Dodgers maintained their unbeaten record at Chiswick last night with a narrow, though comfortable, win over the Ombudsmen.
Stand-in, stand-in, stand-in skipper Neil Benn kept up the tradition of his forebears by losing the toss but given that we had only eight at the ground would have batted anyway. New opening pairing Luke and Qureshi began very well with some free hitting and adventurous running, posting 47 at around a run-a-ball before Tawhid nicked one behind for 23. Luke soon followed for 17, playing all round a straight one, and the innings promptly stalled as Cat and Adey struggled.
Cat soon began to break the shackles, however, notching another effective cameo with 18 but it was Warren Bass - having "been at the wicket" during the run out of recently-arrived skipper McB - who provided the real impetus, smashing six, four, four in consecutive balls to take us to 118-5 with 24 not out.
Opening bowlers Benn and Bass were pressured by a big-hitting Ombudsman opener, but Bass in particular was able to keep the runs in check. The introduction of the golden arms Luke and Cooper proved decisive, though, with Alex's first ball being chipped to Adey and John picking up 3 for 20 in a spell of seam bowling that characterised his excellent season.
Matt Southwell continued to show good promise and with 30 needed off 2, McB yielded to pressure and gave Tawhid - who had fielded excellently - a bowl. Well at least it made it interesting... 15 runs flowed to keep the Ombudsmen's hopes alive, but Matt was not phased in the final over and we ran out winners by eight runs.
Sad to say that some blatantly dodgy umpring decisions and a really low piece of bad sportsmanship towards the end left a bitter taste, but it was washed away with victory beer yet again for the Dodgers.
"That only happens when Venus, Pluto and Mars and my mum are in alignment" - Benn on Cooper's first catch of the season
"... clapping them in and clapping them out" - Bass on the oppo
"It was his call but it was the wrong one" - McB on his run out.
Man of the Match votes: Cooper - 3, Qureshi - 2, Bass - 2, Matthews - 1, Luke -1 (9 votes cast)