Dodgers v BHP

Tuesday 26 June

Result: Dodgers won by 6 wickets Conditions: Hot, dry and sunny

Matthews, Benn and Cooper all agreed to play for the opposition who were short of players

Special match rules - players to retire at 30 (opposition asked for 25 but captain Carr using his EU negotiating skills successfully negotiated an increase to 30)

Match report

On a glorious summer’s evening with temperatures well into the 80s F after a high of 90F (that’s 32C in new money), Dodgers took to the field late as usual against BHP in a 20-over game. The game started at at 6.25pm. Since we were only a few days past the longest day of the year and cricket was practicable well past 9pm in fair conditions there were none of the usual mutterings about finishing in the dark by Westhead. It was a summer’s evening to die for (well not literally) after another day’s slog in our Whitehall offices.

Carr lost the tost, blaming it on the coin, and Dodgers were asked to field. Paterson opened the bowling from the Chiswick end. Off his arguably ridiculously long run Paterson generated a cracking pace. His direction was consistently outside off-stump but the openers Leslie and Dan, though not visibly flinching, didn’t seem to fancy him much. That said most of Dodgers probably didn’t either. Cousins started tidily from the River End and only 5 came from the first 3 overs. In the second over off Cousins, one of the openers was reinstated after the umpire who had given him out presumably for caught behind took advice from keeper Bultitude (deputising for Matthews and keeping very tidily) that the batsman hadn’t hit it. Then began a period of play lasting for at least 10 overs when the umpires seemed open to debate on whether potential dismissals should count or not.

Slowly but steadily the score progressed but wickets fell steadily largely owing to some excellent catching by Dodgers. Carr took 3 (yes 3) catches, none of them easy and Hilary (J) took a splendid catch diving to his right. Birch C (junior) also took a good caught and bowled. After 12 overs BHP were 51-4. None of the batsmen looked particularly at home until Al arrived at the crease - a slogger but he found the middle of the bat often enough. In the latter part of the innings the scoring rate increased substantially, the last 5 overs producing 49 off the bat. Pope, recovering from a back complaint and short of bowling this season, was hit for 28 off his 2 overs but did at least pick up the wicket of Stewart at long-leg from a pull shot. Benn was in sound form and nurdled his way to 20 not out in the latter stages. The resulting 128/8 was a good score and much more than seemed likely at the halfway stage. Had Dodgers let BHP off the hook?

Bultitude and Mc Barron opened the innings for Dodgers. They were strangely subdued for a number of overs without looking like getting out. The opening bowlers were accurate and the ball was swinging. Bultitude played and missed several times outside the off stump and his timing was awry. But steadily class came through and Bultitude in particular came to the fore. Forced to retire when on 33 Dodgers were by then only slightly behind the asking rate with all wickets intact. At this stage Mc Barron was on 14. After Bultitude departed Mc Barron stepped on the accelerator somewhat but without finding it easy. Although some of their actions were a mite unconventional there were no joke bowlers amongst BHP although Stewart’s figures of 0-33 off 3 overs might imply otherwise. Priest didn’t stay long over his 16 and nudged the scoring rate in the right direction. He was concerned to hear Mc Barron say: Don’t worry about the scoring rate (7 an over were needed by this stage) we can hit the bad ball. Only trouble was bad balls were few and far inbetween. Mc Barron, much more in touch towards the end of his innings, was obliged to retire when on 32 and Carr went lbw for 1.

The score was then 104-2 with 25 needed off 4 overs. A nicely poised finish. In strode Westhead in his first game for 11 months after his wedding and numerous business trips had kept him off the field of play. He wasn’t exactly relishing the task but made a quick fire 11 off 10 balls (or was it 9? - lightning pace for him) before being yorked by opening bowler Dan, a delivery he failed to pick up at all. Hilary hit one good 4 but couldn’t keep up the form of his recent knock of 40. But with 1.3 overs to go only 3 runs were now needed. After a few dot balls Birch C triumphantly drove a 4 over the in-field for the winning boundary and Dodgers won by 6 wickets with 3 balls to spare. A very even game but Dodgers had just that extra bit of class to spare in the end. Must have been a good game for the spectator (what spectator ed?) I mean scorer, Jude, to watch.

The match facts were:


Leslie lbw b Hilary 14
Dan c Carr b Cousins 9
Mike c+b Birch (C) 10
Chris c Hilary b Birch (C) 8
Al Retired 30
Bill c Carr b Hilary 4
Stewart c Paterson b Pope 7
Neil Benn N/O 20
John Cooper c Carr b Birch(S) 5
Kim Matthews RUN OUT 3
Extras (13w, 4b, 1lb) 18
TOTAL 128/8 off 20 overs

FOW: 1/24, 2/38, 3/42, 4/51, 5/56, 6/73, 7/?, 8/128


Paterson 4-0-13-0
Cousins 4-0-20-1
Hilary 3-0-10-2
Birch C 4-0-29-2
Birch S 3-0-21-1
Pope 2-0-28-1


Bultitide Retired 33
Mc Barron Retired 32
Priest c Chris b Cooper 16
Carr lbw b Benn 1
Westhead b Dan 11
Hilary b Dan 6
Paterson NOT OUT 1
C Birch NOT OUT 4
Extras (4 NB, 17 W, 2B, 4LB) 27
TOTAL (off 19.3 overs) 131/4
DNB S Birch, Pope, Cousins

FOW: 1/92, 2/104, 3/121, 4/126


Dan 4-0-20-2
Mike 3.3-0-22-0
Stewart 3-0-33-0
Al 4-0-16-0
Cooper 3-0-18-1
Benn 2-0-16-1

Dodgers won by 6 wickets