Dodgers v Energy Exiles

Weather: fine and sunny

Dodgers won the toss and elected to bat

Dodgers 118 for 2 (Taylor 38, Marr 43) lost by 1 wicket to Exiles (121 for 9, Lowe 4-0-17-4). Man of the Match: Dave Lowe (6), Taylor (2), ? - (2)

Match report by Matt Taylor

10-man Dodgers lost a nail-biting last-ball thriller to Energy Exiles at Chiswick, the scene of their strong performances in the six-a-side tournament 5 days earlier.

On a hot and sunny evening, Captain Carr won the toss and elected to bat. Openers Taylor and Radcliffe, playing for the Weekenders on Sunday, had been allowed to bat twice for their weakened side by a sporting opposition skipper, but knew that they would receive no such charity from the Energy Exiles. They set about business with some lusty blows but Radcliffe soon skied a leading edge to the legside and Marr came to the crease. Taylor settled in and cleared the infield with expansive cover drives that drew chunks of willow from his ancient Kookaburra, as Marr was pinned down by an excellent spell of left-arm round from Wingfield. With 30 off 6 overs Dodgers ticked along well, but despite a straight six from Taylor and 7 wides in one over from the Exiles' only weak bowler, the total only reached 65 from 14 overs and acceleration was required. Cue Marr finding his form with a series of great cricket shots, and Dodgers had 99 from 17, with Taylor run out for 38 having wandered too far from his crease in threat of a second run to third man.

The return of the opening bowlers made life difficult for new batsman McBarron, but with a sweetly-timed pull to the boundary from the final ball Dodgers reached 118, with Marr left unbeaten on 43. A defendable total, but was it ten runs short against a strong Exiles side?

It seemed so as the opening batsmen took singles and struck boundaries early on. However Dodgers knew they had to take wickets and in the fourth over they did as Phillips tried one uppish drive too many and hit straight down Taylor's throat at cover. A strong finish from Paterson (maiden, wicket maiden) slowed the run-rate and removed Johnstone, then Dave Lowe entered the fray, trapping the remaining opener. At the other end Thody tried to smash Lee through the covers and was dropped by Taylor diving full length to his right, but the Lowe Show continued where it had left off and Thody's second life was his last as another straight delivery thudded into the pads and cheers went up from the Dodgers.

Exiles were keeping up with the run-rate and still had their best batsmen to come in, but when Lowe removed 5 and 6 with solid catches from Paterson and McBarron, they realised they were in with a chance. The Exiles' wicket-keeper has taken apart Dodger's attacks in the past, but this time he looked nervous, and when he was bowled swinging at a straight one from Lee, the Dodgers were suddenly favourites. The Exiles had 90 off 17 overs with new batsmen at the crease, but they were able to accelerate, despite losing another wicket as Cousins amazing throw from third man hit the stumps with Gauntlett realising he hadn't run fast enough. Lee was disappointed with his 19th over, but really it was the manpower shortage in the field that saw 2 boundaries made from shots that would have been stopped.

Now it was impossible to call. Exiles 110-9 needing 9 to win from 6 balls, with McBarron bowling. A single from the first ball and 3 from the second made the pendulum of fate swing into Exile, but two dot balls followed and it was 5 off 2. A wicket would win it for the Dodgers, a boundary would level the scores. McBarron floated a good delivery outside off stump, but a great shot from the number 11 beat the covers and Taylor threw his cap to the floor in frustration as he failed in a sprint across the boundary from long-off. It was the last ball of the game. The field closed in, knowing they had to prevent a single for the tie, but the batsman worked the ball off his hips for four and the Exiles claimed victory.

Disappointment for the Dodgers, but a rip-roaring rollercoaster of a tie, the late evening sunshine and an iridescent salmon sunset made the post-match beer taste sweet and cold.

Dodgers Innings

Taylor Run Out 38 (46)
Radcliffe c Farrington-Douglas b Gauntlet 6 (3)
Marr Not Out 43 (58)
McBarron Not Out 10 (9)
Sub-total 97
Extras 21
Total 118/2

116 balls

dnb: Lee, Carr, Paterson, Cousins, Lowe, Matthews

Bowling of Exiles

1 4-0-10-0
2 4-0-35-1
3 4-1-18-0
4 4-0-17-0
5 3-0-19-0
6 1-0-14-0

Innings of Exiles

Almond lbw b Lowe 16 (25)
Phillips c Taylor b Cousins 14 (13)
Johnstone b Paterson 1 (8)
Thody lbw b Lowe 19 (22)
Lamarecht c Paterson b Lowe 9 (8)
F-Douglas c McBarron b Lowe 10 (12)
Peters b Lee 8 (9)
Gauntlett Run Out (Cousins) 1 (1)
Wingfield Not Out 19 (13)
Chamberlain b McBarron 2 (2)
Thomas M Not Out 11 (7)
Sub-total 110
Extras 11
Total 121

120 balls

Bowling of Dodgers

Paterson 4-2-10-1
Cousins 4-0-22-1
Lowe 4-0-17-4
Lee 4-0-38-1
McBarron 4-0-30-1