At least nobody got hurt

Dodgers suffered a fourth consecutive heavy defeat yesterday, this time against Dealers at Wandsworth Common. At least we had eleven players thanks to John Cooper’s efforts, with Tony Whitrod and Mike Duggan from Superstars and JJ Dunning a website recruit joining the side.

Opinions were divided about whether to bat or bowl, so deputy caller Benn opted for JC’s sure-fire losing strategy and called heads. We lost and fielded.

The early overs were interesting on a sporty pitch, with Benn and Cooper looking dangerous at times but suffering a string of boundaries to some aggressive batting. John’s luck wasn’t getting any better as several balls in the air narrowly avoided fielders and the one that didn’t was promptly floored. The missed opener at least didn’t rack-up 140 like on Wednesday as Benn bowled him – fittingly a swinger through the gate - to become the first Dodger to reach 100 wickets.

Replacing Benn, Duggan showed a little rustiness with his spinners but picked up a wicket and Cooper ended a decent spell of 1-30 by snaring the other opener. The score was still moving at six-an-over, however, aided by some horrible fielding, and there was little anyone could do to slow the rate as Dealers’ number three continued to belt the ball to all parts. Dunning looked promising in picking up a couple of middle-order wickets and Whitrod had a steady three-over spell but the game was rapidly deserting us. The returning Benn was expensive but bowled another Dealer (breaking a bail in the process!) and it was left to McBarron and Qureshi to finish the innings. They both bowled really well, McB taking out the top-scorer who had 86 and two others to end with 3-23 from six and Tawhid’s two overs yielded 1-5 as Dealers ended on 220.

There was some confidence in the Dodgers camp at the interval. It was horribly misplaced. Dealers’ first three bowlers were all noticeably quicker than anything we could offer and were able to extract some wicked bounce. McB (5) got a snorter that lifted off a length and brushed the glove; Matt Taylor (10) was peppered on the hands before missing an excellent leg-cutter and Qureshi (9) was again undone by a ball cutting back.

Carr and Westhead avoid a humiliating collapse despite several near-death experiences and awful running as they added 51 in 15 overs for the fourth wicket in scoring 29 and 17 respectively. Both fell in quick succession to good catches and the rest of the innings petered out as every Dealer bar one bowled. We ended on 133-9 and so lost by 87 runs, but that was flattering really. At least nobody got hurt on a pitch made for the Dealers’ pacier attack.

Where do we go from here? Not "down to the lake, I fear" but two 20-over games over the next week with a win – or even a competitive performance – desperately needed.


Anonymous said…
Well it wasn't all bad news yesterday, as Bangladesh registered their first win of the tour by beating a Worcestershire side including Shoaib Akhtar by 6 wickets!

cerysmatic said…
Man of the Match: Carr (for an excellent knock - photos coming soon). Those votes in full: Carr (5), McBarron (2), Qureshi (2), Matthews (1), Benn (1)