Match report by Mike Dollin
Dodgers won the toss and chose to bat on what was a traditional "sporting" wicket at South Park. This mix of shooters and poppers undid Tawhid (lbw 1), Priest (ct fine leg from a bouncer 4) and Westhead (ct and bowled from a mistimed pull 0). Dollin survived the odd scare to help rebuild the innings with Carr, Jc playing on manfully after a horrible beamer struck him on the forearm. At the half way point Dodgers were just hanging on at 34-3.
First change bowlers offered some relief but it was plain that Science had recruited well in the off season as the bowling remained tight* and the fielding disciplined. And they reaped their rewards as attempted acceleration saw off Carr (bowled trying to off drive 5), and Hillary (bowled from an absolute grubber 5). Dollin and Fox carried Dodgers towards 100, helped as ever by the generous spirit of Science museum's skipper who started with pace, but when one shot past the batsman's head from a length, switched to offspin. Dollin was bowled trying to work a good length ball to third man (missing the only top of off stump ball all game 35), which left the conclusion of the innings to the power hitting of Fox (16 n.o) and Lowe which carried Dodgers to 107, with Lowe unluckily run out from a direct hit off the last ball (6).
The weather turned for the reply- grey clouds closed out the sun, and the first stabs of the rain appeared, but Science got off to a solid start and were doing all they could do on that pitch- dig in for the good balls, punish the odd bad one and put the inside edges, leading edges into space and wicked variations in bounce out of their minds. After the strike bowlers of Fox and Hillary had been seen off wicketless, Science were handily placed- up with the rate and wickets in hand.
Lowe was unable to force the breakthrough off his inital two, nor Streatfield. But when Roberts came on and induced Science's skipper to edge to Cat (he walked straight away as gentlemen do- 15) Science started to lose their way. Next over Will was struck over cover for an imposing 4, but Humphries tried to repeat it next ball off a faster flatter delivery and was bowled through the gate (36). Vic "Wally" hustled to a fast paced and well timed 15, but was given out in mysterious circumstances - perhaps ct behind (though Kim hadn't held it) perhaps lbw. In any event he left shaking his head and despite offers of recall he did not return.
But while Will picked up another wicket to finish with a very useful 3, Science were still well placed going into the last 4 overs needing just under a run a ball. They kept in touching distance -17 off 3, and then 11 from 2. Brendan bowled a fantastic penultimate over conceding just 2, leaving David to bowl the last defending 9. A nerveless last over was going about honours even when, needing 5 from 2 balls-Tombling hit a skier to cover and Brendan never looked like missing it. Though somehow he did and it left Science a good chance with 2 for the tie and a 3 for the win off the last ball. With nerves finally kicking in, as Dave confessed afterwards, Mr Lowe bowled another good block hole ball, Tombling could only force to cover and he was run out- Dodgers home by 2.
A great encounter with a very decent oppo, and I'm sure they'll be looking forward to the return encounter in a few weeks to try again for the victory they should have had last night. For ourselves it was a hard fought scrape that arrests the recent run of defeats, and is perhaps all the more pleasing as for almost the entire game it looked as if we would were heading for another defeat, but clung on and managed to nick it.
If bowling stats seem a tad light in the above report, it's because SM strengths don't stretch to full scoring - as last year there will need to be some run allocation emails amongst the bowlers to arrive at figures.
* When on the wicket. SM conceded 30 extras in the innings and then were very generous with their calls of wides at the start of our defence. This was possibly the difference between the sides.
Dollin b Tomlin 35 (44 balls)
Qureshi lbw b Wooley 1 (7)
Priest ct ? b Sanderson 4 (8)
Westhead ct ? b Sanderson 0 (4)
Carr b Nolan 5 (15)
Roberts b Travis 4 (4)
Hilary b Nolan 5 (8)
Fox Not Out 16 (16)
Lowe Run Out 6 (7)
dnb Streatfield, Matthews
Science Batting - 105/5 (Levett 36, Dodgers bowling figures not available but 3 wickets for Streatfield and 1 each for Lowe and Roberts). 2 catches for Matthews, 1 for Hilary.
* - estimated runs (total runs scored divided by 5 for each bowler)
Result - Dodgers won by 2 runs