Dodgers vs. Superstars, 21.05.15

Abbey Recreation Ground, South Wimbledon

Match report: Matt Taylor

Dodgers 83-5 (15 overs, Taylor 24, Hussein 24) beat Superstars 82-9 (15 overs, Palmer 2-15) by 1 run.

Yet another clash with the old foe took a series of bizarre turns and came down to the last ball, where Dodgers triumphed.

The scheduled start time of 6pm came and went with no sign of the groundsman, sole owner of stumps and keys to the changing rooms.

Confusion reigned and Dodgers somehow went from thinking they had 12 players, to actually starting with nine.

Undeterred, the teams finally took to the field at 6.45pm with makeshift stumps at each end made from a batting pad tied to a rucksack. The match was reduced to 15 overs and agreed not to count towards the Ken Block trophy.

An unfamiliar Dodgers side won the toss and batted, but struggled to make headway. More than once the pad and rucksack combo was flattened by the rats' bowlers before groundsman and stumps eventually appeared.  Dodgers limped to 83-5, a target requiring less than six an over.

After a short break for prayer by members of both teams; possibly a first for this fixture, Superstars began their chase. Dodgers took the field short but only took it at all courtesy of three guests of Khalid and their two friends.

Sultan produced pace and Palmer made a vital breakthrough with two in two. But a few strong overs and Superstars were ahead of the rate until Taylor ran out Smith with a direct hit. Khalid and Rafi then stepped up with a wicket each and Imtias one more, as the Dodgers chipped away at the Superstars order.

Only 20 runs were needed from the last four overs and 14 off three, when the return of Sultan was crucial. Bowling Plame and conceding only three, it was 11 off two. Imtias held on to a caught and bowled and again only conceded three, setting eight off the last with Taylor left to bowl.

Within moments it was four required from three balls and Singh struck out towards deep square leg. But Sultan was there to take the catch and Dodgers celebrated thinking they had taken the last wicket. Sadly the rats had one more in the hutch. The penultimate ball whistled through the gate into Mike's pads: a dot. Four was required from the final ball, or three to tie. Burki squirted the ball out to long off where Khalid collected and threw in; the batsmen were stranded on two and the game was won by the Dodgers.

Plenty of drama in South Wimbledon; and a ramshackle start reminiscent of Dodgers' early days. But somehow a great game of cricket.