Dodgers v Superstars

16 May 2000

With their second victory in two games, Dodgers look set for a season of success, whilst Superstars’s weaknesses were fully exposed in a classic twenty over a side encounter at Chiswick last Tuesday.

Put in to bat, Superstars were pegged back by the pace of new boy Rod Patterson and reborn quickie Kevin Roper, who looks several pounds lighter and several yards faster than he did last season, and generated both pace and swing off the traditionally placid Chiswick wicket. Both bowled their 4 over spells straight through - for 11 and 8 runs, respectively - and were unlucky not to get amongst the wickets, against a hesitant Superstars opening partnership of Gigg and Carter.

The first breakthrough came after 6 overs, when Steve Carter managed to run himself out - something that had been threatened for a few overs, as Superstars sought to boost their dismal opening run rate. This brought in the new ‘Stars danger man Nguyen - on loan from Cardiff University until August - and with him a more urgent approach to the batting.

A double change of bowling, with Hilary and Leach replacing Patterson and Roper, allowed both Gigg and Nguyen to cut free. Leach again showed a worrying tendency to float full tosses down the leg side, and was severely punished - he will have to work on both line and length if he is to achieve anything like the economy he showed last season. His one consolation came with the first ball of his second over, when he got one to pitch outside off-stump and turn in to hit middle and off, bowling Gigg as he shaped to cut. Hilary was rather more unlucky. Despite bowling a reasonable line and length, in Nguyen, he found himself facing a batsman in form, his last over going for 17 runs, including one six and two fours.

Dispensing with the sorry Leach, captain Carr brought ex-Superstar Neil Benn into the attack. Despite persistent complaints about the state of his back, Benn worked up a reasonable pace, and was successful in pinning Lomas down, keeping Nguyen at the opposite end of the pitch. When Nguyen eventually faced Benn, he fired the second ball of the over straight to long off, where Roper held a good catch.

After that, Superstars had little to offer. Whitrod, coming in for Nguyen did not seem able to recapture the form that gave him a century against Dodgers last season, and Benn and Pope, assisted by some of the tightest fielding Dodgers have exhibited for some time, bowled the last four overs for only 16 runs, keeping Superstars to 115 for 3 off their 20 overs.

Coming in to bat in encroaching gloom, Dodgers immediately suffered the loss of McBarron, out to a hotly contested decision from umpire Hilary for 5. Cooper, another Dodgers new boy this season, came in and blasted a quick 12 - all fours, before falling to Gundry, who was becoming increasingly unplayable as the light closed in. The extend of his unplayability became clearer as his spell finished with a succession of edges and byes, as fielders and wicket keeper Terry Carter failed to pick up the ball in failing light. Carr quickly followed Cooper back to the boundary side bench, caught by Taylor off Marchant, and for a moment it looked as if Dodgers were about to fall prey to the sort of middle order collapse often seen when playing Superstars.

However Kevin Roper, coming in at number 5, quickly dispelled those fears, with a whirlwind 32, including 5 fours, tearing into the Superstars change attack of Whitrod and Marchant (Ledger having had to come off after the second ball of his second over with a suspected knee strain), before falling to a good stumping by Carter off Whitrod’s second and last over.

With the fourth wicket going down for 99, with four and a half overs left, Dodgers still looked good for victory. However, the swift dismissal of Matthews, run out for 1, Hilary caught by Steve carter off Marchant for 9 and Patterson run out for a duck left Dodgers at 111 for 7, requiring 5 to win off two overs, with only Leach and Pope to come. Older Dodgers hands muttered darkly about !bastards always doing it to them", and sucked hard on their Woodbines.

As the sky turned black, and a cold wind howled across the Chiswick field, Leach came out to join Benn - who had been skillfully edging and “nurdling” ((c) N Benn 1994-2000) his way to 30 runs - in the middle. Lit only by the glow from the bar, Siva completed the final balls of his spell with a pair of byes - one for 2 and the other for 4 - as Terry Carter failed to pick balls shooting through past off stump, gaining Siva a rather spurious maiden over and handing victory to the Dodgers by 3 wickets, with an over to spare.

So a second victory on the trot from the Dodgers, and a significant reverse for the Superstars. Whilst never truly dominating the match, Dodgers showed sufficient depth in their bowling attack to restrict a traditionally strong Superstars batting line up to less than 120. Chasing that, despite the dark and the occasionally careless loss of wickets, Dodgers never looked as if they would fail to make it, against a thinly spread Superstars bowling attack which, Gundry apart, never looked like being able to successfully defend any sort of total.

The summer months, with lighter evenings and slower pitches, may reduce the edge given to Dodgers by their renascent pace attack (currently looking none the worse for the loss of Henry Hilary to some company in Reading), and provide a better opportunity to assess the in-depth quality of its batting line up. And inevitably beer and fags will take the edge off its fielding. But - for now - Dodgers look the better of the two DETR social sides for the 2000 season.


Gigg b Leach 30
S Carter run out 7
Nguyen ct Roper b Benn 42
Lomas not out 15
Whitrod not out 10
Sub-total 108
Extras (6 w, 1 b, 3 lb) 7
Total (off 20 overs) 115-3

dnb: Gundry, Siva, Taylor, T Carter, Marchant, Ledger

Fall of wickets 1-19, 2-55, 3-96


Paterson 4-0-11-0
Roper 4-1-8-0
Hilary 4-0-41-0
Leach 2-0-28-1
Benn 4-0-11-1
Pope 2-0-12-0


McBarron lbw b Taylor 5
Benn not out 31
Cooper ct Marchant b Gundry 12
Carr ct Taylor b Marchant 3
Roper st T Carter b Whitrod 32
Matthews run out 1
Hilary ct S Carter b Marchant 9
Paterson run out 0
Leach not out 0
Sub-total 93
Extras (4nb, 5w, 12b, 2lb) 23
Total (off 19 overs) 116-7

dnb: Pope

Fall of wickets 1-7, 3-28, 3-50, 4-99, 5-100, 6-110, 7-111


Gundry 4-1-10-1
Taylor 4-0-21-1
Marchant 3-0-18-2
Ledger 1.2-0-3-0
Nguyen 0.4-0-8-0
Siva 4-1-21-0
Whitrod 2-0-20-1