King's School Ground, Chiswick
Dodgers 118 – 5 (18 overs)
HMT 90 – 5 (18 overs)
Dodgers win by 28 runs
MoM: Cousins - 7, Priest - 2, Hilary - 1
On a perfect spring evening, the Dodgers opened their 20/20 campaign for 2011 by taking on the bean counters from 1 Horseguards at the sporting arena formerly known as the Civil Service Sports Ground. It quickly became clear that new owners Kings School had decided to take the CSSG in a radical new direction by providing well mown, level outfields and good, even, well-maintained wickets. The urge to track down the now presumably ex-CSSG groundsman and beat him repeatedly with a single stump for years of unnecessary misery was resisted by all.
Dodgers were offered first use of the new facilities in a game reduced to 18 overs a-side thanks to the usual display of punctuality by Horseferry Road's finest. Dollin's early departure failed to shake a strong batting line up as Taylor and Radcliffe scored briskly, particularly off the wayward Manson. Batley proved much more difficult to get away, mixing his pace and length cleverly but failing to follow up his early breakthrough. After eight overs, a solid 48-1 looked like a good base with Radcliffe in particular impressing with a smooth swivel for 4 and a big biff for 6. However, his departure to the deceptive Edens was quickly followed by Qureshi. Skipper Priest, on the comeback trail after last season was curtailed with back knack was quickly back into the groove and, once Taylor had completed a run-a-ball 25 not out retirement, brought him together in a partnership with Westhead that always seemed likely to generate fun for both teams. The OBE, who like Brian O'Driscoll turned down a Royal Wedding invite to focus on his pre-match preparations, carefully blocked out an over of pies from Eden before unleashing his full rage on the unsuspecting HMT death bowlers. A hoick over the bowlers head for 4 brought the crowd to their feet in a manner not seen since Guy ended the requirement for his HMRC colleagues to stand whenever he entered the room.
Meanwhile, Priest was bowled by the only ball that Shearing swung all evening, Lee perished in a rush of blood and latter overs batting specialist McBarron accumulated carefully, displaying no sign of red mist and every sign of red ink. 118-5 was felt to be a par score but gettable with a good start.
Unfortunately for HMT, they were forced to open against a bowling pairing so miserly, they made Montgomery Burns look like Montgomery Brewster. Cousins in particular was at his niggardly best, conceding only six runs and setting himself up for a hat-trick with wickets in consecutive balls. Sadly, he ignored the advice of Lee to stick in the surprise half-tracker and his length ball was blocked out by the wonderfully named Dietz. Backed up by the excellent Hilary and a sharp catch from short cover specialist Westhead, HMT fell quickly behind the rate and after 8 overs, the game already looked beyond them. A counter-attack from Slaughter briefly raised hopes but, once he had retired on 25, tight bowling from the ageless Fox and a wicket apiece for Lee and McBarron saw Dodgers home comfortably, despite some seasonally adjusted wides adjudication.
So a good win against a side that Dodgers have traditionally struggled to beat in which solid batting was backed by excellent bowling and consistently good fielding*. The news got even better as it became apparent that the bar had reopened, and even better still when it became clear that the beer score was Real Ale 0, Quality Euro Fizz 2.
* This is not a misprint.
Innings of Dodgers
Dollin ct Jinks b Batley 4 Taylor Not Out 25 Radcliffe ct ? b Edens 20 Qureshi b Tendetter 1 Priest b Shearing 16 Westhead Not Out 11 Lee ct Dietz b Edens 6 McBarron Not Out 10 _____________________________________ Sub-total 93 Extras 25 Total 118
DNB: Hilary, Fox, Cousins
Bowling Batley 4-1-11-1 Manson 3-0-18-0 Tendetter 3-0-30-1 Edens 4-1-21-2 Shearing 4-0-31-1
Innings of HMT Neal ct Priest b Cousins 2 Jinks ct Westhead b Hilary 0 Slaughter Not Out 25 Shearing b Cousins 0 Dietz ct Fox b McBarron 23 Douglas Not Out 6 Tendetter ct McBarron b Lee 16 Batley Not Out 6 _______________________________________ Subtotal 78 Extras 12 Total 90 Bowling Cousins 4-0-6-2 Hilary 4-1-15-1 McBarron 4-0-30-1 Fox 4-0-23-0 Lee 2-0-12-1