Dodgers v Science Museum @ Barnes Common 29.07.10

2 for wide/no ball - no extra ball
Retire at 30

Dodgers 118 (McBarron 30*, Taylor 20) beat Science Museum 117 (Cooper J 4-0-21-3, Cousins 4-1-11-1) by 1 run

Man of the Match: Cooper J - 10, McBarron - 1

Dodgers Thrill Fans in Night at the Museum - Match Report by Peter Lee Sr

Dodgers and Science Museum arrived at the malarial jungle known as Barnes Common to discover that the pitch curator had decided that it was more than his job was worth to actually prepare or mark out a strip. Undeterred by having paid £30 for the same facilities available in any farmer's field, the two teams opted to play on unprepared pitch that was as patchy as Kamran Akmal’s wicket-keeping. As widely reported in the national media, Captain Carr won the toss and opted to take first use. Science Museum took to the field and specialist cricket ball sniffer dogs were dispatched into the Barnes undergrowth to try and ensure the game finished before midnight.

The fielding side made an early breakthrough when opener Lee, who traded his good batting form for a new son and was clearly questioning the wisdom of the deal, slapped a rank long-hop straight to cover for a duck. When his junior counterpart departed shortly afterwards, Dodgers were 6-2 and looking shaky. An excellent 58 run partnership from the classy Taylor and obdurate McBarron saw Dodgers to a good position at the halfway point. The fact that this was not capitalised upon was due to an intriguing bowling combination of accurate spin from one end and long hops from the other, both of which proved tricky to get away on the dodgy surface and which spared Science Museum from the usual dozen or so trips into the undergrowth to search for lost balls amongst the foliage and dogging couples. When Carr and Cousins scrambled a comedy overthrow off the last ball, it was little remarked upon as the batting side contemplated being 20-30 runs short. It was to prove as crucial as it was amusing.

Science Museum made a solid start with opener Luxford looking particularly dangerous. Lowe got a bit of tap before snaring Levitt, pouched by the ever-reliable Fox at midwicket. Rye was quickly harvested at short third man by Lee Snr off the virtually unplayable Cousins. Lee Snr promptly dropped captain Martis but Taylor showed his usual athleticism, running him out with a direct hit. Luxford continued to bat Science Museum towards a strong position, hitting his final ball for six and retiring. The enigmatic and ever-tardy Raj bowled well to pick up a wicket but the middle-order held firm and defeat for Dodgers looked a racing certainty, despite a great running catch from Taylor and an astonishing second direct hit run out, this time by Lee Snr, the kind of accuracy that would have the England one day side drooling.

With two overs to go, 18 runs were required. With one over to go, 5 runs were required as Fox was agriculturally mown for 13. Hard luck Rob, better luck next time chaps was the general feeling amongst the team. However, onto centre stage strode the phlegmatic Cooper (J) to bowl the last knacker. A couple of singles were comfortably taken, with one curator batsman already celebrating the anticipated win. But then... Cooper chucked one down the legside, the well-set Humphreys' eyes lit up but his big swish only flicked the ball off the leading edge to the Cat who gobbled up the chance. Suddenly, batting bums became squeakier as the Dodgers field closed in claustrophobically. Next ball, Cooper bowled, Wood sliced towards short cover where Lee Snr dived and plucked the cherry as casually as a Spanish waiter at a Club 18-30 resort.

Four runs were taken off the next three balls so, like Hitler, Science Museum were left with only one ball to pursue victory and like the Fuhrer, they failed. Asten mowed nervously, flicking a thick edge behind where it nestled on Cat's gloves, sparking frenzied celebrations from the fielding side.

So, having lost by one run the previous week, that fickle strumpet Fate smiled on the Dodgers, granting them one of the wins of the season. Cooper won the Man of the Match by a landslide for his three wickets in an over with an honourable mention to McB for his excellent 30 on a batting minefield.

Innings of Dodgers

Lee P Sr c (cover) b Humphreys 0
Taylor b Elliott 20
Lee P Jr c & b Humphreys 2
McBarron retired not out 30
Carr not out 11
Lowe c (long off) b Wood 6
Fox b Stoddart 9
Raj c ? b Tomblin 0
Cousins not out 5
Sub-total 83
Extras 35
Total (for 6 wickets) 118

FoW: 1-0 (1-0, 18:16, 0.3)
2-6 (3-2, 18:24, 2.4)
3-64 (2-20, 18:55, 11.1)
4-88 (6-6, 19:06, 14.4)
5-108 (7-9, 19:19, 19.3)
6-109 (8-0, 19:21, 19.3)

DNB: Matthews, Cooper J

Bowling of Science Museum

Humphreys 4-0-11-1
Axton 4-0-24-0
Wood 4-0-22-1
Elliott 2-0-19-1
Tomblin 4-0-27-1
Stoddart 2-0-7-1

Innings of Science Museum

Luxford retired not out 34
Levitt c Fox b Lowe 5
Rye c Lee P Sr b Cousins 0
Martis run out 7
Tomblin run out 18
Stoddart b Raj 2
Humphreys c Matthews b Cooper J 20
Elliott c Taylor b Fox 0
Wood c Lee P Sr b Cooper J 3
Asten c Matthews b Cooper J 0
Elan not out 1
Sub-total 103
Extras 14
Total (for 9 wickets) 117

Bowling of Dodgers

Cousins 4-1-11-1
Lowe 4-0-29-1
Cooper J 4-0-21-3
Raj 4-0-18-1
Fox 4-0-31-1