31 August 2005

Dodgers @ Buckhurst Hill - Sunday 4 September

The match this Sunday will be played at Buckhurst Hill Cricket Club's lower, Roding Lane ground.

[Directions: as you leave Buckhurst Hill Underground station (Central Line) via the car park, turn right across the bridge over the Underground. This road becomes Roding Lane and continue along it going east until you find the ground on the left. The entrance is slightly set back from the road but it's only about 1/2 mile from the station.]

Match start time: 1pm

24 August 2005

Rain stopped play starting

Tonight's match against ATOC has been called off due to the bad weather.

19 August 2005

Dodgers v St Andrews @ Burgess Hill, Sunday 21 August 2005

A joint Dodgers / Warwick Castle Select XI takes on JJ's St Andrews at Burgess Hill this Sunday. Here are the directions to the ground for those playing:

BY CAR FROM LONDON

Take the exit for Burgess Hill from the A23, turning left in front of the Little Chef and petrol station. Go for about 3/4 mile until you reach a roundabout (go straight over) then take a left at the next roundabout where you should have a new school on your left and a leisure centre in front. At the next roundabout, take another left. Then, at the NEXT roundabout you take a right (up the hill) and there should be a welcome to Burgess Hill sign. Continue up the hill until you reach the Kings Head pub where you will need to turn left at the mini-roundabout. The ground is then on your left behind the hedge, there's plenty of parking.

BY TRAIN

Go to Wivelsfield Station from Victoria or London Bridge. When you get there, turn left out of the station and walk for about a mile until you have a cricket ground on your right. Then play cricket. Invariably there are quicker trains which run to Burgess Hill Station from Victoria. Those with cars will be able to sort out lifts from the station.

Dodgers v Ombudsman, 18 August 2005

Match report by Simon Cousins:

On a humid evening, Dodgers ensured that they finished with a positive record for 2005 with a comfortable win by 13 runs over the Ombudsman.

Stand-in skipper Benn won the toss and chose to bat first and it was soon clear that conditions would favour the bowlers when in the second over Hilary's recent good form was interrupted by a ball that swung in a good six inches to hit middle. None of the batsmen looked comfortable, though Dunning (25 no) did well to see off the opening bowlers. At the halfway point, Dodgers had made just 43. But despite swinging the ball extravagantly, the Ombudsman bowled far too many wides (17 in all), which kept the run rate ticking over. The second half of the innings was more profitable, as Qureshi (25no) took charge, getting correctly to the pitch of the ball to minimise the effect of the swing. All the middle order and tail contributed, and the running was more energetic than is often the case, despite an impressive fielding display from the Ombudsman team.

The final Dodgers total of 112 seemed no better than par on what was a good wicket. But it was soon put in perspective. Cousins kept things tight at one end, but it was Benn (3-17), inspired by the captaincy, who broke the back of the Ombudsman innings. Bowling a full length to allow the ball to swing, he castled the top three for next to nothing. With Golden Arm Cooper joining in with two wickets in his first over, the score was 24-5 after 9 overs and the match as good as over. The Ombudsman team fought to the end, but the bowling remained disciplined (Dodgers bowled just 4 wides), supported by uncharacteristically good fielding. The one blip was a dreadful drop from Qureshi, flooring a dolly that even Adam Gilchrist may have held. Towards the end Luke signed off in his last game before a sabbatical from Dodgers by teaming up with Matthews for his second stumping in as many weeks, crowning an impressive Dodgers performance.

17 August 2005

Back on track

A high-octane Dodgers crushed BSI tonight by 85 runs to record their ninth win of the year. With only six defeats, we are just one victory away from guaranteeing another positive season.

Captain Priest won the toss and opened with Westhead. Thirteen runs came from the first over to set the tone before Guy introduced a new variant on his standard dismissal: he still played back to a full ball but this time got his leg in the way. Out for 6 and 26 for 1.

BSI’s bowling was very variable – to say the least – and the batsmen took full toll. Priest, McBarron, Hilary, Qureshi and Gundry all reaching the retirement score of 25 in quick time without giving a single chance, Charleston’s four overs costing 48 with a further four overs coming from a promising 14-year-old leg spinner. We closed on 155-1 – in theory a second-wicket stand of 127!

It’s remarkable how a massive score on the boards can settle the bowlers and the luckless Cooper began with five balls on a good line and just back of a length as the opener swung violently and missed. The sixth was similar and the batsman’s top edge floated to McB at point, where it was uncharacteristically floored. At least it kept McB relatively quiet for a bit. The second over from Benn was all-action: two powerfully struck boundaries and two wickets, both bowled.

The 14-year-old had opened the innings and his chuntering and cursing was getting on our skipper’s wick, even though he wasn’t actually scoring. Time for Mr Gundry! It went quiet for a while as ball after ball thudded into the Cat’s gloves, but Simon is a gentleman and stuck to length and line rather than tickling his ribs.

With Operation Gundry not working it was time for some subtlety – so nothing to do with any of the regulars then. The Hilary family were on a mass outing to Chiswick and JH’s nephew, Charlie Wood, was drafted into the eleven. Fortunately for him, Charlie has no obvious Hilary characteristics and his first ball confirmed this impression: it was a Chinaman which pitched, turned and hit the leg bail to win the battle of the teenagers at the first attempt, his opponent having occupied the crease for 11 overs for 12.

