Dodgers v Ombudsman, 18 August 2005

Match report by Simon Cousins:

On a humid evening, Dodgers ensured that they finished with a positive record for 2005 with a comfortable win by 13 runs over the Ombudsman.

Stand-in skipper Benn won the toss and chose to bat first and it was soon clear that conditions would favour the bowlers when in the second over Hilary's recent good form was interrupted by a ball that swung in a good six inches to hit middle. None of the batsmen looked comfortable, though Dunning (25 no) did well to see off the opening bowlers. At the halfway point, Dodgers had made just 43. But despite swinging the ball extravagantly, the Ombudsman bowled far too many wides (17 in all), which kept the run rate ticking over. The second half of the innings was more profitable, as Qureshi (25no) took charge, getting correctly to the pitch of the ball to minimise the effect of the swing. All the middle order and tail contributed, and the running was more energetic than is often the case, despite an impressive fielding display from the Ombudsman team.

The final Dodgers total of 112 seemed no better than par on what was a good wicket. But it was soon put in perspective. Cousins kept things tight at one end, but it was Benn (3-17), inspired by the captaincy, who broke the back of the Ombudsman innings. Bowling a full length to allow the ball to swing, he castled the top three for next to nothing. With Golden Arm Cooper joining in with two wickets in his first over, the score was 24-5 after 9 overs and the match as good as over. The Ombudsman team fought to the end, but the bowling remained disciplined (Dodgers bowled just 4 wides), supported by uncharacteristically good fielding. The one blip was a dreadful drop from Qureshi, flooring a dolly that even Adam Gilchrist may have held. Towards the end Luke signed off in his last game before a sabbatical from Dodgers by teaming up with Matthews for his second stumping in as many weeks, crowning an impressive Dodgers performance.