkshire Slogger the opportunity to cream 5* in only four overs to end the game.

History made and a useful warm-up for Buckhurst, but the expected contest simply never materialised.

11 May 2005

Fast start...

Dodgers got off to a solid start with a very comfortable victory against a below-par Department of Constitutional Affairs last night.

Batting first, Priest and Westhead rode their luck a little on a pitch with plenty of movement as several catches were shelled in the opening overs. Having played a few attractive shots, Guy was dismissed for 4. [As it's the first game, and for Dodgers newcomers only, he played back to a full toss and was bowled - this is so common the match reports usually just say "out" or "bowled" to cover this]. Cap'n Carr had clearly benefitted from a knock on tour with the Rats and was timing the ball well, though he too needed Decaf's assistance to survive before being trapped in front for a very useful 35. Mr Priest was getting into his stride and Decaf's support bowling wasn't too penetrative, allowing Neil (49* at the last count) and the Yorkshire Slogger (15*) to get us to 119-2 which we were very confident we could defend.

And so it proved. The Dodgers' pace attack has a settled - some might say moribund - look about it and was simply too good even at this stage of the season. Two wickets for Benn and one for Cousins in a tight opening spell set the scene and, despite a brief flurry in mid-innings, two wickets for John Hilary in an over (the first a catch by Westhead, the only one in the game) ended the game as a contest. Veteran David Pope (one wicket) and new-boy David Patterson had a roll before a single over form Guy. Stumps were drawn late on a cold night but we had a victory of more than 30 runs to keep us all snug.

04 May 2005

Game Off

Cancellation - please note tomorrow's game (Thursday 5 May) has been cancelled at the last minute as the oppo couldn't get a team out.

Cat