This was a very enjoyable game of cricket in wonderfully sunny, warm conditions (27C), against very sporting opponents. Though the margin of victory was large Stage Door were not a bad team but were reliant on a couple of batsmen who did not really come off. Their bowling and fielding was of a decent quality despite our high score which was testament to how well we batted.

Dodgers Captain Carr won the toss (or more precisely Stage Door lost it) and we batted. Mc BARRON and WESTHEAD opened the batting. MC BARRON gave the wise counsel that we should just try to survive for the first few overs and take stock after 5. Unfortunately WESTHEAD was not able to take heed. Facing the less good of the opening bowlers LYNDON he missed out on a leg stump full toss then 2 off-side wides and finally played round a straight one and was bowled for nought.

CARR joined MC BARRON and WESTHEAD took over the umpiring. Aussie left-arm quick DREW was quite a handful. Mc BARRON managed to keep him out but was unable to score much. CARR was in some difficulty and survived two strong LBW appeals which WESTHEAD gave not out for pitching outside the leg stump. Soon after there was a strong appeal for a caught behind off CARR. WESTHEAD at first gave him out but then retracted after CARR had reached half-way back to the boundary deciding that the ball had probably hit the batsmans side or his shirt (to which he had been pointing) rather than his bat as he had at first thought. CARR was not able to take much advantage on this occasion. After one boundary and a score of 8 off 25 balls he looped a ball on to the on side which looked as though it was going for a catch. It fell between the fielders but without calling he set off half-way down the wicket for a quick single which wasnt there and he was run out.

This brought in guest ROGER (one of the oppositions number). At first it looked as though he wouldnt be around long but he gradually grew in confidence. Mc BARRON was in his element with the time and circumstances to build a proper innings which he did very well. This was one of those occasions when the casual Chiswick spectator (well a few wives/girlfriends of team members) would see the best of Mc BARRON. He was at his obdurate best when he needed to be against quality bowling (particularly DREW and initially ALED) but hitting some superb shots against the lesser bowling, in particular his cover drive and punch cut shot through backward point. The score steadily mounted and from the low-point of 21-2 at CARRs dismissal had reached 119 when ROGER was bowled for 33 by BRIAN having hit 5 boundaries. An excellent stand of 98 in 14 overs.

BENN was next in but did not stay long when taking a single which MCBARRON did not acknowledge and BENN was run out for 1. WHITROD was next in but was strangely quiet with only 2 scoring shots (admittedly a 3 and a 4) in his first 14 balls. Mc BARRON was getting a lot of the strike in this period though and to good effect. After making 55 with 8 boundaries JAMES, a quickish accurate bowler with a strange action forced McBARRON to drag the ball onto his stumps. This was an unlucky dismissal. Stand-in Dodger CARTER coming next did not trouble the scorers.

CRAWFORD was next in with the score 142-6 in the 30th over. An ideal launch pad for the Dodger one would probably most rely on to make quick runs to win a game. Whilst still taking off his pads Mc BARRON commented that he had probably got out at the right time thus bringing CRAWFORD to the wicket. And so it was for this was a vintage, swashbuckling CRAWFORD innings. He made 52 off only 34 deliveries including 7 boundaries and one six. One masterly pull to leg was for a boundary was probably the shot of the match. CRAWFORD was eventually bowled by DREW for 52 and there was just time for MATTHEWS to be out run out for nought to the last ball of the innings . WHITROD was left not out 18.

Dodgers total of 226-7 was a very good score with 3 excellent contributions from MCBARRON (55), CRAWFORD (52) and ROGER (33). DREW was pick of the Stage Door bowling with 1-17 off 7 overs. Captain JAMES arguably bowled less well but managed 2-17 off 5 overs and Ross 2-21 off 4.

