Capt Carr won the toss and elected to bat first in cold and extremely windy conditions on an OK looking deck but with huge side boundaries as seems to be the permanent trait with the ‘A’ pitch. With Priest running late, Lee and Qureshi opened the innings and made a decent start before Lee was adjudged LBW by Umpire Cousins. Qureshi was joined by McB and the pair added 67 in 12 overs before McB was bowled off his pads. Although there were very few dot balls there was also an absence of boundaries and McBs run a ball 32 failed to contain a single boundary.
Qureshi who had been dropped three times (including an absolute dolly) followed a couple of overs late for a useful 33. Priest played some nice shots in a cameo of 19 before being castled by a good one and JC wiped over a straight one to the same bowler and was trapped in front. There was just enough time for new boy Peirce and very old boy Matthews to nurdle a few singles before the innings ended on 118 (extras, especially wides, contributing a very useful 20 to this total).
The consensus was that with the good deck but long boundaries 125 was a par score so Dodgers had come up just short of this. The innings was slightly marred by an over-competitive attitude from some of the EH fielders and the unnecessary exchange of one or two words. The EH ground fielding was generally very good with a number of excellent stops but they also dropped several catches (Tawhid the main beneficiary) which may have blackened their mood.
EH started steadily against some decent bowling from Cousins and Cooper (the former typically impressive and the latter coping well bowling uphill into the gale). Although wickets proved elusive (Cooper snaring one of the openers with an assist from Priest) they kept things tight and EH were slightly behind the clock after 8 overs. Hilary also bowled tightly but Lee and Fox (despite bowling some good balls) were not quite as consistent and the run rate accelerated.
EH had reached 104-1 after 17 overs and with only 15 needed, two well set batters and 9 wickets in hand the game looked over. Hilary then snared opener Slatford for a well made 52 and his replacement for a duck and the score was 107-3 at the end of 18 (13 needed off 2). The 19th over bowled by Lee was remarkable and included three wickets – a good straight one to trap Hashan for 35 and two further wickets courtesy of good catching assists from Hilary and Fox. Unfortunately, the over also contained the shot of the night (an exquisite straight six off a perfectly decent ball) and a beamer that went for 4 wides. With Griffiths also hitting the last ball of the over for a boundary EH had crossed the line by 4 wickets.
Overall a close game between two well matched sides and no need for a major inquest. Dodgers probably needed another 10 runs or one more front line bowler (where are Benn’s pies when you need them?!) and in the final analysis EH were able to hit several more boundaries than we managed.
Let us hope for a return to winning ways against MOD next week but they are likely to prove formidable opposition.
Lee LBW b Memon 10
Qureshi c May b Dawood 33
McBarron b Saeed 32
Priest b Dawood 19
Carr LBW b Dawood 1
Peirce NOT OUT 2
Matthews NOT OUT 1
TOTAL 118 for 5
DNB – Hilary, Fox, Cousins, Cooper
FOW – 20 (Lee), 87 (McB), 103 (Qureshi), 116 (Priest), 116 (Carr)
Slatford b Hilary 52
May c Priest b Cooper 12
Hashan LBW b Lee 35
Hindle b Hilary 0
Frankham c Hilary b Lee 6
Smith c Fox b Lee 0
Griffiths NOT OUT 4
Memon NOT OUT 0
TOTAL 122 for 6
FOW – 33, 106, 107, 107, 107, 113
RESULT – EH WON BY 6 WICKETS
Man of the Match - Qureshi (5)