Two catches by Great Uncle John followed (the second a beauty) to give Charlie figures of 3-0-14-3. It could’ve been better too, because the umpire – on his mobile at the time - ruled out an attempted stumping by the Cat when the batsman wasn’t back in his ground until after the next ball! A wicket for Adey and two for Old Spawny Wickets at the end sealed a very comfortable victory as BSI reached just 68 in the seventeenth over.

The British Standards Institute suggested that the two teenagers were joint men-of-the-match. The Dodgers Standards Institute concluded that three wickets in a massive win was rather better than no wickets and eleven overs of blocking and awarded it to Charlie.

12 August 2005

Off the rails

After the sensational finish at Regents in June, Dodgers were looking forward to a less nervy encounter against ATOC at Chiswick on Wednesday with a nice early finish: and so it proved.

Having lost the toss – again – and been inserted, Priest and Jacobs made a respectable start on a bouncy track before Chris missed the type of delivery that has given him so much trouble over the years, the straight one. A few moments later Neil gloved an attempted pull into his face to sustain a cut above his eye and the easy game we were expecting was not really materialising.

The Priest / McBarron partnership made sedate headway against rather better bowling than the last encounter but Neil was just starting to find his feet when a very indifferent piece of running by McB left him hopelessly stranded. [I use the word “indifferent” on legal advice – you’ll have to use your imagination as to how bad it really was].

The innings was becoming stalled as neither Phil nor the incoming Carr could manage a-run-a-ball against consistent bowling. When both were out in the 20s desperately trying to make progress the youngsters Luke and Qureshi added some urgency but neither could really break the shackles as we closed on 101-5.

Our score looked hopelessly inadequate – perhaps 50 runs short - on a really good track and the early overs didn’t change anyone’s opinion. Cousins bowled with his customary control but Benn and Cooper were distinctly lacklustre at the other end against some very solid looking batting. A brief mid-innings flurry gave us hope as a voluntary retirement was followed by a dubious run out and a rare stumping for the Cat off Luke, but we never had a serious prospect of victory, even when their premier batsman was bowled attempting to hit Pope into the Thames. The match was eventually wrapped up in the seventeenth over to give ATOC a very cosy victory.

Was this really the same side we played at Regents? Re-nationalise the railways!

03 August 2005

Dodgers v Superstars - 2 August 2005

Match report by Neil Priest:

Last night a strong Dodgers side met an equally strong Superstars side looking to exact some revenge for their Sportsday semi-final defeat.

Inevitably we lost the toss and were put into bat and inevitably Superstars took the field with only ten as part time Dodgers player, this time turning out for Superstars, Rhys Thomas was late. The pitch was slightly green but surprisingly hard given the recent rain and we played on the edge of the square on the "A" pitch with a 40 yard boundary on one side and a ridiculous 140+ boundary on the other.

As John Hilary prepared for his usual top of the order role by putting on the umpires coat and striding out towards the middle he was called back by Captain Carr and told to pad up – Dodgers hoping to cash in on JH's good six-a-side form by using him as a pinch hitter. And boy did he deliver, ably supported by Nick Harrison in his last game of the season. Gundry was repeatedly charged by Nick and went for 18 off 4 and Taylor also suffered going for 31 off his allocation. Nick was finally stumped off Suggitt off the last ball of the 10th over with the score on about 70. Hilary and Priest then set about Superstars lesser bowling and we finished with an excellent 165/1, Priest 43* and Hilary finishing with a superb 76*, his highest score for Dodgers.

Superstars started well with Gigg looking in fine form turning Cousins off his hip for four in the first over and following it up with a lovely square cut for four and then a six over extra cover off Paterson. Rod came back well though and soon hit the top of a retreating Gigg's leg stump. Conway quickly followed, bowled trying to moo Cousins over the pavilion. This brought together Abigail and Lomas, with Walker and Gundry ominously padded up.

After 10 overs Superstars had 72 on the board. Good spells from Adey and Cooper kept the pressure on although Alex Luke, making a welcome return from injury and turning his arm over for the first time in nearly a year, had a few Dodgers hearts in mouths as he conceded 34 off 3 (very good second over though).

Some quick singles by Conway on running for the now injured Abigail and we started to feel the pressure until a good throw from the short boundary by Priest finally ran out Lomas. This brought in the dangerous Walker, also injured meaning that there were two runners on at the same time. Then Hero Hilary dropped Abigail on the long on boundary. No matter we thought as Richard had been scoring quite slowly. He then of course spanked two sixes and a four straight afterwards but some quick thinking by the Cat had him run out for 54 as runner Conway tried to steal a bye.

Harrison came on for one over before rushing off to meet "Ivan" at Hammersmith station (just what is this job in Moscow...?) but a good tight penultimate over from Paterson (Gundry of all people asking him to slow down because of the light!) left McBarron needing to concede less than 21 off the last over. When Walker skied Phil's second ball to Priest at long off the victory was effectively sealed, especially when Gundry came in and seemingly decided to play for his average off the last few balls. Superstars finished on 153/5.

So victory by 12 runs and 2-1 up with one to play. An excellent all round performance based on keeping our heads under pressure in the field and a great knock from Mr Hilary.

Dodgers bowling:

Cousins 4 0 26 1
Paterson 4 0 29 1
Adey 3 0 22 0
Luke 3 0 34 0
Cooper 4 0 19 0
Harrison 1 0 9 0
McBarron 1 0 9 1

M-O-M: Hilary 9, Cooper 2