All Dodgers dismissals were either bowled or run out and there were a total of 50 wides (possibly a record for a Dodgers innings)

The opportunity should not pass without commenting on JAMESs captaining skills which were of a type we have not often witnessed at Chiswick. Of the old school brigade and a rather upper class (but not condescending) accent JAMES was prone to shout out in between deliveries with comments such as This is the ball for you bowler Youll get him this time Youve softened him up with the last one .. etc

Stage Door were very slow at getting through their overs. Clearly the heat and the captains never-ending talking cant have helped. 40 overs took 2 hours 55 minutes including a 5 minute drinks break thus working out at a round a measly 14 overs to the hour.

Now it was Stage Doors turn to bat. JAMES started with a cracking boundary off CRAWFORD and then a 2. It looked as thought hey meant business. But in truth after that opening over Dodgers never faltered. BENN was in the zone strangely being able to conjur up through-the-air swing with the new ball in cloudless conditions. He gave a masterly display bowling the threatening JAMES for 7, LYNDON for a duck and BRIAN likewise. His analysis was 3-9 off 5 overs. BENN really has performed very strongly this season with the ball perhaps due to the generally wetter slower conditions. It has to be stressed though that this was not a slow low wicket at all.

After CRAWFORD and BENN had had their stints Stage Door were 34-4 off 10 overs (CRAWFORD picking up the wicket of DREW who had threatened briefly for 14. DOYLE took a good straightforward catch at mid-on). Stage Door did not have the batting depth to recover from this though they had some decent contributions (MICK 28, DAVID 26, ROSS 19). POPE popped up (pun intended) to take yet another wicket to add to his remarkable tally this season. Soon Captain CARR generously turned to his occasional (some might ungenerously say joke)bowlers. We had 4 overs from returned Dodger and now much fitter and slimmer Doyle who took 1-28 off 4 overs and CARTER took 3-17 likewise off 4 overs including some strangely weak dismissals including one catch by Mc BARRON close in on the off side where it looked as though the batsman ALED was doing his level best to give away his wicket. Even very occasional bowler WESTHEAD who had assumed he wouldnt get a bowl again after failing to dismiss the BOCs tailenders at Regents Park two years ago - was allowed a bowl and it fell to him to take his first ever wicket for Dodgers (not counting a disputed 3-11 against DOE Office Services in the early 90s before Dodgers records began) thanks to an easy but neat leg-side catch by MATTHEWS.

A word about the opposition they were very sporting. One of their fielders said to me that they didnt generally appeal for LBWs in friendly games such as this and they did not complain either when I reinstated CARR. They took the comprehensive defeat in very good spirit. The result could and arguably should have been a lot closer. They were a spirited side and hot in the field. Some of their bowling was top drawer and they were a little unlucky. Their batting did let them down but we bowled well, particularly BENN.

Man of the match: CRAWFORD



McBarron b James 55
Westhead b Lyndon 0
Carr Run Out 8
Roger b Brian 33
Benn Run Out 1
Whitrod Not Out 18
Carter b James 0
Crawford b Drew 52
Matthews Run Out 0
Extras (w35, 5nb, 12b, 3lb) 50
TOTAL (40 OVERS) 226-7

Pope/Doyle DID NOT BAT

FOW: 1-3, 2-21, 3-119, 4-122, 5-141, 6-142, 7-226


Drew 7-1-17-1
Lyndon 6-1-34-1
Aled 4-0-22-0
Martin 5-0-48-0
Brian 4-1-21-1
Ross 4-0-21-2
James 5-1-17-2
Dave 5-0-31-0


James b Benn 7
David b Pope 26
Lyndon b Benn 0
Drew c Doyle b Crawford 14
Brian b Benn 0
Mick b Carter 28
Ross c Carter b Doyle 19
Ginger NOT OUT 8
Martin b Carter 4
Aled c Mc Barron b Carter 0
Clive c Matthews b Westhead 6
Extras (w6, Byes 4, No-Balls 1) 11


Crawford 5-1-16-1
Benn 5-1-9-3
Pope 4-0-23-1
Doyle 4-0-28-1
Carter 4-0-17-3
Westhead 2.5-0-9-1