Dodgers v Superstars

20 overs

Superstars (167-3, 20 overs) bt Dodgers (66 all out, 17.3 overs) by 101 runs

Dodgers were on the receiving end of a thrashing on Thursday as Superstars put behind them the humiliating losses to Dodgers of last season and set themselves up for a series whitewash come the final game of the season later this summer.

Having again lost the toss - "why dont you ever call tails" shouted another senior pro to the Captain, as he again failed to deliver - Dodgers took to the field in searing late afternoon heat. Superstars intentions were clear from the first ball from Crawford, stroked to the boundary by Gigg, with eleven further runs taken off a poor opening over from Crawford.

After 4 overs and on 41 runs, Superstars looked well set for a big total when Benn bowled Gigg with a nasty swinging delivery. The joy was evident on the face of Benn, lured out of retirement by the promise of another go at the old enemy.

The departure of Gigg brought in Matt Conway, still on a roll after his unbeaten retirement against Dodgers two days earlier whilst guesting for BSI. But he could do nothing to prevent comeback kid Benn from snatching a second wicket, bowling Perera with the score on 64.

This brought in Stevie Carter. Needing only 2 runs for his 100 in a season, he swiftly claimed his 20 from Simon Gundry. But with Carter hogging the strike, Dodgers realised they were in with a chance of stalling the Superstars advance, with Cooper and Qureshi sneaking several overs through for very few runs.

But then the hammerblow fell. Ignoring advice from team mates to bowl well outside Carters off-stump, Qureshi showed an uncharacteristic McBarron-esque commitment to average over team. Firing through a nasty seeming off-cutter that knocked Carters stumps out of the ground, the wicket also took with it any chance of Dodgers staying in the match. Carters dismissal brought in Rai whose quickfire 40 not out, alongside an undefeated retirement on 53 for flat-pitch bully Conway and a surprisingly tentative 14 from Gundry, left Superstars with 167 a total Dodgers would have to bat well to achieve.

Unfortunately none of the Dodgers frontline batsmen stayed long enough at the crease to demonstrate whether they were capable of batting well. Priest was quickly dismissed by Gundry for 2; Crawford, in as pinch hitter struggled to 22 with only two boundaries before falling to Taylor in the sixth over. All bar one of the rest of the Dodgers batting failed to make double figures. The exception was McBarron, who faced with a required run rate of some ten an over managed to accelerate his score to 18 off 15 overs whilst running out two batting partners (one of them Carr, who showed his rage by throwing his cap to the ground and kicking it off the square, three feet at a time).

All of which leaves Dodgers on a five game losing streak, with little prospect of getting back to winning ways unless they can turn out rather more penetrative bowling and a batting performance better suited to 20 overs a side cricket. Quite how they will manage this is unclear at the moment. A few easy wins seem vital to rebuilding confidence if they are to stand a chance in the final game of the Dodgers/Superstars series later in the summer.

In the meantime, suggestions that the ICC's Anti-Corruption Unit were intending to launch an investigation into McBarrons contact with Indian bookies or that Singaporean handicap betters had made a mint on Dodgers losing by exactly one run more than the ton may or may not be unfounded.

Superstars innings

Gigg b Benn 21
Perera b Benn 20
Conway retd 53
Carter b Qureshi 5
Rai not out 40
Gundry not out 14
Extras (3b, 10w, 1nb) 14
Total (for 3 wickets, 20 overs) 167

o m r w
Crawford 4 0 27 0
Benn 4 0 35 2
Qureshi 4 1 38 1
Cooper 4 0 19 0
Leach 3 0 36 0
McBarron 1 0 6 0

Dodgers innings

Priest b Gundry 2
Crawford ct Gigg b Taylor 22
McBarron not out 18
Jacobs ct Suggit b Taylor 2
Carr run out 7
Cooper ct Conway b Marchant 0
Benn ct Gigg b Suggit 3
Qureshi ct Taylor b Suggit 0
Leach ct Gundry b Suggit 1
Matthews run out 3
Extras (1lb, 5w, 1nb) 8
Total (all out 17.3 overs) 66

o m r w
Gundry 2 0 8 1
Taylor 4 0 18 2
Raven 4 0 15 0
Marchant 4 1 13 1
Suggit 3 0 8 3
Carter 0.3 0 3 0

Man of the Match: Benn